Dirk Bogarde






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        Biography
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        ac·tor/'akt-r/
        {Noun}

          1. A person whose profession is acting on the stage, in movies, or on television.
          2. A person who behaves in a way that is not genuine.


        In 1961 Dirk Bogarde made a movie that was so bad it is up there with the funniest things you will ever see on screen. Unintentionally of course. The film was The Singer Not The Song and in it Bogarde failed miserably (and hilariously) to strike Marlon Brando-type fear while clad from head to foot in gleaming black leather. His co-star was John Mills and he too struggled in this awful movie. But to see these two mainstays of British cinema side by side is to see the opposite spectrums: Mills: warm, engaging, of the people for the people, generous in his acting, an actor's actor; Bogarde is all these things ... in reverse.


          It is therefore not surprising that in his film autobiography, Moving Memories, the one actor the mild-mannered Mills had problems with was Bogarde.


        Sept. 2013: As part of photographing the covers and inner flaps of every book ever published, I've started the scans on Bogarde books which can be viewed here (smartphone page). Just a few for the mo. but will be added to. If you have any photos of any Bogarde book covers from any part of the world why not e-mail (ihuppert5@aol.com) them to me and I'll put them up. The aim is to have a visual record of every Bogarde book ever published. Inner flaps and the publishers notes contain so much info about the book - I like to include at least the flap as well if possible. And your help makes it a lot easier. Or, if you prefer, you can send me your unwanted books and I can scan them. Any book, not just this author. Address: Paul Page, 5 High St., South Norwood, London SE25 6EP, UK. If you are thinking of chucking those books out then this would make a perfect alternative home for them.


        Never in the history of British cinema was there so cold an actor. How cold? Cold enough to make Laurence Harvey look positively sentimental. But his coldness never prevented him from being extraordinarily popular with British cinema audiences in the 1950s...(scroll down).




        The Wind Cannot Read
        dirk bogarde

        Dirk Bogarde - © Estate of Dirk Bogarde
        Recommended Reading: Dirk Bogarde: The Authorised Biography



          "The camera can photograph thought."
            - DIRK BOGARDE



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        BIRTH & DEATH


        {Date of Birth}

          28 March 1921, Hampstead, London, England, UK

        {Date of Death}

          8 May 1999, London, England, UK (heart attack)


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        Nov. 11:
        I've always loved Dirk Bogarde as an artist. The official site now has books of his postcards of his illustrations and sketches for sale. They are beautiful with a delicacy of touch, a purity of line, and as tasteful as you would expect from Bogarde. Click here for more details.


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        THE LIFE OF DIRK BOGARDE


        (Cont.):
        Consequently he was an unknown quantity. There seemed to be a bitterness at the core of Dirk Bogarde that had no business being there. His good looks had made him 'The Idol of the Odeons', but that was not enough. It irritated the hell out of him that his one Hollywood film, a lavish biopic on the life of Liszt called Song Without End, had been a catastrophic flop. For this he blamed everything and everyone but himself though still hoped for international stardom. Moreover, his bitterness revealed itself in his jealously of the bigger fame of the younger British stars like Michael Caine, Richard Burton and the aforementioned Laurence Harvey. He maintained that his contract with The Rank Organisation tied him to a treadmill of British films, which prevented him from achieving the worldwide success which was his due, and for which, by Hollywood standards, he was grossly underpaid.


          Bogarde was talented in so many fields that it us who should be consumed with jealousy.


        He was a gifted artist and a skilled restorer of oil paintings, he had a visual flair which would have assured him a success as an interior decorator or a landscape gardener, and above all he was a born writer, as his volumes of autobiography show. Though he was a rubbish stage actor - he moved stiffly and his voice was reedy - it cannot be denied that he did have a great understanding and skill for screen acting.


        But what he could never accept, or understand, was that he was effeminate. His audience, he thought, wanted a heterosexual leading man so he was a heterosexual leading man.

        Except he wasn't.

        But the female British public who worshipped him in the 1950s refused to see his camp mannerisms or his too-perfect coiffure or his tantrums he thought represented rage, and their adulation knew no bounds.

        As his vanity knew no bounds. Of course most actors have to have a degree of vanity (comes with the job) but Bogarde's was legendary. He wore pads even in his vests because his shoulders were too narrow; for A Tale of Two Cities he wore contoured stockings to fatten his calves; make-up women would apply pancake to his neck to disguise his weak chin; and he insisted on being photographed on one side of his face because the other side was less photogenic. Go on, when you next watch a Bogarde movie see if you ever see the other side of his face!

        Was his bitterness the result of a lifetime spent concealing his homosexuality?

        According to the actor John Fraser in his autobiography Close Up:


          "In the 1950s, the tall, handsome, virile and quintessentially English actor Antony Forwood divorced the squeaky-voiced and irresistible film star Glynis Johns, his wife of some years and the mother of their son, to move in with Dirk and become his 'Manager'. Now there is a love story worthy of Dirk's pen, but it is a story he was too cowardly to write. In seven volumes of autobiography, he never once acknowledges that their relationship was other than a business arrangement. He always refers to Tony as 'Forwood', making him sound like a butler. I am certain that even within the privacy of the bedroom, 'Forwood' was Dirk's most affectionate name for his 'manager', for no one else ever called him anything but Tony.

          The choice of such a distant form of address, with its overtones of public school and the army, was an indication of Dirk's denial. Their relationship lasted fifty years until Tony's death, and they were closer than most married couples."


        Before the couple moved to Provence they had homes first in Chalfont St Giles and then in Beaconsfield, both within easy reach of London and near Pinewood Studios where the Rank Organisation, to which Dirk was on contract, had its headquarters. They would have their famous lunches where the great & the good came including Judy Garland and Rex Harrison. At one of these, in which Garland was present, Bogarde confided to Fraser that when he was first put under contract to Rank and arrived in London he was very lonely. Consequently, he would invite people around to his small flat like the make-up girl, the second assistant, the chippy etc.. for bacon and eggs. Fraser expected him to lament the loss of such simple pleasures due to his fame. Bogarde's reply was thus:


          "One day I looked round at these insignificant people with whom I was sharing my precious, precious leisure - and I thought - "If you're going to be a Film Star, ducky, you'd better start behaving like one. Get yourself some proper friends!" ... I've never looked back' he said, as Garland took his arm and cuddled up.


        Bogarde and 'Forwood''s last house before they left for France was a stunning Elizabethan manor outside Guildford. When Fraser visited him there Dirk admitted that he would never have a casual gay affair due to losing everything he had with the threat of blackmail. As he said so he held out his hands to embrace his whole estate, making it clear that by 'everything' he meant the money.

        When the couple had to abandon their adored farmhouse in Provence in the 1980s due to Tony's terminal cancer Bogarde gave the principal reason for his return as: 'I don't drive. I couldn't stay on there without my chauffeur.'

        To the end of his life he furiously denied his homosexuality, long after his days as a sex symbol were over and he needed to protect his 'star' image. Instead, he invented claims of affairs with Capucine and Garland. His denial extended long after the laws against homosexuality had been repealed and well into a moral climate of tolerance. Why? It is beyond me. It's as if he never left the 1950s and he had stayed forever young in his mind while his fans still adored him as a sex symbol of that time, meaning any honesty on his part would have destroyed that adulation.


          Kneeling at the altar in the church of Dirk Bogarde seems to have been his greatest pleasure. In terms of self-obsession only Cliff Richard has come close and I often think of Bogarde as a kind of 'virtual' father to the pop lord.


        It would have served him far better to have actually been truthful in the interminable volumes of his autobiography and embraced his life with 'Forwood' for it was truly a profound and enduring love.

        He ended his life despising England. He protested that when he died he would rather have his ashes strewn anywhere but here. Why? Because it had given him everything, success, fame, money, and it obviously wasn't enough. Oh, and the country ended up giving him a knighthood.

        He died in 1999 from a heart attack. Unlike the man, his 'fans' had grown old and left the 1950s & 60s behind them. Few had stayed in Bogardeland. A nation lost an actor they respected but as there was nothing at the core, the loss wasn't acute. A few years later John Mills died and the nation mourned as one an actor who represented so perfectly an age now lost and never to be recovered.

        But then would Bogarde have wanted it any other way?.



        Trivia | British Dvd War Films
        Nightporter/Damned Film Posters
        Appointment in London | Doctor at Sea | Ill Met by Moonlight
        Campbell's Kingdom | Victim | Accident | Blue Lamp | Cast a Dark Shadow
        The Wind Cannot Read
        Deborah Kerr | Vivien Leigh | Margaret Lockwood | Jean Simmons

        Dirk Bogarde Collection - Screen Icons [DVD]

        Dirk Bogarde Dvds & Books @ Amazon.com | Dirk Bogarde Posters | Photos
        Dirk Bogarde Photos @ Allposters.com




        Star


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        Trivia
        G O S S I P



        dirk bogarde

        Dirk Bogarde - © Estate of Dirk Bogarde
        Recommended Reading: Dirk Bogarde: The Authorised Biography



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      • He was 5' 8½"

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      • In 2004 the actor John Fraser (his co-star in the 1958 movie The Wind Cannot Read) released his superb autobiography, Close Up: An Actor Telling Tales, which I can say without hesitation is the most amusing and readable set of actor's memoirs I have read. As the actor Richard E. Grant says about them:


          'A Supa-candid-gossip-tastic-expo-valid-dose worth of Dirk, Sophia, Bette and Ruby in the sixties. Grab and gobble it!'



        Here are a couple of his Bogarde tales which will give you a flavour of the book:


      • On Dirk Bogarde and Michael Redgrave:

        'Noel Coward was passing the Odeon Leicester Square when he glanced up at the billboard and read -


          MICHAEL REDGRAVE and DIRK BOGARDE
          in
          THE SEA SHALL NOT HAVE THEM


        He turned to his companion, and in the bored, clipped syllables that had made his delivery famous, said: "I don't see why not. Everyone else has.'


      • Once Fraser asked Bogarde what he did for sex and whether he had casual gay affairs. Bogarde replied:


          'God, no. How could I possibly in my position? Everyone knows me. I can't go anywhere without being recognised. There's blackmail...the News of the World. I would be ruined...'


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      • He was born Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde.

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      • In the early 1960s, with the expiration of his Rank contract, Bogarde made the decision to abandon his hugely successful career in commercial movies and concentrate on more complex, art house films.




        Biography | British Dvd War Films
        Nightporter/Damned Film Posters
        Appointment in London | Doctor at Sea | Ill Met by Moonlight
        Campbell's Kingdom | Victim | Accident | Blue Lamp | Cast a Dark Shadow
        Deborah Kerr | Vivien Leigh | Margaret Lockwood | Jean Simmons

        Dirk Bogarde Collection - Screen Icons [DVD]

        Dirk Bogarde Dvds & Books @ Amazon.com | Dirk Bogarde Posters | Photos
        Dirk Bogarde Photos @ Allposters.com



        Star


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        Posters
        F I L M  R E L E A S E S



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