Ever since reading HOBAC’s post on Capucine, I’ve had David Niven on the brain. I thought about him this morning, as I was locked out of the house and forced to extend my run to kill time. I certainly wasn’t going to step foot into so much as a Starbuck’s looking as I did.
Mr. Niven took regular exercise, too, you see: skiing and swimming; depending on which of his two houses he was inhabiting — the one in the South of France or the one in Switzerland — he skied or swam. And that jives with the image of him that I have in my head. Skiing and swimming, unless competitive, aren’t generally sweaty pursuits.
Would you call him a dandy? The photo at the top of this post shows that he wore his clothes well — that is, he wore them easily– as he would have pyjamas. He also carried himself well. But that is probably a byproduct of his schooling at Stowe and Sandhurst. Well, that and the skiing and swimming.
And he certainly spoke well and often with a certain self-deprecating humour.
Can you imagine a better tribute than that given by Sir John Moritmer (Of Rumpole fame) who said of his friend: “I don’t think his acting ever quite achieved the brilliance or the polish of his dinner-party conversations.”?
David Niven, actor, producer, director, author, father, husband, Army officer, Legionnaire of the Order of Merit, operator (commandoes and Phantom Reconnaissance Regiment), Academy Award winner… gentleman.
There is much here to emulate and even more to like. For a mid-winter treat, pop “The Pink Panther” into the DvD player. For more about Sir David’s many escapades, go right to the source. “The Moon’s a Balloon“