Actors

Alec Guinness Net Worth

Alec Guinness Net Worth is
$100 Million

Alec Guinness Biography

Alec Guinness de Cuffe was born on 2 April 1914, in Marylebone, London, England, to mother Agnes Cuffe. He was an English actor, probably best known for his roles in films such as “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, “Dr. Zhivago”, “Hitler: The Last Ten Days” and “Star Wars”. He passed away from liver cancer in 2000.

A famous actor, how wealthy was Alec Guinness? Sources state that Guinness had established a net worth of over $100 million, acquired during his long career as an actor, and also through sales of his autobiographies.

Alec Guinness Net Worth $100 Million

Guinness was raised by his mother in Maida Vale north London – his father’s identity is unknown. He attended a public school at Fettes College, his education being paid by a Scottish banker Andrew Geddes, whom Guinness believed was his father. His mother later married a British soldier, but the marriage didn’t last long. Upon matriculating in 1932, Guinness worked as an apprentice copywriter in a local ad company, but then received a scholarship to the Fay Compton Studio of Dramatic Art, and made his stage debut in 1934 with “Queer Cargo”. He played classic roles at the Old Vic theater from 1936, appearing in various major stage productions such as “Hamlet”, “Thunder Rock”, “Richard II”, “The Merchant of Venice”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Twelfth Night”, “Henry V”, “The Tempest” and many others, before enlisting in the Royal Navy with the beginning of World War II. During this time, he appeared in the Broadway production of “Flare Path”.

As the war ended, Guinness returned to the Old Vic and performed in “The Alchemist”, “King Lear”, “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “Richard II”, and went on to appear in “An Inspector Calls”, “The Cocktail Party”, “Hamlet” and “Richard III”. His performance in “Dylan” earned him a Tony Award. Guinness’ last performance in theater was the 1989 play “A Walk in the Woods”. His numerous stage performances greatly added to his net worth.

Guinness made his film debut with David Lean’s 1946 film “Great Expectations”, in which he played Herbert Pocket. In 1948 he took the role of Fagin in Lean’s “Oliver Twist” and the following year he played a total of eight characters, including women, in the film “Kind Hearts and Coronets”. Paving his way to stardom, the actor went on to appear in ’50s films such as “The Lavender Hill Mob”, “The Ladykillers”, “The Swan”, “The Card” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, another film by Lean, for which Guinness won a Best Actor Oscar and a Golden Globe. The following year he was nominated for Oscar as a screenwriter for the satirical film “The Horse’s Mouth”. Several other roles followed, and Guinness established himself as a recognized figure in the film industry. His collaboration with Lean continued through the 60s, with his roles as Prince Faisal in “Lawrence of Arabia”, Bolshevik leader General Yevgraf Zhivago in “Doctor Zhivago” and later as Professor Godbole in “A Passage to India”, all acclaimed and adding considerably to his net worth.

One of Guinness’ best performances was his title role in the ’70s film “Hitler: The Last Ten Days”. During this time, he also appeared in the television series “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “Smiley’s People”, roles which brought him two British Academy Television Awards for Best Actor. However, Guinness is perhaps best known at that time for his role as Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi in the 1977 film “Star Wars”; the film became a worldwide sensation and a massive success at the box office, with Guinness earned recognition from at least two generations of audience, and also a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He went on to appear in the film’s equally successful sequels in the early 80s, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”. With his portrayal of the Jedi knight, Guinness’ net worth was significantly boosted.

Aside from his acting career, Guinness wrote three volumes of autobiography, the 1985 “Blessings in Disguise”, the 1996 “My Name Escapes Me” and the 1999 “A Positively Final Appearance”. All three books were best-sellers that improved Guinness’ fortune.

The actor had won numerous other awards and honors, such as Golden Globe, Oscar, Tony and BAFTA awards. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to arts and received his Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

In his private life, Guinness was married to artist, playwright and actress Merula Sylvia Salaman from 1938 until his death from liver cancer in 2000 in West Sussex. Their son is actor Matthew Guinness.

Known for movies

Quick Facts

Full NameAlec Guinness
Net Worth$100 Million
Date Of BirthApril 2, 1914, in Marylebone, London, England
DiedAugust 5, 2000, Midhurst, United Kingdom
Height1.78 m
ProfessionEnglish actor
EducationPublic school at Fettes College, Fay Compton Studio of Dramatic Art
NationalityBritish
SpouseMerula Salaman (m. 1938–2000)
ChildrenMatthew Guinness
ParentsAgnes Cuff
Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/?curid=19672828
AwardsTony Award, Best Actor Oscar, Golden Globe Award, Academy Award for Best Actor (1957), Saturn Award (1977), Hollywood Walk of Fame star
NominationsAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actor ( 1977), BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Golden Globe Award, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (1982), British Academy Television Award (1985)
Movies"Flare Path", "Dylan", "The Horse’s Mouth", “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, “Dr. Zhivago”, “Hitler: The Last Ten Days”, “Star Wars”,
TV Shows"Queer Cargo" (1934), "Hamlet", "Thunder Rock", "Richard II", "The Merchant of Venice", "Romeo and Juliet", "Twelfth Night", "Henry V", "The Tempest"


Interesting Facts

#Fact
1Guinness had a 2.25% interest in the revenue from Star Wars, which would be the highest grossing movie at the time (and second only to Gone With the Wind when adjusted for inflation). Guinness had agreed to a 2% interest to make the film, but he reported that just before release during a telephone conversation George Lucas had offered an additional 0.5% because of how supportive and helpful Guinness had been (with dialogue, other actors, etc.). After the release and stunning results at the box office, Guinness asked to confirm the additional 0.5% in writing, but was told it was (reduced to) 0.25%, although it is not clear who had decided this. This was revealed by Guinness in the 1977 interview with BBC's Michael Parkinson on the series Talking Pictures. It was in general supported by many public comments by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher all speaking highly of Guinness' professionalism and impact on the set. Apparently Guinness did not quibble- the 1977 worldwide revenue for Star Wars of $400+ million making Guinness' 2.25% probably around $9m for that year alone, with additional revenue well into 1979. In comparison that exceeds other British actor high-water marks for Sean Connery and Roger Moore in the 1970's playing James Bond ($1m salary + $3-5m depending on revenue interests per film e.g. 5-12%).
2His name is an anagram for "genuine class", a fact which was mentioned in The Simpsons: Lisa's Rival (1994).
3Although he played Christopher Plummer's father in The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), he was only fifteen years his senior in real life.
4The 2003 book "Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography" reprints several letters that Guinness wrote to his longtime friend and correspondent Anne Kaufman in which he expressed his displeasure with and dubiousness about the quality of Star Wars as it was in production. Before filming started, he wrote: "I have been offered a movie (20th Century Fox) which I may accept, if they come up with proper money. London and North Africa, starting in mid-March. Science fiction--which gives me pause--but is to be directed by Paul [sic] Lucas who did American Graffiti, which makes me feel I should. Big part. Fairy-tale rubbish but could be interesting perhaps. Then after filming started, he wrote to Kaufman again to complain about the dialogue and describe his co-stars: new rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wadges of pink paper--and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable. I just think, thankfully, of the lovely bread, which will help me keep going until next April. I must off to studio and work with a dwarf (very sweet--and he has to wash in a bidet) and your fellow countrymen Mark Hamill and Tennyson (that can't be right) Ford. Ellison (?--No!)--well, a rangy, languid young man who is probably intelligent and amusing. But Oh, God, God, they make me feel ninety--and treat me as if I was 106. Oh, [the actor's name is] Harrison Ford--ever heard of him?".
5Had appeared in two Best Picture Academy Award winners: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Jack Hawkins also appeared in both films.
6Great-grandfather of Natasha Guinness-Taylor and Otis Guinness-Walker.
7His experiences with the Royal Navy involved shipping supplies to Yugoslav partisans during World War II.
8After Guinness won a two year scholarship from a dramatic academy, John Gielgud, one of the competition judges, offered him a role in his production of "Hamlet" in 1934.
9At a young age, Guinness received acting lessons from Martita Hunt, who dismissed him after two lessons, telling him he would never be an actor although lessons were resumed at a later date.
10His stepfather fought in the Anglo-Irish War.
11Though knighted, he did not like being referred to as Sir Alec Guinness.
12He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1559 Vine Street in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
13He preferred working on stage to appearing in films. He also preferred appearing in newer plays rather than the classics, so that his performance would not be compared to how previous actors had played the role.
14Has appeared in several of David Lean's movies. In them, he has portrayed Englishmen, an Arab, a Russian and an Indian.
15Was considered by producer Hal B. Wallis for the lead role in Visit to a Small Planet (1960) at the same time with Danny Kaye and Jerry Lewis, the last one eventually getting the role.
16Upon notification that he was to achieve a lifetime achievement Oscar, he was not keen but expressed thanks. He informed the Academy that there was no way he would even consider flying to California to pick up this award. Academy President Fay Kanin, asked Dustin Hoffman who was doing promotional work from Kramer vs. Kramer in London, to meet with Guinness and persuade him to attend. As both men had very similar attitudes to their past work, Guinness warmed up to the idea and agreed to attend.
17During his service in the Royal Navy, he commanded a landing craft invading Sicily and Elba, and helped to supply soldiers in Yugoslavia.
18Favorite actor of both David Lean and Ronald Neame. Had worked on many of both director's films.
19According to playwright Neil Simon, Alec was reading the script for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) while on set filming Murder by Death (1976) and commented that Star Wars may be a "good one".
20While filming The Swan (1956) in Hollywood, he met James Dean, just days before the young actor's death. Sir Alec later recalled predicting that Dean would die in a car crash: when Dean showed Guinness his newly-bought Porsche, Guinness advised him to "Get rid of that car, or you'll be dead in a week!". Guinness unfortunately proved right.
21Had played the role of Osric in John Gielgud's theatrical production of "Hamlet" in 1934. In Laurence Olivier's 1948 film version, this role was played by Peter Cushing, with whom Guinness appeared years later in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). The film was also Cushing's first collaboration with future Star Wars cast member Christopher Lee.
22He was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film culture.
23Guinness was a member of the Old Vic group organized by John Gielgud in the early 1930s, which also included, among others, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Quayle and Peggy Ashcroft.
24Contrary to popular rumors, he did not hate working on the Star Wars films. What he hated was the fact that many of the Star Wars fans would only ever remember him as Obi-Wan Kenobi despite all the success of his previous roles.
25Is the only person to receive a best acting nomination in any of the Star Wars movies.
26Had his first speaking role on the professional stage in the melodrama "Queer Cargo" (he did not appear in the film). At age 20, the tyro actor played a Chinese coolie in the first act, a French pirate in Act 2 and a British sailor in Act 3, a foreshadowing of the shapeshifting he would do in his cinema career, where he once played as many as eight roles in a single film (Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)).
27In the last year of his life, Sir Alec had been receiving hospital treatment for failing eyesight due to glaucoma, and he had been diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer in January 2000. By the time his liver cancer was discovered in July 2000, it was at an extremely advanced stage, making surgery impossible.
28Was the subject of a cover story in Time magazine for the week of April 21, 1958, shortly after he won the Best Actor Oscar for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).
29Had played the Fool to Laurence Olivier's first King Lear under the direction of Tyrone Guthrie in 1946 when he was 31 and Olivier was 39. Olivier was generally considered less-than-successful in the part due to his youth and relative lack of maturity in classical parts (though his contemporaneous "Henry V" was a smash and hinted at his future greatness as an interpreter of William Shakespeare). However, Guinness received raves for his acting. Both actors went on to knighthoods and Best Actor Oscars in their long and distinguished careers.
30Went bald on top, and according to his Time magazine cover story of April 21, 1958, he was embarrassed by it but chose not to wear a hairpiece in private life. He told the Time writer that he had shaved the top of his head as a young man in his first professional acting engagement, playing a coolie. It never grew back properly after that, he lamented.
31In his autobiographical volumes, Guinness wrote about an incident at the Old Vic when, in the company of National Theater (which originally played at the Old Vic) artistic director Laurence Olivier in the basement of the theater, he asked where a certain tunnel went. Olivier did not really know but confidently decided to take the tunnel as it must come out somewhere nearby, it being part of the Old Vic. In reality, the tunnel went under the Thames, and they were rescued after several hours of fruitless navigation of the dark, damp corridor. Guinness remarked that Olivier's willingness to plunge into the dark and unknown was characteristic of the type of person (and actor) he was. As for himself as an actor, Guinness lamented at times that he did not take enough chances.
32In certain prints of The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), a film in which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, his last name is misspelled "Guiness".
33Was considered for the role of Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (1974), which went to Albert Finney.
34Celebrated his 62nd birthday during the filming of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) in Tunisia, where the Tatooine scenes were filmed.
35Despite being two of Britain's most distinguished actors of their generation, he appeared in only two films with John Mills: Great Expectations (1946) and Tunes of Glory (1960).
36Had appeared with Kay Walsh in five films: Oliver Twist (1948), Last Holiday (1950), The Horse's Mouth (1958), Tunes of Glory (1960) and Scrooge (1970).
37Following his death, he was interred at Petersfield Cemetery in Petersfield, Hampshire, England.
38Both he and his wife, Merula Salaman, converted to the Roman Catholic Church in the 1950s.
39Won Broadway's 1964 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for "Dylan", in which he played the title character, poet Dylan Thomas.
40Harrison Ford said that Guinness helped him find an apartment to stay at when he arrived in England to film Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
41George Lucas said Guinness was very patient and helpful to him during the filming of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), even to the point of getting the other actors to work more seriously.
42One of his last jobs was providing the voice (his first and only voice-over) for a cartoon character on a British television ad campaign by the Inland Revenue advising the public about the new tax return forms which were to be introduced. He said in his diary of the recording (made on March 30, 1995) "I did it feebly.".
43A heavy smoker for most of his life, he finally managed to give up the habit in his last years.
44His favourite hotel in London was the Connaught, in which he always stayed whenever visiting the city.
45Reportedly answered one Star Wars fan's boast that he had seen the first movie over a hundred times, with a nod and the words "Promise me you'll never watch it again.". The boy was stunned, but his mother thanked Guinness.
46Though he often spoke critically of Star Wars, the three leads, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, have always spoken very fondly of him, praising him as being a very professional actor who was always respectful to the people he worked with.
47Ewan McGregor was not the only actor in the Star Wars prequels to study his performances. The voice for the character Watto was modeled after Guinness's performance as Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948).
48Has been succeeded in two of his roles by actors from Trainspotting (1996). Guinness portrayed Adolf Hitler in Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973). Robert Carlyle portrayed Adolf Hitler in Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003), while Ewan McGregor succeeded him in the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
49Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 198-199. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387.
50He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Special Award in 1989 (1988 season) for his outstanding contributions to West End Theatre.
51Had starred as Eric Birling alongside Sir Ralph Richardson in the first-ever showing of "An Inspector Calls" at the New Theatre in London on October 1, 1946.
52Was a Grammy nominee in 1964, in the Spoken Word category, for the album "Alec Guinness: A Personal Choice" (RCA Victor Red Seal: 1964), on which he read a selection of his favorite poems.
53Received an honorary D.Litt degree from Oxford University in 1977 and an honorary D.Litt degree from Cambridge University in 1991.
54His films were studied by Ewan McGregor in preparation for his role as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) to ensure accuracy in everything from his accent to the pacing of his words.
55In his last book of memoirs, "A Positively Final Appearance", he expressed a devotion to the television series The Simpsons (1989).
56His widow, Merula Salaman, died on October 17, 2000, just two months after her husband.
57He made his final stage appearance at the Comedy Theatre in London on May 30, 1989, in a production called "A Walk in the Woods", where he played a Russian diplomat.
58The qualities he claimed to most admire in an actor were "simplicity, purity, clarity of line".
59He was voted third in the Orange Film 2001 survey of greatest British film actors.
60Despite popular belief, he never uttered the line "May the force be with you" in any of the Star Wars films (the closest he came was "the force will be with you").
61He was a huge fan of the television series Due South (1994).
62He was awarded Knight Bachelor in the 1959 Queen's New Year Honours List for his services to drama.
63He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1955 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama.
64He was awarded the Companion of Honour in the 1994 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama.
65"de Cuffe" is his mother's surname; he never knew the identity of his father (source: obituary, Daily Telegraph, 7 August 2000).
66He was one of the last surviving members of a great generation of British actors, which included Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson.
67Father of actor Matthew Guinness and grandfather of Sally Guinness.
68Reportedly hated working on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) so much, Guinness claims that Obi-Wan's death was his idea as a means to limit his involvement in the film. Guinness also claims to throw away all Star Wars related fan mail without even opening it.


Net Worth & Salary

TitleSalary
Little Dorrit (1987)£180,000
Star Wars (1977)$150,000 + 2 1/4% of profits
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)£6,000
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)£6,000


Trademarks

#Trademark
1Deep smooth voice
2Often worked with David Lean and Ronald Neame
3Often played noble and fiercely proud leaders and authority figures
4Known for playing multiple complex characters and changing his appearance to suit.


Quotes

#Quote
1[One day, director Ronald Neame found Guinness sulking in his dressing room, refusing to come to the set. According to Neame, Guinness felt he had not been stroked enough and explained] Actors are emotionally 14-year olds. We need to be chastised like children, and we need to be hugged and told we're doing fine work. We are the children who never grow up.
2[on playing Gulley Jimson in The Horse's Mouth (1958)] I try to get inside a character and project him - one of my own private rules of thumb is that I have not got the character until I have mastered exactly how he walks.
3[on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)] Can't say I'm enjoying the film. New rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wadges of pink paper - and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable. I just think, thankfully, of the lovely bread, which will help me to keep going until next April.
4I can walk through a crowd and nobody would notice at all.
5[on winning the Best Actor award for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)] No doorstop shenanigans for me. I'll put the Oscar on my mantel, which I realize makes very dull copy, except that I'll put a mirror on the mantel so that I'll get a view of Oscar's back too.
6[on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)]: When it came to me in script form, I was in Hollywood on the last day of another movie and I heard it was a script by George Lucas, well that meant something; you know, American Graffiti (1973), this is a new generation, lovely. And then I opened it and saw it was science fiction and groaned, I thought "oh no, they've got the wrong man." I started to read it and I thought some of the dialogue was rather creaky, but I kept turning the pages, I wanted to know what happened next. Then I met George Lucas, fell for him, I thought he was a man of enormous integrity and bright and interesting, and I found myself involved and thank God I did.
7[Asked if Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) had made him a fortune]: Yes, blessed be Star Wars. But two-thirds of that went to the Inland Revenue and a sizable sum on VAT. No complaints. Let me leave it by saying I can live for the rest of my life in the reasonably modest way I am now used to, that I have no debts and I can afford to refuse work that doesn't appeal to me.
8[Asked if he was a rich man]: No, not rich. Compared to striking miners and workless actors very rich: compared to successful stockbrokers and businessmen I expect I would be considered nearly poor.
9An actor is totally vulnerable. His total personality is exposed to critical judgment - his intellect, his bearing, his diction, his whole appearance. In short, his ego.
10An actor is at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerize a group of innocents.
11[his diary entry after viewing Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) for the first time] It's a pretty staggering film as spectacle and technically brilliant. Exciting, very noisy and warmhearted. The battle scenes at the end go on for five minutes too long, I feel, and some of the dialogue is excruciating and much of it is lost in noise, but it remains a vivid experience.
12[on Laurence Olivier after the death of the only acting peer of the realm] Olivier made me laugh more as an actor [in eccentric comedy parts] more than anyone else. In my case, I love him in comedy and am not always sure about him in tragedy.
13I am always ashamed of the slowness of my reading. I think it stems from the fact that when I come across dialogue in a novel, I can't resist treating it as the text of a play and acting it out, with significant pauses and all.
14Flamboyance doesn't suit me. I enjoy being elusive.
15Essentially I'm a small part actor who's been lucky enough to play leading roles for most of his life.
16[on The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)]: The original script was ridiculous, with elephant charges and girls screaming round in the jungle. When David Lean arrived, with a new screenwriter, it became a very different thing. I saw Nicholson as an effective part, without ever really believing in the character. However, it paid off; it was a huge success and I got an Oscar for it, though I don't think it made an enormous difference in my career.
17The stage was my prime interest. I had no ambition to be a film actor, and a screen career seemed unlikely to come my way. I'd done a stage adaption of "Great Expectations" before the war and this had been seen by David Lean and Ronald Neame. I went into the navy during the war, and when I came out they were preparing their film [Great Expectations (1946)]. They remembered my performance on the stage and asked me if I'd go into their film as Herbert Pocket. I'd thought of film as a much greater mystery than the theater and I felt a need to begin in films with a character I knew something about.
18[on his first lunch meeting with George Lucas]: I liked him. The conversation was divided culturally by 8,000 miles and 30 years; but I think we might understand each other if I can get past his intensity.
19[while considering doing Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)]: Science fiction - which gives me pause - but it is to be directed by George Lucas, who did American Graffiti (1973), which makes me think I should. Big part. Fairytale rubbish, but could be interesting.
20[on the performances in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)]: The only really disappointing performance was Anthony Daniels as the robot - fidgety and over-elaborately spoken. Not that any of the cast can stand up to the mechanical things around them.
21[on media reports of his income from the Star Wars films]: The Times reports I've made £4.5 million in the past year. Where do they get such nonsense?
22[during filming of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)]: Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young.
23[To a group of reporters upon winning his Academy Award in 1958]: No doorstop shenanigans for me, boys. I have a nice mantel where I'm going to display it.
24Personally, I have only one great regret - that I never *dared* enough. If at all.
25An actor is an interpreter of other men's words, often a soul which wishes to reveal itself to the world but dare not, a craftsman, a bag of tricks, a vanity bag, a cool observer of mankind, a child and at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerize a group of innocents.
26Getting to the theater on the early side, usually about seven o'clock, changing into a dressing-gown, applying make-up, having a chat for a few minutes with other actors and then, quite unconsciously, beginning to assume another personality which would stay with me (but mostly tucked inside) until curtain down, was all I required of life. I thought it bliss.
27Once I've done a film, it's finished. I never look at it again.
28I don't know what else I could do but pretend to be an actor.
29I prefer full-length camera shots because the body can act better than the face.
30I gave my best performances during the war, trying to be an officer and a gentleman.
31[replying to a writer whose script he rejected, who sent him a note saying "We tailored it just for you"] But no one came to take measurements.
32[in 1985 to The Guardian newspaper, on what he intends to do by the end of his life] A kind of little bow, tied on life. And I can see myself drifting off into eternity, or nothing, or whatever it may be, with all sorts of bits of loose string hanging out of my pocket. Why didn't I say this or do that, or why didn't I reconcile myself with someone? Or make sure that someone whom I like was all right in every way, either financially or, I don't know...
33We live in an age of apologies. Apologies, false or true, are expected from the descendants of empire builders, slave owners, persecutors of heretics and from men who, in our eyes, just got it all wrong. So with the age of 85 coming up shortly, I want to make an apology. It appears I must apologize for being male, white and European.
34Failure has a thousand explanations. Success doesn't need one.
35I shrivel up every time someone mentions Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) to me.
36[on how much he disliked working on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and his attempts to encourage George Lucas to kill off Obi-Wan Kenobi] And he agreed with me. What I didn't tell him was that I just couldn't go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines. I'd had enough of the mumbo jumbo.


Pictures

All Alec Guinness pictures

Won Awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2001OFTA Film Hall of FameOnline Film & Television AssociationActing
1996Lifetime Achievement AwardEuropean Film Awards
1995Special AwardEvening Standard British Film Awards
1991BFI FellowshipBritish Film Institute Awards
1990Special Achievement AwardLondon Critics Circle Film Awards
1989Academy FellowshipBAFTA Awards
1988Honorary Golden Berlin BearBerlin International Film Festival
1988LAFCA AwardLos Angeles Film Critics Association AwardsBest Supporting ActorLittle Dorrit (1987)
1987Gala TributeFilm Society of Lincoln Center
1983BAFTA TV AwardBAFTA AwardsBest ActorSmiley's People (1982)
1980Honorary AwardAcademy Awards, USAFor advancing the art of screen acting through a host of memorable and distinguished performances.
1980BAFTA TV AwardBAFTA AwardsBest ActorTinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979)
1980Broadcasting Press Guild AwardBroadcasting Press Guild AwardsBest ActorTinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979)
1979Evening Standard British Film AwardEvening Standard British Film AwardsBest ActorStar Wars (1977)
1978Saturn AwardAcademy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USABest Supporting ActorStar Wars (1977)
1967KCFCC AwardKansas City Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Supporting ActorThe Comedians (1967)
1961Sant JordiSant Jordi AwardsBest Foreign Actor (Mejor Actor Extranjero)The Horse's Mouth (1958)
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 1559 Vine Street.
1959Sant JordiSant Jordi AwardsBest Foreign Actor (Mejor Actor Extranjero)The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1958OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleThe Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1958Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor - DramaThe Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1958BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest British ActorThe Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1958Volpi CupVenice Film FestivalBest ActorThe Horse's Mouth (1958)
1958New Cinema AwardVenice Film FestivalBest ActorThe Horse's Mouth (1958)
1957NBR AwardNational Board of Review, USABest ActorThe Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1957NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ActorThe Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1952Silver RibbonItalian National Syndicate of Film JournalistsBest Foreign Actor (Migliore Attore Straniero)The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
1951Gold MedalPicturegoer AwardsBest ActorThe Mudlark (1950)
1950NBR AwardNational Board of Review, USABest ActorKind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Nominated Awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1989OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Supporting RoleLittle Dorrit (1987)
1989Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion PictureLittle Dorrit (1987)
1986BAFTA TV AwardBAFTA AwardsBest ActorGreat Performances (1971)
1983Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a SpecialSmiley's People (1982)
1978OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Supporting RoleStar Wars (1977)
1978Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion PictureStar Wars (1977)
1961BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest British ActorTunes of Glory (1960)
1960Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Single Performance by an Actor (Lead or Support)Startime (1959)
1960BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest British ScreenplayThe Horse's Mouth (1958)
1959OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another MediumThe Horse's Mouth (1958)
1956BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest British ActorThe Prisoner (1955)
1953OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleThe Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

2nd Place Awards

2nd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1989NSFC AwardNational Society of Film Critics Awards, USABest Supporting ActorLittle Dorrit (1987)
1988NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Supporting ActorLittle Dorrit (1987)
1958Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Male Dramatic PerformanceThe Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1958NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ActorThe Horse's Mouth (1958)

3rd Place Awards

3rd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1959Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Male Comedy PerformanceThe Horse's Mouth (1958)
1955NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ActorThe Prisoner (1955)
1950NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ActorKind Hearts and Coronets (1949)


Filmography

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Interview Day1996TV MovieJames
Mute Witness1995The Reaper (as Mystery Guest Star)
Screen One1993TV SeriesAmos
Performance1992TV SeriesHeinrich Mann
Kafka1991The Chief Clerk
A Handful of Dust1988Mr. Todd
Little Dorrit1987William Dorrit
Great Performances1987TV SeriesFather Quixote
Edwin1984TV MovieSir Fennimore Truscott
A Passage to India1984Godbole
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi1983Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi
Lovesick1983Sigmund Freud
Smiley's People1982TV Mini-SeriesGeorge Smiley
The Morecambe & Wise Show1980TV SeriesPsychiatrist / Himself
Little Lord Fauntleroy1980TV MovieEarl of Dorincourt
Raise the Titanic1980John Bigalow
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back1980Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy1979TV Mini-SeriesGeorge Smiley
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope1977Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi
Murder by Death1976Bensonmum
Caesar and Cleopatra1976TV MovieJulius Caesar
The Gift of Friendship1974TV MovieJocelyn Broome
Hitler: The Last Ten Days1973Adolf Hitler
Brother Sun, Sister Moon1972Pope Innocent III
Scrooge1970Jacob Marley's Ghost
Cromwell1970King Charles 'Stuart' I
ITV Saturday Night Theatre1970TV SeriesMalvolio
Thirty-Minute Theatre1969TV SeriesThe Executioner
The Comedians1967Major H. O. Jones
The Quiller Memorandum1966Pol
Hotel Paradiso1966Benedict Boniface
Doctor Zhivago1965Yevgraf
Situation Hopeless... But Not Serious1965Wilhelm Frick
The Fall of the Roman Empire1964Marcus Aurelius
Lawrence of Arabia1962Prince Feisal
Damn the Defiant!1962Captain Crawford
A Majority of One1961Koichi Asano
Tunes of Glory1960Major Jock Sinclair, D.S.O., M.M.
Our Man in Havana1959Jim Wormold
Startime1959TV SeriesJebal Deeks
The Scapegoat1959John Barratt / Jacques De Gue
The Horse's Mouth1958Gulley Jimson
All at Sea1957Capt. William Horatio Ambrose
The Bridge on the River Kwai1957Colonel Nicholson
The Swan1956Prince Albert
The Ladykillers1955Professor Marcus
Baker's Dozen1955TV MovieThe Major
The Prisoner1955The Cardinal
To Paris with Love1955Col. Sir Edgar Fraser
The Detective1954Father Brown
Malta Story1953Flight Lt. Peter Ross
The Captain's Paradise1953Captain Henry St. James
The Promoter1952Edward Henry 'Denry' Machin
The Man in the White Suit1951Sidney Stratton
The Lavender Hill Mob1951Holland
The Mudlark1950Benjamin Disraeli
Last Holiday1950George Bird
A Run for Your Money1949Whimple
Kind Hearts and Coronets1949The D'Ascoyne Family: The Duke / The Banker / The Parson / ...
Oliver Twist1948Fagin
Great Expectations1946Herbert Pocket
Evensong1934Extra (W.W.I. soldier in concert audience) (uncredited)

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Scrooge1970performer: "See the Phantoms" - uncredited
The Bridge on the River Kwai1957"Colonel Bogey March" 1914, uncredited

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Horse's Mouth1958screenplay

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Edición Especial Coleccionista2014TV Series in memory of - 2 episodes
Grace Kelly: The American Princess1987Video documentary thanks
The Stratford Adventure1954Documentary short acknowledgment: The National Film Board wishes to thank: for their active interest and help in the production of the film - as Mr. Alec Guinness

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Starring Sigmund Freud2012Documentary short
Episode IV: Crew and Cast Interviews2011Video documentary shortHimself
Q.E.D.1994TV Series documentaryHimself - Narrator
Omnibus1983-1994TV Series documentaryHimself
Film '721987TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Late Night with David Letterman1986TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The London Standard Film Awards1986TV SpecialHimself
Apostrophes1986TV SeriesHimself
The South Bank Show1985TV Series documentaryHimself
The British Academy Awards1983TV MovieHimself - Winner: Best TV Actor
The 52nd Annual Academy Awards1980TV SpecialHimself - Honorary Award Recipient
Parkinson1977TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Second Annual West End Theatre Awards1977TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
The Making of 'Star Wars'1977TV Movie documentaryHimself
Arena1976TV Series documentaryHimself
Film Extra1973TV Mini-SeriesHimself
Tuesday's Documentary1970TV Series documentaryHimself
Solo1970TV SeriesHimself - Reader
The Comedians in Africa1967Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
Pasternak1965Documentary shortHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1964TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The 18th Annual Tony Awards1964TV SpecialHimself - Winner: Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Eye on New York1964TV SeriesHerself
Farewell to the Vic1963TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant1958Documentary shortHimself
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show1957TV SeriesHimself - Set of "The Bridge on the River Kwai"
Rowlandson's England1955Documentary shortNarrator
The Stratford Adventure1954Documentary shortHimself
The Square Mile1953Documentary shortNarrator (voice)

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Star Wars Holiday Special1978TV MovieBen (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (uncredited)
To See Such Fun1977DocumentaryHimself
Lionpower from MGM1967ShortMajor H. O. Jones (uncredited)
The Geisha Boy1958Himself (uncredited)
Das Künstlerporträt1958TV Series documentaryHimself
MGM Parade1956TV SeriesPrince Albert
Richard E. Grant on Ealing Comedies2016TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Nostalgia Critic2016TV SeriesObi-Wan Kenobi
The Drunken Peasants2015-2016TV SeriesObi-Wan Kenobi Obi Wan Kenobi
Star Wars: Evolution of the Lightsaber Duel2015TV Movie documentaryHimself
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens2015Obi-Wan Kenobi (uncredited)
Film '722015TV SeriesHimself - Interviewee
Welcome to the Basement2015TV SeriesHimself / Fagin
Inside Edition2015TV Series documentaryHimself
Pioneers of Television2014TV Mini-Series documentaryKoichi Asano - Film A Majority of One
Edición Especial Coleccionista2014TV SeriesBen Obi-Wan Kenobi
America's Book of Secrets2013TV Series documentaryBen Obi-Wan Kenobi
Prophets of Science Fiction2012TV Series documentaryObi-Wan Kenobi
20 to 12006-2010TV Series documentaryBen Obi-Wan Kenobi Obi-Wan Kenobi
The South Bank Show2010TV Series documentaryHimself
Casting a Classic2008Video shortGodbole
5 Second Movies2008TV SeriesObi-Wan Kenobi
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga2007Video GameObi-Wan Kenobi (uncredited)
British Film Forever2007TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
On the Lot2007TV Series
Hitler: The Comedy Years2007TV Movie documentaryAdolf Hitler (uncredited)
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy2006Video GameObi-Wan Kenobi (uncredited)
Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters2006DocumentaryCol. Nicholson (uncredited)
Science of Star Wars2005TV Mini-Series documentary
Star Wars: Battlefront2004Video GameBen Obi-Wan
When Star Wars Ruled the World2004TV Movie documentaryObi-Wan Kenobi
Empire of Dreams: The Story of the 'Star Wars' Trilogy2004Video documentaryHimself / Obi-Wan Kenobi
Special interview footage with John le Carré and John Irvin2004Video documentary shortGeorge Smiley
Arena1995-2003TV Series documentaryHimself / Various Roles
The Making of 'Lawrence of Arabia'2003Video documentaryHimself
Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars2002Video shortBen Obi-Wan Kenobi
Heroes of Comedy1997-2002TV Series documentary
R2-D2: Beneath the Dome2001TV Special shortHimself (uncredited)
Legends2001TV Series documentaryHimself
The 73rd Annual Academy Awards2001TV SpecialHimself (Memorial Tribute)
The Orange British Academy Film Awards2001TV SpecialHimself (Memorial Tribute)
The Making of 'The Bridge on the River Kwai'2000Video documentaryHimself
Biography2000TV Series documentaryCaptain Henry St. James
Parkinson: The Interviews1997TV SeriesHimself
'Doctor Zhivago': The Making of a Russian Epic1995TV Special documentaryHimself
Super Star Wars1992Video GameObi-Wan Kenobi (uncredited)
Memories of 1970-19911991TV Series documentaryHimself
The 61st Annual Academy Awards1989TV SpecialWilliam Dorrit
Grace Kelly: The American Princess1987Video documentaryHimself (tells the tomahawk story) (uncredited)
The Golden Gong1985TV Movie documentary
Source
IMDB Wikipedia
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