SIR Laurence Olivier's son RICHARD took sadistic pleasure from controlling his incapacitated father in the run-up to his death in 1989.

Author TERRY COLEMAN features the shocking admission in his new biography of the HAMLET legend authorised by Olivier's widow Joan Plowright.

Richard still felt the need to punish his famous father for his long absences during his childhood, and for taking his mother away on long trips - and Richard enjoyed their role reversal later in life where he could be a malicious dominant force.

He tells Coleman, "(My mother) would ask my advice, we would consult together at one end of the dining table, while my father became the child, helplessly looking on.

"I remember the flashes of bitter resentment that would pass across his face as he struggled even to hear the plans we were making for him. And I remember the sadistic pleasure I had felt in not repeating them louder so he could participate, or dare to refuse.

"I had revelled in the opportunity to punish him - for being away, for being ill, for taking mother away to work."