Alec Guinness de Cuffe was born on April 2, 1914 in Marylebone, London, England, and was raised by his mother, Agnes Cuffe. While working in advertising, he studied at the 'Fay Compton' Studio of Dramatic Art, debuting on stage in 1934 and played classic theater with the Old Vic from 1936. In 1941, he entered the Royal Navy as a seaman and was commissioned the next year.
Alec Guinness de Cuffe was born on April 2, 1914 in Marylebone, London, England, and was raised by his mother, Agnes Cuffe. While working in advertising, he studied at the 'Fay Compton' Studio of Dramatic Art, debuting on stage in 1934 and played classic theater with the Old Vic from 1936. In 1941, he entered the Royal Navy as a seaman and was commissioned the next year. Beyond an extra part in Evensong (1934), his film career began after World War II with his portrayal of Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946). A string of films, mostly comedies, showed off his ability to look different in every role, eight of them, including a woman, in one movie alone, Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949). His best known recent work was as the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars (1977) and its sequels. He earned a Best Actor Oscar and Golden Globe Award in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and an Honorary Academy Award (1980) for "advancing the art of screen acting through a host of memorable and distinguished performances". Academy nominations have included The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) (actor); The Horse's Mouth (1958) (screenplay); Star Wars (1977) (supporting) and Little Dorrit (1987) (supporting). He was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 1959 Queen's Honours List for his services to drama. Sir Alec Guinness died at age 86 of liver cancer on August 5, 2000. Alec Guinness was an English actor. After an early career on the stage, he was featured in several of the Ealing Comedies, including The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets in which he played eight different characters. He is also known for his six collaborations with David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946), Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948), Col. Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor), Prince Faisal in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), General Yevgraf Zhivago in Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Professor Godbole in A Passage to India (1984). He is also known for his portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas's original Star Wars trilogy, receiving a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Guinness was one of three major British actors, along with Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud, who successfully made the transition from Shakespearean theatre in their home country to Hollywood blockbusters immediately after the Second World War. He has also won a BAFTA Award, Golden Globe, and a Tony Award, as well as an Academy Award. In 1959, he was knighted by Elizabeth II for services to the arts. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960, and the Academy Honorary Award for lifetime achievement in 1980.