Dirk Bogarde was born Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde in Hampstead, London England on March 28, 1921. Bogarde was the elder of two sons born to Ulric van den Bogaerde [1892–1972] and Margaret Niven [1898–1980]. He had a younger sister, Elizabeth. Conditions in the family home in North London became cramped and Bogarde was moved to Glasgow to stay with relatives of his mother. He stayed there for over three years, returning at the end of 1937.
He attended University College School, and the former Allan Glen's School in Glasgow. He later studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.
Dirk made his stage debut in 1939, and won a contract with Rank Studios after World War II.
During the 1950s, Bogarde came to prominence playing a hoodlum who shoots and kills a police constable in “The Blue Lamp” (1950). Bogarde won acclaim for his role in the 1954 comedy “Doctor in the House”. He later found fame playing dark, complicated characters, including ill-fated Gustav von Aschenbach in “Death in Venice” (1912) and blackmailed gay layer Melville Farr in “Victim” (1961). Other notable films include his only Euro-western “The Singer Not the Song” (1961) “The Servant” (1963), “The Fixer (1968) and The Night Porter (1974).
Bogarde was a lifelong bachelor. Bogarde's most serious friendship with a woman was with the French actress Capucine [1928-1990].
Bogarde was honored by Queen Elizabeth II as a Knight Bachelor in the United Kingdom in 1992, awarded the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1990,
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 paralyzed 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 the day before he died with his friend Lauren Bacall. Bogarde died in London from a heart attack on 8 May 1999, age 78.
BOGARDE, Dirk (Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde) [3/28/1921, Hampstead, London, England, U.K. – 5/8/1999, Chelsea, London, England, U.K.] – screenwriter, writer, TV actor, brother of actress Elizabeth Goodings [1924- ], actor Gareth Van Den Bogaerde [1933- ], uncle of cameraman Ulric Van Den Bogaerde, knighted in 1992.
The Singer Not the Song – 1961 (Anacleto Comanchi/Valentino)