John Gielgud

Highest Rated: 98% Chimes at Midnight (1965)
Birthday: Apr 14, 1904
Birthplace: South Kensington, London, England, UK
One of the theatre's greatest legends, Sir John Gielgud spent almost 80 of the 96 years of his life appearing in countless plays that saw him portray every major Shakespearean role. The last surviving member of a generation of classical actors that included Laurence Olivier, Peggy Ashcroft, and Ralph Richardson, Gielgud worked up to a month before his death, performing in over 50 films and numerous television productions when he wasn't busy with his stage work.The grandnephew of famed stage actress Ellen Terry, Gielgud was born in London on August 14, 1904. He received his education at Westminster School and would have studied to be an architect had he not rebelled against his parents by announcing his plans to be an actor. Persuading his parents to let him train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Gielgud promised them that if he had failed to make a stage career by the age of 25, he would become an architect. As it turned out, Gielgud was playing Hamlet by the time he was 26, having made his stage debut eight years earlier at the Old Vic. His reputation was made in 1924, when he played Romeo to rave reviews; in addition to Hamlet, roles in plays by Chekov and Ibsen followed, and in 1928, Gielgud traveled to the U.S. for the first time to play the Grand Duke Alexander in The Patriot. The epitome of the kind of old-school Englishness associated with the Victorian theatre, he went on to break theatre box office records when he brought his Hamlet to Broadway in the 1930s.Gielgud began appearing on the big screen in the 1920s, and over the course of the next seven decades, he lent his name to films of every imaginable genre and level of quality. In addition to starring in a number of film adaptations of Shakespeare, he could be seen in projects as disparate as Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight (1967), the 1977 porn extravaganza Caligula, and Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books (1991), in which he was able to fulfill a lifelong dream by playing the role of the Shakespearean patriarch Prospero.In 1981, Gielgud was awarded his only Oscar for his portrayal of Dudley Moore's butler in Arthur; he reprised the role for the film's 1988 sequel, despite the fact that the character had died. Gielgud continued to appear onscreen until the year preceding his death, making enthusiastically-received turns in Shine (1996), in which he played pianist David Helfgott's mentor; Al Pacino's Looking for Richard (1996); and Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth (1998), in which he made a brief appearance as the Pope.Gielgud also did notable work on television, particularly in Brideshead Revisited (1981), which cast him as a stodgily eccentric patriarch, and Merlin (1998), a lavish and well-received take on Arthurian legend. He wrote several books as well, including an autobiography entitled Early Stages. Gielgud was knighted in 1953 and was honored on his 90th birthday with the decision to rename the West End's Globe Theatre as the Gielgud Theatre. He died on May 21, 2000, at the age of 96, having spent the last 25 years of his life with his partner, Martin Hensler.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Great Performances Actor 2010
67% Never Apologize: A Personal Visit With Lindsay Anderson Actor 2007
No Score Yet The Harvest of Sorrow Actor 2007
No Score Yet Beckett on Film Actor 2001
No Score Yet Heartbreak House Actor 1999
82% Elizabeth The Pope 1998
35% Quest For Camelot Merlin 1998
82% Merlin King Constant 1998
No Score Yet The Noel Coward Trilogy Actor 1998
No Score Yet Tichborne Claimant Cockburn 1998
No Score Yet A Dance to the Music of Time Actor 1997
95% Hamlet Priam 1996
45% The Portrait of a Lady Mr. Touchett 1996
91% Shine Prof. Cecil Parkes 1996
81% Looking for Richard Himself 1996
50% The Leopard Son Narrator 1996
50% Dragonheart King Arthur 1996
No Score Yet Gulliver's Travels Actor 1996
80% Haunted Dr. Doyle 1995
44% First Knight Oswald 1995
No Score Yet Scarlett Actor 1994
39% The Power of One Headmaster 1992
44% Shining Through Sunflower 1992
67% Prospero's Books Prospero 1991
No Score Yet Emperor's New Clothes Narrator 1991
No Score Yet The Best of Friends Sydney Cockerell 1991
No Score Yet Strike It Rich Herbert Dreuther 1990
67% Getting It Right Sir Gordon Munday 1989
No Score Yet Summer's Lease Haverford Downs 1989
No Score Yet Appointment with Death Colonel Carbury 1988
13% Arthur 2: On the Rocks Hobson 1988
No Score Yet An Evening with Kiri Te Kanawa Actor 1987
86% The Whistle Blower Sir Adrian Chapple 1987
No Score Yet The Canterville Ghost Sir Simon 1987
No Score Yet The Prime Minister Actor 1986
No Score Yet Romance on the Orient Express Theodore Woodward 1985
57% Plenty Sir Leonard Darwin 1985
No Score Yet The Shooting Party Cornelius Cardew 1985
No Score Yet Camille Duke de Charles 1984
No Score Yet Scandalous Uncle Willie 1984
No Score Yet The Far Pavilions Maj. Louis Cavagnari 1984
No Score Yet Six Centuries of Verse Actor 1984
No Score Yet The Wicked Lady Hogarth 1983
No Score Yet The Scarlet and the Black Pape Pie XII 1983
No Score Yet Wagner Actor 1983
No Score Yet Invitation to a Wedding Reverend Clyde Ormiston 1983
86% Gandhi Lord Irwin 1982
No Score Yet The Hunchback of Notre Dame Charmolue 1982
No Score Yet Inside the Third Reich Speer Sr. 1982
No Score Yet Frankenstein Actor 1982
No Score Yet Priest Of Love Herbert G. Muskett 1981
84% Chariots of Fire Master of Trinity 1981
88% Arthur Hobson 1981
No Score Yet Why Didn't They Ask Evans? Reverend Jones 1981
80% Lion of the Desert (Omar Mukhtar) Sharif El Gariani 1981
No Score Yet Sphinx Abdu-Hamdi 1981
No Score Yet Agatha Christie's Seven Dials Mystery Marquis of Caterhan 1981
No Score Yet Gielgud's Chekhov 3 Actor 1981
No Score Yet Gielgud's Chekhov 2 Actor 1981
No Score Yet Gielgud's Chekhov 1 Actor 1981
30% The Formula Dr. Esau 1980
91% The Elephant Man Gomm 1980
No Score Yet Dyrygent John Lasocki 1980
23% Caligula Nerva 1979
No Score Yet Richard II John of Gaunt 1979
88% Murder by Decree Prime Minister 1979
No Score Yet Les Miserables Gillenormand 1978
No Score Yet Romeo & Juliet Chorus 1978
No Score Yet Joseph Andrews The Doctor 1977
89% Providence Clive Langham 1977
No Score Yet James Joyce: Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man Preacher 1976
No Score Yet Aces High Headmaster 1976
No Score Yet The Picture of Dorian Gray Actor 1976
No Score Yet Galileo Old Cardinal 1975
No Score Yet Edward the King Actor 1975
91% Murder on the Orient Express Beddoes 1974
No Score Yet Gold Farrell 1974
No Score Yet 11 Harrowhouse Meecham 1974
No Score Yet QB VII Actor 1974
No Score Yet Luther Actor 1974
No Score Yet Frankenstein: The True Story Chief Constable (Police) 1973
No Score Yet Lost Horizon Chang 1973
No Score Yet Probe Actor 1972
No Score Yet Home Actor 1972
No Score Yet Julius Caesar Julius Caesar 1970
85% Oh! What A Lovely War Count Berchtold 1969
33% Sebastian Head of Intelligence 1969
No Score Yet Assignment to Kill Curt Valayan 1968
No Score Yet Charge of the Light Brigade Raglan 1968
43% The Shoes of the Fisherman Elder Pope 1968
No Score Yet Alice In Wonderland Mock Turtle 1966
98% Chimes at Midnight Henry IV 1965
47% The Loved One Sir Francis Hinsley 1965
75% Becket King Louis VII 1964
No Score Yet Hamlet Director The Ghost 1964
No Score Yet Mourir à Madrid (To Die in Madrid) Actor 1963
No Score Yet Cherry Orchard Actor 1962
30% Saint Joan Earl of Warwick 1957
No Score Yet The Barretts of Wimpole Street Edward Moulton-Barrett 1957
71% Around the World in 80 Days Foster 1956
82% Richard III George Duke of Clarence 1956
No Score Yet Romeo and Juliet Chorus 1954
95% Julius Caesar Cassius 1953
91% Hamlet The Ghost 1948
No Score Yet The Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli 1941
86% Secret Agent Richard Ashenden 1936
No Score Yet Good Companions Inigo Jolifant 1933
No Score Yet The Good Companions Actor 1933


No Score Yet Mystery!
  • 1996
No Score Yet Masterpiece
Sir Sydney Cockerell
  • 1992
  • 1991
No Score Yet War and Remembrance
Aaron Jastrow
  • 1989
  • 1988
80% Brideshead Revisited
Edward Ryder
  • 1982
No Score Yet Great Performances
No Score Yet Inspector Morse
No Score Yet Tales of the Unexpected
Cyril Boggis