Laurence Olivier
Biographical Information
Born May 22nd, 1907
Dorking, England
Died July 11th, 1989
Steyning, England
Productions Fire Over England as Michael Ingolby
49th Parallel as Johnnie
The Beggar's Opera as Captain MacHeath
The Entertainer as Archie Rice (original cast/film)
Vocal Type Tenor

Laurence Olivier was an English actor.


Born in Dorking, Surrey, Olivier came from a family with no theatrical connections, but impressed in several school productions, notably being called "already a great actor" by Ellen Terry after a performance of Julius Caesar. He studied at the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Arts and later joined the Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company, gaining his first major success with Noël Coward's Private Lives. Olivier gained great success in Coriolanus and Henry V, as well as making initial ventures into films, gaining an Academy Award nomination for his performance in Wuthering Heights. As well as an actor he was also a successful director, and his Hamlet was the first non American film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

As he grew older and ceased to play romantic leads, Olivier made his last Shakespearian stage appearance in 1968, playing Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. He gained another Academy Award nomination for Sleuth in 1972 (along with his sole co-star in the film, Michael Caine), Marathon Man and The Boys From Brazil.

Olivier passed away in 1989.


Olivier's first singing role came in Fire Over England, where he sings the song "The Spanish Lady's Love" as a duet, and later reprises it solo. He also appeared in the film version of The Beggar's Opera as Captain MacHeath, and in 1960 sang several pieces in character as Archie Rice, a fading music hall entertainer in the play and film The Entertainer.


Fire Over England (1937)

  • The Spanish Lady's Love(duet)
  • The Spanish Lady's Love (reprise)(solo)

49th Parallel (1941)

  • Alouette (solo)

The Beggar's Opera (1953)

  • At the Tree I Shall Suffer (solo)
  • How Could I Be Happy With Either? (solo)
  • The Charge is Prepared (solo)

The Entertainer (1960)

  • Why Should I Care? (solo)
  • Hide Your Face Mum (contains solo lines)
  • Thank God I'm Normal (solo)
  • I Don't Care Where They Bury My Body (solo)
  • Why Should I Care? (reprise)(solo)


The Entertainer (1957)(originated the role)

  • Why Should I Care? (solo)
  • Hide Your Face Mum
  • Thank God I'm Normal (solo)
  • The Absent-Minded Beggar
  • I Don't Care Where They Bury My Body (solo)
  • Why Should I Care? (reprise)(solo)