Why Alec Guinness Was Known As A Bizarre Control Freak

Sir Alec Guinness was an accomplished actor, someone who could morph into whatever role he was playing. Many people still think of him as Obi-Wan Kenobi from the original "Star Wars" trilogy. Others remember him as George Smiley from one version of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." Then people of a certain age might recall his role as Colonel Nicholson in "The Bridge on River Kwai." His IMDb page reveals many great roles. He could control his emotions and mannerisms, but it was when he was off the set that he tried to exert that control over others.

According to the authorized biography by Piers Paul Read and noted in the book review by The Guardian, the legendary actor was supposedly very micromanaging in many aspects of his personal life. For example, if he was eating out with friends, he would overrule their choices of food and order something for them instead. Unfortunately for Star Wars fans, he did not, however, wave his hand and say, "This is not the meal that you are looking for." He was also notoriously frugal, which meant he would pay as little as possible for things, which ran counter to his riches from acting — which were over $100 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was his most famous role

The same Guardian review noted that his wife, Merula Salaman, was the subject of most of his controlling attitude. One of the first things he did was make her stop her own acting career. He was so dismissive of her breakdown over his edict that he made her stay in a hotel (yes, it was the Ritz, but still ... ) until she accepted it. His misogyny was very evident, but according to Biography Online, she stayed with him until his death in 2000.

Read's review also delved more into the biography and revealed that despite his immense talents on both the movie and television screens, Guinness had a lot of demons. Part of this stemmed from his childhood. His mother was an abusive alcoholic and his birth father was absent from his life — he didn't even know his name. He also questioned his sexuality over the course of his life. Even his mother had thought he was gay until he married Salaman.

Although he was far from perfect, he is still remembered as being a consummate actor.