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David Niven - A British Actor, Soldier, Memoirist, And Novelist

David Niven was a British actor and author best remembered for his portrayals as Sir Charles Lytton, also known as "the Phantom," in The Pink Panther and Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days. He won the 1958 Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Separate Tables. His full name is James David Graham Niven.

Author:Paolo Reyna
Reviewer:Iram Martins
Jan 16, 2023
David Nivenwas a British actor and author best remembered for his portrayals as Sir Charles Lytton, also known as "the Phantom," in The Pink Panther and Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days. He won the 1958 Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Separate Tables. His full name is James David Graham Niven.

Quick Facts About David Niven

Full Name James David Graham Niven
Also Known AsDavid Niven
Place of BirthLondon
Height6 ft
ProfessionActor, Novelist, Television Producer
Date of BirthMar 1, 1910 - Jul 29, 1983
Net Worth$100 million

The Early Life Of David Niven

James David Graham Niven, better known as David Niven, was born in Belgravia, London, on March 1, 1910. His mother was a stay-at-home mom, while his father was a military commander. Niven went to Sandhurst to prepare to be a British Army officer but left after six months to pursue a career in acting.

The Career Of David Niven

David Niven was a Highland Light Infantry soldier (HLI). Despite spending more than two years working for the HLI, he did not like his job. Despite being given a promotion to lieutenant in 1933, he had little interest in continuing his military career. His rebellious nature was also hurting his profession, which was another issue.
He left the service and traveled to several locations in pursuit of a more exciting line of work. He briefly resided in Bermuda and Cuba before making his way to Hollywood in 1934. He originally had a lot of difficulties, but gradually he was able to get supporting parts in movies.
He was cast in "Mutiny on the Bounty" in 1935, and Samuel Goldwyn, an independent film producer, was impressed enough by him to sign him to a contract. He had several cameo appearances in important films during the next years, including "Rose-Marie," "Dodsworth," "The Charge of the Light Brigade," and "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1937).
He was cast in starring parts in "The Dawn Patrol," "Three Blind Mice," and "Wuthering Heights" in 1938 thanks to his reputation as a dependable and capable supporting actor. He was already a well-known actor and appeared with luminaries like Laurence Olivier, Loretta Young, and Errol Flynn.
Niven returned to his own country to participate in what would later become World War II when Britain declared war on Germany in 1939. In 1940, he received a second appointment and participated in the invasion of Normandy as a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade.
He was a lieutenant colonel after the war was over. After the war, he picked up acting again and starred in a number of very popular movies, including "A Matter of Life and Death" (1946), "The Bishop's Wife" (1947), and "Enchantment" (1948).
Throughout the 1950s, his professional life grew as well. He played Phileas Fogg in Michael Todd's 1956 film "Around the World in 80 Days," and he played Major Pollock in 1958's "Separate Tables," for which he received an Academy Award.
He appeared in "The Guns of Navarone" (1961), "The Pink Panther" (1963), and "Where the Spies Are" throughout the 1960s. He portrayed the renowned British spy, Sir James Bond 007, in the 1967 film "Casino Royale."
Despite his advanced age and high level of activity, he kept performing well into the 1970s. Murder by Death (1976), Death on the Nile (1978), and The Sea Wolves were a few of his later motion pictures (1980).
David Niven Posing With Smiling face
David Niven Posing With Smiling face

David Niven Personal Life

Niven first met Primula "Primmie" Susan Rollo in 1940, She was the daughter of London attorney William H.C. Rollo. After a brief courtship, they were married. His children David Niven, Jr., were born in December 1942, and James Graham Niven was born on November 6, 1945.
Six weeks after the family relocated to the US, Primmie passed away at the age of 28. She fell unintentionally while playing hide-and-seek in Tyrone Power's Beverly Hills, California, house, breaking her skull. She had entered a door thinking it was a closet, but it really led to a stone staircase that went down to the basement.
Niven met the divorced Swedish fashion model Hjordis Paulina Tersmeden (born Genberg, 1919–1997) in 1948. Niven and Hjördis lived next door to Audrey Hepburn in New York, who was making her Broadway debut at the time. Niven and Hjördis temporarily split up in 1960 while shooting “Please Don't Eat the Daisies” with Doris Day, but they subsequently got back together.
For economical reasons, Niven relocated to Château-d'X in Gstaad, Switzerland, in 1960, where he was able to be close to friends there such as Deborah Kerr, Peter Ustinov, and Nol Coward. One of the reasons Niven never earned a British honor is said to have been his position as a tax exile in Switzerland.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Niven split his time between Cap Ferrat and Château-d'X on the French Riviera's Côte d'Azur. There are some claims that he had an affair with Princess Margaret, who was 20 years his junior, based on information from his wife and a close friend of Niven.

Some Interesting Facts About David Niven

  • In the television series The Rogues from 1964 to 1965, he played Alec Fleming and amassed more than 100 acting credits.
  • For his work in Separate Tables, Niven was honored with an Academy Award for "Best Actor in a Leading Role."
  • He had three older siblings.
  • Both his grandfathers and his father were military personnel.
  • He began his military career in the British Army as a second lieutenant.
  • He played a part in the Around the World in 80 Days movie.
  • James David Graham Niven was his legal name at birth.

David Niven's Net Worth

David Niven was an English actor and novelist who had a net worth of $100 million at the time of his death. He played many parts in theater, cinema, and television contributing to her income.

People Also Ask

When Did David Niven Pass Away?

He passed away on July 29, 1983.

What Was The Profession Of David Niven?

He was a television producer, novelist, and actor.

What Is The Date Of Birth Of Nivèn?

He was born on March 1st, 1910.


English actor David Niven received the Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in "Separate Tables." He was well-liked in both Europe and the United States and was a skilled theater and film performer. He will always be cherished for his heroic service in World War II and his brilliant performances in several films.
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Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna is a writer and storyteller with a wide range of interests. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies. Paolo enjoys writing about celebrity culture, gaming, visual arts, and events. He has a keen eye for trends in popular culture and an enthusiasm for exploring new ideas. Paolo's writing aims to inform and entertain while providing fresh perspectives on the topics that interest him most. In his free time, he loves to travel, watch films, read books, and socialize with friends.
Iram Martins

Iram Martins

Iram Martins is a seasoned travel writer and explorer with over a decade of experience in uncovering the world's hidden gems. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Management from the University of Lisbon, Iram's credentials highlight his authority in the realm of travel. As an author of numerous travel guides and articles for top travel publications, his writing is celebrated for its vivid descriptions and practical insights. Iram’s passion for cultural immersion and off-the-beaten-path adventures shines through in his work, captivating readers and inspiring wanderlust. Outside of his writing pursuits, Iram enjoys learning new languages, reviewing films and TV shows, writing about celebrity lifestyles, and attending cultural festivals.
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