Known for movies

Short Info

DiedMay 8, 1999, Chelsea, London, United Kingdom
FactA British soldier during World War II, he claimed to have been present when the Allies rescued the prisoners from the Nazi death camp at Belsen. However there is some doubt as to whether Bogarde was really there or whether he pretended to have been present in later years.
PaymentsEarned £32,500 from Sebastian (1968)

Dirk Bogarde was born on March 28, 1921, in Hampstead, London. His parents were Ulrich Bogarde, a surgeon, and Margaret Niven, a nurse. He had two sisters, Elizabeth and Jane. Bogarde was educated at Westminster School and Kings College, Cambridge. He began his acting career in the theater, appearing in productions of Shakespeare and Shaw.

He made his film debut in 1948, and appeared in a number of British films in the 1950s. Bogarde’s breakthrough role came in the 1960 film “The Servant. ” He went on to star in a number of films, including “Dr. Zhivago” (1965), “The Damned” (1969), and “Death in Venice” (1971).

Bogarde was knighted in 1992. He died on May 8, 1999, at his home in London.

General Info

Full NameDirk Bogarde
DiedMay 8, 1999, Chelsea, London, United Kingdom
Height1.74 m
ProfessionActor, Screenwriter, Novelist
EducationChelsea College of Arts, University College School


ParentsMargaret Niven, Ulric van den Bogaerde
SiblingsGareth Van Den Bogaerde, Elizabeth Goodings
PartnerAnthony Forwood


AwardsBAFTA Award for Best British Actor
NominationsBAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
MoviesDeath in Venice, The Servant, The Night Porter, Victim, The Damned, A Bridge Too Far, Doctor in the House, The Blue Lamp, Modesty Blaise, Doctor at Sea, I Could Go On Singing, The Spanish Gardener, H.M.S. Defiant, The Singer Not the Song, King and Country, The Sleeping Tiger, Hot Enough for June, Th...

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Despair (1978)$225,000
A Bridge Too Far (1977)$100,000
Permission to Kill (1975)$125,000
Le serpent (1973)$75,000
Morte a Venezia (1971)$120,000
La caduta degli dei (Götterdämmerung) (1969)$100,000
The Fixer (1968)$165,000
Sebastian (1968)£32,500
Our Mother's House (1967)$35,000
Modesty Blaise (1966)£22,500
Darling (1965)£16,600
The Servant (1963)£10,000
Doctor in Distress (1963)£20,000
Song Without End (1960)$100,000
The Angel Wore Red (1960)£70,000


1[on actress/dancer Jessie Matthews] She was a much greater dancer than Ginger Rogers and I thought a better actress.
2[on Rex Harrison] He's the actor I've learned most from. Whenever I used to think about how I would play a part I would first think how Rex would approach it.
3[on Kay Kendall] She was without question the greatest female clown we ever had -- apart from someone like Beatrice Lillie, whom your audience won't have heard of. Or Cicely Courtneidge.
4[on Alain Resnais] Resnais is one of the genius directors, too, however difficult it is to work in his way on a script as complex as Providence (1977). He's the only poet director I'm aware of.
5[on Simone Signoret] I suppose it is fair to say that I fell hopelessly in love with Simone Signoret the very first time I clapped eyes on her in a modest Ealing film called Against the Wind (1948). I placed her then on the very peak of her profession and as far as I am concerned she has never budged from it and I still love her dearly.
6[to Russell Harty during a 1986 interview] But I'm still in the shell, and you haven't cracked it yet, honey.
7[1955] It seems to be almost impossible to find in this country the type of role which has made actors of the Brando [Marlon Brando] and James Dean style. Mine has I think some affinity which hitherto I have only been able to employ in the theatre.
8[on the Cannes Film Festival] My idea of hell. You see all the people you thought were dead and all the people who deserve to be dead. After a while, you start to think you might be dead, too.
9[on fans] The local police were always having to come and remove girls from their nesting places under the bushes. Like an orphan girl who twice escaped from a home at Birmingham. We only discovered her because she used the potting shed as a lavatory which seemed to indicate an alien presence. I think we got her fixed up as a kennel maid, which gave her dogs to love in place of me.
10I simply love the camera and it loves me. But the amount of concentration you have to use to feed the camera is so enormous that you're absolutely ragged at the end of a day after doing something simple - like a look.
11I've got a good left profile and a very bad right profile. I was the Loretta Young of my day. I was only ever photographed on the left-hand profile.
12[speaking in 1983] Everyone wants to get into movies, but there aren't any movies left.
13If you write about Hollywood, you can only write farce. It's so way over the top, you can't believe it. It's Sunset Blvd. (1950), it really is. And it's cut-throat at the same time.
14[speaking in 1979] "The kind of acting I used to do no longer exists because your prime consideration is the budget, running time, the cost
  • and whether they'll understand it in Milwaukee.
15There's something wrong with actors, we've always been a suspect breed. Socially, I find myself more admissible now in England because I've written books.
16Cinema is just a form of masturbation. Sexual relief for disappointed people. Women write and say, "I let my husband do it because I think it's you lying on top of me".
17TV? Never! I don't want my audience going for a piss or making tea while I'm hard at work.
18Geniuses are notoriously loony, because it's a very fine line between madness and genius.
19Childhood for me was basically a backyard, a spade and a bucket of mud with someone to look after you.
20First there was the war and then the peace to cope with, and then suddenly I was a film star. It happened all too soon.
21I love the camera and it loves me. Well, not very much sometimes. But we're good friends.
22I was as scrawny as a plucked hen. The Rank Organisation did supply me with dumbbells. All I did was put on two sweaters and then put my shirt on.
23I'll only work with new people. If you stick with your contemporaries, you're dead.


1When starring in Doctor in the House, he frequently sought the advice and guidance of the film's camera operator, H.A.R. Thomson regarding his performance on camera,rather than director Ralph Thomas. Bogarde said he learned more about acting for the screen/camera from this, than any other film he had worked on.
2Suffered a stroke after undergoing heart surgery in September 1996 and spent the last three years of his life in a wheelchair.
3Was among the actors considered for Hans Fallanda in Lifeforce(1985) Frank Finlay was cast instead.
4Great uncle of singer Birdy.
5Elder brother of Elizabeth Goodings and Gareth Van Den Bogaerde.
6The ancestral town of paternal grandfather Aimé Van Den Bogaerde was Izegem in West Flanders, Belgium, where the illustrious family owned the castle Wolvenhof and produced several mayors. However Aimé left Belgium to pursue a Bohemian lifestyle and travel the world, and would tell his grandson Dirk that he was in fact Dutch.
7During the late 1940s Bogarde was living at No 44 Chester Row, Belgravia, London with a rescued cat called Cliff. While he was there Bogarde received his first contract from J. Arthur Rank, which set him on the way to stardom.
8He was a close friend of Rex Harrison, whom he named as the actor who had influenced him most in a 1963 interview with the BBC. In 1958 Bogarde provided a video message praising Harrison when the musical "My Fair Lady" transferred from Broadway to London.
9He was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film culture.
10He had a remarkably good singing voice.
11Turned down the role of the British padre in The Longest Day (1962).
12Scottish director Bill Douglas approached Bogarde to play a small part in his feature Comrades (1986) but Bogarde declined, sending Douglas a postcard saying, "I don't do small parts".
13Following the death of his partner Anthony Forwood in 1988, he moved into an apartment at 2 Cadogan Gardens in London, where he remained until his death.
14His favourite of his films was King & Country (1964), which reflected his strong anti-war views. Bogarde was very disappointed by the film's commercial failure.
15Befriended Rock Hudson while filming Campbell's Kingdom (1957), while Hudson was filming A Farewell to Arms (1957).
16Quit smoking following a minor stroke in November 1987.
17In "Dirk Bogarde: The Authorized Biography" (2004), John Coldstream offers four major reasons for Bogarde's failure to become a Hollywood star in 1960. Firstly, the vehicle for his potential breakthrough, Song Without End (1960), was a flop. Secondly, his talents at that time were not seen as being particularly different from those of, in particular, Montgomery Clift, John Cassavetes and Anthony Perkins - nor could he possibly compete as a light comedy lead in the manner of Cary Grant and Rock Hudson. Thirdly, he had had enough of making formulaic films and was determined to prove himself as a serious actor. But fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, his refusal to enter into an arranged marriage to a starlet in the style of Rock Hudson's marriage to Phyllis Gates, did not go down well among producers in Hollywood.
18Sir David Lean considered making Doctor Zhivago (1965) with Bogarde, but decided on Omar Sharif instead.
19Was considered for Louis Jourdan's role in Gigi (1958).
20Turned down Glenn Ford's role in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962), which turned out to be a critical and financial disaster.
21He made his stage debut in 1939, but his acting career was interrupted for seven years by World War II until he was demobilized in September 1946.
22Born Derek van den Bogaerde in the north London suburb of Hampstead to an actress mother and an artist father, he went to university in London and Scotland.
23Beginning in 1977, Bogarde was also a prolific writer with seven volumes of autobiography and seven novels all becoming best-sellers.
24He moved to Europe in the late 1960s, when he saw his career path lay in the sort of films being produced in Italy, France and Germany, rather than England or America. He lived in France some 20 years, thus fulfilling a childhood ambition.
25Considered retiring after The Night Porter (1974), which had left him emotionally drained.
26Going to the wrong room for a British Broadcasting Corporation audition, the young Bogarde accidentally got a part in a stage play that proved so successful he was hailed as a star overnight.
27Resisted attempts to make him Hollywood's new "Spanish" star, and to be married off to some starlet. Turned down The Egyptian (1954) after Marlon Brando had turned it down.
28Turned down a co-starring role for $150,000 alongside Rock Hudson and George Peppard in Tobruk (1967).
29Was considered for the role of Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1966).
30Turned down an offer of $150,000 from MGM to star with Natalie Wood in Penelope (1966), in order to make Accident (1967) with his friend, director Joseph Losey.
31Won a British Academy Award (BAFTA) for his performance in The Servant (1963).
32Turned down Jeremy Irons's role in The Mission (1986).
33Longtime companion of actor manager Anthony Forwood.
34For a time in the 1950s, Bogarde was promoted as "The British Rock Hudson".
35According to his friend Charlotte Rampling, Bogarde was approached in 1990 by Madonna to appear in her video for "Justify My Love", citing The Night Porter (1974) as an inspiration. Bogarde turned the offer down.
36His height was measured at five feet eight and a half inches when he was drafted into the British army in September 1939.
371984: President of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
381985: Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
39Director Joseph Losey originally offered the part of Leon Trotsky in his film The Assassination of Trotsky (1972) to Bogarde. Losey admitted that the script was terrible, but told Bogarde that it would be revised. Bogarde turned the role down, embittering Losey, who felt that Bogarde didn't trust him. Richard Burton, who had worked with Losey on Boom! (1968), did trust Losey enough to take the part, even though he was shown the same script. Bogarde was wise to turn down the part as the finished film was a critical and box office failure, and along with the earlier Losey-Burton collaboration Boom! (1968) made the list of the "Fifty Worst Films of All Time", by Harry Medved and Randy Lowell.
40Uncle of Ulric Van Den Bogaerde.
41A British soldier during World War II, he claimed to have been present when the Allies rescued the prisoners from the Nazi death camp at Belsen. However there is some doubt as to whether Bogarde was really there or whether he pretended to have been present in later years.
42He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Literature on Junly 4, 1985 by St. Andrews University in Scotland.
43He was the only cast member of A Bridge Too Far (1977) to have actually served at the actual battles depicted in the film.
44He was awarded a Chevalier De L'Ordre Des Lettres from the French Government in 1982.
45He was created a Knight Bachelor in the 1992 Queen's New Year Honours List, and was officially knighted on February 13, 1992.
46Born at 3:20am-UT
47The day before he died was spent with his friend Lauren Bacall. Apparently they had a wonderful time together.
481995: Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#78).




The Blue Lamp1950Tom Riley
Boys in Brown1949Alfie Rawlins
Dear Mr. Prohack1949Charles Prohack
Maniacs on Wheels1949Bill Fox
Quartet1948George Bland (segment "The Alien Corn")
Sin of Esther Waters1948William Latch
Dancing with Crime1947Policeman (uncredited)
Power Without Glory1947TV MovieCliff
Rope1947TV MovieCharles Granillo
Come on George!1939Extra (uncredited)
Daddy Nostalgia1990Daddy
Screen Two1987TV SeriesJames Marriner
May We Borrow Your Husband?1986TV MovieWilliam Harris
The Patricia Neal Story1981TV MovieRoald Dahl
A Bridge Too Far1977Lieutenant General Frederick Browning
Providence1977Claude Langham
The Executioner1975Alan Curtis
The Night Porter1974Max
The Serpent1973Philip Boyle
Death in Venice1971Gustav von Aschenbach
Upon This Rock1970TV MovieBonnie Prince Charlie (voice)
The Damned1969Friedrich Bruckmann
Oh! What a Lovely War1969Stephen
The Fixer1968Bibikov
Our Mother's House1967Charlie Hook
Blithe Spirit1966TV MovieCharles Condomine
Modesty Blaise1966Gabriel
Darling1965Robert Gold
McGuire, Go Home!1965Maj. McGuire
King & Country1964Captain Hargreaves
Little Moon of Alban1964TV MovieKenneth Boyd
Agent 8 3/41964Nicholas Whistler
The Servant1963Barrett
Doctor in Distress1963Dr. Simon Sparrow
I Could Go on Singing1963David Donne
The Mind Benders1963Dr. Henry Laidlaw Longman
The Password Is Courage1962Sergant-Major Charles Coward
We Joined the Navy1962Dr. Simon Sparrow (uncredited)
Damn the Defiant!1962Lieut. Scott-Padget
Victim1961Melville Farr
The Singer Not the Song1961Anacleto Comachi
Song Without End1960Franz Liszt
The Angel Wore Red1960Arturo Carrera
Libel1959Sir Mark Loddon / Frank Welney / Number Fifteen
The Doctor's Dilemma1958Louis Dubedat
The Wind Cannot Read1958Flight Lt. Michael Quinn
A Tale of Two Cities1958Sydney Carton
Campbell's Kingdom1957Bruce Campbell
Doctor at Large1957Dr. Simon Sparrow
Night Ambush1957Major Patrick Leigh Fermor D.S.O. O.B.E. also known to the Cretans and the German Secret Police as PHILEDEM
The Spanish Gardener1956Jose
Cast a Dark Shadow1955Edward Bare
Doctor at Sea1955Dr. Simon Sparrow
Simba1955Alan Howard
The Sea Shall Not Have Them1954Flight Sgt. MacKay
Cocktails in the Kitchen1954Tony Howard
The Sleeping Tiger1954Frank Clemmons
Doctor in the House1954Simon Sparrow
They Who Dare1954Lieut. David Graham
Desperate Moment1953Simon Van Halder
Raiders in the Sky1953Tim Mason
The Gentle Gunman1952Matt Sullivan
Penny Princess1952Tony Craig
The Stranger in Between1952Chris Lloyd
Blackmailed1951Stephen Mundy
Five Angles on Murder1950R.W. (Bob) Baker
So Long at the Fair1950George Hathaway


Screen Two1993TV Series novel - 1 episode
May We Borrow Your Husband?1986TV Movie
King & Country1964collaboration - uncredited
I Could Go on Singing1963uncredited


Biography1997TV Series documentaryHimself
Empire of the Censors1995TV Movie documentaryHimself
Hollywood U.K.1993TV Series documentaryHimself - Contributor
Dirk Bogarde: By Myself1992TV Movie documentary
This Week1991TV SeriesHimself
Film '721973-1991TV SeriesHimself
Omnibus1972-1988TV Series documentaryHimself
Forty Minutes1987TV Series documentaryHimself
Aspel & Company1985TV SeriesHimself
The Golden Gong1985TV Movie documentaryHimself - Interviewee
Schindler: The Real Story1983TV Movie documentaryNarrator (voice)
This Is Your Life1976-1983TV Series documentaryHimself
Parkinson1971-1980TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Hollywood Greats1978TV Series documentaryHimself (1972 footage)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 19771977Documentary short
The Merv Griffin Show1968TV SeriesHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1964-1968TV SeriesHimself - Guest
El rey en Londres1966Himself
Thirty Years After1966TV Mini-SeriesHimself - Narrator
The Epic That Never Was1965TV Movie documentaryHimself - Host / Narrator
Cinema1965TV Series documentaryHimself
Variety Club Awards1964TV Movie documentaryHimself
Here's Hollywood1962TV SeriesHimself
Film Profile1961TV SeriesHimself - Subject
Insight: Anthony Asquith1960DocumentaryHimself
What's My Line?1960TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
The 31st Annual Academy Awards1959TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Writing Awards
This Is Your Life1959TV Series documentaryHimself

Archive Footage

Talking Pictures2013TV Series documentaryHimself
The Unforgettable Russell Harty2012TV Movie documentaryHimself - Interviewee on The Russell Harty Show
The Cinema and its Double - Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 'Despair' Revisited2011Video documentaryHimself (uncredited)
Imprescindibles2011TV SeriesHimself
Banda sonora2011TV SeriesGustav von Aschenbach
Cinema 32009TV SeriesHimself
Strictly Courtroom2008TV Movie documentaryCapt. Hargreaves / Sir Mark Sebastian Loddon / Frank Welney / ... (uncredited)
A Real Summer2007TV MovieHimself (uncredited)
British Film Forever2007TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Cannes, 60 ans d'histoires2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
Cinema mil2005TV SeriesHimself
A Letter to True2004DocumentaryHimself
The Unforgettable Joan Sims2002TV Special documentaryActing Role (uncredited)
Arena2001TV Series documentaryHimself / various roles / Various Roles
Sir John Mills' Moving Memories2000Video documentaryHimself
Legends2000TV Series documentaryHimself
The 72nd Annual Academy Awards2000TV SpecialHimself - Memorial Tribute
A Tribute to Betty E. Box OBE2000Video documentaryHimself
The Doctor Films: Dirk Bogarde Returns to Pinewood Studios2000Video documentary shortHimself
The Best of British1999TV SeriesHimself
Luchino Visconti1999Documentary
The Very Best of Sid James1996Video documentary
To See Such Fun1977DocumentaryHimself
Sax Rohmer's The Castle of Fu Manchu1969Running Man
Lionpower from MGM1967Short uncredited


Won Awards

1992Dilys Powell AwardLondon Critics Circle Film Awards
1990Best ActorValladolid International Film FestivalDaddy Nostalgie (1990)
1987BFI FellowshipBritish Film Institute Awards
1976Sant JordiSant Jordi AwardsBest Performance in a Foreign Film (Mejor Interpretación en Película Extranjera)La caduta degli dei (Götterdämmerung) (1969)
1968Sant JordiSant Jordi AwardsBest Performance in a Foreign Film (Mejor Interpretación en Película Extranjera)Accident (1967)
1966BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest British ActorDarling (1965)
1964BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest British ActorThe Servant (1963)

Nominated Awards

1991DavidDavid di Donatello AwardsBest Foreign Actor (Migliore Attore Straniero)Daddy Nostalgie (1990)
1982Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionThe Patricia Neal Story (1981)
1972BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest ActorMorte a Venezia (1971)
1968BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest British ActorAccident (1967)
1968BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest British ActorOur Mother's House (1967)
1962BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest British ActorVictim (1961)
1961Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor - Comedy or MusicalSong Without End (1960)

2nd Place Awards

1969NSFC AwardNational Society of Film Critics Awards, USABest Supporting ActorThe Fixer (1968)
1964NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ActorThe Servant (1963)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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