Dirk Bogarde

28 Mar 1921
8 May 1999
Film IndustryWriter
Offer Flowers
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Sir Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde, known as Dirk Bogarde (28 March 1921 – 8 May 1999), was an English actor and writer. Initially a matinée idol in films such as Doctor in the House (1954) for the Rank Organisation, he later acted in art-house films. In a second career, he wrote seven best-selling volumes of memoirs, six novels and a volume of collected journalism, mainly from articles in The Daily Telegraph.

Bogarde came to prominence in films including The Blue Lamp in the early 1950s, before starring in the successful Doctor film series (1954–63). He twice won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role; for The Servant (1963) and Darling (1965). His other notable film roles included Victim (1961), Accident (1967), The Damned (1969), Death in Venice (1971), The Night Porter (1974), A Bridge Too Far (1977) and Despair (1978). He was appointed a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1990 and a Knight Bachelor in 1992.

Bogarde suffered a minor stroke in November 1987, at a time when his partner, Anthony Forwood, was dying of liver cancer and Parkinson’s disease. In September 1996, he underwent angioplasty to unblock arteries leading to his heart and suffered a massive stroke following the operation.Bogarde was paralysed on one side of his body, which affected his speech and left him in a wheelchair. He managed, however, to complete a final volume of his autobiography, which covered the stroke and its effects as well as an edition of his collected journalism, mainly for the Daily Telegraph. He spent some time with his friend Lauren Bacall the day before he died. Bogarde died at his home in London from a heart attack on May 8, 1999, age 78. His ashes were scattered at his former estate in Grasse, Southern France.

Bogarde was nominated five times as Best Actor by BAFTA, winning twice, for The Servant in 1963, and for Darling in 1965. He also received the London Film Critics Circle Lifetime Award in 1991. He made a total of 63 films between 1939 and 1991. In 1983, he received a Special Award for service to the Cinema at the Cannes Festival. Awarded the British Film Institute Fellowship in 1987, the following year in 1988, Bogarde was honoured with the first BAFTA Tribute Award for an outstanding contribution to cinema in 1988.

Bogarde was honoured as a Knight Bachelor in the United Kingdom in 1992, awarded the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1990, an honorary Doctorate of Literature on 4 July 1985 by St. Andrews University in Scotland and an honorary Doctorate of Letters in 1993 by the University of Sussex in England.

In 1984, Bogarde served as president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. He was the first British person to serve in this capacity.

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