Columbia Pictures

Sir Alec Guinness in ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’

Sir Alec Guinness stands with thumbs tucked in his belt in the 1957 film Bridge On the River Kwai. Guinness played Lt. Colonel Nicholson, the overly-rigid officer of a British prisoner of war unit ordered to build a bridge in Burma for the Japanese during World War II. Alec Guinness won the Academy Award as best actor for the role. The film won six other Oscars, including best picture and best director for David Lean.(And yes, 20 years later, Guinness played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the film Star Wars.)

See our biography of Sir Alec Guinness