TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (6)
|Also Known As:||Died:||July 29, 1983|
|Born:||March 1, 1910||Cause of Death:||amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease)|
|Birth Place:||London, England, GB||Profession:||Cast ...|
RATE AND COMMENT
Entered the Highland Light Infantry as a Second Lieutenant
Stationed for two years in Malta
Had a bit part as a man at race course in British film "Eyes of Fate"
Grew bored with the dull routine of military life; after a leave in NYC, returned to service but soon went AWOL, resigning his commission and moving first to Canada, then to NYC where he worked as a whiskey salesman
Moved to Hollywood and worked as movie extra, eventually coming to the atention of Samuel Goldwyn who signed him to MGM
First speaking part in "Without Regrets"
Acted in William Wyler's "Dodsworth", a superb adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' novel
Loaned out to 20th Century-Fox for his first leading role in "Thank You, Jeeves"
First major success in Edmund Goulding's "The Dawn Patrol" as WWI pilot buddy of Errol Flynn
Unwillingly reteamed with Wyler (a director he deemed too dictatorial behind the camera) to play Edgar Litton, a part he felt was a bad one for any actor, in "Wuthering Heights"; initial refusal to appear in film nearly earned him a suspension from studio
At outbreak of WWII, feeling obligated to return to military service, joined the Rifle Brigade, a Light Infantry Regiment in the British Army, working his way up to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Commandos; spent time in Normandy during the invasion; after D-Day, appointed Chief of Allied Forces Broadcasting Network
Starred as WWII pilot who jumps out of his plane without a parachute and, after somehow surviving what should have been his death, must plead for his life before a heavenly court in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's "A Matter of Life and Death/Stairway to Heaven"
MGM contract terminated; freelanced thereafter
Reteamed with Powell and Pressburger for "The Elusive Pimpernel"
Sole Broadway appearance opposite Gloria Swanson in "Nina"
Had three-month run in San Francisco stage production of "The Moon Is Blue"
Aligned with Dick Powell, Charles Boyer and Ida Lupino to form Four Star, a television production company, becoming one of TV's first and most prolific stars
Was both a producer and regular (with Powell, Boyer and Lupino) in "Four Star Playhouse", a CBS anthology series; first worked with director Blake Edwards in 1954 episode ("The Bomb")
Acted in Otto Preminger's "The Moon Is Blue" (adapted from the play)
Gained stardom as Phileas Fogg in "Around the World in 80 Days"
Assets of Four Star bought by Official Films for $10 million
Was regular on NBC series, "Turn of Fate"
Won Best Actor Oscar for his turn as an elderly disgraced military officer in "Separate Tables"; also starred Deborah Kerr, Rita Hayworth and Burt Lancaster
Played playboy widowed father in Preminger's superb "Bonjour Tristesse", also starring Kerr
Host and performer of "The David Niven Theater", a short-lived NBC series of original dramatic presentations
Acted opposite Doris Day in "Please Don't Eat the Daisies"
Left Hollywood; thereafter based in Europe
First film with director J Lee Thompson, the explosive action film "The Guns of Navarone"
Starred as Sir Charles Litton alongside Peter Sellers in Edwards' "The Pink Panther"
Returned to series TV in "The Rogues" (NBC), playing British head of a family of con artists
Played James Bond in John Huston's overdone spoof of the genre, "Casino Royale"
Reteamed with Thompson for "Eye of the Devil"
Third and last film with Thompson, "Before Winter Comes"
Hosted and narrated "David Niven's World", a sydicated series of 21 documentary-style presentatons
Appeared as part of the all-star cast of "Murder By Death", a spoof of such characters as Charlie Chan, Miss Marple and Sam Spade written by Neil Simon
Narrated CBS documentary, "Balloon Safari"
Ventured out as a granddad for Disney in "No Deposit, No Return"
Portrayed disguise-laden English butler in entertaining Disney comedy "Candleshoe"
Cast as the Mastermind of a bank heist in "A Nightingale Sang in Berkely Square"
Returned to the other side of the law as Chief Inspector Cyril Willis in "Rough Cut", starring Burt Reynolds as a world-class jewel thief
Reprised his role as Sir Charles Litton for Edwards' "Trail of the Pink Panther"
Acted in Bryan Forbes' "Better Late Than Never", produced by son David Niven Jr
Last film appearance in Edwards' "Curse of the Pink Panther"; cameo shot at same time as "Trail of the Pink Panther" (voice dubbed by Rich Little)
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