Sir Alec Guinness Dies - Mania.com



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Sir Alec Guinness Dies

    August 07, 2000

Sir Alec Guinness, the acclaimed British actor who won an Academy Award for his role in Bridge on the River Kwai and appeared as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first three Star Wars films, passed away Saturday in Southern England. The cause of the 86-year-old actor's death was not announced.

Guinness first found fame on the big screen when he starred in Sir David Lean's 1946 adaptation of Great Expectations. Through the rest of the 1940s and into the 1950s, he went on to star in such classic British films as Oliver Twist, The Man in the White Suit, The Lavendar Hill Mob and The Lady Killers. For the memorable comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets, the versatile played eight members of the d-Ascoyne family.

In 1957, Guinness won the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Col. Nicholson, the tough-minded leader of a group of British prisoners of war in Bridge on the River Kwai. Through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Guinness continued to garner accolades for his performances in such significant films as Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago and A Passage to India.

Guinness is best known among genre fans for Star Wars. But even though most people now know Guinness primarily for his dignified turn as Luke Skywalker's mentor, the actor was not particularly enamored with the role. He once told a British magazine that he convinced director George Lucas to kill off Obi-Won so that he would no longer have to utter 'those bloody awful lines.' Guinness said, 'I'd had enough of the mumbo jumbo. I shrivel up every time someone mentions Star War to me.'--AP

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