Terry Coleman

Olivier was the greatest classical actor of his day, matinee idol, Hollywood star and Oscar winner, film director, West End impresario, and then first director of the National Theatre.

Coleman was arts correspondent of The Guardian when Olivier was at the National and knew him for twenty years.  This is the standard biography, the only one to be written with free access to Olivier’s private papers, diaries, and letters and to those of Vivien Leigh, his second wife.

“Excellent. A fine and doubtless definitive biography” — New York Times.

“One hell of a life” — Sunday Telegraph.