Olivier spent last days in 'misery'

Legendary actor Sir Laurence Olivier reportedly spent the final days of his life in misery after his family conspired to deprive him of alcohol and wean him off his steroid medication.

Legendary actor Sir Laurence Olivier reportedly spent the final days of his life in misery after his family conspired to deprive him of alcohol and wean him off his steroid medication.

Terry Coleman's authorised biography of the star - who died in 1989 aged 82 - reveals that Olivier's son Richard and his Canadian wife Shelley, a member of new age group the Church Of The Niscience, enforced a new healthy diet on Olivier despite his worsening condition.

Olivier's wife Joan Plowright was also a believer in holistic medicine and gave Richard and Shelley her backing, according to the new book.

Coleman writes: "They tried to reduce his intake of steroids and to wean him off alcohol by mixing his wine, behind his back, with a non-alcoholic substitute called Jung.

"Sometimes his father went along with it, or seemed to. Sometimes he showed he knew and that he wasn't happy with it at all."

But Olivier had an ally in his youngest daughter Julie-Kate, who did not condone the way her father was being treated.

She says: "That was one of the decisions that was made for him. He hated that. He'd tried to go along with it for a while because it was meant to be healthy. I hated it and remember thinking, 'You're ruining the rest of his life.'"

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