David Steen recalls: “We’d arranged to meet for dinner and just before the meal David went into the sea as the sun was going down. It’s a nice shot with the sun drifting lower down to the horizon. He was a great raconteur but then everybody knows that. He would keep guests entertained for hours if that was what they wanted; he knew when to stop; he knew where to draw the line; he knew how to encourage others to share the stage and would applaud them genuinely. He had a way of being self-deprecating, which was attractive.
One of his stories involved the building of a swimming pool at his house in the South of France and how he gave instructions to the builders when he was about to leave for filming on location. The dimensions he gave were thirty-by-twenty-by-eight. When he returned they had built it in metres, not feet – something he had failed to impress upon the builders. He reckoned he had the deepest swimming pool in the world.”
Biography: Following training at Sandhurst Royal Military School, England, actor David Niven began working in Hollywood in 1935, initially as a bit-part player, but increasingly as a lead. World War II made an unwelcome interruption to his career however, and Niven found himself back in uniform as a British Commando, eventually attaining the rank of Colonel. His acting career accelerated following the war; Niven may have made the role of the debonair English gent his own, but it was his comic timing, wit and delivery that gave him his star quality. He won an Oscar for his part as a fraudulent major in Separate Tables (1958) but he is perhaps most famous as Phileas Fogg in the 1956 film Around the World in 80 Days. He died in 1983.
Print Type: Digital C-Type
Printed by: Metro Imaging, London
Limited Editions: All prints are limited editions, no further prints are produced once sold
Bespoke: All prints are bespoke and printed to order, stamped and numbered
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Tags: david niven, british actor, english, novelist, the pink panther, the guns of navarone, around the world in eighty days, stairway to heaven, film, movies, hollywood, sandhurst
Copyright: © David Steen / The David Steen Archive