Westminster Abbey to honour Sir John Gielgud

Wednesday, 6th April 2022

Westminster Abbey to honour Sir John Gielgud

A memorial stone to Sir John Gielgud, one of the finest actors of the twentieth century, will be dedicated in Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 26th April 2022.

The stone will lie in the Abbey's south transept, close to memorials to other greats from the world of acting including Sir Laurence Olivier, Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Dame Sybil Thorndike.

Together with Olivier and Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir John was recognised as one of the 'great trinity of theatrical knights' who dominated the British stage for more than fifty years.

About Sir John Gielgud

He was born into a theatrical family in London in 1904. After training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he quickly established a reputation as a star in the West End and on Broadway, celebrated for his work in both classical and avant-garde productions. He also found success as a director - establishing his own company at the Queen’s Theatre in London - and later worked regularly in cinema, appearing in some sixty films.

In a career spanning more than 75 years, he achieved the rare distinction of winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony award. He died in 2000 at the age of 96.

‘A tireless determination to interpret and perform’

The ledger stone will be dedicated by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who said:

‘I belong to a generation that grew up with Gielgud’s voice and Gielgud’s perception. In his tireless determination to interpret and perform, he taught us to take stock and think about the words we use. Numbering him amongst the names and lives that we remember in the Abbey we remind ourselves that the task of interrogation and the responsibility to perform truth never stops.’

Tickets for the memorial

Attendance at the memorial dedication will be by invitation.

Image: Sir John Gielgud, taken in the photographer's home, London, 1973, by Allan Warren. Via Wikimedia Commons