David Niven was a British actor, soldier, memoirist, and novelist. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Major Pollock in Separate Tables. Niven’s other roles included Squadron Leader Peter Carter in A Matter of Life and Death, Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, Sir Charles Lytton (“the Phantom”) in The Pink Panther, James Bond in Casino Royale, and Colonel Race in Death on the Nile.

Birth Name

James David Graham Niven




Actor, Soldier, Memoirist, Novelist



Personal Life

Birthday / Date of Birth

David Niven was born on the 1st of March 1910, in London, England, United Kingdom.

Date of Birth

He died on the 29th of July 1983,in Château-d’Œx, Switzerland at the age of 73 years.

Sun Sign




He had English, Scottish, and French ancestry.




In 1928, Niven attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He graduated in 1930 with a commission as a second lieutenant in the British Army.

Family Details

  • Father – William Edward Graham Niven
  • Mother – Henriette Julia Degacher
  • Siblings – Grizel Niven, Max Niven, Joyce Niven

Marital Status



Girlfriend / Spouse

David Niven had dated –

  • Primula ‘Primmie’ Susan Rollo (1940–1946) – David tied the knot with Primula Rollo on September 16, 1940. Together, the couple welcomed 2 sons named David Niven Jr. (b. December 1942) and James Graham Niven (b. November 6, 1945). Sadly, Rollo died on May 21, 1946, after experiencing a fatal fall and fracturing her skull at the young age of 28 years.

  • Hjördis Genberg (1948–1983) – In January 1948, the actor wed Hjördis Genberg, a Swedish actress and model. They had raised 2 adopted daughters named Kristina Niven (adopted in 1960) and Fiona Niven (adopted in 1962) and had stayed married until Niven’s death in 1983.

Physical Statistics


  • In feet – 5 feet 11¼  inches
  • In centimeters – 181 cm
  • In meters – 1.81 m


  • In Kilograms – 77 kg
  • In Pounds – 170 lbs

Body Build


Eye Color


Hair Color

Dark Brown (Natural)



Professional Statistics

Famous For

Niven known after being an officer in the British army’s commando unit during World War II, and following the war he returned to films. Though known for his sure touch with light comedy, he also proved to be a substantial dramatic actor, winning an Academy Award for his role in Separate Tables.

Film Debut

In 1938, David had his first film onscreen role in the movie in Dawn Patrol.

Television Debut

In 1959, Niven landed his first role in television by appearing as  the host of his own TV drama series, The David Niven Show.

David Niven Net worth

David Niven had an estimated net worth of $100 million dollars at the time of his death.

Some Lesser Known Facts About David Niven

  • In 1928, an 18-year-old Niven had sex with 15-year-old Margaret Whigham (the future socialite and Duchess of Argyll) while she was on holiday in Bembridge.
  • In 1942, he co-starred in the morale-building film about the development of the Supermarine Spitfire fighter, The First of the Few (American title Spitfire), which was enthusiastically endorsed by Winston Churchill.
  • On 14 March 1944, Niven was promoted war-substantive major (temporary lieutenant-colonel)
  • David was the only major British actor to enlist in the military after the start of the Second World War.
  • At the age of 51 years, David became the visual inspiration for the original illustrations of Sinestro, the popular super-villain and archenemy of the Green Lantern Corps.
  • In 1965, he made two films for MGM: the Peter Ustinov-directed Lady L, supporting Paul Newman and Sophia Loren, and Where the Spies Are, as a doctor-turned-secret agent.
  • In 1971, he published his autobiography, The Moon’s a Balloon, which was well received, selling over five million copies.
  • In 1974, while Niven was co-hosting the 46th Annual Oscars ceremony, a naked man (Robert Opel) appeared behind him, “streaking” across the stage.
  • In 1981 Niven published a second and much more successful novel, Go Slowly, Come Back Quickly, which was set during and after the Second World War, and which drew on his experiences during the war and in Hollywood.
  • In 1982, David appeared in Blake Edwards’ final Pink Panther films Trail of the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther, reprising his role as Sir Charles Lytton.


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