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A member of the eccentric Shaw family, Sebastian Shaw had an acting career many of his colleagues would envy. Familiar with lead Shakespearian roles from his school days, in the 1920s he starred in the West End and on Broadway.  In the 1930s he became a matinee idol in the emerging British film industry, signed to Alexander Korda.

Taking a break to serve in the RAF during WW2, he became a successful character actor in the 1950s, joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s.  There he was a much loved elder statesman for the emerging talent of the time – names such as Sir Ben Kingsley, who remembers his old friend in the book's Foreword.  Finally he bombed out in blaze of glory with the biggest films ever made – as the face of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

A skilled writer, Shaw's memoirs are fascinating, funny and poignant.