Partner Anthony Forwood
University College School, 11 Holly Hill, London NW3 6QN, Regno Unito
Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London (UAL), 16 John Islip St, Westminster, London SW1P 4JU, Regno Unito
44 Chester Square, Belgravia, London SW1W 9EA, Regno Unito
2 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, London SW3 2RS, Regno Unito
Cobblestone House, Hascombe, Godalming GU8 4BT, Regno Unito
Le Haut Clermont, Chemin du Haut Clermont, 06740 Châteauneuf-Grasse, Francia
Sir Dirk Bogarde (born Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde; 28 March 1921 – 8 May 1999) was an English actor and writer. Initially a matinée idol in films such as Doctor in the House (1954) for the Rank Organisation, he later acted in art-house films. In a second career, he wrote seven best-selling volumes of memoirs, six novels and a volume of collected journalism, mainly from articles in The Daily Telegraph.
Bogarde came to prominence in films including The Blue Lamp in the early 1950s, before starring in the successful Doctor film series (1954–63). He twice won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role; for The Servant (1963) and Darling (1965). His other notable film roles included Victim (1961), Accident (1967), The Damned (1969), Death in Venice (1971), The Night Porter (1974), A Bridge Too Far (1977) and Despair (1978). He was appointed a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1990 and a Knight Bachelor in 1992.
For many years he shared his homes, first in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, then in France, with his partner Anthony Forwood, who was the former husband of actress Glynis Johns and the father of their only child, actor Gareth Forwood. Bogarde repeatedly denied that their relationship was anything other than platonic. Such denials were understandable, mainly because male homosexual acts were criminal during most of his career, and could lead to prosecution and imprisonment. Rank Studio contracts included morality clauses, which provided for termination of the contract in the event of 'immoral' conduct on the part of the actor. This would have included same-sex relationships, thus potentially putting the actor's career in jeopardy.
It is possible that Bogarde's refusal to enter into a marriage of convenience was a major reason for his failure to become a star in Hollywood, together with the critical and commercial failure of Song Without End. His friend Helena Bonham Carter believed Bogarde would not have been able to come out during later life, since this might have demonstrated that he had been forced to camouflage his sexual orientation during his film career. The actor John Fraser, however, said that "Dirk's life with Forwood had been so respectable, their love for each other so profound and so enduring, it would have been a glorious day for the pursuit of understanding and the promotion of tolerance if he had screwed up the courage..."
Bogarde suffered a minor stroke in November 1987, at a time when his partner, Anthony Forwood, was dying of liver cancer and Parkinson's disease. In September 1996, he underwent angioplasty to unblock arteries leading to his heart and suffered a massive stroke following the operation. Bogarde was paralysed on one side of his body, which affected his speech and left him in a wheelchair. He managed, however, to complete a final volume of his autobiography, which covered the stroke and its effects as well as an edition of his collected journalism, mainly for The Daily Telegraph. He spent some time with his friend Lauren Bacall the day before he died. Bogarde died at his home in London from a heart attack on 8 May 1999, age 78. His ashes were scattered at his former estate in Grasse, Southern France.