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Sir Alec Guinness
10:19am Thursday 21st June 2007 in Hampshire Heritage
DEPENDING on your age you will have a different view on what Sir Alec Guinness' most significant role was.
For many he will always be Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker's mentor in Star Wars.
But Sir Alec was said to have disliked the role, throwing away his Star Wars fanmail unopened.
For an older generation, however, it was his roles in the classic Ealing comedies that stand out.
He proved to be a great comedy actor in films such as Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob and The Ladykillers.
He could also turn his hand to straight roles. His first big screen outing came as an uncredited extra in 1934 film Evensong but his first credited role was somewhat more impressive - Fagin in the 1948 version of Oliver Twist.
And it was for 1957 war film The Bridge on the River Kwai that he won an Oscar, for his role as Col. Nicholson.
His movie career continued into the 90s with his last role being in 1996 TV movie Eskimo Day.
Sir Alec made his stage debut in 1934 and performed in classic theatre at the Old Vic from 1936.
In 1959 he was knighted for his accomplishments in theatre and film.
In 1938 he married playwright Merula Salaman. The couple had one son, Matthew, who followed in his father's footsteps although with less success.
They remained married until his death. Merula died just two months after her husband.
After Sir Alec's death his biographers revealed that he was probably bisexual.
In 1946 he had been arrested and fined ten guineas for a homosexual act in a public lavatory in Liverpool, but he avoided publicity by giving his name as Herbert Pocket - a character he had played - to the police and court.
Name: Sir Alec Guinness OCCUPATION: film star date of birth: April 2,1914 DIED: August 5, 2000 Local link: Lived in Steep Marsh near Petersfield