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David Niven – MovieActors.com

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Niven in THE PINK PANTHER.

David Niven: Best Actor 1958: MovieActors.com

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SEPARATE TABLES (Drama – Rating)

David Niven received his Oscar for playing the phony British Major who's afraid of people and tells lies about his World War 2 experiences.













About David Niven (1909 – 1983)

images-nivenJames David Grahm Niven was born on March 1st, 1910, London, England. He was one of four children: Max, David and Joyce and Grizel.

His father was Lieutenant William Niven of Scottish descent,who owned land. He was a career military man who served with the Berkshire Yeomanry during World War 1. He was killed at Gallipoli on August 21st, 1915, at the age of 38, but was declared missing until 1917. His mother was Henriette; 3/4 of French descent.

It is no surprise that he wound up going to Sandhurst Military Academy. David joined the Highland Light Infantry and served two years at Malta.

When World War 2 broke out, he was one of the first film stars to rejoin the military, by going back to England to join the British Rifle Brigade. He served with this outfit until Dunkirk.

David Niven then joined the commandos, eventually being picked to be in the secret Phantom Reconnaissance Regiment. This led to more exciting and dangerous work behind German lines, making the enemy annoyed and miserable. By the time the war was over, David Niven had been promoted to Lt. Col. His dad would've been very proud of him.

America certainly was! David received the highest award given to a non-citizen in the United States; Legionnaire of the Order of Merit. This medal was presented to him by General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

David Niven was a great British actor, who had a long and highly successful movie and television career in America.

Niven worked as an extra, a supporting actor and the lead in movies and television starting in 1932, with time off for war duty during World War II. He then played a World War II pilot in the fantasy drama STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN (1946).

He won Emmys in 1955 and 1957 for performances he did in FOUR STAR PLAYHOUSE; a prestigious television drama series.

In 1958, David Niven played Major Angus Pollock, a veteran steeped in war reminiscences, in the movie SEPARATE TABLES. He won an Academy Award for his performance. Later he played Corporal Miller in the taut war time drama, THE GUNS OF NAVARONE (1961).

David Niven played the jewel thief; "The Phantom". in THE PINK PANTHER. This classic 1963 Blake Edwards movie chronicled the hilarious misadventures of Parisian police detective Inspector Clouseau, played by Peter Sellers. David Niven reprised the role in TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER; (1982), and also the CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER; (1983).

David Niven was the co-owner of the FOUR STAR Production Company.

David was married twice. He married Primula Rollo in 1940, and they had two sons;David and Jamie. Not long after Jamie was born, Primula died suddenly in 1946, in a freak fall accident, at Tyone Power's mansion. Clark Gable, who was good friends with David Niven, helped David through the sea of grief, using what he learned from his own personal experiences in losing Carol Lombard.

In 1948, David married Swedish actress, Hjördis Genberg. They adopted two daughters: Kristina; in 1960, AND Fiona; in 1962.

David Niven died on July 29th, 1983, at the age of 73, from motor neurone disease.

David Niven's notable movie credits include...

BARBARY COAST (1935)
WITHOUT REGRET (1935)
ROSE MARIE (1936)
THANK YOU JEEVES (1936)
PALM SPRINGS (1936)
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (1936)
DODSWORTH (1936)
DINER AT THE RITZ (1937)
THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (1937)
BLUEBEARD'S EIGHTH WIFE (1938)
THREE BLIND MICE (1938)
THE DAWN PATROL (1938)
WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
BACHELOR MOTHER (1939)
RAFFLES (1939)
THE WAY AHEAD (1944)
MAGNIFICIENT DOLL (1946)
THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947)
A KISS IN THE DARK (1949)
THE TOAST OF NEW ORLEANS (1950)
SOLDIERS THREE (1951)
HAPPY EVER AFTER
HAPPY GO LOVELY (1951)
COURT MARTIAL (1955)
AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS (1956)
THE LITTLE HUT (1957)
MY MAN GODFREY (1957)
ASK ANY GIRL (1959)
PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES (1960)
THE GUNS OF NAVARONE (1961)
THE BEST OF ENEMIES (1961)
55 DAYS AT PEKING (1963)
THE PINK PANTHER (1963)
WHERE THE SPIES ARE (1965)
CASINO ROYALE (1967)
EYE OF THE DEVIL (1966)
PRUDENCE AND THE PILL (1968)
THE BRAIN (1969)
PAPER TIGER (1975)
MURDER BY DEATH (1976)
CANDLESHOW (1977)
DEATH ON THE NILE (1978)
ESCAPE TO ATHENA (1979)
ROUGH CUT (1980)
OLD DRACULA (1975)
TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER (1982)
CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER (1983)

David Niven's television credits include...

A MAN CALLED INTREPID (TV MINI-SERIES 1979)
THE DAVID NIVEN SHOW (TV SERIES 1959)
THE ROGUES (TV SERIES 1964)

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David Niven with his co-stars in 55 DAYS AT PEKING (1963).

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David Niven with his co-stars in DEATH ON THE NILE.

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Robert Wagner with David Niven in THE PINK PANTHER (1963).

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David Niven in SEA WOLVES (1980).

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Niven with his co-stars in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS.

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David Niven in PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES (1960).

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Niven (left) with Gregory Peck in THE GUNS OF NAVARONE.

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David Niven in THE BISHOP'S WIFE.

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David Niven in MURDER BY DEATH (1976).