Photo of Alec Guinness Alec Guinness

Born April 2, 1914, in London, Alec Guinness was perhaps the consummate English actor on the stage and in films for nearly six decades until his death on Aug. 5, 2000, in Middlesex, England.

Perhaps best known as the Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars (1977), Guinness enjoyed a distinguished movie career that dated back to the early 1930s. He won a Best Actor Oscar in 1957 for his memorable portrayal of an obsessed British commander in director David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Guinness' other classic portrayals include roles in two more Lean classics, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1959.

Alec Guinness in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

1977 PG

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) guides intrepid Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on a valiant bid to save the captured Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) from Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones). With his trusty droids and smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Skywalker must also destroy the Galactic Empire's all-powerful weapon: the Death Star. George Lucas cemented his status as a pop-culture legend with this classic battle between good and evil.

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  • Alec Guinness in Doctor Zhivago Doctor Zhivago
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