Distinguished British director who after a peak in the late 40s seemed to lose his way; his infrequent later films, though always civilised, were generally disappointing
Born in London, the illegitimate son of actor Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Carol Reed began as an actor in the theatre, where he also directed and formed a close working relationship with Edgar Wallace, who stimulated his interest in films: he began as a dialogue director, working under Basil Dean at Ealing Studios.
Married actress Diana Wynyard (1943–47) and Penelope Ward. His lovers included actress Jessie Matthews and novelist Daphne Du Maurier.
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