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Laurence Olivier (1907–1989) was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft and John Gielgud, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He also played more than fifty roles in a long film career. In 1930 he had a West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives. In the 1940s, together with Richardson and John Burrell, Olivier was the co-director of the Old Vic, building it into a highly respected company. From 1963 to 1973 he was the founding director of Britain's National Theatre, running a resident company that fostered many future stars. His own parts there included the title role in Othello (1965) and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1970). Among Olivier's films are Wuthering Heights (1939), Rebecca (1940), and a trilogy of Shakespeare films as actor-director: Henry V (1944), Hamlet (1948), and Richard III (1955). His later films included The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), Sleuth (1972), Marathon Man (1976), and The Boys from Brazil (1978). (Full article...)
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The Sound of Music is a musical play written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, based on Maria von Trapp's memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Set in Austria on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938, it tells the story of Maria, who takes a job as governess to a large family. She falls in love with the children, and eventually their widowed father, Captain von Trapp, and together they flee from Austria to escape the Nazis. Songs from the musical include "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", "Do-Re-Mi", and the title song "The Sound of Music".
This picture shows actress Mary Martin with children in a 1959 publicity photo for the musical. In the movie version, the role was played by Julie Andrews.
Photograph: Toni Frissell, Restoration: Adam Cuerden
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