90 Facts About David Niven


James David Graham Niven was a British actor, soldier, memoirist, and novelist.


David Niven won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Major Pollock in Separate Tables.


David Niven resumed his acting career after his demobilisation, and was voted the second-most popular British actor in the 1945 Popularity Poll of British film stars.


David Niven appeared in A Matter of Life and Death, The Bishop's Wife, and Enchantment, all of which received critical acclaim.


David Niven appeared in many shows for television and nearly 100 films.


James David Graham Niven was born on 1 March 1910 at Belgrave Mansions, Grosvenor Gardens, London, to William Edward Graham Niven and his wife, Henrietta Julia Niven.


David Niven was named David after his birth on St David's Day.


David Niven later claimed he was born in Kirriemuir, in the Scottish county of Angus in 1909, but his birth certificate disproves this.


David Niven had two older sisters and a brother: Margaret Joyce Niven, Henry Degacher Niven, and the sculptor Grizel Rosemary Graham, who created the bronze sculpture Bessie that is presented to the annual winners of the Women's Prize for Fiction.


David Niven is buried in Green Hill Cemetery, Turkey, in the Special Memorial Section in Plot F 10.


David Niven's father was Captain William Degacher of the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot, who was killed at the Battle of Isandlwana during the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879.


David Niven said that older pupils would regularly assault younger boys, while the schoolmasters were not much better.


Years later, after joining the British Army, a vengeful David Niven decided to return to the boarding school to pay a call on Mr Croome but he found the place abandoned and empty.


David Niven was rushed into a London nursing home for a secret termination.


David Niven was among the VIP guests at his London memorial service.


David Niven graduated in 1930 with a commission as a second lieutenant in the British Army.


David Niven did well at Sandhurst, which gave him the "officer and gentleman" bearing that was his trademark.


David Niven requested assignment to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders or the Black Watch, then jokingly wrote on the form, as his third choice, "anything but the Highland Light Infantry".


David Niven was assigned to the HLI, with which he served for two years in Malta and then for a few months in Dover.


At that point, David Niven had a brief but pleasant reunion.


In New York City, David Niven began a brief and unsuccessful career in whisky sales, followed by a stint in horse rodeo promotion in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


When David Niven presented himself at Central Casting, he learned that he needed a work permit to reside and work in the United States.


David Niven received his resident alien visa from the American consulate when his birth certificate arrived from Britain.


For Goldwyn, David Niven again had a small role in Splendor.


David Niven was lent to MGM for a minor part in Rose Marie, then a larger one in Palm Springs at Paramount.


David Niven was fourth billed in Beloved Enemy for Goldwyn, supporting Merle Oberon with whom he became romantically involved.


David Niven was one of the four heroes in John Ford's Four Men and a Prayer, with Fox.


David Niven remained with Fox to play the part of a fake love interest in Three Blind Mice.


David Niven graduated to star parts in "A" films with The Dawn Patrol remake at Warners; although he was billed below Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone, it was a leading role and the film did excellent business.


David Niven was reluctant to take a supporting part in Wuthering Heights for Goldwyn, but eventually relented and the film was a big success.


The day after Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, David Niven returned home and rejoined the British Army.


David Niven was alone among British stars in Hollywood in doing so; the British Embassy advised most actors to stay.


David Niven was recommissioned as a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade on 25 February 1940, and was assigned to a motor training battalion.


David Niven wanted something more exciting and transferred to the Commandos.


David Niven was assigned to a training base at Inverailort House in the Western Highlands.


David Niven commanded "A" Squadron GHQ Liaison Regiment, better known as "Phantom".


David Niven was promoted to war-substantive captain on 18 August 1941.


David Niven's work included a small part in the deception operation that used minor actor M E Clifton James to impersonate General Sir Bernard Montgomery.


David Niven explained in his autobiography that there was no military way that he, a lieutenant-colonel, and Ustinov, who was only a private, could associate, other than as an officer and his subordinate, hence their strange "act".


David Niven acted in two wartime films not formally associated with the AFPU, but both made with a firm view to winning support for the British war effort, especially in the United States.


David Niven was given a significant if largely unheralded role in the creation of SHAEF's military radio efforts conceived to provide entertainment to American, British and Canadian forces in England and Europe.


David Niven worked extensively with Major Glenn Miller, whose Army Air Force big band, formed in the US, was performing and broadcasting for troops in England.


David Niven played a role in the operation to move the Miller band to France prior to Miller's December 1944 disappearance while flying over the English Channel.


On 14 March 1944, David Niven was promoted war-substantive major.


David Niven took part in the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944, although he was sent to France several days after D-Day.


David Niven served in "Phantom", a secret reconnaissance and signals unit which located and reported enemy positions, and kept rear commanders informed on changing battle lines.


David Niven spoke little about his experience in the war, despite public interest in celebrities in combat and a reputation for storytelling.


David Niven had particular scorn for those newspaper columnists covering the war who typed out self-glorifying and excessively florid prose about their meagre wartime experiences.


David Niven first met Churchill at a dinner party in February 1940.


David Niven resumed his career while still in England, playing the lead in A Matter of Life and Death, from the team of Powell and Pressburger.


David Niven returned to Hollywood and encountered tragedy when his first wife died after falling down a flight of stairs at a party.


David Niven returned to England when Goldwyn lent him to Alexander Korda to play the title role in Bonnie Prince Charlie, a notorious box office flop.


Back in Hollywood David Niven was in Goldwyn's Enchantment with Teresa Wright.


None of these films was successful at the box office and David Niven's career was struggling.


David Niven returned to Britain to play the title role in The Elusive Pimpernel from Powell and Pressberger, which was to have been financed by Korda and Goldwyn.


David Niven had a long, complex relationship with Goldwyn, who gave him his first start, but the dispute over The Elusive Pimpernel and David Niven's demands for more money led to a long estrangement between the two in the 1950s.


David Niven struggled for a while to recapture his former position.


David Niven supported Mario Lanza in a musical at MGM, The Toast of New Orleans.


David Niven then went to England and appeared in a musical with Vera-Ellen, Happy Go Lovely ; it was little seen in the US but was a big hit in Britain.


David Niven had a support role in MGM's Soldiers Three similar to those early in his career.


David Niven had a far better part in the British war film Appointment with Venus, which was popular in England.


David Niven decided to try Broadway, appearing opposite Gloria Swanson in Nina.


David Niven had a better part in The Birds and the Bees, portraying a conman in a remake of The Lady Eve, in which Niven played a third-billed supporting role under American television comedian George Gobel and leading lady Mitzi Gaynor.


David Niven appeared in the British romantic comedy The Silken Affair with Genevieve Page the same year.


David Niven appeared several times on various short-drama shows and was one of the "four stars" of the dramatic anthology series Four Star Playhouse, appearing in 33 episodes.


David Niven is the only person to win an Academy Award at the ceremony he was hosting.


David Niven won the 1958 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Major Pollock in Separate Tables, his only nomination for an Oscar.


David Niven was a co-host of the 30th, 31st, and 46th Academy Awards ceremonies.


In Goldwyn's drawing-room, David Niven noticed a picture of himself in uniform which he had sent to Goldwyn from Britain during the Second World War.


In 1959, he became the host of his own TV drama series, The David Niven Show, which ran for 13 episodes that summer.


David Niven played the lead in some comedies: Ask Any Girl, with Shirley MacLaine; Happy Anniversary with Mitzi Gaynor; and Please Don't Eat the Daisies with Doris Day, a big hit.


David Niven returned to comedy with The Pink Panther starring Peter Sellers, another huge success at the box office.


In 1964, Charles Boyer, Gig Young and top-billed David Niven appeared in the Four Star series The Rogues.


David Niven played Alexander 'Alec' Fleming, one of a family of retired con-artists who now fleece villains in the interests of justice.


David Niven was the only actor who played James Bond mentioned by name in the text of a Fleming novel.


David Niven made some popular comedies, Prudence and the Pill and The Impossible Years.


David Niven did a war drama Before Winter Comes then returned to comedy in The Statue.


In 1974, while David Niven was co-hosting the 46th Annual Oscars ceremony, a naked man appeared behind him, "streaking" across the stage.


David Niven followed this with Bring On the Empty Horses in 1975, a collection of entertaining reminiscences from the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s.


In 1981 David Niven published a second and much more successful novel, Go Slowly, Come Back Quickly, which was set during and after the Second World War, and which drew on his experiences during the war and in Hollywood.


David Niven was working on a third novel at the time of his death.


David Niven had walked through a door believing it to be a closet, but instead, it led to a stone staircase to the basement.


In 1948, David Niven met and married Hjordis Paulina Tersmeden, a divorced Swedish fashion model.


David Niven became close friends with William F Buckley and his wife Pat; Buckley wrote a memorial tribute to him in Miles Gone By.


In 1980 David Niven began experiencing fatigue, muscle weakness and a warble in his voice.


David Niven blamed his slightly slurred voice on the shooting schedule of the film he had been making, Better Late Than Never.


David Niven was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis later that year.


In February 1983, using a false name to avoid publicity, David Niven was hospitalised for 10 days, ostensibly for a digestive problem.


In 1985, David Niven was included in a series of British postage stamps, along with Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Sir Charles Chaplin, Peter Sellers and Vivien Leigh, to commemorate "British Film Year".


David Niven's countenance appears to have been used as inspiration for the character and puppet of Commander Norman in the Thunderbirds franchise, as well as for Sinestro, the DC Comics supervillain in Green Lantern comic books and film.