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To buy or not to buy: Sir Laurence Olivier’s childhood home is for sale in Dorking

·2-min read
 (Still Moving London)
(Still Moving London)

The birthplace and childhood home of Sir Laurence Olivier has gone on sale in the Surrey commuter town of Dorking.

The legendary actor and director, best known for his Shakespeare stage and screen adaptations, was born in the four-bedroom property on Wathen Road on 22 May 1907.

He lived there for the first three years of his life, before his priest father moved the family to Pimlico.

Newly listed for £875,000, it has an English Heritage blue plaque celebrating its cultural history, which the current owners say has prompted many curious tourists to knock on its bright yellow front door.

It reads: “Laurence Olivier, actor, 1907-1989, was born here”.

The property’s famous past is marked with an English Heritage blue plaque (Still Moving London)
The property’s famous past is marked with an English Heritage blue plaque (Still Moving London)

Inside, restored original features blend with modern interiors. The large main reception room has high ceilings and a log burner, while the open-plan kitchen has an island and aluminium sliding doors that open onto a patio and lawned garden.

Olivier lived in the house for the first three years of his life (Still Moving London)
Olivier lived in the house for the first three years of his life (Still Moving London)

Upstairs, there is a master double bedroom with an en-suite, two further doubles and a single bedroom or home office.

The high-spec kitchen opens onto a patio and lawned garden (Still Moving London)
The high-spec kitchen opens onto a patio and lawned garden (Still Moving London)

“We love this house because of its classic frontage combined with considered design throughout,” said Ashly Rose, marketing manager at Ralph James, who is selling the property. “It’s perfect for every modern family.”

Original features abound but the interiors are modern throughout (Still Moving London)
Original features abound but the interiors are modern throughout (Still Moving London)

Trains from Dorking to London Waterloo take just under an hour. Wathen Road is close to the bustling high street, with scenic views over Box Hill and the surrounding Victorian streets.

The youngest of three, Olivier grew up to win four Oscars, two Baftas, five Emmys and three Golden Globes.

One of the titans of the British stage in the mid-20th century, the National Theatre’s largest auditorium is named in his honour, as are the Society of London Theatre’s annual Olivier Awards.

He starred in more than 50 films, including as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, Maxim de Winter in Rebecca and the titular role in Hamlet, which he also directed, and which became the first British film to win Best Picture.

Olivier was married to three different actresses during his lifetime: Jill Esmond (1930 to 1940), Vivien Leigh (1940 to 1960) and Joan Plowright (1961 until his death aged 82 on 11 July 1989).

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