David Niven - Rotten Tomatoes

David Niven

Lowest Rated:   17% Lady L (1965)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
The son a well-to-do British Army captain who died in the battle of Gallipoli in 1915, David Niven was shipped off to a succession of boarding schools by his stepfather, who didn't care much for the boy. Young Niven hated the experience and was a poor student, but his late father's reputation helped him get admitted to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, and he was later commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Highland Light Infantry. Rakishly handsome and naturally charming, Lt. Niven met a number of high society members while stationed in Malta, and, through their auspices, made several important contacts while attending parties. Although he later claimed to have been nothing more than a wastrel-like "professional guest" at this stage of his life, Niven was actually excellent company, a superb raconteur, and a loyal friend, and he paid back his social obligations by giving lavish parties of his own once he become famous. Niven also insisted that he fell into acting without any prior interest, although he had done amateur theatricals in college.Following his military discharge, Niven wandered the world working odd jobs ranging from a lumberjack to a gunnery instructor for Cuban revolutionaries to (by his own account) a petty thief. He became a Hollywood extra in 1935, and eventually came to the attention of producer Samuel Goldwyn, who had been building up a stable of attractive young contract players. Having made his speaking debut in Without Regret (1935), Niven quickly learned how to successfully get through a movie scene. After several secondary roles for Goldwyn, he was loaned out for a lead role in the 20th Century Fox feature Thank You, Jeeves (1936). The actor formed lasting friendships with several members of Hollywood's British community -- notably Errol Flynn, with whom he briefly lived -- and was quite popular with the American-born contingent as well, especially the ladies.Although he worked steadily in the '30s, it was usually in support of bigger stars; he was seldom permitted to carry a film by himself, except for such modest productions as Dinner at the Ritz (1937) and Raffles (1939). Anxious to do something more substantial than act during World War II, Niven re-entered the British service as a Lieutenant Colonel, where he served nobly, if not spectacularly. (His batman, or valet, during the war was a Pvt. Peter Ustinov, himself an actor of no mean talent.) Married by the end of the war, Niven went back to films but found that he still wasn't getting any important roles; despite ten years experience, he was considered too "lightweight" to be a major name. His life momentarily shattered by the accidental death of his wife in 1946, Niven's spirit was restored by his second marriage to Swedish model Hjordis Tersmeden, his wife of 37 years until the actor's death. Once again, Niven took a self-deprecating attitude towards his domestic life, claiming to be a poor husband and worse father, but despite the time spent away from his family, they cherished his concern and affection for them.After his Goldwyn contract ended in 1949, Niven marked time with inconsequential movies before joining Dick Powell, Charles Boyer, and Ida Lupino to form Four Star, a television production company. Niven was finally able to choose strong dramatic roles for himself, becoming one of TV's first and most prolific stars, although his public still preferred him as a light comedian. The actor's film career also took an upswing in the '50s with starring performances in the controversial The Moon Is Blue (1953) -- a harmless concoction which was denied a Production Code seal because the word "virgin" was bandied about -- and the mammoth Around the World in 80 Days (1956), in which Niven played his most famous role, erudite 19th century globetrotter Phileas Fogg. When Laurence Olivier dropped out of the 1958 film Separate Tables, Niven stepped in to play an elderly, disgraced British milit

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Best of Enemies (I due nemici)
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet Golden Age Ghost Tales
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet Heroes of War
  • Actor
2007
29% Curse of the Pink Panther
  • Sir Charles Litton
1983
No Score Yet Better Late Than Never
  • Nick Cartland
1983
25% Trail of the Pink Panther
  • Sir Charles Litton
1982
No Score Yet The Sea Wolves
  • Col. W.H. Grice
1981
No Score Yet A.F.I. Life Achievement Awards - Fred Astaire
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Rough Cut
  • Chief Inspector Cyril Willis
1980
No Score Yet Escape to Athena
  • Professor Blake
1979
No Score Yet A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (The Big Scam)
  • Ivan (Bernard Drew)
1979
80% Death on the Nile
  • Colonel Rice
1978
No Score Yet Candleshoe
  • Priory
1977
83% The Pink Panther Strikes Again
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet No Deposit, No Return
  • J.W. Osborne
1976
65% Murder by Death
  • Dick Charleston
1976
No Score Yet Paper Tiger
  • Walter Bradbury
1975
No Score Yet Remarkable Rocket
  • Actor
1975
No Score Yet Old Dracula
  • Count Dracula
1974
No Score Yet King, Queen, Knave
  • Charles Dreyer
1972
No Score Yet The Statue
  • Alex Bolt
1971
No Score Yet Le Cerveau (The Brain)
  • Col. Carol Matthews
1969
No Score Yet Before Winter Comes
  • Maj. Giles Burnside
1969
No Score Yet The Impossible Years
  • Jonathan Kingsley
1968
No Score Yet Prudence and the Pill
  • Gerald Hardcastle
1968
29% Casino Royale
  • Sir James Bond
1967
No Score Yet Eye of the Devil
  • Philippe de Montfaucon
1966
17% Lady L
  • Lord Lendale
1965
No Score Yet Where the Spies Are
  • Dr. Jason Love
1965
No Score Yet Bedtime Story
  • Lawrence Jameson
1964
90% The Pink Panther
  • Sir Charles Lytton
1963
57% Fifty Five Days at Peking
  • Sir Arthur Robertson
1963
No Score Yet The Road to Hong Kong
  • Guest Star
1962
No Score Yet The Best of Enemies
  • Maj. Richardson
1962
95% The Guns of Navarone
  • Cpl. Miller
1961
67% Please Don't Eat the Daisies
  • Larry Mackay
1960
No Score Yet Ask Any Girl
  • Miles Doughton
1959
77% Separate Tables
  • Major Pollack
1958
86% Bonjour Tristesse
  • Raymond
1958
No Score Yet My Man Godfrey
  • Godfrey Smith
1957
No Score Yet The Little Hut
  • Henry Brittingham-Brett
1957
No Score Yet Oh, Men! Oh, Women!
  • Dr. Alan Coles
1957
74% Around the World in 80 Days
  • Phileas Fogg
1956
No Score Yet The Silken Affair
  • Actor
1956
No Score Yet The King's Thief
  • Duke of Brampton
1955
No Score Yet Carrington V.C. (Court Martial)
  • Major Carrington V.C.
1955
No Score Yet The Love Lottery
  • Rex Allerton
1954
38% The Moon Is Blue
  • David Slater
1953
No Score Yet The Lady Says No
  • Bill Shelby
1952
No Score Yet Four Star Playhouse
  • Actor
1952
No Score Yet Soldiers Three
  • Capt. Pindenny
1951
No Score Yet Happy Go Lovely
  • B.G. Bruno
1951
No Score Yet Appointment with Venus
  • Maj. Valentine Moreland
1951
No Score Yet David Niven
  • Actor
1951
No Score Yet Golden Age of TV Dramas
  • Actor
1951
No Score Yet The Toast of New Orleans
  • Jacques Riboudeaux
1950
No Score Yet Elusive Pimpernel
  • Scarlet Pimpernel/Sir Percy Blakeney
1950
No Score Yet Almost a Bride
  • Kenneth Marquis
1949
No Score Yet A Kiss In The Dark
  • Actor
1949
No Score Yet Enchantment
  • Roland Dane
1948
No Score Yet Bonnie Prince Charlie
  • Prince Charles
1948
82% The Bishop's Wife
  • Henry Brougham
1948
95% Stairway to Heaven (A Matter of Life and Death)
  • Peter Carter
1947
No Score Yet Magnificent Doll
  • Aaron Burr
1946
No Score Yet The Perfect Marriage
  • Dale Williams
1946
100% The Way Ahead (The Immortal Battalion)
  • Lieutenant Jim Perry
1945
No Score Yet The First of the Few
  • Geoffrey Crisp
1942
No Score Yet Raffles
  • A.J. Raffles
1939
No Score Yet Eternally Yours
  • Tony Halstead/The Great Arturo
1939
No Score Yet The Real Glory
  • Lieutenant McCool
1939
No Score Yet Bachelor Mother
  • David Merlin
1939
100% Wuthering Heights
  • Edgar Linton
1939
92% Gunga Din
  • Actor
1939
No Score Yet The Dawn Patrol
  • Scott
1938
No Score Yet Four Men and a Prayer
  • Christopher Leigh
1938
29% Bluebeard's Eighth Wife
  • Albert De Regnier
1938
100% The Prisoner of Zenda
  • Fritz
1937
No Score Yet Beloved Enemy
  • Capt. Gerald Preston
1937
No Score Yet Dinner at the Ritz
  • Paul de Brack
1937
No Score Yet Thank You, Jeeves
  • Bertie Wooster
1936
88% Dodsworth
  • Capt. Lockert
1936
No Score Yet Rose Marie
  • Teddy
1936
83% Charge of the Light Brigade
  • Capt. James Randall
1936
94% Mutiny on the Bounty
  • Extra
1935
100% Barbary Coast
  • Sailor Thrown Out of Saloon
1935
No Score Yet Splendor
  • Clancey Lorrimore
1935

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Zane Grey Theatre
1956-1961
  • Director

Quotes from David Niven's Characters