Laurence Olivier on stage and screen
Laurence Olivier (1907–1989) was an English actor who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He also worked in films throughout his career, playing more than fifty cinema roles. From 1935 he performed in radio broadcasts and, from 1956, had considerable success in television roles.
After attending drama school, Olivier began his professional career with small touring companies before being taken on in 1925 by Sybil Thorndike and her husband, Lewis Casson, as a bit-part player, understudy and assistant stage manager for their London company. In 1926 he joined the Birmingham Repertory Company, where he was given the chance to play a wide range of key roles. In 1930 he had his first important West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives, and in 1935 he played in a celebrated production of Romeo and Juliet alongside Gielgud and Peggy Ashcroft, and by the end of the decade he was an established star. In the 1940s, together with Richardson and John Burrell, Olivier was the co-director of the Old Vic, building it into a highly respected company. There his most celebrated roles included Shakespeare's Richard III and Sophocles's Oedipus. In the 1950s Olivier was an independent actor-manager, but his stage career was in the doldrums until he joined the avant garde English Stage Company in 1957 to play the title role in The Entertainer. From 1963 to 1973 he was the founding director of Britain's National Theatre, running a resident company that fostered many future stars. His own parts there included the title role in Othello (1964) and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1970).
In 1930, to gain money for his forthcoming marriage, Olivier began his film career with small roles in two films. In 1939 he appeared as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights in a role that saw him nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The following year he was again nominated for the same award for his portrayal of Maxim de Winter in Rebecca. In 1944 he produced, directed and appeared as Henry V of England in Henry V. There were Oscar nominations for the film, including Best Picture and Best Actor, but it won none and the film instead won a "Special Award". He won the Best Actor award for the 1948 film Hamlet, which became the first non-American film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.[a] He later received Oscar nominations for roles in Richard III (1955), The Entertainer (1960), Othello (1965), Sleuth (1972), Marathon Man (1976) and The Boys from Brazil (1978). In 1979 he was also presented with an Honorary Award, at the Academy Awards, to recognise his lifetime of contribution to the art of film. He was nominated for nine other acting Oscars and one each for production and direction. Throughout his career Olivier appeared in radio dramas and poetry readings, and made his television debut in 1956.
During the making of the 1983 movie The Jigsaw Man Olivier walked away from the film after receiving no pay, with Michael Caine following not long after. They returned only when $4 million was secured as finance by Pakistani businessman, filmmaker and best seller author Mahmud Sipra.
After being ill for the last twenty-two years of his life, Olivier died of kidney failure on 11 July 1989. In reflection, and about Olivier's pioneering of Britain's National Theatre, the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg wrote: "[N]o one doubts that the National is perhaps his most enduring monument". Olivier's claim to theatrical greatness lay not only in his acting, but as, in the words of the English theatre director Peter Hall, "the supreme man of the theatre of our time".
This table contains Olivier's known professional theatrical roles. It also contains the occasions when he both acted and directed. It does not contain those productions where he was a director but did not appear on stage. It also omits the amateur productions in which he performed at school, mostly Shakespeare, playing, among other roles, Brutus, Puck and also female roles, including Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew.
(London, unless otherwise noted)
|Number of performances|
|Unfailing Instinct||August 1925||Armand St Cyr||Brighton Hippodrome and tour|
|The Ghost Train||August 1925||Policeman||Brighton Hippodrome and tour|
|The Tempest||October 1925||Antonio||Century Theatre and London area tour|
|Julius Caesar||October 1925||Flavius||Century Theatre and London area tour|
|Henry VIII||23 December 1925 – 20 March 1926||First Serving Man||Empire Theatre||127|
|Oedipus Tyrannus||10 January 1926||Suppliant, Guard and Servant||New Scala Theatre||1|
|The Cenci||8–19 March 1926||Servant to Orsino||Empire Theatre||4|
|The Marvellous History of Saint Bernard||7 April – 12 June 1926||Minstrel||Kingsway Theatre||76|
|The Merchant of Venice||23 April 1926||Gentleman||Theatre Royal, Haymarket||1|
|The Song||3 May 1926||Lucio de Costanza||Royal Court Theatre||1|
|The Barber and the Cow||June 1926||Minor role||Clacton|
|The Farmer's Wife||July–November 1926||Richard Coaker||Tour|
|The Farmer's Wife||December 1926||Richard Coaker||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|Something to Talk About||31 January 1927||Guy Sidney||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|Well of the Saints||31 January 1927||Mat Simon||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|The Third Finger||12 February 1927||Tom Hardcastle||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|The Mannoch Family||26 February 1927||Peter Mannoch||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|The Comedian||19 March 1927||Walk on parts||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|Uncle Vanya||2 April 1927||Vanya||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|All's Well That Ends Well||16 April 1927||Parolles||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|The Pleasure Garden||30 April 1927||Young Man||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|She Stoops to Conquer||14 May 1927||Tony Lumpkin||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|Quality Street||4 June 1927||Ensign Blades||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|Bird in Hand||3 September 1927||Gerald Arnwood||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|Advertising April||24 September 1927||Mervyn Jones||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|The Adding Machine||2 October 1927||Young Man||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|The Silver Box||8 October 1927||Jack Barthwick||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|Aren't Women Wonderful||November 1927||Mr Milford||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|The Road to Ruin||5 November 1927||Mr Milford||Birmingham Repertory Theatre|
|The Adding Machine||9 January – 4 February 1928||Young Man||Royal Court Theatre||32|
|Macbeth||6–13 March 1928||Malcolm||Royal Court Theatre||32|
|Back to Methuselah||19–31 March 1928||Martellus||Royal Court Theatre||11|
|Harold||2–24 April 1928||Harold||Royal Court Theatre||25|
|The Taming of the Shrew||30 April – 26 May 1928||Lord||Royal Court Theatre||32|
|Bird in Hand||1 June 1928||Gerald Arnwood||Royalty Theatre|
|Paul Among the Jews
(Paulus unter den Juden)
|8–9 July 1928||Chanan||Prince of Wales Theatre||2|
|The Dark Path||4 November 1928||Graham Birley||Royalty Theatre||1|
|Journey's End||9–10 December 1928||Captain Stanhope||Apollo Theatre||2|
|Beau Geste||30 January – 4 March 1929||Beau Geste||Her Majesty's Theatre||39|
|Prize Giving at Woodside House School (sketch)||17 February 1929||McTavish VI||Queen's Theatre||1|
|The Circle of Chalk||14 March – 20 April 1929||Prince Pao||New Theatre||48|
|Paris Bound||22–27 April 1929||Richard Parish||Golders Green Hippodrome||8|
|Paris Bound||30 April – 25 May 1929||Richard Parish||Lyric Theatre||31|
|The Stranger Within||June 1929||John Hardy||Garrick Theatre||53|
|The Stranger Within||5–10 August 1929||John Hardy||Golders Green Hippodrome||8|
|Murder on the Second Floor||September 1929||Hugh Bromilow||Eltinge 42nd Street Theatre, New York|
|The Last Enemy||December 1929||Jerry Warrender||Fortune Theatre||97|
|100 Not Out (sketch)||23 February 1930||Helen the nurse||Queen's Theatre||1|
|After All||30 March – 6 April 1930||Ralph||Arts Theatre||9|
|Private Lives||18 August – 20 September 1930||Victor Prynne||On tour: Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester and Southsea||32|
|Private Lives||24 September – 20 December 1930||Victor Prynne||Phoenix Theatre||101|
|Some Other Private Lives (sketch)||8 December 1930||Alf||Hippodrome||1|
|Private Lives||27 January 1931||Victor Prynne||Times Square Theater, New York||150|
|The Rats of Norway||6 April – 8 July 1933||Steven Beringer||Playhouse Theatre||107|
|The Green Bay Tree||20 October 1933||Julian Dulcimer||Cort Theatre, New York||116|
|Biography||25 April – 2 June 1934||Richard Kurt||Globe Theatre||45|
|Queen of Scots||8 June – 8 September 1934||Bothwell||New Theatre||106|
|Theatre Royal||1–20 October 1934||Anthony Cavendish||On tour: Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester||24|
|Theatre Royal||23 October – 23 December 1934||Anthony Cavendish||Lyric Theatre|
|Journey's End||12 November 1934||Captain Stanhope||Adelphi Theatre||1|
|A Kiss for Cinderella||22 November 1934||Policeman Prince||His Majesty's Theatre||1|
|November Afternoon (sketch)||2 December 1934||Man||Comedy Theatre||1|
|The Winning Post||17 December 1934||Philip Cavanagh||Adelphi Theatre||1|
|1935||Top Hat||Italian Officer (uncredited)|
|Ringmaster||25 February – 22 March 1935||Peter Hammond||Tour: Oxford and Birmingham||15|
|Ringmaster||1935||Peter Hammond||Shaftesbury Theatre||8|
|November Afternoon (sketch)||15 March 1935||Man||Hippodrome||1|
|Notices (sketch)||7 April 1935||Oswald Parkinsion||Comedy Theatre||1|
|The Down and Outs Matinee||8 April 1935||Reader||Gaiety Theatre||1|
|Golden Arrow||13–18 May 1935||Richard Harben
|New Theatre, Oxford||7|
|Golden Arrow||30 May – 15 June 1935||Richard Harben
|The Massed Chorus||10 June 1935||Footman||Grosvenor House||1|
|Romeo and Juliet||16 October 1935 – 28 March 1936||Romeo and Mercutio||New Theatre||186|
|Bees on the Boatdeck||5 May – 6 June 1936||Robert Patch[b]||Lyric Theatre||37|
|Hamlet||5 January – 20 February 1937||Hamlet||The Old Vic||42|
|Twelfth Night||23 February – 3 April 1937||Sir Toby Belch||The Old Vic||42|
|Henry V||6 April – 22 May 1937||Henry V||The Old Vic||50|
|Shakespeare Birthday Festival||1937||Romeo and Henry V||The Old Vic||1|
|Midnight with the Stars||6 May 1937||Personal appearance||Empire Theatre||1|
|Hamlet||2–6 June 1937||Hamlet||Elsinore, Denmark||5|
|Macbeth||26 November 1937 – 15 January 1938||Macbeth||The Old Vic then New Theatre||55|
|Othello||8 February – 12 March 1938||Iago||The Old Vic||35|
|The King of Nowhere||15 March – 16 April 1938||Vivaldi||The Old Vic||34|
|Coriolanus||19 April – 21 May 1938||Coriolanus||The Old Vic||35|
|Here's to Our Enterprise||23 May 1938||Alfred Jingle||Lyceum Theatre||1|
|No Time for Comedy||17 April 1939||Gaylord Easterbrook||Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York||72|
|Romeo and Juliet||9 May – June 1940||Romeo
|51st Street Theatre, New York||36|
|All Star Concert in aid of the Russian Relief Fund
(scene from Romeo and Juliet)
|7 December 1941||Romeo||Empire Theatre, York||1|
|Esmond Knight Matinée
(scene from Henry V)
|18 January 1942||Henry V||London Palladium||1|
|Elsie Fogerty Jubilee Matinée||30 November 1942||Poetry reader||New Theatre||1|
|Arms and the Man||7–12 August 1944||Sergius Saranoff||Opera House, Manchester||9|
|Peer Gynt||31 August 1944 – 14 April 1945||The Button Moulder||New Theatre||83|
|Arms and the Man||5 September 1944 – 13 April 1945||Sergius Saranoff||New Theatre||67|
|Richard III||13 September 1944 –11 April 1945||Richard III||New Theatre||83|
|Uncle Vanya||16 January – 12 April 1945||Dr Astrov||New Theatre||25|
|Arms and the Man||June 1945||Sergius Saranoff||ENSA Garrison Theatre, Antwerp|
|Richard III||June 1945||Richard III||ENSA Garrison Theatre, Antwerp|
|Henry IV, Part 1||26 September 1945 – 13 April 1946||Hotspur||New Theatre||69|
|Henry IV, Part 2||3 October 1945 – 13 April 1946||Justice Shallow||New Theatre||59|
|18 October 1945 – 27 April 1946||Oedipus and
|Uncle Vanya||1 May – 14 June 1946||Dr Astrov||New Century Theatre, New York||8|
|Henry IV, Part 1||6 May – 13 June 1946||Hotspur||New Century Theatre, New York||18|
|Henry IV, Part 2||6 May – 13 June 1946||Justice Shallow||New Century Theatre, New York||9|
|20 May – 15 June 1946||Oedipus and
|New Century Theatre, New York||15|
|King Lear||24 September 1946 – 4 January 1947||Lear||New Theatre||42|
|King Lear||25 November – 1 December 1946||Lear||Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris||7|
|The School for Scandal||20 – 30 March 1948||Sir Peter Teazle
|Capitol Theatre, Perth|
|Richard III||3 – 17 April 1948||Richard III||Theatre Royal, Adelaide|
|The Skin of Our Teeth||12 – 17 April 1948||Mr Antrobus
|Theatre Royal, Adelaide|
|The School for Scandal
The Skin of Our Teeth
|19 April – 12 June 1948||Sir Peter Teazle
|Princess Theatre Melbourne|
|The School for Scandal||15 – 19 June 1948||Sir Peter Teazle||Theatre Royal, Hobart|
|The School for Scandal
The Skin of Our Teeth
|29 June – August 1948||Sir Peter Teazle
|New Tivoli Theatre, Sydney|
|The School for Scandal||August – September 1948||Sir Peter Teazle||His Majesty's Theatre, Brisbane|
|The School for Scandal||September 1948||Sir Peter Teazle||St. James Theatre, Auckland|
|The School for Scandal||September 1948||Sir Peter Teazle||St. James Theatre, Christchurch|
|The School for Scandal||September 1948||Sir Peter Teazle||His Majesty's Theatre, Dunedin|
|The School for Scandal||October 1948||Sir Peter Teazle||St. James Theatre, Wellington|
|The School for Scandal||20 January – 4 June 1949||Sir Peter Teazle
|Richard III||26 January – 2 June 1949||Richard III||New Theatre||35|
|Antigone||2 February – 1 June 1949||Chorus||New Theatre||39|
|RADA Cabaret||30 March 1949||Personal appearance||Lyceum Theatre||1|
|Venus Observed||18 January – 5 August 1950||The Duke of Altair
|St James's Theatre||229|
|Caesar and Cleopatra||24 – 28 April 1951||Julius Caesar||Opera House, Manchester||7|
|Antony and Cleopatra||1 – 6 May 1951||Mark Antony||Opera House, Manchester||7|
|Caesar and Cleopatra||10 May – 21 September 1951||Julius Caesar||St James's Theatre||77|
|Antony and Cleopatra||11 May – 22 September 1951||Mark Antony||St James's Theatre||76|
|The Sid Field Tribute||25 June 1951||Appearance||London Palladium||1|
|Caesar and Cleopatra||13 November–17 November 1951||Julius Caesar||Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool||7|
|Antony and Cleopatra||20–24 November 1951||Mark Antony||Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool||7|
|Caesar and Cleopatra||19 December 1951 – 11 April 1952||Julius Caesar||Ziegfeld Theatre, New York||67|
|Antony and Cleopatra||20 December 1951 – 12 April 1952||Mark Antony||Ziegfeld Theatre, New York||66|
|The Sleeping Prince||28 September – 24 October 1953||Grand Duke of Carpathia
|Tour: Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle||32|
|The Sleeping Prince||5 November 1953 – 3 July 1954||Grand Duke of Carpathia
|Midnight Cavalcade||18 March 1954||Appeared with Jack Buchanan||London Palladium||1|
|All Star RADA Jubilee Matinée: Henry VIII||31 March 1954||Reader, Epilogue only||Her Majesty's Theatre||1|
|Night of a Hundred Stars||24 June 1954||Appeared with Jack Buchanan||London Palladium||1|
|Twelfth Night||12 April – 26 November 1955||Malvolio||Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon||81|
|Macbeth||7 June – 23 November 1955||Macbeth||Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon||56|
|Titus Andronicus||16 August – 25 November 1955||Titus Andronicus||Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon||29|
|Green Room Cavalcade||5 March 1956||Sir Peter Teazle||London Coliseum||1|
|Night of 100 Stars||28 June 1956||Evening host and
Performer in White Tie and Tails
|Central School Jubilee||25 November 1956||Edwardian soirée guest||Saville Theatre||1|
|Evening for Hungary Relief||18 December 1956||Speaker||Royal Festival Hall||1|
|The Entertainer||10 April – 11 May 1957||Archie Rice||Royal Court Theatre||36|
|Titus Andronicus||15 May 1957 – 21 June 1957||Titus Andronicus||Tour: Paris, Venice, Belgrade, Zagreb, Vienna and Warsaw||26|
|Titus Andronicus||1 July – 3 August 1957||Titus Andronicus||Stoll Theatre||35|
|Son et Lumière||6 August 1957||Duke of Gloucester||Greenwich Royal Naval College||1|
|The Entertainer||10 September 1957 – 18 January 1958||Archie Rice||Palace Theatre||116|
|The Entertainer||11 – 30 November 1957||Archie Rice||Tour: Edinburgh, Oxford and Brighton||24|
|The Entertainer||12 February – 10 May 1958||Archie Rice||Royale Theatre, New York||97|
|Night of 100 Stars||24 July 1958||–||London Palladium||1|
|Coriolanus||7 July – 27 November 1957||Coriolanus||Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon||48|
|Night of 100 Stars||23 July 1959||Archie Rice||London Palladium||1|
|Gala for Fréjus disaster victims||15 December 1959||Speaker||Lyric Theatre||1|
|Rhinoceros||28 April – 4 June 1960||Rhinoceros||Royal Court Theatre|
|Rhinoceros||8 June – 30 July 1960||Rhinoceros||Strand Theatre||105[c]|
|Night of 100 Stars||21 July 1960||Grace Hubbard||London Palladium||1|
|Becket||5 October 1960 – 25 March 1961||Thomas Becket||St. James Theatre, New York||193|
|Becket||29 March 1961 –||Henry II||Tour: Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia and New York||193|
|The Broken Heart||9 July – 8 September 1962||Bassanes
|Chichester Festival Theatre||28|
|Uncle Vanya||16 July – 8 September 1962||Dr Astrov||Chichester Festival Theatre||28|
|Semi-Detached||19 November – 1 December 1962||Fred Midway||Tour: Edinburgh and Oxford||16|
|Semi-Detached||5 December 1962 – 30 March 1963||Fred Midway||Saville Theatre||137|
|Uncle Vanya||July – 31 August 1963||Dr Astrov
|Chichester Festival Theatre||28|
|Night of 100 Stars||18 July 1963||Host||London Palladium||1|
|Uncle Vanya||19 November 1963 – 1 August 1964||Dr Astrov
|The Old Vic||61|
|The Recruiting Officer||10 December 1963 – 12 December 1964||Captain Brazen||The Old Vic||69|
|Uncle Vanya||23 – 30 March 1964||Dr Astrov
|Tour: Newcastle and Edinburgh|
|Othello||6 – 8 April 1964||Othello||Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham||3|
|Othello||23 April – 2 June 1964||Othello||The Old Vic|
|Othello||21 July – 29 August 1964||Othello||Chichester Festival Theatre|
|Night of 100 Stars||23 July 1964||Presenter and speaker||London Palladium||1|
|The Master Builder||23 – 12 November 1964||Halvard Solness||Tour: Manchester, Leeds and Oxford||12|
|The Master Builder||17 November 1964 – 9 July 1965||Halvard Solness||The Old Vic||73|
|The Carnival of the Animals||13 February 1965||Narrator||Royal Albert Hall||73|
|The Master Builder||12 – 20 March 1965||Halvard Solness||Tour: Glasgow and Coventry||6|
|Othello||7 September – 30 November 1965||Othello||Tour: Moscow, Berlin, Edinburgh and Newcastle|
|Love for Love||9 September – 27 November 1965||Tattle||Tour: Moscow, Berlin, Edinburgh and Newcastle|
|Love for Love||20 October 1965 – 9 June 1967||Tattle||The Old Vic||97|
|Performance in aid of George Devine Award||1965||Archie Rice||The Old Vic||1|
|Othello||12 September – 3 October 1965||Othello||Queen's Theatre|
|Love for Love||9 September – 27 November 1965||Tattle||Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon|
|Italy, My Italy||January 1967||Speaker||Theatre Royal, Haymarket||1|
|The Dance of Death||21 February 1967 – 25 July 1969||Edgar||The Old Vic||108|
|The Dance of Death||17 April 1967 – 9 March 1968||Edgar||Tour: Brighton, Liverpool, Montreal, Toronto, Edinburgh and Oxford|
|A Flea in Her Ear||6 September 1967 – 24 July 1969||Etienne Plucheux||The Old Vic||30+|
|Home and Beauty||7 – 22 March 1969||A.B. Raham||Tour: Norwich, Bradford and Nottingham|
|Home and Beauty||8 April – 6 July 1970||A B Raham||The Old Vic||89|
|Three Sisters||10 April 1970||Chebutikin
|The Old Vic|
|The Merchant of Venice||28 April 1970 – 8 January 1971||Shylock||The Old Vic||138|
|The Merchant of Venice||8 June 1970 – 1 August 1971||Shylock||Cambridge Theatre|
|Three Sisters||29 September – 1 October 1970||Chebutikin
|Theatre Royal, Brighton|
|The Merchant of Venice||3 – 8 May 1971||Shylock||King's Theatre, Edinburgh|
|A celebration in memory of Michel Saint-Denis||27 September 1971||Reader||St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden||1|
|Long Day's Journey into Night||14 December 1971 – 8 September 1972||James Tyrone||New Theatre and The Old Vic (from 23 August 1972)||122|
|Sybil||29 October 1972||Reader||Theatre Royal, Haymarket||1|
|Fanfare||3 January 1973||Reader||Royal Opera House|
|Twelfth Night||6 January 1973||Speaker and prologue||The Old Vic|
|Gala performance||4 March 1973||Appearance||Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guilford||1|
|Saturday, Sunday, Monday||25 October 1973 – 16 February 1974||Antonio||The Old Vic||42|
|The Party||18 December 1973 – 21 March 1974||John Tagg||The Old Vic||36|
|Tribute to the Lady||6 May 1974||Narrator||The Old Vic||1|
|Royal opening by the Queen||25 October 1976||Speech of Welcome||Royal National Theatre||1|
|Tribute Gala for the South Atlantic Fund||18 July 1982||Speaker and salutes, Falklands Task Force||London Coliseum||1|
|Blondel (Gala Performance)||8 November 1983||Spoke prologue||The Old Vic||1|
|Night of 100 Stars||17 February 1985||Personal appearance||Radio City Music Hall, New York||1|
|57th Academy Awards||25 March 1985||Presents award||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles||1|
|Bob Hope birthday gala||14 May 1985||Akash||Lyric Theatre|
|Time||9 April 1986||Akash (as a projection)||Dominion Theatre|
This table contains Olivier's stage work as a director. It does not include the 15 productions in which he also appeared, which are shown in the table above.
(London, unless otherwise noted)
|The Skin of Our Teeth||16 May 1945||Phoenix Theatre||Soon after opening, the play went on a four-week tour of the UK, then a six-week tour of Europe|
|Born Yesterday||1 February 1947||Garrick Theatre|
|The Proposal||2 February 1949||New Theatre|
|A Streetcar Named Desire||1 October 1949||Aldwych Theatre|
|The Damascus Blade||13 March 1950||Theatre Royal Newcastle, and tour|
|Captain Carvallo||12 June 1950||Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh|
|Captain Carvallo||9 August 1950||Garrick Theatre|
|Venus Observed||13 February 1952||New Century Theatre, New York|
|The Tumbler||1 February 1960||Shubert Theatre, Boston; Helen Hayes Theatre, New York||At the Helen Hayes Theatre from 24 February 1960|
|The Chances||3 July 1962||Chichester Festival Theatre|
|Hamlet||22 October 1963||The Old Vic||First National Theatre Company production; ran for 27 performances until 4 December 1963|
|The Crucible||19 January 1965||The Old Vic|
|Juno and the Paycock||26 April 1966||The Old Vic|
|Three Sisters||4 July 1967||The Old Vic|
|The Advertisement||16 September 1968||Tour: Montreal & Toronto||Co-director with Donald MacKechnie|
|Love's Labour's Lost||19 December 1968||The Old Vic|
|Amphitryon||25 June 1971||New Theatre|
|Eden End||4 April 1974||The Old Vic|
|Filumena||10 February 1980||St. James Theatre, New York City|
|Too Many Crooks||1930||The Man|||
|The Temporary Widow||1930||Peter Bille|||
|Friends and Lovers||1931||Lieutenant Nichols|||
|The Yellow Ticket||1931||Julian Rolfe||Released in the UK as The Yellow Passport|||
|Westward Passage||1932||Nick Allen|||
|Perfect Understanding||1933||Nicholas Randall|||
|No Funny Business||1933||Clive Dering|||
|Moscow Nights||1935||Captain Ivan Ignatoff|||
|As You Like It||1936||Orlando|||
|Conquest of the Air||1936||Vincent Lunardi|||
|Fire Over England||1937||Michael Ingolby|||
|The Divorce of Lady X||1938||Logan|||
|Q Planes||1939||Tony McVane|||
|21 Days||1940||Larry Durrant|||
|Rebecca||1940||Maxim de Winter|||
|Pride and Prejudice||1940||Fitzwilliam Darcy|||
|That Hamilton Woman||1941||Horatio Nelson|||
|49th Parallel||1941||Johnnie, the Trapper|||
|Words for Battle||1941||Narrator||Co-production between the Ministry of Information and the Crown Film Unit|||
|The Volunteer||1943||Himself||Made in conjunction with the Ministry of Information|||
|Malta G.C.||1943||Narrator||Co-production between the Ministry of Information and the Crown Film Unit|||
|The Demi-Paradise||1943||Ivan Kouznetsoff|||
|This Happy Breed||1944||Narrator||Uncredited|||
|Henry V||1944||King Henry V||Also director and producer|||
|Hamlet||1948||Hamlet||Also director and producer|||
|Father's Little Dividend||1950||Film Industry Visitor|||
|The Magic Box||1951||Police Constable 94-B|||
|The Beggar's Opera||1953||Captain MacHeath||Co-producer, with Herbert Wilcox|||
|Richard III||1955||Richard III||Also director and producer|||
|The Prince and the Showgirl||1957||Charles, the Prince Regent||Also director and producer|||
|The Devil's Disciple||1959||General John Burgoyne|||
|The Entertainer||1960||Archie Rice|||
|Spartacus||1960||Marcus Licinius Crassus|||
|Term of Trial||1962||Graham Weir|||
|Uncle Vanya||1963||Dr Astrov||Film version of National Theatre Company production|||
|Bunny Lake Is Missing||1965||Supt. Newhouse|||
|Othello||1965||Othello||Film version of National Theatre Company production|||
|Romeo and Juliet||1968||Narrator|||
|The Shoes of the Fisherman||1968||Piotr Ilyich Kamenev|||
|Oh! What a Lovely War||1969||Field Marshal Sir John French|||
|Dance of Death||1969||Edgar||Film version of National Theatre Company production|||
|Battle of Britain||1969||Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding|||
|Three Sisters||1970||Dr Ivan Chebutikin||Also director; film version of National Theatre Company production|||
|Nicholas and Alexandra||1971||Count Witte|||
|Lady Caroline Lamb||1972||The Duke of Wellington|||
|The Rehearsal||1974||Cast member|||
|Marathon Man||1976||Dr Christian Szell aka "The White Angel"|||
|The Seven-Per-Cent Solution||1976||Professor Moriarty|||
|A Bridge Too Far||1977||Dr Jan Spaander|||
|The Betsy||1978||Loren Hardeman|||
|The Boys from Brazil||1978||Ezra Lieberman|||
|A Little Romance||1979||Julius Edmond Santorin|||
|Dracula||1979||Abraham Van Helsing|||
|The Jazz Singer||1980||Cantor Rabinovitch|||
|Inchon||1981||General Douglas MacArthur|||
|Clash of the Titans||1981||Zeus|||
|The Jigsaw Man||1983||Admiral Sir Gerald Scaith|||
|The Bounty||1984||Admiral Hood|||
|Wild Geese II||1985||Rudolf Hess|||
|War Requiem||1989||Old Soldier|||
|Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow||2004||Dr Totenkopf||Archive footage|||
Selected radio broadcasts
All the productions shown were for BBC radio.
|The Winter's Tale||January 1935|
|For Us, The Living||April 1941|
|Henry V||April 1942|
|Poetry Reading||July 1942|
|Christopher Columbus||October 1942|
|Trafalgar Day||October 1942|
|Poems by John Pudney||November 1942|
|The School for Scandal||December 1942|
|Poetry Reading||December 1943|
|The Ancient Mariner||February 1944|
|Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2||April 1945|
|Men of Good Will||December 1947|
|"A Man I Would Like to Meet" (interview)||May 1952|
|"40 Years of Rep" (interview)||February 1953|
|The Beggar's Opera (film excerpts)||June 1953|
|Henry VIII||June 1954|
|Charter in the Saucer||September 1955|
|People Today||December 1963|
|Voice of the North (interview)||November 1964|
|"Interview on the National Theatre"||July 1965|
|"Portrait of George Devine"||April 1966|
|The Time of My Life: "Dame Sybil Thorndike"||August 1966|
|"Sir Laurence Olivier Conversation"||October 1969|
|We'll Hear a Play||January 1971|
|"Remembering Michel Saint-Denis"||October 1971|
|"Dame Gladys Cooper: A Family Portrait"||April 1972|
|Bound to Let On||November 1972|
|The Bob Hope Story||August 1973|
|Rattigan's Theatre||February 1976|
|"Portrait of Sir William Walton"||January 1977|
|Sir Alexander Korda (1893–1956)||14 April 1956||Participant|||
|John Gabriel Borkman||20 November 1958||John Gabriel Borkman|||
|The Moon and Sixpence||30 October 1959||Charles Strickland||First shown on US television|||
|The Power and the Glory||29 October 1961||Priest||Originally produced for American television|||
|Great Acting: "Laurence Olivier"||26 February 1966||Contributor|||
|Male of the Species||3 January 1969||Narrator||First shown on US television|||
|David Copperfield||15 March 1969||Mr Creakle||First shown on US television|||
|Long Day's Journey into Night||9 March 1973||James Tyrone Sr.||First shown on US television|||
|The Merchant of Venice||16 March 1973||Shylock||First shown on US television|||
|The World at War||31 October 1973 – 8 May 1974||Narrator||26 episodes|||
|The Morecambe & Wise Show, Christmas Special||25 December 1973||Guest|||
|The Dick Cavett Show||1974||Guest|||
|Love Among the Ruins||6 March 1975||Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones||First shown on US television|||
|Arena: "Theatre"||1 October 1975||Interviewee|||
|Laurence Olivier Presents: "The Collection"||5 December 1976||Harry|||
|Laurence Olivier Presents: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"||12 December 1976||Big Daddy|||
|Laurence Olivier Presents: "Hindle Wakes"||19 December 1976||–||Co-director only|||
|Jesus of Nazareth||10 April 1977||Nicodemus|||
|Laurence Olivier Presents: "Saturday, Sunday, Monday"||1 January 1978||Antonio|||
|Laurence Olivier Presents: "Come Back, Little Sheba"||7 January 1978||Doc Delaney|||
|Laurence Olivier Presents: "Daphne Laureola"||14 January 1978||Sir Joseph|||
|Brideshead Revisited: "Home and Abroad"||20 October 1981||Lord Marchmain|||
|Brideshead Revisited: "Brideshead Revisited"||22 December 1981||Lord Marchmain|||
|A Voyage Round My Father||2 March 1982||Clifford Mortimer|||
|Laurence Olivier: A Life||24 October 1982||Interviewee|||
|King Lear||3 April 1983||King Lear|||
|Mr. Halpern and Mr. Johnson||28 August 1983||Joseph Halpern|||
|A Talent for Murder||19 December 1983||Dr Anthony Wainwright|||
|Wagner||16 June 1984||Sigmund von Pfeufer|||
|The Ebony Tower||8 December 1984||Henry Breasley|||
|The Last Days of Pompeii||4 May 1984||Gaius||First shown on US television|||
|Peter the Great||9 August 1986||William of Orange||Third episode of four|||
|Lost Empires||24 October 1986||Harry Burrard|||
- Beckett 2005, pp. 18–19.
- Jackson 2013, p. 67.
- Holden 1988, p. 455.
- Billington 2004.
- Olivier 1994, pp. 81–82.
- "The 19th Academy Awards: 1947". Academy Awards Database. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- Brooke, Michael. "Hamlet (1948)". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Munn 2007, pp. 145–147.
- "The 21st Academy Awards: 1949". Academy Awards Database. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- "Olivier". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- "Obituary: Lord Olivier". The Times. 12 July 1989. p. 16.
- Bragg 1989, p. 103.
- Hall 1984, p. ix.
- Herbert 1978, pp. 989–91.
- Holden 1988, pp. 454–69.
- Munn 2007, pp. 275–81.
- Coleman 2006, p. 571.
- Coleman 2006, pp. 566–85.
- Munn 2007, pp. 280–290.
- Tanitch 1985, p. 186.
- "Laurence Olivier". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- "Too Many Crooks (1930)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Temporary Widow (1930)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Friends and Lovers (1931)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Yellow Ticket (1931)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Potiphar's Wife (1931)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Westward Passage (1932)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Perfect Understanding (1933)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "No Funny Business (1933)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Moscow Nights (1935)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "As You Like It (1937)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Conquest of the Air (1940)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Fire over England (1937)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Divorce of Lady X (1938)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Q Planes (1939)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Wuthering Heights (1939)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "21 Days (1939)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Rebecca (1940)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Pride and Prejudice (1940)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "That Hamilton Woman (1941)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "49th Parallel (1941)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Words for Battle (1941)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Volunteer (1943)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Malta G.C. (1943)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Demi-Paradise (1943)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "This Happy Breed (1944)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Henry V (1944)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Hamlet (1948)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Father's Little Dividend (1950)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Magic Box (1951)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Carrie (1952)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Beggar's Opera (1953)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Richard III (1955)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Devil's Disciple (1959)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Entertainer (1960)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Spartacus (1960)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Term of Trial (1962)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Uncle Vanya (1987)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Othello (1965)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Khartoum (1966)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Romeo and Juliet (1968)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Dance of Death (1968)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Battle of Britain (1969)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Three Sisters (1970)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Lady Caroline Lamb (1972)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Sleuth (1972)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Rehearsal (1974)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Marathon Man (1976)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "A Bridge Too Far (1977)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Betsy (1978)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Boys from Brazil (1978)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "A Little Romance (1979)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Dracula (1979)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Jazz Singer (1980)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Inchon (1981)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Clash of the Titans (1981)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Jigsaw Man (1984)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "The Bounty (1984)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Wild Geese II (1985)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "War Requiem (1989)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- Tanitch 1985, p. 187.
- Coleman 2006, pp. 591–93.
- Tanitch 1985, p. 185.
- Munn 2007, p. 283.
- "Sir Alexander Korda (1893–1956)". BBC. Genome (Radio Times 1923–2009). Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "John Gabriel Borkman (1958)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Olivier as Borkman: Masterful TV production". The Manchester Guardian. 20 November 1958. p. 14.
- "Television Programs". The Gettysburg Times. Gettysburg, PA. 30 October 1959. p. 10.
- "The Power and the Glory (1961)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "'The Power and the Glory' one of the year's top TV specials". Waco Tribune-Herald. Waco, TX. 29 October 1961. p. 43.
- "Great Acting Laurence Olivier". BBC. Genome (Radio Times 1923–2009). Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "Today's Special". The Argus. 3 January 1969. p. 16.
- Willey, George (15 March 1970). "Major Dramatic Event Due". The Argus. p. 39.
- "Sir Laurence Olivier (1970)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- "Long Day's Journey into Night (1973)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Saturday Highlights". Galesburg Register-Mail. Gakesburg, IL. 9 March 1973. p. 25.
- "The Merchant of Venice (1974)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Olivier in "Merchant of Venice" telecast on ABC Theatre March 16". The Lowell Sun. Lowell, MA. 2 January 1974. p. 3102.
- Niemi 2006, p. 117.
- "Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show". BBC. Genome (Radio Times 1923–2009). Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "Sir Laurence Olivier (1974)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "Out is no place to be tonight". Lincoln Evening Journal. 6 March 1975. p. 22.
- "Arena: Theatre". BBC. Genome (Radio Times 1923–2009). Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "Today's Television". The Observer. 5 December 1976. p. 14.
- "Today's Television". The Guardian. 12 December 1976. p. 14.
- "Today's Television". The Guardian. 19 December 1976. p. 14.
- "Today's TV". The Observer. 10 April 1977. p. 14.
- "Today's Television". The Guardian. 1 January 1978. p. 14.
- "Today's Television". The Guardian. 7 January 1978. p. 14.
- "Today's Television". The Guardian. 14 January 1978. p. 14.
- "Preview". The Guardian. 17 October 1981. p. 14.
- "Christmas Week in View". The Guardian. 20 December 1981. p. 32.
- "Television/Radio". The Guardian. 2 March 1982. p. 24.
- "Today's TV". The Observer. 24 October 1982. p. 40.
- "Lear to the life". The Observer. 3 April 1983. p. 32.
- "Television". The Guardian. 26 January 1984. p. 26.
- "Arena: Theatre". BBC. Genome (Radio Times 1923–2009). Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "Back in the Ring". The Guardian. 11 June 1984. p. 24.
- Banks-Smith, Nancy (10 December 1984). "Pinchpenny Pericles: Nancy Banks-Smith on the latest BBC Shakespeare and The Ebony Tower". The Guardian. p. 11.
- "Monday". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Santa Cruz, CA. 4 May 1984. p. 17.
- "Arena: Theatre". BBC. Genome (Radio Times 1923–2009). Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Banks-Smith, Nancy (25 October 1986). "In good Nick: Nancy Banke-Smith joins Laurence Olivier as he descends into the TV Hell of Lost Empires". The Guardian. p. 24.
- Beckett, Francis (2005). Olivier. London: Haus. ISBN 978-1-904950-38-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Billington, Michael (2004). "Olivier, Laurence Kerr, Baron Olivier (1907–1989)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/38623. Retrieved 28 December 2014. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Bragg, Melvyn (1989) . Laurence Olivier. London: Sceptre. ISBN 978-0-14-003863-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Coleman, Terry (2006). Olivier: The Authorised Biography. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-8080-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Hall, Peter (1984) . Peter Hall's Diaries. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-11285-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Herbert, Ian (1978). Who's Who in the Theatre: a Biographical Record of the Contemporary Stage. London: Pitman Publishing. ISBN 978-0-2730-1195-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Holden, Anthony (1988). Laurence Olivier. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-79089-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Jackson, Russell (2013). Gielgud, Olivier, Ashcroft, Dench: Great Shakespeareans. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-4725-1544-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Munn, Michael (2007). Lord Larry: The Secret Life of Laurence Olivier: a Personal and Intimate Portrait. London: Robson Books. ISBN 978-1-86105-977-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Niemi, Robert (2006). History in the Media: Film and Television. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-952-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Olivier, Laurence (1994) . Confessions of an Actor. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-14-006888-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Tanitch, Robert (1985). Olivier. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-5000-1363-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)