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Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography Hardcover – 29 Sep 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; 1st edition (29 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743207297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743207294
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 0.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'The most perceptive, empathetic, well-researched and entertaining life of an actor that I have read' -- Simon Ward - Literary Review


Sir Alec Guinness was one of the greatest actors of the 20th century. With a talent recognized by discerning critics from his very first appearance on the stage, he gained a world-wide reputation playing roles on the screen such as Fagin in "Oliver Twist" and "The Man in the White Suit". His performance as Colonel Nicholson in "Bridge on the River Kwai" won him an Oscar and in his later years he captivated a new generation of admirers as George Smiley in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and Ben Kenobi in "Star Wars". Guinness was a man who vigorously guarded his privacy and, despite publishing an autobiography, "Blessings in Disguise" and two volumes of diaries, he remained an enigma to the general public and a mystery even to his family and closest friends. After his death in August 2000, his widow Merula asked Piers Paul Read, who had been a friend of her husband, to write his autobiography. Given full co-operation by the Guinness family and free access to Sir Alec's papers, including his private and unpublished diaries, Read has written a penetrative and perceptive account of an intriguing and complex man.

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