The unpublished diaries and letters of Sir Alec Guinness, one of the greatest actors to ever grace the silver screen, have become available, and they reveal the thespian to be a rather odd, and insecure individual.
The British Library bought over 1,000 letters and 100 volumes of Guinness‘ hand-written documents from his family for over $500,000, and the archive is set to go on display next year to the general public.
Piers Paul Read, who is Guinness’ official biographer and was a close confidant of the actor up until his death, has read the pieces, and stated, “Guinness was generous, well-read and wonderful company, but mockery, putting people down, even those he loved most, was to remain for Alec a besetting sin.”
From reading the letters it becomes plainly obvious that even though Guinness was loved by fans across the world, even the slightest incident could send him into a rage. Despite working with the famed director David Lean on a number of projects, Guinness stated that the filmmaker had no sense of humor and surrounded himself with sycophants.
When talking about William Holden, Guinness also proclaimed, “[He] does love to pontificate. I do wish [he] would stop boasting of the famous actors he has employed in his company, or of all the fortunes he has lost.”
Guinness also reserved scorn for the famed actor, Laurence Olivier, and after working with him on 1935’s Romeo And Juliet, Guinness wrote of his performance, “We all thought he looked and behaved like the leader of a dance band … vulgar and gimmicky.”