Cast Profiles: Sir Alec Guinness..
An official LucasFilm site
Did he visit Leavesden? And will he narrate Episode 3?
I grew up with the films of Alec Guinness and, even as a kid, considered him one of cinema's true superstars. He had occasionally taught at The Old Vic Drama School which my father attended after the Second World War and one of the subjects he taught was theatrical make-up. My father was a great influence in my formative years and the stories he told me about things he had learned from Sir Alec undoubtedly played a part in fueling my enthusiasm for the subject. So when I learned that the veteran British actor was playing a role in this weird science fiction movie we were making I felt that life had come full circle.
He and Stuart Freeborn (the make-up and creature effects supervisor), were very old friends having worked together on many productions starting with the 1948 version of OLIVER TWIST. I remember being very nervous about approaching him as he quietly smoked a cigar between takes in the Cantina. I have always been acutely cautious of invading a star's privacy.... after all, I was a new kid on the block and he didn't know me from Adam. I was thrilled to discover what a charming man he was. He was most generous in sharing his experience with a youngster in the business and over the course of filming we talked about many things from THE LADY KILLERS and KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (two of my favorite films as an adolescent), to how much money he and his wife had saved by giving up cigarettes.
His dignified and respectful attitude towards all fellow workers was rarely matched during the course of 50 productions that I contributed to and he remains today an example of professionalism.
It seems extra ordinary that, having contributed to three STAR WARS movies that, at time of writing, Lucasfilm does not see fit to provide a biography on him. I hope these links will in part make up for that.
Internet Movie Database page.
IMDb Biography page
MSN's Cinemania page
text © CineSecrets 97/98
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