Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Monday, May 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, Sir Larry

Today is the birthday of Sir Laurence Olivier, one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century. Olivier was the first actor ever to direct himself in an Oscar-Winning performance; namely Hamlet.

He inspired generations of actors with his over-the-top melodramatic performances-- often changing his whole appearance to better reflect the character. No-one ever looked at their dentist the same way again, after watching his Dr. Szell in Marathon Man. "Is it safe?" Not anytime soon, it isn't.

He also starred in my all-time favorite movie: Sleuth. It was up for major awards the same year as The Godfather, so you can guess how that turned out. Still; Sleuth is a gem.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one of his greatest feats as an actor: performing from beyond the grave. Olivier's likeness was used for the villainous Dr. Totenkopf in Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow. He'd been dead for over a decade and he was still getting work. Now that's talent.

Cheers, Lar.


  • At 12:44 PM, Blogger Jay said…

    Lest we forget his portrayal of Zeus in Clash of the Titans! It is my wish ... my ... command! ;-)


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