Celebrities in Switzerland: David Niven
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Niven, David (1910 - 1983) UK / Movie star / VD

The British actor lived near Gstaad, a ski resort in the Bernese Alps. David Niven was born in 1910 in Kirremiuir, Scotland. The fine reputation of his father, a military serviceman who died in 1915 in Gallipoli, assured his entry to the Royal Military College. David Niven rose to lieutenant, but then grew weary of the army and left for the new continent in 1935.

He first traveled to New York, and then to Hollywood, where he had several minor roles in small films. The war broke out in 1939, and David Niven returned to England to serve in the army as a lieutenant colonel. His aide-de-camp was none other than actor Peter Ustinov. They landed in Normandy together in 1944 with the same allied commando.

David Niven's film career continued with the success of Around the World in 80 Days in 1956. He played an officer in several films, such as The Guns of Navarone in 1961. Then came the success of The Pink Panther in 1963, and the James Bond parody Casino Royale in 1967. He also held the leading role in The Brain in 1969 and worked with Peter Ustinov in Death on the Nile in 1978.

Between films, David Niven took the time to relax in Château d'Oex near Gstaad, where he would meet with his many fellow Englishmen, such as his friends Peter Ustinov and Graham Greene who were also living in Switzerland. He also met with Roger Moore at the Eagle Club in Gstaad.

Stricken by illness, David Niven appeared in one final film in 1982, Trail of the Pink Panther. He passed away at his home in Château-d'Oex in 1983, leaving behind a great collection of precious gems, which were given to his second wife and sold at an auction in 1999.

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