Sir John Gielgud
A Life in Letters
Edited by Richard Mangan
Here is a remarkable autobiography of one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century, seen through his frank, mesmerizing, and intimate letters. Sir John Gielgud, best known to audiences for his Academy Award–winning turn in the hit comedy Arthur, as well as starring roles in Gandhi and other major movies, was an incomparable actor whose career on stage and screen spanned eight decades, from his 1921 London stage debut to more recent smash films like Shine and Elizabeth. John Gielgud wrote letters almost every day of his adult life, whether at home in England or abroad. From thousands of letters, beginning with those to his mother when Gielgud was an aspiring but still unknown actor, the editor has chosen these two hundred gems.
Through them we meet a man of keen mind and astute observation, who met hundreds of luminaries of his day. Gielgud candidly assesses his contemporaries and clearly delights in gossip. He had a lifetime reputation for speaking his mind, and here for the first time are his love letters, which were never available to his biographer, and through his eyes, hundreds of luminaries—Marlon Brando, Greta Garbo, Vivien Leigh, and Sir Laurence Olivier—in “a book for anyone who cares about the art of theater” (Show Business).
Sir John Gielgud was one of the twentieth century’s finest actors of stage and screen and one of the very few to win an Oscar, Tony, Grammy, and Emmy. He died in 2000.