- David Niven
Portrait of David Niven
Born James David Graham Niven
1 March 1910
Died 29 July 1983(aged 73)
Occupation Actor Years active 1932–83 Spouse Primula Rollo (1940–1946) (her death)
Hjordis Paulina Tersmeden (1948–1983) (his death)
James David Graham Niven (1 March 1910 – 29 July 1983), known as David Niven, was a British actor and novelist, best known for his roles as Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days and Sir Charles Lytton, a.k.a. "the Phantom", in The Pink Panther. He was awarded the 1958 Academy Award for Best Actor in Separate Tables.
Born in London, England, Niven attended Heatherdown and Stowe before gaining a place at Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He served in the Highland Light Infantry and gained a commission of second lieutenant and lieutenant in the British army. Having developed an interest in acting, he left the Highland Light Infantry, travelled to Hollywood and had several minor roles in film. His first appeared as an extra in the Western There Goes the Bride in (1933). From there, he hired an agent and had several small parts in films from 1933, 1934, and 1935, including a non-speaking part in MGM's Mutiny on the Bounty. This brought him to wider attention within the film industry and he was spotted by Samuel Goldwyn. Upon the outbreak of World War Two, Niven returned to England, and rejoined the army and was recommissioned as a lieutenant.
Upon his demobilization, he resumed his acting career and, despite his brief film appearances before the war, he was voted the second most popular British actor in the 1945 Popularity Poll of British film stars. He appeared in A Matter of Life and Death (1946), The Bishop's Wife (1947), and Enchantment (1948), all of which received critical acclaim. Niven later appeared in The Elusive Pimpernel (1950) The Toast of New Orleans (1950), Happy Go Lovely (1951), Happy Ever After (1954) and Carrington V.C. (1955) before scoring a big success as Phileas Fogg in Michael Todd's production of Around the World in 80 Days.
Over the later part of his career, Niven appeared in over thirty additional films, including many shows for T.V. He spent the latter part of his career writing books, with some success. In 1982, he appeared in Blake Edwards' final "Pink Panther" movies Trail of the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther, reprising his role as Sir Charles Lytton. It was during the filming of the "Pink Panther" movies that Niven was diagnosed with a form of Motor Neurone Disease, and his health quickly declined. He died a year later in 1983, leaving 4 children. Niven was married twice, latterly to the model Hjördis Paulina Tersmeden.
David Niven was born in London to William Edward Graham Niven (1878–1915) and Henrietta Julia Degacher. He was named David for his birth on Saint David's Day. Niven often claimed that he was born in Kirriemuir, in the county of Angus in 1909, but his birth certificate showed this was not true.
Henrietta was of French and British ancestry. She was born in Wales, the daughter of army officer William Degacher (1841–1879) by his marriage to Julia Caroline Smith, the daughter of Lieutenant General James Webber Smith. Niven's grandfather William Degacher was killed in action at the Battle of Isandlwana (1879), during the Zulu War. Born William Hitchcock, he and his brother Henry had followed the lead of their father, Walter Henry Hitchcock, in assuming their mother's maiden name of Degacher in 1874.
William Niven, David Niven's father, was of Scottish descent; his paternal grandfather, David Graham Niven, (1811–1884) was from St. Martins, a village in Perthshire. William served in the Berkshire Yeomanry in the First World War and was killed during the Gallipoli Campaign on 21 August 1915. He was buried in Green Hill Cemetery, Turkey in the Special Memorial Section in Plot F. 10.
David's mother Henrietta then married Sir Thomas Comyn-Platt in London in 1917. Graham Lord, in NIV: The Authorized Biography of David Niven, suggested that Comyn-Platt and Mrs. Niven had been having an affair for some time before her husband's death, and that Sir Thomas may well have been David Niven's biological father, a supposition which has some support from her children. A reviewer of Lord's book stated that Lord's photographic evidence showing a strong physical resemblance between Niven and Comyn-Platt "would appear to confirm these theories, though photographs can often be misleading."
David Niven had three older siblings:
- Margaret Joyce ("Joyce"; born in Geneva, Switzerland 5 January 1900 – 18 November 1981)
- Henry Degacher ("Max"; born in Buckland, Berkshire (now Oxfordshire) 29 June 1902 – March 1953)
- Grizel Rosemary Graham (born in Belgravia, Middlesex (now Greater London) 28 November 1906 – 28 January 2007).
The source for the dates and places of birth of the above was William Edward Graham Niven's army service record which, curiously, does not give a place of birth for David, but his birth certificate states Belgrave Mansions, London.
The family's country home at Buckland, Carswell Manor, was sold shortly after David's birth.
Education and army service
English public schools at the time of Niven's boyhood were marked for their heavy-handed discipline. Niven himself suffered many instances of corporal punishment owing to his inclination for pranks, which finally led to his expulsion from Heatherdown at the age of 10 and a half. This ended his chances for Eton, a significant blow to his family. He was sent to reform school, where the brutality reached even greater proportions, Niven later recounted. After failing to pass the naval entrance exam due to his difficulty with maths, Niven attended Stowe School, a newly created public school led by headmaster J.F. Roxburgh. Roxburgh was unlike any headmaster Niven had experienced. Thoughtful and kind, he addressed the boys by their first name, allowed them bicycles and encouraged and nurtured their personal interests. Niven later wrote, "How he did this, I shall never know, but he made every single boy at that school feel that what he said and what he did were of real importance to the headmaster".[page needed] He then attended the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, and graduated in 1930 with a commission as a second lieutenant in the regular Army. He did well at Sandhurst, which gave him the "officer and gentleman" bearing that was to be his trademark.
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" (because the HLI wore tartan trews rather than kilts). He was assigned to the HLI, and his comment was known in the regiment. Thus Niven did not enjoy his time in the Army. He served with the HLI for two years in Malta, and then for a few months in Dover. In Malta, he became friends with Roy Urquhart, future commander of the British 1st Airborne Division.
Niven grew tired of the peacetime Army. Though promoted to lieutenant on January 1, 1933, he saw no opportunity for further advancement. His ultimate decision to resign came after a lengthy lecture on machine guns, which was interfering with his plans for dinner with a particularly attractive young lady. At the end of the lecture, the speaker (a major general) asked if there were any questions. Showing the typical rebelliousness of his early years, Niven asked, "Could you tell me the time, sir? I have to catch a train."
After being placed under close arrest for this act of insubordination, Niven finished a bottle of whisky with the officer who was guarding him: Rhoddy Rose (later Colonel R. L. C. Rose, DSO, MC). With his connivance, Niven was allowed to escape from a first-floor window. He then headed for America. While crossing the Atlantic, Niven resigned his commission by telegram on September 6, 1933. Niven relocated to New York, where he began an unsuccessful career in whisky sales and horse rodeo promotion in Atlantic City. After subsequent detours to Bermuda and Cuba, he finally arrived in Hollywood in the summer of 1934.
Early film career
When Niven presented himself at the doors of Central Casting, he found out that he had to have a work permit to allow him to reside and work in the U.S. This meant that Niven had to leave the U.S. and he left for Mexico, where he worked as a "gun-man", cleaning and polishing the rifles of visiting American hunters. He received his Resident Alien Visa from the American Consulate when his birth certificate arrived from England. He then returned to the U.S. and was accepted by Central Casting as "Anglo-Saxon Type No. 2008".
Due to his role in Mutiny on the Bounty, he came to the attention of independent film producer Samuel Goldwyn, who signed him to a contract and established his career. Niven appeared in 19 movies in the next four years. He had supporting roles in several major films: Rose-Marie (1936), Dodsworth (1936), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937); and leading roles in The Dawn Patrol (1938), Three Blind Mice (1938), and Wuthering Heights (1939), playing opposite such famous stars as Errol Flynn, Loretta Young, and Laurence Olivier. In 1939 he co-starred with Ginger Rogers in the RKO comedy Bachelor Mother, and starred as the eponymous gentleman safe-cracker in Raffles.
Niven joined what became known as the Hollywood Raj, a group of British actors in Hollywood. Other members of the group included Rex Harrison, Errol Flynn, Boris Karloff, Stan Laurel, Basil Rathbone, Ronald Colman and Leslie Howard and C. Aubrey Smith. According to his autobiography, he and Errol Flynn were firm friends and had decided to rent Rosalind Russell's house at 601 North Linden Drive as a bachelor pad. Rosalind Russell later named the house "Cirrhosis-by-the-Sea".
World War II service
After the United Kingdom declared war in 1939, Niven returned to Britain and rejoined the Army. He was alone among British stars in Hollywood in doing so; the British Embassy advised most British actors to stay, many were over the age for military service and did not have Niven's military education and experience. Niven was re-commissioned as a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade on 25 February 1940, and was assigned to a motor training battalion. But he wanted something more exciting, and transferred into the Commandos. He was assigned to a training base at Inverailort House in the Western Highlands. Niven later claimed credit for bringing future Major General Sir Robert Laycock to the Commandos.
David Niven commanded 'A' Squadron GHQ Liaison Regiment, better known as Phantom.
Niven also worked with the Army Film Unit. He acted in two films during the war, The First of the Few (1942) and The Way Ahead (1944). Both films were made to win support for the British war effort, especially in the U.S. His Film Unit work included a small part in the deception operation that used minor actor M. E. Clifton James to impersonate Field Marshal Montgomery.
During his work with the Film Unit, Peter Ustinov, though one of the script-writers, had to pose as Niven's batman. (Ustinov also acted in The Way Ahead.) Niven in his autobiography explained that there was no military way that he, as a lieutenant-colonel, and Ustinov, who was only a private, could associate, save as an officer and his servant, hence their strange "act". Ustinov later appeared with Niven in Death on the Nile (1978).
Niven took part in the Invasion of Normandy, arriving several days after D-Day. He served in the "Phantom Signals Unit", which located and reported enemy positions, and kept rear commanders up to date on changing battle lines. Niven was posted at one time to Chilham in Kent.
Niven remained close-mouthed about the war, despite public interest in celebrities in combat and a reputation for storytelling. He said once: "I will, however, tell you just one thing about the war, my first story and my last. I was asked by some American friends to search out the grave of their son near Bastogne. I found it where they told me I would, but it was among 27,000 others, and I told myself that here, Niven, were 27,000 reasons why you should keep your mouth shut after the war." Niven also had special scorn for the newspaper columnists covering the war who typed out self-glorifying and excessively florid prose about their meagre wartime experiences. Niven stated, "Anyone who says a bullet sings past, hums past, flies, pings, or whines past, has never heard one--they go crack!"
He gave a few details of his war experience in his autobiography, The Moon's a Balloon: his private conversations with Winston Churchill, the bombing of London, and what it was like entering Germany with the occupation forces. Niven first met Churchill at a dinner party in February 1940. Churchill singled him out from the crowd and stated, "Young man, you did a fine thing to give up your film career to fight for your country. Mark you, had you not done so − it would have been despicable."
A few stories have surfaced. About to lead his men into action, Niven eased their nervousness by telling them, "Look, you chaps only have to do this once. But I'll have to do it all over again in Hollywood with Errol Flynn!" Asked by suspicious American sentries during the Battle of the Bulge who had won the World Series in 1943, he answered "Haven't the foggiest idea . . . But I did co-star with Ginger Rogers in Bachelor Mother!"
Niven ended the war as a lieutenant-colonel. On his return to Hollywood after the war, he received the Legion of Merit, an American military order. Presented by Eisenhower himself, it honored Niven's work in setting up the BBC Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme, a radio news and entertainment station for the Allied forces. 
He resumed his career in 1946, now only in starring roles. A Matter of Life and Death (1946), The Bishop's Wife (1947), and Enchantment (1948) are all highly regarded. In 1950 he starred in The Elusive Pimpernel, which was made in Britain and was to be distributed by Samuel Goldwyn. Goldwyn pulled out, and the film did not appear in the U.S. for three years.
Niven had a long and complex relationship with Goldwyn, who gave him his first start. But the dispute over The Elusive Pimpernel and Niven's demands for more money led to a long estrangement in the 1950s. During this period Niven was largely barred from the Hollywood studios. In 1951 to 1956, he made 11 movies, of which two were MGM productions, and the rest were low-budget British or independent productions. However, Niven won a Golden Globe Award for his work in The Moon Is Blue (1953), produced and directed by Otto Preminger. In 1955 renowned British photographer Cornel Lucas photographed David Niven while filming at the Rank Film Studio in Denham. These images can be seen at The Cornel Lucas Collection. A limited edition of British postage stamps was produced using one of Cornel Lucas' images taken during this portrait sitting.
Niven also worked in television. He 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. The show was produced by Four Star Television, which was co-owned by Niven, Robert Montgomery, and Charles Boyer. The show ended in 1955, but Four Star TV became a highly successful TV production company.
Niven's enjoyed later success in 1956, when he starred as Phileas Fogg in Michael Todd's immensely successful production of Around the World in 80 Days. He won the 1958 Academy Award for Best Actor for Separate Tables; he was also a co-host of the 30th, 31st and 46th Academy Awards ceremonies.
After Niven won the Academy Award, Goldwyn called with an invitation to his home. In Goldwyn's drawing room, Niven noticed a picture of himself in uniform that he had sent to Goldwyn from England during World War II. In happier times with Goldwyn, he had observed this same picture sitting on Goldwyn's piano. Now years later, the picture was still in exactly the same spot. As he was looking at the picture, Goldwyn's wife Frances said "Sam never took it down."
With an Academy Award to his credit, Niven's career continued to improve. In 1959, he became the host of his own TV drama series, The David Niven Show, which ran for 13 episodes that summer.
Over the rest of his career, Niven appeared in over thirty additional movies. These included The Guns of Navarone (1961), and The Pink Panther (1963), Murder by Death (1976), Death on the Nile (1978), and The Sea Wolves (1980), but also a lot of less memorable films.
In 1964, he was cast (along with Boyer) in the Four Star series The Rogues. Niven played Alexander 'Alec' Fleming, one of a family of retired con artists who now fleece villains in the interests of justice. This was his only recurring role on television. The Rogues ran for only one season, but won a Golden Globe award.
In 1967, he appeared as one of seven incarnations of 007 in the James Bond spoof Casino Royale. In fact, Niven had been Bond creator Ian Fleming's first choice to play Bond in Dr. No. Casino Royale co-producer Charles K. Feldman said later that Fleming had written the book with Niven in mind, and therefore had sent a copy to Niven.
Niven was the only James Bond actor mentioned by name in the text of Fleming's novels. In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond visits an exclusive ski resort in Switzerland where he is told that David Niven is a frequent visitor and in You Only Live Twice, David Niven is referred to as the only real gentleman in Hollywood. In the Ian Fleming novel You Only Live Twice, Kissy Suzuki has a cormorant whom she has named David after Niven.
While Niven was co-hosting the 46th Annual Oscars ceremony, a naked man appeared behind him, "streaking" across the stage. Niven responded "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?"
In 1974, he hosted David Niven's World for London Weekend Television. This was a series of profiles of contemporary adventurers such as hang gliders, motorcyclists, and mountain climbers. It ran for 21 episodes. In 1975, he narrated The Remarkable Rocket, a short animation based on a story by Oscar Wilde. In 1979, he appeared in Escape to Athena, which was produced by his son David Jr. In the same year, Niven starred in the television miniseries A Man Called INTREPID, based on the supposed memoir of Sir William Stephenson, a Canadian master spy for British intelligence. (In fact the book was mostly invented by co-author William Stevenson (no relation), Sir William then being very old.)
In July 1982, Blake Edwards brought Niven back for cameo appearances in two final "Pink Panther" movies (Trail of the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther), reprising his role as Sir Charles Lytton. By this time, Niven was having serious health problems. When the raw footage was reviewed, his voice was inaudible, and his lines had to be dubbed by Rich Little. Niven was not told of this; he learned it from a newspaper report. This was his last film appearance.
Niven wrote four books. The first, Round the Rugged Rocks, was a novel which appeared in 1951 and was forgotten almost at once. In 1971, he published his autobiography, The Moon's a Balloon, which was well-received, selling over five million copies. He followed this with Bring On the Empty Horses in 1975, a collection of highly-entertaining reminiscences from Hollywood's "Golden Age" in the 1940s. It now appears that Niven recounted many incidents from a first person perspective which actually happened to other people, especially Cary Grant, and which he borrowed and embroidered. In 1981, Niven published a second and much more successful novel, Go Slowly, Come Back Quickly, which was set during and after World War II, and drew on his experiences during the war and in Hollywood. He was working on a third novel when his health failed in 1983.
After a whirlwind two-week romance in 1940, Niven married Primula Susan Rollo (18 February 1918, London – 21 May 1946, Beverly Hills, California), the aristocratic daughter of a British lawyer. The couple had two sons, David Jr. and Jamie. Primula, whom he called Primmie, died at age 28, only six weeks after moving to the U.S., of a fractured skull and brain lacerations from an accidental fall in the home of Tyrone Power. While playing sardines, she walked through a door believing it led to a closet. Instead, it led to a stone staircase to the basement.
Niven recalled this as the darkest period of his life, years afterwards thanking his friends for their patience and forbearance during this time. He later claimed to have been so grief-stricken that he thought for a while that he had gone mad. Following a suicide attempt involving a handgun that failed to go off, he eventually rallied and returned to film making.
In 1948, Niven met Hjördis Paulina Tersmeden (née Genberg, 1919–1997), a divorced Swedish fashion model. The moment of his meeting her was recounted by Niven:
I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life—tall, slim, auburn hair, uptilted nose, lovely mouth and the most enormous grey eyes I had ever seen. It really happened the way it does when written by the worst lady novelists...I goggled. I had difficulty swallowing and had champagne in my knees.
They married six weeks later. Unfortunately, Niven's second marriage was as tumultuous as his first marriage was content. In an unsuccessful effort to bring harmony to the marriage, they adopted two girls, Kristina and Fiona. Kristina later told biographer Graham Lord that she was convinced that she was Niven's secret child by another fashion model, Mona Gunnarson. All four of Niven's children, as well as many of his friends, told Lord that Hjördis, unable to achieve an acting career, had affairs with other men and became an alcoholic.
In October 1951, while pheasant shooting with friends in New England, Hjördis was shot in the face, neck and chest by two of Niven's companions. Local doctors wished to operate immediately to remove the bird shot. However, another doctor advised Niven to allow the swelling of the face to go down. In this way his wife avoided disfigurement.
While convalescing in the Blackstone Hotel in New York, Niven and Hjördis were next door neighbours with Audrey Hepburn, who made her debut on Broadway that season. In 1960, while filming Please Don't Eat the Daisies with Doris Day, Niven and Hjördis separated for a few weeks, though they later reconciled.
Hjördis recovered from her alcoholism after Niven's death in 1983, but returned to it before her own death of a stroke in 1997. She was 78. Niven's friend Billie More noted: "This is not kind, but when Hjördis died I can't think of a single soul who was sorry".
Niven had four grandchildren:
- Fernanda and Eugenia, Jamie's daughters
- Ryan (b. 1998), Fiona's son
- Michael (b. 1990), Kristina's son
In 1980, Niven began experiencing fatigue, muscle weakness, and a warble in his voice. A 1981 interview on Michael Parkinson's talk show alarmed family and friends; viewers wondered if Niven had either been drinking or suffered a stroke. (Another 1981 interview, posted on YouTube, shows Niven on The Merv Griffin Show while publicizing his novel Go Slowly, Come Back Quickly. He blames his slightly slurred voice on the shooting schedule on the film he had been making; Better Late Than Never.) He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or "Lou Gehrig's disease") later that year. He hosted the 1981 American Film Institute tribute to Fred Astaire, which was his final appearance in Hollywood.
In February 1983, using a false name to avoid publicity, Niven was hospitalised for ten days, ostensibly for a digestive problem. Afterwards, he returned to his chalet at Chateau d'Oex in Switzerland, where his condition continued to decline. He refused to return to the hospital, and his family supported his decision. Niven died due to ALS on 29 July 1983, at age 73.
Bitter, estranged, and plagued by depression, Hjördis showed up drunk at the funeral, having been persuaded to attend by family friend Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Kristina and Fiona told Graham Lord that Hjördis added insult to injury by forbidding them to bury her alongside her husband in the place left for her in his double grave in Switzerland.
Lord wrote that "the biggest wreath, worthy of a Mafia Godfather's funeral, was delivered from the porters at London's Heathrow Airport, along with a card that read: 'To the finest gentleman who ever walked through these halls. He made a porter feel like a king.'"
Niven died on the same day as Raymond Massey, his co-star in The Prisoner of Zenda and A Matter of Life and Death.
A thanksgiving service was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, on 27 October 1983. The congregation of 1200 included Prince Michael of Kent, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, Sir John Mills, Sir Richard Attenborough, Trevor Howard, Sir David Frost, Joanna Lumley, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Sir Laurence Olivier.
- "It really is amazing. Can you imagine being wonderfully overpaid for dressing up and playing games? It's like being Peter Pan."
- "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."
- When asked why he seemed so incredibly cheerful all the time: "Well, old bean, life is really so bloody awful that I feel it’s my absolute duty to be chirpy and try and make everybody else happy too."
- Deadpanning after a streaker ran across stage during an Academy Award telecast: "Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen. But 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?"
- "I don't think his acting ever quite achieved the brilliance or the polish of his dinner-party conversations." — John Mortimer
- "David's life was Wodehouse with tears." John Mortimer speaking at Niven's memorial service, quoted by Niven biographer Graham Lord.
- "Niv was the twinkling star, the meteor who lit up every room he entered; I am just the dreary drudge whose job it is to try to tell the truth." — Niven biographer Graham Lord, in the preface to his book Niv.
- There Goes the Bride (1932)
- Eyes of Fate (1933)
- Cleopatra (1934)
- Without Regret (1935)
- Barbary Coast (1935)
- A Feather in Her Hat (1935)
- Splendor (1935)
- Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) extra-uncredited
- Rose-Marie (1936)
- Palm Springs (1936)
- Dodsworth (1936)
- Screen Snapshots Series 16, No. 4 (1936)
- Thank You, Jeeves! (1936)
- The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
- Beloved Enemy (1936)
- We Have Our Moments (1937)
- The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
- Dinner at the Ritz (1937)
- Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938)
- Four Men and a Prayer (1938)
- Three Blind Mice (1938)
- The Dawn Patrol (1938)
- Wuthering Heights (1939)
- Bachelor Mother (1939)
- The Real Glory (1939)
- Eternally Yours (1939)
- Raffles (1939)
- The First of the Few (1942)
- The Way Ahead (1944)
- A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
- Magnificent Doll (1946)
- The Perfect Marriage (1947)
- The Other Love (1947)
- The Bishop's Wife (1947)
- Bonnie Prince Charlie (1948)
- Enchantment (1948)
- A Kiss in the Dark (1949)
- A Kiss for Corliss (1949)
- The Elusive Pimpernel (1950)
- The Toast of New Orleans (1950)
- Happy Go Lovely (1951)
- Soldiers Three (1951)
- Appointment with Venus (1951)
- The Lady Says No (1952)
- The Moon Is Blue (1953)
- The Love Lottery (1954)
- Happy Ever After (1954)
- Carrington V.C. (1955)
- The King's Thief (1955)
- The Birds and the Bees (1956)
- The Silken Affair (1956)
- Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
- Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1957)
- The Little Hut (1957)
- My Man Godfrey (1957)
- Screen Snapshots: Glamorous Hollywood (1958)
- Bonjour Tristesse (1958)
- Separate Tables (1958)
- Ask Any Girl (1959)
- Happy Anniversary (1959)
- Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960)
- The Guns of Navarone (1961)
- The Shortest Day (1962)
- Conquered City (1962)
- The Best of Enemies (1962)
- The Road to Hong Kong (1962)
- Guns of Darkness (1962)
- 55 Days at Peking (1963)
- The Pink Panther (1963)
- Bedtime Story (1964)
- Where the Spies Are (1965)
- Lady L (1965)
- Eye of the Devil (1966)
- All Eyes on Sharon Tate (1967)
- Casino Royale (1967)
- Prudence and the Pill (1968)
- The Impossible Years (1968)
- The Extraordinary Seaman (1969)
- The Brain (1969)
- Before Winter Comes (1969)
- The Statue (1971)
- King, Queen, Knave (1972)
- The Canterville Ghost (1974)
- Vampira (1974)
- Paper Tiger (1975)
- The Remarkable Rocket (1975)
- No Deposit, No Return (1976)
- Murder by Death (1976)
- Candleshoe (1977)
- Speed Fever (1978)
- Death on the Nile (1978)
- A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (1979)
- Escape to Athena (1979)
- Rough Cut (1980)
- The Sea Wolves (1980)
- Better Late Than Never (1982)
- Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)
- Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
- Niven, David (1951). Round the Rugged Rocks. London: The Cresset Press.
- Niven, David (1971). The Moon's a Balloon. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 0-340-15817-4.
- Niven, David (1975). Bring on the Empty Horses. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 0-241-89273-2.
- Niven, David (1981). Go Slowly, Come Back Quickly. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 0-241-10690-7.
- ^ Niven, (James) David Graham (1910–1983), actor and author. http://www.oxforddnb.com/index/101031503/. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
- ^ "Obituaries". The Times. 30 July 1983.
- ^ a b c Morley, Sheridan (1985). The Other Side of the Moon. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-340-39643-1.
- ^ Captain William Degacher at thepeerage.com
- ^ The Times, "Marriages", 26 October 1888
- ^ The Times, 18 February 1874, pg. 1
- ^ "Casualty details—Niven, William Edward Graham". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=602423. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
- ^ a b c Massingberd, Hugh. It’s being so cheerful that keeps me going. November 15, 2003. Spectator Book Club. Accessed May 25, 2009.
- ^ a b c http://www.thepeerage.com/p18314.htm
- ^ a b c d e f David Niven (1971). The Moon's a Balloon. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 0-340-15817-4.
- ^ London Gazette: . 31 January 1930. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
- ^ London Gazette: . 31 January 1933. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
- ^ London Gazette: . 5 September 1933. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
- ^ Eforgan, E. (2010) Leslie Howard: The Lost Actor. London: Vallentine Mitchell; p.94 ISBN 978-085303-971-6.
- ^ Friedrich, Otto (1986). City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940's. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 28. ISBN 0-520-20949-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=0x8AFchW4JsC&lpg=PP1&dq=city%20of%20nets&pg=PA6#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- ^ London Gazette: . 5 September 1933. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
- ^ "Recommendations for Honours and Awards (Army)—Image details—Niven, John David" (fee usually required to view full pdf of original recommendation). DocumentsOnline. The National Archives. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=7698398. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
- ^ London Gazette: . 6 November 1945. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
- ^ "Ian Fleming, Author or Spy ?". http://www.hmss.com/books/fleming/. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
- ^ “”. "Oscar streaker". Youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IIl3zSYL8k. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- ^ a b Niv: The Authorised Biography of David Niven by Graham Lord, Orion, 2004, p425
- ^ "biography". Movietome.com. 1983-07-29. http://www.movietome.com/people/80988/david-niven/bio.html. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- ^ "In Thespian Praise of: David Niven". Paulburgin.blogspot.com. 2006-01-25. http://paulburgin.blogspot.com/2006/01/in-thespian-praise-of-david-niven.html. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- ^ Niv by Graham Lord, Orion, 2004, p 420
- ^ Jerry M. Belsh, M.D. "Notable People with ALS - David Niven". .umdnj.edu. http://www2.umdnj.edu/nmalsweb/archive/notable98.html. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- ^ David Niven at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ "CBS Strange Oscar Moments". CBS News. 24 February 2011. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20035559-10391698.html.
- Niven, David (1971). The Moon's a Balloon. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 0-340-15817-4.
- Morley, Sheridan (1985). The Other Side of the Moon. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-340-39643-1.
- Lord, Graham (2003). Niv: The Authorised Biography of David Niven. London: Orion. ISBN 0-75285-306-6.
- Munn, Michael (2009). David Niven: The Man Behind The Balloon. London: JR Books Ltd. ISBN 1906779163.
- Archival material relating to David Niven listed at the UK National Register of Archives
- David Niven at the Internet Broadway Database
- David Niven at the Internet Movie Database
- David Niven at the TCM Movie Database
- David Niven at the British Film Institute's Screenonline
- David Niven at Find a Grave
Awards for David Niven Academy Award for Best Actor (1941–1960)
Gary Cooper (1941) · James Cagney (1942) · Paul Lukas (1943) · Bing Crosby (1944) · Ray Milland (1945) · Fredric March (1946) · Ronald Colman (1947) · Laurence Olivier (1948) · Broderick Crawford (1949) · José Ferrer (1950) · Humphrey Bogart (1951) · Gary Cooper (1952) · William Holden (1953) · Marlon Brando (1954) · Ernest Borgnine (1955) · Yul Brynner (1956) · Alec Guinness (1957) · David Niven (1958) · Charlton Heston (1959) · Burt Lancaster (1960)
Complete list · (1928–1940) · (1941–1960) · (1961–1980) · (1981–2000) · (2001–2020) Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (1950–1960)
Fred Astaire (1950) · Danny Kaye (1951) · Donald O'Connor (1952) · David Niven (1953) · James Mason (1954) · Tom Ewell (1955) · Mario Moreno (1956) · Frank Sinatra (1957) · Danny Kaye (1958) · Jack Lemmon (1959) · Jack Lemmon (1960)
Complete List · (1950–1960) · (1961–1980) · (1981–2000) · (2001–2020) Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama (1943–1960)
Paul Lukas (1943) · Alexander Knox (1944) · Ray Milland (1945) · Gregory Peck (1946) · Ronald Colman (1947) · Laurence Olivier (1948) · Broderick Crawford (1949) · José Ferrer (1950) · Fredric March (1951) · Gary Cooper (1952) · Spencer Tracy (1953) · Marlon Brando (1954) · Ernest Borgnine (1955) · Kirk Douglas (1956) · Alec Guinness (1957) · David Niven (1958) · Anthony Franciosa (1959) · Burt Lancaster (1960)
Complete List · (1943–1960) · (1961–1980) · (1981–2000) · (2001–2020) Hosts of the Academy Awards ceremonies (1941–1960)
Bob Hope (1941) · None (1942) · Bob Hope (1943) · Jack Benny (1944) · Bob Hope / John Cromwell (1945) · Bob Hope / James Stewart (1946) · Jack Benny (1947) · Dick Powell / Agnes Moorehead (1948) · Robert Montgomery (1949) · Paul Douglas (1950) · Fred Astaire (1951) · Danny Kaye (1952) · Bob Hope / Conrad Nagel (1953) · Donald O'Connor / Fredric March (1954) · Bob Hope / Thelma Ritter (1955) · Jerry Lewis / Claudette Colbert / Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1956) · Jerry Lewis / Celeste Holm (1957) · Bob Hope / David Niven / James Stewart / Jack Lemmon / Rosalind Russell (1958) · Bob Hope / David Niven / Tony Randall / Mort Sahl / Laurence Olivier / Jerry Lewis (1959) · Bob Hope (1960)
Complete list · (1927–1940) · (1941–1960) · (1961–1980) · (1981–2000) · (2001–2020) Hosts of the Academy Awards ceremonies (1961–1980)
Bob Hope (1961) · Bob Hope (1962) · Frank Sinatra (1963) · Jack Lemmon (1964) · Bob Hope (1965) · Bob Hope (1966) · Bob Hope (1967) · Bob Hope (1968) · None (1969) · None (1970) · None (1971) · Helen Hayes / Alan King / Sammy Davis, Jr. / Jack Lemmon (1972) · Carol Burnett / Michael Caine / Charlton Heston / Rock Hudson (1973) · John Huston / Burt Reynolds / David Niven / Diana Ross (1974) · Sammy Davis, Jr. / Bob Hope / Shirley MacLaine / Frank Sinatra (1975) · Goldie Hawn / Gene Kelly / Walter Matthau / George Segal / Robert Shaw (1976) · Warren Beatty / Ellen Burstyn / Jane Fonda / Richard Pryor (1977) · Bob Hope (1978) · Johnny Carson (1979) · Johnny Carson (1980)
Complete list · (1927–1940) · (1941–1960) · (1961–1980) · (1981–2000) · (2001–2020) Actors who have played James Bond EON Productions Other productions
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