Sir Alec Guinness

April 2, 1914 - August 5, 2000

LONDON, England (AP) -- Actor Sir Alec Guinness, whose roles in a 66-year career ranged from Hamlet to Obi-Wan Kenobi in ''Star Wars,'' has died, a hospital spokesman said Monday. He was 86.

Guinness became ill at his home near Petersfield, southern England and was taken by ambulance to the King Edward VII Hospital where he died Saturday, said hospital spokeswoman Jenny Masding.

The cause of death was not released.

Sir Alec was one of the last surviving members of Britain's greatest generation of actors, which included Sir Lawrence Olivier and Ralph Richardson.

From post-war comedies through epics like ''The Bridge on the River Kwai,'' and crowd-pleasers like ''Star Wars,'' Guinness played a vast variety of characters with subtlety and intelligence.

Guinness was a tall man with large, expressive blue eyes and otherwise unremarkable features -- ''a player's countenance, designed for whatever might turn up,'' critic J.C. Trewin once said.

Picked by Editer42.