By Graham Lord
For greater than 40 years, Niven portrayed on reveal the impeccable values of a misplaced breed of English gents - good-looking, superbly spoken, elegantly dressed, witty, with excellent manners and totally fascinating. Niv, in response to his associates, used to be a lot an analogous off-screen. either women and men have been enchanted by means of his aura, humour and joie-de-vivre. as well as successful an Oscar for Separate Tables (1958), Niven was once a refined author, and released volumes of lighthearted autobiography: THE MOON'S A BALLOON (1972) and convey at the EMPTY HORSES (1975). but in the back of these twinkling eyes, Niv's lifestyles was once punctuated via tragedy and he was once usually deeply unsatisfied. From the demise of his father while Niven was once 5, to his mother's overlook and the stepfather he loathed, via to the demise of his liked first spouse and his risky and anxious marriage to his moment spouse, Hjordis, tragedy and difficulty have been by no means far-off. Graham Lord, utilizing new fabric from Niven's inner most papers, manuscripts, unpublished tales and correspondence, has written a clean, revealing, humorous and poignant portrait of a courageous and wonderful guy. totally approved via Niven's family members and drawing from dozens of interviews with stars, from Lauren Bacall to Roger Moore and Sir John generators, NIV: the authorized Biography of David Niven is a becoming tribute to 1 of Hollywood's maximum heroes.
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Simply positioned your belief in me rather than damaging criticisms. I shall now not permit Mum down. Joyce is familiar with my tackle. wish you're good and satisfied. gets involved without delay i am getting again. Yours ever, David The 3rd and fourth final strains of that letter – and Sir Thomas’s obstacle that he should be creating a titanic mistake – recommend that they have been on far better phrases than Niv may have us think. yet Sir Thomas had eventually had sufficient of this tough stepson and forwarded the letter to Joyce with a pencilled notice that learn: ‘It would seem that either you and Smollett are flawed! it's Oil now not motion pictures! I don’t comprehend. in any case i've got performed my most sensible; and now, as I say, I provide it up. T. ’ Telfer-Smollett’s letter disposes of one other tale approximately Niv’s departure from the military that was once rather unfaithful: a long time later there have been these (including his literary agent, George Greenfield) who believed that he had behaved so indiscreetly with the spouse of a naval officer that he have been ordered to surrender or be cashiered, but when that have been so Telfer-Smollett could hardly ever have attempted to cajole him to stick within the HLI. Nor may he have given Niv a regimental farewell dinner, which he did, at which Niv made a speech saying that he was once going to Hollywood to develop into a well-known movie famous person – a narrative that Greenfield used to be advised via one among Niv’s contemporaries, Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Percival DSO, who was once on the dinner. the tale approximately ‘the mammoth oil humans’ was once evidently easily a fib to mollify Uncle Tommy. to elevate a few funds Niv offered to a London clinic the best to dissect his physique after his demise. They paid him �6 10s 0d for it, approximately �230 this present day, while he signed a promise that he may by no means smoke, and he sailed for Canada at the Empress of england on 6 September. For the remainder of his lifestyles he loved to faux that he turned a movie superstar purely by way of extraordinary twist of fate, yet that used to be fairly unfaithful. From the age of twenty-three he went after it with ruthless choice. 4 A Swordsman in Hollywood 1933–1937 The Canadian autumn welcomed Niv to his new global with the pink and gold of its maple bushes, the stillness of its waters, the bracing sit back of its fresh air. He stayed for numerous days with Victor Gordon-Lennox, his spouse Diana, and her mom and dad, Admiral Charles and woman Kingsmill, in a wood visitor cabin at the Kingsmills’ five-acre island in Lake Rideau midway among Ottawa and Lake Ontario. They went fishing at the lake, made expeditions into the encircling nation-state and made up our minds that for David to get to Hollywood he wanted first to visit big apple. In newspaper interviews years later he claimed that he had labored in Canada as a lumberjack and for a bridge-building gang for 18 cents an hour, yet he made no point out of those jobs within the Moon’s a Balloon. He cashed in his go back price ticket to England and headed for brand new York yet used to be struck down at the manner, in Ottawa, via a really painful throat, had his tonsils got rid of, and to pay his sanatorium invoice he copied 4 extracts from a publication via Thyrett Drake, Fox looking in Canada, and bought them as his personal paintings to an area newspaper.