Gielgud, John

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Gielgud, John Gender: M
Gielgud, Arthur John
born on 14 April 1904
Place London, England, 51n30, 0w10
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
Documented source; untimed
Rodden Rating X
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 24°06' s_mo.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif

John Gielgud


English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades. With Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one of the trinity of actors who dominated the British stage for much of the 20th century. A member of the Terry family theatrical dynasty, he gained his first paid acting work as a junior member of his cousin Phyllis Neilson-Terry's company in 1922. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he worked in repertory theatre and in the West End before establishing himself at the Old Vic as an exponent of Shakespeare in 1929–31.

During the 1930s Gielgud was a stage star in the West End and on Broadway, appearing in new works and classics. He began a parallel career as a director, and set up his own company at the Queen's Theatre, London. He was regarded by many as the finest Hamlet of his era, and was also known for high comedy roles such as John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. In the 1950s Gielgud feared that his career was threatened when he was convicted and fined for a homosexual offence, but his colleagues and the public supported him loyally. When avant-garde plays began to supersede traditional West End productions in the later 1950s he found no new suitable stage roles, and for several years he was best known in the theatre for his one-man Shakespeare show, The Ages of Man. From the late 1960s he found new plays that suited him, by authors including Alan Bennett, David Storey and Harold Pinter.

During the first half of his career, Gielgud did not take the cinema seriously. Though he made his first film in 1924, and had successes with The Good Companions (1933) and Julius Caesar (1953), he did not begin a regular film career until his sixties. Gielgud appeared in more than sixty films between Becket (1964), for which he received his first Academy Award nomination, and Elizabeth (1998). As the acid-tongued Hobson in Arthur (1981), he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His film work further earned him a Golden Globe Award and two BAFTAs.

Although largely indifferent to awards, Gielgud had the rare distinction of winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony. He was famous from the start of his career for his voice and his mastery of Shakespearean verse. He broadcast more than a hundred radio and television dramas, between 1929 and 1994, and made commercial recordings of many plays, including ten of Shakespeare's. Among his honours, he was knighted in 1953 and the Gielgud Theatre was named after him. From 1977 to 1989, he was president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

In 1962 Gielgud met Martin Hensler (born 19 April 1932), an interior designer exiled from Hungary. He was temperamental, and Gielgud's friends often found him difficult, but the two became a long-term couple and lived together until Hensler's death in December 1998. After this, Gielgud went into a physical and psychological decline; he died on 21 May 2000, peacefully at home, aged 96.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Anderson, Judith (born 10 February 1897). Notes: Noted co-stars
  • associate relationship with Brandreth, Gyles (born 8 March 1948). Notes: Biographer/ subject
  • role played of/by Caesar, Julius (born 29 June 100 BC (-99) Jul.Cal.). Notes: Gielgud played Caesar in 1970 film, "Julius Caesar"
  • role played of/by Chekhov, Anton (born 17 January 1860 Jul.Cal. (29 Jan 1860 greg.)). Notes: Gielgud played Chekhov in 1968 TV show, "From Chekhov with Love"
  • role played of/by Disraeli, Benjamin (born 21 December 1804). Notes: Gielgud played Disraeli in 1941 film, "The Prime Minister," and in 1975 TV series, "Edward the Seventh"
  • role played of/by Henry IV, King of England (born 3 April 1367 Jul.Cal. (11 Apr 1367 greg.)). Notes: Gielgud played Henry in 1966 film, "Chimes at Midnight"
  • role played of/by Speer, Albert (born 19 March 1905). Notes: Gielgud played Speer in 1982 TV show, "Inside the Third Reich"


  • Work : Gain social status 1953 (Knight Bachelor)
  • Relationship : Begin significant relationship October 1962 (Martin Hensler)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Prize 1982 (Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role)

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes birth notice, no time given: "GIELGUD. - On the 14th inst., at 7, Gledhow-gardens, S.W., the wife of Frank Gielgud, of a son." (The Times [London, England], 16 April 1904, p. 1).

Starkman rectified to 19.59.50 GMT Asc 6Sco44'


  • Family : Relationship : Married late/never (Never)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Age difference more than 15 yrs (28 years)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Same sex (Martin Hensler)
  • Passions : Sexuality : Gay
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 96)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress (Film, TV, stage)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Business : Director
  • Notable : Awards : Emmy
  • Notable : Awards : Grammy
  • Notable : Awards : Oscar
  • Notable : Awards : Tony
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession