Bogarde’s Ups and Downs

“I suppose the greatest exit which we are called upon to make or which is wished upon us, is our birth; that clumsy, uncomfortable, messy, bewildering affair which brings us often breathless into the long corridor of life leading directly, sometimes indirectly, but always inevitably, to our final supreme Exit, death.”

Dirk Bogarde
Quote from Snakes and Ladders (1978)



In his outstanding first volume of autobiography, A Postillion Struck by Lightning, Dirk Bogarde retraced his childhood and early experiences on the stage. In Snakes and Ladders, he continues his memoirs, from the trials of army training camp to the greatest challenge of his film career—the role of von Aschenbach in Death in Venice  (Lucchino Visconti, 1971). Here, Bogarde recounts all the ups and downs and the people he encountered—family and friends, actors and actresses, directors and producers—on his way to becoming one of the finest cinematic actors of our time.

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