Stage acting debut as walk-on
Film acting debut in "Evensong"
Played Herbert Pocket in stage production of "Great Expectations" which he also adapted
Served in Royal Navy during WWII; Enlisted as able seaman; commissioned as lieutenant the following year
Given leave for New York stage debut on Broadway in "Flare Path", a propaganda play
Returned to films in David Lean's "Great Expectations"; began acting steadily in features
Drew attention as Fagin in Lean's "Oliver Twist"
Played eight parts, including a woman, in Robert Hammer's "Kind Hearts and Coronets"
Portrayed the inventor in Alexander Mackendrick's "The Man in the White Suit"
Nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for Charles Crichton's "The Lavender Hill Mob"
Starred as the captain with two wives in different ports in "Captain's Paradise"
Won Best Actor Oscar for his thoughtful rendering of an English bureaucrat soldier in Lean's "The Bridge on the River Kwai"
Scripted adaptation of Joyce Carey's "The Horse's Mouth"; also delivered a superb, monstrous rendering of lead character Gully Jimson; received Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay
Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
Reunited with Lean for "Lawrence of Arabia"
Played Marcus Aurelius in Anthony Mann's "The Fall of the Roman Empire"
Reteamed with Lean as Zhivago's brother in "Dr. Zhivago"
Portrayed Charles I in Ken Hughes' "Comwell"
Appeared as Pope in Franco Zeffirelli's "Brother Sun, Sister Moon"
Cast as Hitler in Ennio de Concini's "The Last Ten Days"
Played Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars"; received Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor; also given 2-1/4 percent of the profits by director George Lucas
Created role of John LeCarre's George Smiley in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" on BBC (aired in USA on PBS' "Great Performances" in 1980)
Reprised Smiley in "Smiley's People"
Final collaboration with Lean, played an Indian professor in the screen adaptation of E M Forester's "A Passage to India"
Received Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for role of William Dorrit in "Little Dorrit"
Published first volume of memoirs, "Blessings in Disguise"
Appeared as the chief clerk in Steven Soderbergh's fantasy thriller "Kafka"
Co-starred with Leo McKern, Jeanne Moreau and Lauren Bacall in the BBC production "A Foriegn Field" (aired in USA on PBS in 1994)
Published second memoir, "My Name Escapes Me"