Alec Guinness Takes Off His Masks

An elegant memoir from a master of disguises

"I'm a great gossip. Don't pay any attention to what I'm saying." Alec Guinness, relaxing over lunch in Manhattan, is engaging in his favorite hobby: teasing. In fact, he is a great gossip, and it is impossible not to pay attention to what he says. During the past half-century or so, he has played dozens of memorable roles: a Prime Minister (Disraeli), a Pope (Innocent III), a King (Charles I), a prince (Arabia's Faisal), a fanatical colonel (Nicholson, in The Bridge on the River Kwai), a mad dictator (Hitler), a Jedi knight (Obi-wan Kenobi) and a spymaster (George Smiley in TV...

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