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Livesey, Roger (1906-1976)


Main image of Livesey, Roger (1906-1976)

Best known of the Livesey acting brothers, a character star more than a character player, Roger Livesey is most fondly remembered for his screen roles in the films of Michael Powell: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943, as the hero who ages through three wars), I Know Where I'm Going! (1945 - his most famous romantic role as the laird who teaches Wendy Hiller about life and love) and A Matter of Life and Death (1946, as the benign neurologist-philosopher, Reeves).

Other notable roles include the lead in Peter Ustinov's Vice-Versa (1948), the bogus clergyman in The League of Gentlemen (d. Basil Dearden, 1960), Olivier's father in The Entertainer (d. Tony Richardson, 1960) and the Gravedigger in Hamlet (d. Richardson, 1969).

He made his stage debut in 1917 and was on Broadway in 1936; often teamed on stage with wife Ursula Jeans. His last major role was in The Pallisers (BBC, 1974). His bluff presence and inimitably husky tones made him, perhaps surprisingly, a maturely attractive figure to women.

Anthony Slide, Encyclopaedia of British Cinema

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Thumbnail image of 'I Know Where I'm Going!' (1945)'I Know Where I'm Going!' (1945)

Metaphysical love story, beautifully filmed in the Scottish Hebrides

Thumbnail image of Cuckoo in the Nest (1933)Cuckoo in the Nest (1933)

Ben Travers farce about a series of comical misunderstandings

Thumbnail image of Drum, The (1938)Drum, The (1938)

London Films' first Technicolor feature, a stirring Empire epic

Thumbnail image of Entertainer, The (1960)Entertainer, The (1960)

Olivier shatters his Shakespearean image as a seedy music-hall artiste

Thumbnail image of League of Gentlemen, The (1960)League of Gentlemen, The (1960)

Classic heist comedy with Jack Hawkins leading an all-star cast

Thumbnail image of Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943)Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943)

Ambitious wartime saga which infuriated Churchill

Thumbnail image of Matter of Life and Death, A (1946)Matter of Life and Death, A (1946)

Romance fantasy bridging the gap between two worlds

Thumbnail image of Rembrandt (1936)Rembrandt (1936)

Charles Laughton stars in Korda's biopic of the great Dutch painter

Thumbnail image of Pallisers, The (1974)Pallisers, The (1974)

Mammoth production of Trollope's 'political' series

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Thumbnail image of Powell, Michael (1905-1990)Powell, Michael (1905-1990)

Director, Writer, Producer