John Gielgud by Jonathan Croall
Matinee Idol to Movie Star (Biography and Autobiography)

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In his lifetime Gielgud was acclaimed as the finest classical actor of the twentieth century and Jonathan Croall’s biography from 2000 was instantly recognised by critics as a masterful achievement, one that was ’unlikely to be surpassed’ (Sunday Telegraph). Since that time however a considerable amount of new material has come to light and the passing of time has allowed a new candour. John Gielgud: Matinee Idol to Movie Star sees this peerless biographer return to his subject to offer the definitive life of Gielgud. For this new biography Croall’s exhaustive research has included over a hundred new interviews with key people from his life and career, several hundred letters from Gielgud that have never been published, scores of letters written to him and archived versions of his film and television work. As Gielgud worked increasingly in this medium during the last third of his life much greater attention is given to this than in the earlier work. Fresh light is thrown on his professional relationships with figures such as Laurence Olivier and Edith Evans, and on turbulent episodes of his private life. The overall result is a a much more rounded, candid and richly textured portrait of this celebrated and complex actor.

About Jonathan Croall

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Jonathan Croall is the author of Buzz Buzz: Playwrights, Actors and Directors at the National Theatre. He edits and writes for the programmes at the Old Vic theatre, and was editor of the National Theatre’s StageWrite magazine 1992-2007.
Published May 5, 2011 by Methuen Drama. 753 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for John Gielgud

The New York Times

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The actor's letters offer unvarnished assessments of his colleagues' abilities. And those were the people he liked.

May 16 2004 | Read Full Review of John Gielgud: Matinee Idol to...

The Washington Times

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Voltaire once visited playwright William Congreve, who had written four great Restoration comedies before he was 30 and then retired. Congreve said that in retirement he wanted to be thought of only as a gentleman, not a playwright. Voltaire replied, "But if you are only a gentleman, why should I...

Jul 13 2012 | Read Full Review of John Gielgud: Matinee Idol to...

The Independent

After Gielgud had been charged, according to Croall, Gielgud phoned Binkie Beaumont, for whom he was about to open in a new play.

Jun 24 2011 | Read Full Review of John Gielgud: Matinee Idol to...

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