Hot Best Seller

Dirk Bogarde: The Authorised Biography

Availability: Ready to download

As an actor, Dirk Bogarde became a giant of the intellectual cinema, working with directors such as Joseph Losey, Lucino Visconti, and Alain Resnais. Fiercely protective of his privacy, and that of his partner of 40 years, he left England in the 1960s to live on the continent, where he carved a second career for himself as a bestselling autobiographer and successful noveli As an actor, Dirk Bogarde became a giant of the intellectual cinema, working with directors such as Joseph Losey, Lucino Visconti, and Alain Resnais. Fiercely protective of his privacy, and that of his partner of 40 years, he left England in the 1960s to live on the continent, where he carved a second career for himself as a bestselling autobiographer and successful novelist. Although Bogarde destroyed many of his papers, his family has made available his personal archive to John Coldstream, who knew him well in his last years.


Compare

As an actor, Dirk Bogarde became a giant of the intellectual cinema, working with directors such as Joseph Losey, Lucino Visconti, and Alain Resnais. Fiercely protective of his privacy, and that of his partner of 40 years, he left England in the 1960s to live on the continent, where he carved a second career for himself as a bestselling autobiographer and successful noveli As an actor, Dirk Bogarde became a giant of the intellectual cinema, working with directors such as Joseph Losey, Lucino Visconti, and Alain Resnais. Fiercely protective of his privacy, and that of his partner of 40 years, he left England in the 1960s to live on the continent, where he carved a second career for himself as a bestselling autobiographer and successful novelist. Although Bogarde destroyed many of his papers, his family has made available his personal archive to John Coldstream, who knew him well in his last years.

30 review for Dirk Bogarde: The Authorised Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nisha-Anne

    An extraordinary accomplishment, this biography, most of all because of the sheer difficulty of its subject and his incredible and not always endearing complexity. I almost didn't want to finish this book, maybe because I didn't want to be let out of Dirk's life. But mostly I think it was because of the sheer ease and efficacy with which Coldstream proceeds through the years, so seamlessly that even I didn't realise we had crossed decades without me actually noticing. I particularly liked the sca An extraordinary accomplishment, this biography, most of all because of the sheer difficulty of its subject and his incredible and not always endearing complexity. I almost didn't want to finish this book, maybe because I didn't want to be let out of Dirk's life. But mostly I think it was because of the sheer ease and efficacy with which Coldstream proceeds through the years, so seamlessly that even I didn't realise we had crossed decades without me actually noticing. I particularly liked the scarcest insertions of self at the very end of the book. Somehow to me, they brought a more immediate sense of authenticity to stuff that maybe otherwise I would have questioned. And what I liked very very much was the real sense of affection that comes through for the important people in Dirk's life. If not for Dirk himself who clearly was a damned difficult person to maintain an uninterrupted affection for. I get the feeling I would have screamed quite violently at him on more than one occasion. I cherish this book and am so glad I started and read a good deal of it before I started Dirk's own books. At least now I feel somewhat armed with knowledge and distance when otherwise he would have gulled me completely. :p

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Important notes below: This is the grave of Selina Hen Who died of a disease unknown to men Guests arriving for a luncheon at Drummers Yard spotted "Tony Forwood, in an apron, adroitly manoeuvring a Hoover on a long flex -- vacuuming the lawn." After 2 bottles of Champagne and a bottle of Chablis, Bogarde went to check, again, on the lunch which had not yet been served. Capucine emerged from the kitchen bearing a large silver tray covered with a cloche. "There you are, cunt." Dirk unveiled the cove Important notes below: This is the grave of Selina Hen Who died of a disease unknown to men Guests arriving for a luncheon at Drummers Yard spotted "Tony Forwood, in an apron, adroitly manoeuvring a Hoover on a long flex -- vacuuming the lawn." After 2 bottles of Champagne and a bottle of Chablis, Bogarde went to check, again, on the lunch which had not yet been served. Capucine emerged from the kitchen bearing a large silver tray covered with a cloche. "There you are, cunt." Dirk unveiled the covered dish to reveal a mass of Heinz Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce, unheated. Unfazed, he served portions of the spaghetti to the guests and they all ate as if nothing extraordinary had happened. Finally, on page 369, what I have been circling around is confirmed: James Baldwin and Dirk Bogarde had lunch at Colombe d'Or for Dirk's 50th birthday. Finally, and literally finally, on the last page Bogarde's favourite cookbook is revealed (Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking) and a charming drawing of a recipe (Chicken Clermont) which I must make immediately!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tosh

    A very good biography on one of my all-time favorite British 'kink' actors via the 50's, 60's and 70's. "Death In Venice," "The Damned," and my own personal favorite "The Servent." Bogarde was also a writer of fiction as well as writing a series of memoirs. I read one of the memoirs and it's good. A very private man who worked with giants, and he himself was a giant. They don't make them like they used to. A very good biography on one of my all-time favorite British 'kink' actors via the 50's, 60's and 70's. "Death In Venice," "The Damned," and my own personal favorite "The Servent." Bogarde was also a writer of fiction as well as writing a series of memoirs. I read one of the memoirs and it's good. A very private man who worked with giants, and he himself was a giant. They don't make them like they used to.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Pratley

    An intriguing biography of a complex & multi-talented man who had an extraordinary life.Dirk or more properly Derek Bogarde is a difficult subject for a biographer because he sought to keep throughout his life so a lot of his character beneath the surface. Bogarde wrote a number of memoirs himself but always said that the story was there for all to see if you were able to read between the lines. John Coldstream has certainly attempted to do that & what emerges is a well rounded portrait of a ver An intriguing biography of a complex & multi-talented man who had an extraordinary life.Dirk or more properly Derek Bogarde is a difficult subject for a biographer because he sought to keep throughout his life so a lot of his character beneath the surface. Bogarde wrote a number of memoirs himself but always said that the story was there for all to see if you were able to read between the lines. John Coldstream has certainly attempted to do that & what emerges is a well rounded portrait of a very interesting man who was very much a product of his times in so many ways. Often after reading biographies I ask myself the question as to whether would I have liked to have known its subject. In this case I certainly would have liked to have met & known Bogarde even knowing that he could be at times a bit hard going & was far from being an affable companion. Tony Forwood his long time companion comes across as a lovely man who must have saw a lot in Bogarde since they lived together for the best part of 50 years.

  5. 4 out of 5

    minnie

    Probably the most absorbing, addictive biography I have ever read, charming,kind and handsome but in later years malicious and bitter, what a complex man Dirk Bogarde was.Looking forward to reading his letters which are to be published soon.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    A satisfying account of the complex life of England's greatest big screen star. Unflinching yet generous to its mercurial subject. A satisfying account of the complex life of England's greatest big screen star. Unflinching yet generous to its mercurial subject.

  7. 5 out of 5

    David Highton

    Borrowed this on a holiday, and enjoyed it very much. Thorough, subtle and comprehensive account of an interesting life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike Clarke

    An actor in his time: maybe an odd choice on the International Day Against Homophobia, but Dirk Bogarde arguably did just as much to ensure that the 1967 Sexual Offences Act forced its way through parliament in the teeth of entrenched opposition as numerous official committees, eminent persons’ reports, and discreet letter-writing campaigns. Victim, made as he transitioned from the young, handsome matinée idol to a character actor and leading man of vibrancy and control, was risky territory. Farr An actor in his time: maybe an odd choice on the International Day Against Homophobia, but Dirk Bogarde arguably did just as much to ensure that the 1967 Sexual Offences Act forced its way through parliament in the teeth of entrenched opposition as numerous official committees, eminent persons’ reports, and discreet letter-writing campaigns. Victim, made as he transitioned from the young, handsome matinée idol to a character actor and leading man of vibrancy and control, was risky territory. Farr Is Queer sprayed on the garage door of his character’s home was a brutal visual reminder of the sort of society Britain was at the time. Even getting the film made took guts. “To the great majority of cinema-goers homosexuality is outside their direct experience and is something which is shocking, distasteful and disgusting,” commented the official censor, John Trevelyan, and he was actually trying to be supportive. Made it was, though, and a leading star taking on such a role undoubtedly helped, even in a small way, to create climate change on the issue. Predictions that playing a ‘queer role’ would kill the star’s career proved unfounded. Bogarde, whose intense need for privacy and distaste for the political meant that he could never be any kind of spokesperson, portrayed a range of ambiguous, antiheroic, amoral, damaged, neurotic, manipulative, devious characters. How much he drew on an internal well of loneliness to find his sources can be guessed at from some of his own writings, for in a remarkable second innings he became a successful novelist and memoirist in the later years of his life, producing a string of bestsellers. “It’s all in the books, if you are to read between the lines,” he told an interviewer tetchily, when being questioned about his private life. He barely acknowledged Tony Forwood, with whom he lived for nearly 40 years, until after the latter’s death. John Coldstream seems to be the perfect biographer to chip away the layers - thorough and non-judgemental, he cuts through the camouflage that wasn’t so much the actor’s mise-en-scène, more an entire manière de sa vie. If at times Dirk seems uptight or queenily vicious, or misogynist-misanthrope in his speech, it was part carapace, part ballad of the times. It doesn’t necessarily make up for it, but there are just as many examples of generosity, candour and kindness. And what would an actor’s biography be without a few bitchy asides, plates hurled, egos trampled - occasional gems from the acting profession, as Private Eye, in which he was a sometime investor, put it. If anything, he seems to have created a character(s) for himself with the innermost self something of a tabula rasa. Even his name wasn’t entirely consistent and something of a fabrication. His desire - “just forget me” at death was maybe a sign that he thought it all a show. Fat chance, though - his body of work - the films and from his second career as a writer - is just too enduring and fascinating to be wiped from the memory. Last word to Philip Hensher from his obituary: “What Bogarde did, and did with all the bravery one can reasonably expect, was present gay men with versions of their lives...He was, certainly, a bit of a missing link, but we couldn’t have done without him.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Harvey

    This review contains spoilers. This is a superb biography, meticulously researched, absorbing and a pleasure to read. Which is a considerable achievement in light of the fact that Bogarde comes over as a very unpleasant man. High handed, bitchy, rude, narcissistic and a fantasist. His memoirs, which he published in the latter part of his life, should be shelved in the fiction section of a bookshop or library as so much of them were made up. The hero of the book is Bogarde's partner Anthony Forwood This review contains spoilers. This is a superb biography, meticulously researched, absorbing and a pleasure to read. Which is a considerable achievement in light of the fact that Bogarde comes over as a very unpleasant man. High handed, bitchy, rude, narcissistic and a fantasist. His memoirs, which he published in the latter part of his life, should be shelved in the fiction section of a bookshop or library as so much of them were made up. The hero of the book is Bogarde's partner Anthony Forwood who provided the anchor and calm centre to Bogarde's volatile personality. He patronisingly referred to his partner by his last name and in order to maintain this carapace would always ensure that relatives accompanied the couple on their holidays as chaperones. This will stand as the definitive biography of Bogarde for many years to come.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marta

    I am so deeply touched. Derek, Dirk, Pip once again died for me this morning. I have lived his death after living his whole life through the extraordinary pen of this wonderful, wonderful biographer. I am forever in his debt. And back to back I watched this jewel which I thoroughly recommend as an after-read: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ8Xo... I am so deeply touched. Derek, Dirk, Pip once again died for me this morning. I have lived his death after living his whole life through the extraordinary pen of this wonderful, wonderful biographer. I am forever in his debt. And back to back I watched this jewel which I thoroughly recommend as an after-read: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ8Xo...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    Review is commensurate to how much I love Dirk Bogarde.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Boyle

    Strange and depressive man. Are all actors so self-obsessed?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Copson

    More about the man whose work I admire so much having read books written by himself in the past.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hazel Mcintyre

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Carol Horne

  17. 4 out of 5

    Angela Derham

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cate

  19. 5 out of 5

    patricia rennie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Saunders

  21. 4 out of 5

    Libby Imlay

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elspeth Maxwell

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paul Hulatt

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bill Feehan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sheena

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Winn

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca B (What Rebecca Read Next)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Candida

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...