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Reaction to Death of John Gielgud

May 22, 2000

Reaction to the death of Sir John Gielgud:

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``His unique and effortless command of poetry made Shakespeare vivid, passionate and real for millions of people across the world.″ _ Kenneth Branagh, actor and himself a notable Hamlet.

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``Sir John’s eloquence and wit live on for me as a reminder that actors are to be heard as well as seen.″ _ Mark Rylance, artistic director, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.

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``He was one of my three great heroes and will never be forgotten.″ _ Jeremy Irons, Gielgud’s co-star in ``Brideshead Revisited.″

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``Not all theater actors, particularly in the U.K., understood the difference between theater and film. What John did absolutely extraordinarily was to change his whole manner of performance, the whole way in which he projected himself, so that he became a consummate film actor.″ _ Lord Richard Attenborough, who directed Gielgud in the film ``Gandhi.″

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``Sir John was the pre-eminent classical English actor of the 20th century.″ _ Sir Richard Eyre, former director, Royal National Theatre.

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``The prime minister was very sad to hear of the death of Sir John Gielgud. He was one of the great English figures and one of the finest actors of the last century.″ _ spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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``He was a great man.″ _ actress Vanessa Redgrave, soon to play Prospero in ``The Tempest,″ one of Gielgud’s most feted roles.

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