The world's greatest actor by Britain's best biographer.
Hollywood superstar; Oscar-winning director; greatest stage actor of the twentieth century. His era abounded in greats - Gielgud, Richardson, Guinness, Burton, O'Toole - but none could challenge Laurence Olivier's range and power.
By the 1940s he had achieved international stardom. His affair with Vivien Leigh led to a marriage as glamorous and as tragic as any in Hollywood history. He was as accomplished a director as he was a leading man: his three Shakespearian adaptations are among the most memorable ever filmed.
Off-stage, Olivier was the most extravagant of characters: generous, yet almost insanely jealous of those few contemporaries whom he deemed to be his rivals; charming but with a ferocious temper. With access to more than fifty hours of candid, unpublished interviews, Philip Ziegler ensures that Olivier's true character - at its most undisguised - shines through as never before.
Philip Ziegler is one of Britain's best-known and most elegant writers. The author of such classics as Mountbatten and The Black Death, his work is universally praised. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he joined the Diplomatic Service and served in Vientiane, Paris, Pretoria and Bogota before resigning to join the publishers William Collins, where he was editorial director for fifteen years. The Duchess of Dino was his first book.