Sir Dirk Bogarde

(1921—1999) actor and author

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British actor and author. He was knighted in 1991. The son of a Dutch-born art editor on the London Times, Bogarde was educated at University College, London, and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Art. He joined the Amersham Repertory Company in 1940 and London appearances soon followed. After war service with the King's Royal Regiment in Europe and the Far East and with Air Photographic Intelligence, he returned to the stage. His film debut came in Esther Waters (1947). This was followed by The Blue Lamp (1950), The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1954), Ill Met By Moonlight (1957), and, in sharp contrast, the part of Simon Sparrow in Doctor in the House (1953), Doctor at Sea (1955), Doctor at Large (1956), and Doctor in Distress (1964). The ‘Doctor’ films were popular, but more demanding roles were offered to Bogarde, beginning with Basil Dearden's socially relevant Victim (1961), in which he played a homosexual. Joseph Losey's The Servant (1963) and Darling (1965) earned Bogarde British Film Awards. He went on to make two films for Visconti: The Damned (1969) and Death in Venice (1970), in which he gave one of his most distinguished performances.

He subsequently appeared in The Night Porter (1974), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Providence (1978), Despair (1978), and These Foolish Things (1991), as well as in various television and stage roles, and has collected a number of prestigious acting awards. Since the seventies he has lived in the South of France, shunning publicity, and has concentrated on writing, producing eight volumes of autobiography, including A Postillion Struck by Lightning (1977), An Orderly Man (1983), A Particular Friendship (1989), and Cleared for Take Off (1995). His novels include A Gentle Occupation (1980), West of Sunset (1984), A Period of Adjustment (1994), and Closing Ranks (1997).

From Who's Who in the Twentieth Century in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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