The Authorised Biography of David Niven
The story of the much loved British film star who died in 1983
2003 - Orion - UK hardback
2004 - Orion - UK paperback
2004 - St Martin's Press - US hardback
2005 - Chivers Press - UK large-print hardback & paperback
2005 - Thorndike - US large-print hardback
“It is impossible to read this book without thinking what fun Niven must have been” – Roland White, Sunday Times
“This is a brilliantly researched tribute, capturing the man’s true essence . . . As hilarious as it is enlightening, this is how all star biographies should be written” – Film Review
“Lord tells the numerous stories with brio and delight” – Christopher Silvester, Sunday Times
More than twenty years after his death David Niven is remembered with warmth, affection and as one of the funniest and most lovable men who ever lived.
For more than forty years, from the late 1930s, he portrayed on-screen the impeccable values of a lost breed of English gentlemen – handsome, beautifully spoken, elegantly dressed, witty, with perfect manners and utterly charming. Niv, as his friends called him, was much the same off-screen. Both men and women were enchanted by his charisma, humour and joie de vivre.
In addition to his countless cinematic triumphs, including his Oscar-winning performance in Separate Tables, Niven enjoyed huge success with his hilarious autobiography The Moon’s a Balloon and Hollywood memoir Bring on the Empty Horses, which sold millions and confirmed him as one of the great raconteurs.
Yet behind those twinkling eyes his life was punctuated by tragedy and he was often deeply unhappy. From the death of his father when Niven was five to the stepfather he loathed, through to the death of his beloved first wife and his volatile and disturbing second marriage, tragedy and hardship were never far away. Yet Niv was determined to make people laugh. “Life is so bloody awful,” he said, “that it’s the duty of all of us to cheer other people up,” and he did until the day he died. Written with the full co-operation and assistance of Niven’s children, Niv is the authorised account of a remarkable life.
Graham Lord has interviewed scores of people from all over the world, among them Niven’s 96-year-old sister Grizel and his friends Lauren Bacall, John Hurt, Patrick Macnee, Roderick Mann, Sir Roger Moore, Sir John Mills, Sir John Mortimer, Michael Parkinson, Baroness Fiona Thyssen, Sir Peter Ustinov and Robert Wagner.
Using new material from Niven’s private papers, manuscripts, unpublished stories and correspondence, Lord has written a fresh, revealing, funny and deeply poignant portrait of a brave and brilliant man. Niv is a fitting tribute to one of Hollywood’s greatest heroes.