David Niven


David Niven Trivia


  • Trivia

    • David formed the production company, Four Star in 1952, with fellow actors, Ida Lupino, Dick Powell and Charles Boyer.

    • David only ever appeared on Broadway once, in the 1951-1952 season in Nina, with Gloria Swanson.

    • David has written four books: Round the Rugged Rocks/Once Over Lightly (1951), The Moon's a Balloon (1971), Bring on the Empty Horses (1975) and Go Slowly, Come Back Quickly (1981).

    • In 1958, he won a Best Actor Academy Award for Separate Tables.

    • Contrary to a popular myth, he was not a cousin of actor Patrick Macnee. According to Macnee, in Sheridan Morley's 1985 biography "The Other Side of the Moon,", his elder brother Max and Patrick's mother were friends and Max was described as an "uncle," as opposed to a cousin. However, there was no blood link.

    • In the James Bond novel You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming, he is referred to, and a pet bird in the story was named after him. Three years after the book was released, he played Bond in Casino Royale (1967). He was even considered for the role of James Bond for Dr. No (1962).

    • Became friends with Clark Gable during the 1930s. While Gable was serving in England during World War II, Gable used to stay over at the Niven's cottage and spend quality time with Niven's wife and children. When, a few years later, Niven's wife died tragically, Gable did his best to comfort Niven. Niven said "Clark was drawing on his own awful experience (his wife Carole Lombard's tragic death) to steer me through mine.

    • After he left the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst he was asked to write down his three preferred regiments, he wrote 'anything but the HLI' (Highland Light Infantry) he was inevitably commissioned into the HLI, later to transferred to the Rifle Brigade.

    • Was on stage at the 1974's Oscars when a naked man ran behind him.

    • His father was Lieutenant William Niven, who died at Gallipoli on 21st August 1915, aged 25, while serving with the Berkshire Yeomanry, and he has three older siblings: Joyce, Max and Grizel.

      He is the ex-father-in-law of Barbara Niven.

      His sons are David, an agent and producer, and James, an auctioneer with Sothebys.

      He has a grandson Ryan (born in 1998), from daughter Fiona; grandson Michael (born in 1990) from daughter Kristina and grandaughters Fernanda and Eugenie from son Jamie.

    • He is portrayed by Nigel Havers in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)(TV)

    • He was originally meant to play the lead role of Charlie Allnut in The African Queen(1951)

    • He was interred at Chateau D'Oex, Switzerland in 1983.

    • His nickname was ''Niv''

    • His is was 6' (1.83m).

  • Quotes

    • (During an Academy Award presentation, responding to the unexpected entrance of a streaker)
      David Niven: Isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings.

    • David Niven: I have a face that is a cross between two pounds of halibut and an explosion in an old clothes closet.

    • (On the movie "Separate Tables" (1958))
      David Niven: They gave me very good lines and then cut to Deborah Kerr while I was saying them.

    • David Niven: I've been lucky enough to win an Oscar, write a best-seller - my other dream would be to have a painting in the Louvre. The only way that's going to happen is if I paint a dirty one on the wall of the gentlemen's lavatory.

    • David Niven: You can count on Errol Flynn, he'll always let you down.

    • David Niven: I wonder why it is, that young men are always cautioned against bad girls. Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against

    • David Niven: In 40 years I've never been late. They pay me enough - so the least I can do is arrive sober, be on time and know all the jokes.

    • David Niven: Can you imagine being wonderfully overpaid for dressing up and playing games?

    • David Niven: I suppose everybody becomes an actor because they want to be liked. I do enjoy being liked, but I don't work hard at it. I try to do the best I can for my age.