Gielgud as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, 1959
Guinness in 1973 by Allan Warren
The Palace Theatre, in the City of Westminster, London, built in 1891
Centre: Marion, Kate and Ellen Terry and, far right, Fred Terry at Ellen's Silver Jubilee matinée, Drury Lane, 12 June 1906. Everyone shown was a member of the Terry family.
Guinness was born here, which is commemorated with a blue plaque.
The London Palladium in Soho opened in 1910. While the Theatre has a resident show, it also has one-off performances such as concerts. Since 1930 it has hosted the Royal Variety Performance 43 times.
Noël Coward with Lilian Braithwaite, his, and later Gielgud's, co-star in The Vortex
Alec Guinness at the Old Vic theatre, London in 1938. Joining the company in 1936, early roles include Boyet in Love's Labour's Lost, Le Beau in As You Like It, and Osric in Hamlet.
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Opened in May 1663, it is the oldest theatre in London.
Mrs Patrick Campbell and Edith Evans, 1920s co-stars with Gielgud
Drawing by Nicholas Volpe after Guinness won an Oscar in 1957 for his role in The Bridge on the River Kwai
Original interior of Savoy Theatre in 1881, the year it became the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.
The Old Vic (photographed in 2012), where Gielgud honed his skill as a Shakespearean
Guinness with Rita Tushingham in Doctor Zhivago (1965)
The Lyceum Theatre, home to Disney's The Lion King.
Mabel Terry-Lewis, Gielgud's aunt and co-star in The Importance of Being Earnest
The graves of Alec and Merula in Petersfield, Hampshire
Queen's Theatre showing Les Misérables, running in London since October 1985
Peggy Ashcroft in 1936
The restored facade of the Dominion Theatre, as seen in 2017
Gielgud in a publicity photograph for Secret Agent (1936)
The St Martin's Theatre, home to The Mousetrap, the world's longest-running play.
Interior of the Queen's Theatre
The exterior of the Old Vic
Gielgud and Dolly Haas in Crime and Punishment, Broadway, 1947
The Royal Court Theatre. Upstairs is used as an experimental space for new projects—The Rocky Horror Show premiered here in 1973.
Edmond O'Brien (Casca, left) and Gielgud (Cassius) in Julius Caesar (1953)
West End theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue in 2016
Gielgud, 1953
Gilbert and Sullivan play at the Savoy in 1881
Much Ado About Nothing: Gielgud as Benedick and Margaret Leighton as Beatrice, 1959
Victoria Palace Theatre (showing Billy Elliot in 2012) was refurbished in 2017.
Gielgud (left) as Joseph Surface, and Ralph Richardson as Sir Peter Teazle, The School for Scandal, 1962
Gielgud in 1973, by Allan Warren

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.

- John Gielgud

Two years later, at the age of 22, he played the role of Osric in Hamlet in the West End and joined the Old Vic.

- Alec Guinness

He was one of the greatest British actors who, along with Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud, made the transition from theatre to films after the Second World War.

- Alec Guinness

A number of other actors made their West End debut prior to the Second World War, including John Gielgud, Alec Guinness and Vivien Leigh.

- West End theatre

Morley writes that junior members of the cast such as Alec Guinness and Frith Banbury would gather in the wings every night "to watch what they seemed intuitively already to know was to be the Hamlet of their time".

- John Gielgud
Gielgud as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, 1959

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Olivier in 1972

Laurence Olivier

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Olivier in 1972
The house in Wathen Road, Dorking, Surrey, where Olivier was born in 1907
Interior of All Saints, Margaret Street
Peggy Ashcroft, a contemporary and friend of Olivier's at the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, photographed in 1936
Olivier, with his first wife Jill Esmond (left), in 1932
The Old Vic (photographed in 2012), where Olivier honed his skill as a Shakespearean
Olivier, with Merle Oberon in the 1939 film Wuthering Heights
Olivier with Joan Fontaine in the 1940 film Rebecca
Overseas newspaper correspondents visit the set of Henry V at Denham Studios in 1943
Co-director and co-star: Ralph Richardson in the 1940s
Olivier with Leigh in Australia, 1948
Olivier and Leigh in 1957
Olivier, with Joan Plowright in The Entertainer on Broadway in 1958
Poster for Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus, one of two films in which Olivier appeared in 1960
Laurence Olivier in 1972, during the production of Sleuth
Olivier in 1939

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, (22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, was one of a trio of male actors who dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century.

In 1930 he had his first important West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives, and he appeared in his first film.

Among the actors whom Olivier joined in late 1936 were Edith Evans, Ruth Gordon, Alec Guinness and Michael Redgrave.