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Definition: Bogarde from The Macquarie Dictionary

1921--99, British film actor; films include The Servant (1963) and Death in Venice (1971).

Summary Article: Bogarde, Sir Dirk
From Chambers Biographical Dictionary


Derek Jules Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde


English actor and novelist

Born in Hampstead, London, he was originally a scene designer and commercial artist, before he began acting in repertory theatre and made his film debut as an extra in Come On George (1940). After service in World War II, he was signed to a long-term contract with Rank Films, spending many years playing small-time crooks, military heroes and romantic or light comedy roles, as in Doctor in the House (1954), until he was voted Britain's top box-office star (1955 and 1957). Ambitious to tackle more challenging material, he played Sidney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities (1958), a blackmailed homosexual in Victim (1961) and a sinisterly manipulative valet in The Servant (1963). Subsequently favouring European cinema, he has created a series of distinguished characterizations, subtly portraying decadence, enigma and ambiguity, notably in The Damned (1969), Death in Venice (1971), The Night Porter (1973) and Providence (1977). After a break of 13 years from the big screen he appeared as a dying father in Daddy Nostalgie (1990, These Foolish Things). Knighted in 1991, he published seven volumes of autobiography and a number of novels, including Voices in the Garden (1981), West of Sunset (1984) and Jericho (1992).

  • Coldstream, John Dirk Bogarde: The Authorised Biography (2004).
© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

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