Sir John Gielgud

A memorial stone for Sir John Gielgud, actor, director and producer, was unveiled in the south transept of Westminster Abbey on 26th April 2022. The blue Purbeck marble stone was designed and cut by Wayne Hart and adjoins the grave of fellow actor Laurence Olivier and is near the memorial to Dame Peggy Ashcroft,  Sir John's good friend. The style of the inscription imitates Sir John's handwriting:

John Gielgud OM Actor & Director 1904-2000

About Sir John Gielgud

He was born on 14th April 1904 in London, a child of Frank, a stockbroker of Polish descent, and his second wife Kate (Lewis). Val Gielgud, his brother, worked in the drama department at the BBC. Educated at Westminster School John began his acting career at the Old Vic theatre, performing in Shakespeare plays and European classics.

His distinctive voice was often heard on the radio and he acted in many films, an early one being Alfred Hitchcock's The Secret Agent. His partners were John Perry and Martin Hensler. Later he directed and produced and during the war he toured military camps with ENSA, entertaining the troops. He was knighted in 1953 and appointed to the Order of Merit in 1996. He died on 21st May 2000 and was cremated at Oxford. He had specifically requested that no memorial service be held for him.

Further reading

Order of Service - Sir John Gielgud Memorial Stone (PDF, 399KB)

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

John G: the authorised biography of John Gielgud by Sheridan Morley, 2001.



14th April 1904


21st May 2000


26th April 2022




South Transept; Poets' Corner

Memorial Type


Sir John Gielgud
Sir John Gielgud memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster