Ewan McGregor

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Ewan McGregor
Ewan mcgregor cropped.jpg
McGregor at the Venice Film Festival, 7 September 2009
BornEwan Gordon McGregor[1]
(1971-03-31) 31 March 1971 (age 43)[1]
Perth, Scotland
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)Eve Mavrakis (m. 1995)[1]
Childrenfour daughters[1]
RelativesDenis Lawson (uncle)
AwardsOBE (2013)[1]
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Ewan McGregor
Ewan mcgregor cropped.jpg
McGregor at the Venice Film Festival, 7 September 2009
BornEwan Gordon McGregor[1]
(1971-03-31) 31 March 1971 (age 43)[1]
Perth, Scotland
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)Eve Mavrakis (m. 1995)[1]
Childrenfour daughters[1]
RelativesDenis Lawson (uncle)
AwardsOBE (2013)[1]

Ewan Gordon McGregor, OBE (/ˌjuːən məˈɡrɛɡər/; born 31 March 1971)[1] is a Scottish actor who has had success in mainstream, indie, and art house films. His first professional role was in 1993, when he won a leading role in the Channel 4 series Lipstick on Your Collar.[2] He is best known for his roles as heroin addict Mark Renton in the drama Trainspotting (1996), the young Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999–2005), poet Christian in the musical film Moulin Rouge! (2001), and Dr. Alfred Jones in the romantic comedy-drama Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011). He received Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor – Musical or Comedy for both Moulin Rouge! and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

McGregor has also starred in theatre productions of Guys and Dolls (2005–07) and Othello (2007–08). McGregor was ranked No. 36 on Empire magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list in 1997.[3] In 2010 he won Best Actor for playing the title role in Roman Polanski's film The Ghost Writer at the 23rd European Film Awards.[4] McGregor has a tenor singing voice.[5]

Early life[edit]

Born in the Royal Infirmary in Perth, Scotland,[citation needed] McGregor was brought up in the nearby town of Crieff, where he attended the independent Morrison's Academy. His mother, Carole Diane (née Lawson), is a teacher and school administrator, and his father, James Charles Stewart "Jim" McGregor, is a physical education teacher.[6][7] He has an older brother, Colin, who is a former Tornado GR4 pilot in the Royal Air Force.[8] He is the nephew of actor Denis Lawson (who also appeared in films in the Star Wars franchise) and actress Sheila Gish, and the step-cousin of actress Lou Gish.[2] McGregor studied drama at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.[2]


Film and television[edit]

McGregor at the premiere of The Men Who Stare at Goats at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2009

In 1993, six months prior to his graduation from Guildhall, McGregor won a leading role in Dennis Potter's six-part Channel 4 series Lipstick on Your Collar.[2] The same year, he starred in the BBC adaptation of Scarlet and Black with a young Rachel Weisz, and made his film debut in Bill Forsyth's Being Human.[9] In 1994, McGregor performed in the thriller Shallow Grave, for which he won an Empire Award,[10] and which marked his first collaboration with director Danny Boyle.[2] His international breakthrough followed in 1996 with the role of heroin addict Mark Renton in Boyle's Trainspotting, an adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel of the same name.[2][9]

McGregor played the male romantic lead role in the 1998 British film Little Voice. In 1999, McGregor starred in the blockbuster Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi, a role originally made famous by Sir Alec Guinness in the original Star Wars trilogy.[2] His uncle, Denis Lawson, had played Wedge Antilles in the original trilogy.[11] In 2001, he starred in Moulin Rouge! as the young poet Christian, who falls in love with the terminally-ill courtesan Satine, played by Nicole Kidman. McGregor reprised his role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for the subsequent prequel Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in 2002. In 2003, he starred alongside Renée Zellweger in Down With Love.[2][12] He also portrayed the younger Edward Bloom in the critically acclaimed film Big Fish alongside Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Alison Lohman and Billy Crudup. During that year, he also received critical acclaim for his portrayal of an amoral drifter mixed up with murder in the drama Young Adam, which co-starred Tilda Swinton.[13][14]

In 2005, McGregor appeared for the final time as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He took very special care—especially in Revenge of the Sith—to ensure that his portrayal of Obi-Wan's mannerisms, speech timings, and accents closely resembled Alec Guinness' version.[15] That same year, McGregor voiced two successful animated features; he played the robot Rodney Copperbottom in Robots, which also featured the voices of Halle Berry and Robin Williams,[16] and he voiced the lead character in Gary Chapman's Valiant, alongside Jim Broadbent, John Cleese and Ricky Gervais.[17] Also in 2005, McGregor played two roles—one a clone of the other—opposite Scarlett Johansson in Michael Bay's science fiction action thriller film The Island, and he appeared in Marc Forster's Stay, a psychological thriller co-starring Naomi Watts and Ryan Gosling.[18][19]

McGregor at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

In 2006, he narrated the Fulldome production Astronaut, created for the National Space Centre.[20] That same year, he also narrated the STV show JetSet, a six-part series following the lives of student pilots and navigators at RAF Lossiemouth as they undergo a gruelling six-month course learning to fly the Tornado GR4, the RAF's primary attack aircraft.[21] In 2007, McGregor starred opposite Colin Farrell in the Woody Allen film Cassandra's Dream.[9][22] In 2009, he co-starred with Jim Carrey in I Love You Phillip Morris and appeared in Amelia alongside Hilary Swank. Also in 2009, he portrayed Camerlengo Patrick McKenna in Angels & Demons, the film adaptation of Dan Brown's novel of the same name. McGregor is scheduled to co-star with Daniel Craig in Dan Harris' upcoming film adaptation of Glen Duncan's novel I, Lucifer.[23] At the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival, he was awarded with the SIFF Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting.[24]

In 2012, he was named as a member of the Jury for the Main Competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[25] At the San Sebastián International Film Festival, he was awarded the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award and became the youngest recipient of the award.[26]

In 2015, he starred in the film Mortdecai,[27] alongside Johnny Depp, Olivia Munn, and Paul Bettany.


From November 1998 to March 1999, McGregor starred as Malcolm Scrawdyke in a production of David Halliwell's Little Malcolm and His Struggles Against the Eunuchs, directed by his uncle, Denis Lawson. The play was first staged at the Hampstead Theatre before transferring to the Comedy Theatre in London's West End.[28] In November 2001, McGregor made a cameo appearance in The Play What I Wrote.[29]

From June 2005 to April 2007, McGregor starred alongside Jane Krakowski, Douglas Hodge, and Jenna Russell in the original Donmar Warehouse production of Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.[30] He played the leading role of Sky Masterson, made famous by Marlon Brando in the film of the same name. McGregor received the LastMinute.com award for Best Actor for his performance in 2005,[31] and he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 2007.[32]

From December 2007 to February 2008, McGregor starred as Iago in Othello at the Donmar Warehouse alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello and Kelly Reilly as Desdemona.[33][34] He reprised the role on BBC Radio 3 in May 2008.[33]

Motorcycle journeys[edit]

A motorcyclist since his youth, McGregor undertook a marathon international motorcycle trip with his best friend Charley Boorman and cameraman Claudio von Planta in 2004. From mid-April to the end of July, they travelled from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberian Russia, Canada and the United States on BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycles, for a cumulative distance of 22,345 miles (35,960 km).[35] The trip included visits to several UNICEF programs along the route, and formed the basis of a television series and a best-selling book, both called Long Way Round.[36]

The Long Way Round team reunited in 2007 for another motorcycle trip from John o' Groats in Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.[36] The journey, entitled Long Way Down, lasted from 12 May until 5 August 2007.[36] McGregor's brother Colin joined the motorcycle team during the early stages of the Long Way Down journey,[36] and his father Jim also rode on sections of both Long Way Round and Long Way Down.[37][38]

McGregor appeared in a two-part BBC documentary in April 2012 entitled Ewan McGregor: Cold Chain Mission in which he travels by motorbike, boat, plane and foot to deliver vaccines to children in remote parts of India, Nepal and the Republic of Congo. The trip was part of his work as a UNICEF Ambassador.

Personal life[edit]

McGregor is married to Eve Mavrakis,[1] a French production designer.[2] They have four daughters,[1] Clara Mathilde McGregor (born February 1996), Esther Rose McGregor (born November 2001), Jamyan McGregor (born June 2001 in Mongolia; adopted April 2006),[39] and Anouk McGregor (born January 2011; adopted).[40][41] McGregor has a heart and dagger tattoo of the names of his wife and daughters on his right arm.[12][42] The family currently resides in Los Angeles, California after moving from London.[43]

McGregor is involved in charity work, including with UNICEF and GO Campaign. During the Long Way Round journey in 2004, McGregor and his travelling companions saw some of UNICEF's work in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia,[36] and during the Long Way Down trip in 2007, he and Charley Boorman did work for UNICEF in Africa. McGregor hosted the annual Hollywood gala for GO Campaign in 2009 and 2010. He has also worked with the Children's Hospice Association Scotland, as featured in Long Way Down. In 2012 McGregor travelled with UNICEF immunisation workers to remote parts of India, Nepal and the Republic of Congo for a BBC2 documentary entitled Ewan McGregor: Cold Chain Mission.

In 2007, on an episode of Parkinson, McGregor stated that he had given up alcohol after a period where he was arguably a functioning alcoholic, and that he had not had a drink in seven years.[44] In 2008, he had a cancerous mole removed from underneath his right eye.[45]



Being Human1994Alvarez
Shallow Grave1994Alex Law
Blue Juice1995Dean Raymond
Trainspotting1996Mark Renton
Pillow Book, TheThe Pillow Book1996Jerome
Emma1996Frank Churchill
Brassed Off1996Andy Barrow
Nightwatch1997Martin Bells
Serpent's Kiss, TheThe Serpent's Kiss1997Meneer Chrome
Life Less Ordinary, AA Life Less Ordinary1997Robert Lewis
Velvet Goldmine1998Curt Wild
Little Voice1998Billy
Desserts1999StrollerShort film
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace1999Obi-Wan Kenobi
Rogue Trader1999Nick Leeson
Eye of the Beholder1999The Eye
The Mystery of the Third Planet2000Captain BuranVoice (British English dub)
Nora2000James Joyce
Moulin Rouge!2001Christian
Black Hawk Down2001SPC John Grimes
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones2002Obi-Wan Kenobi
Solid Geometry2002Phil
Down with Love2003Catcher Block
Young Adam2003Joe Taylor
Big Fish2003Edward Bloom (young)
Robots2005Rodney CopperbottomVoice
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith2005Obi-Wan Kenobi
Island, TheThe Island2005Lincoln Six Echo/Tom Lincoln
Stay2005Dr. Sam Foster
Stormbreaker2006Ian Rider
Scenes of a Sexual Nature2006Billy
Miss Potter2006Norman Warne
Cassandra's Dream2007Ian Blane
Incendiary2008Jasper Black
Deception2008Jonathan McQuarry
Angels & Demons2009Camerlengo Patrick McKenna
I Love You Phillip Morris2009Phillip Morris
Men Who Stare at Goats, TheThe Men Who Stare at Goats2009Bob Wilton
Amelia2009Gene Vidal
Ghost Writer, TheThe Ghost Writer2010The Ghost Writer
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang2010Rory GreenCameo
Jackboots on Whitehall2010ChrisVoice
Perfect Sense2011Michael
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen2012Dr. Alfred Jones
Impossible, TheThe Impossible2012Henry Bennett
Jack the Giant Slayer2013Elmont
August: Osage County2013Bill Fordham
A Million Ways to Die in the West2014Cowboy at FairCameo
Son of a Gun2014Brendan Lynch
Mortdecai2015Inspector Martland
Last Days in the Desert2015Jesus/Satan
Jane Got a Gun2015John BishopCompleted
Our Kind of Traitor2015Peregrine "Perry" MakepeacePost-production
Miles Ahead2015Dave BrillPost-production


Lipstick on Your Collar1993PTE Mick Hopper6 episodes
Scarlet and Black1993Julien SorelMini-series
Kavanagh QC1995David Robert ArmstrongEpisode: "Nothing But the Truth"
Karaoke1996Young ManEpisode: "Tuesday"
Tales from the Crypt1996FordEpisode: "Cold War"
ER1997Duncan StewartEpisode: "The Long Way Around"
Polar Bears of Churchill with Ewan McGregor, TheThe Polar Bears of Churchill with Ewan McGregor2002HimselfDocumentary series
Long Way Round2004HimselfDocumentary series
Long Way Down2007HimselfDocumentary series
Battle of Britain, TheThe Battle of Britain2010HimselfDocumentary
Ewan McGregor: Cold Chain Mission2012HimselfDocumentary
Bomber Boys2012HimselfDocumentary
Corrections, TheThe Corrections2013Chip LambertUnaired pilot
Hebrides: Islands on the Edge2013Himself (voice)Documentary series


The Real Thing2014HenryAmerican Airlines Theatre[46]

Awards and nominations[edit]

McGregor was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to drama and charity.[1][47][48]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i McGREGOR, Ewan Gordon. Who's Who 2015 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Profile – Ewan McGregor". Hello!. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  3. ^ "Empire Magazine's Top 100 Movie Stars 1997". amiannoying.com. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Brooks, Xan (5 December 2010). "Roman Polanski film The Ghost Writer dominates European awards". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.soundtrack.net/album/moulin-rouge/
  6. ^ "Ewan McGregor biography". tiscali.co.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Ewan McGregor Biography (1971–)". filmreference.com. Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
  8. ^ Barratt, Nick (11 November 2006). "Family Detective". London: The Daily Telegraph. 
  9. ^ a b c "Hello Magazine Filmography – Ewan McGregor". Hello Magazine. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  10. ^ "Empire Awards, UK: 1996". IMDB.com. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  11. ^ Star Wars Trilogy (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2004. 
  12. ^ a b "Ewan McGregor Biography". Yahoo!. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  13. ^ Slater, Matthew (9 October 2003). "Young Adam's dark tale". BBC. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  14. ^ Dawtrey, Adam (21 September 2003). "Thomas' distrib misstep". Variety. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  15. ^ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – Web Documentaries of Revenge of the Sith DVD (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2005. 
  16. ^ Hartlaub, Peter (11 March 2005). "It's a bucket of bolts that rattles agreeably. Robots mingles brass, laughs and, yes, Robin Williams". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  17. ^ Holden, Stephen (19 August 2005). "Thse Brave Pigeons Are Doing Their Part for the War". New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  18. ^ Clinton, Paul (22 July 2005). "'Island' just interesting enough". CNN. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  19. ^ Dargis, Manohla (21 October 2005). "Something Is Happening, but Who Knows What It Is?". New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  20. ^ "Astronaut with Ewan McGregor". 14 July 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "Ground School". STV. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2008. [dead link]
  22. ^ Moore, Roger (29 January 2008). ""Dream" gives wakeup call to Woody Allen". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  23. ^ "I, Lucifer (2009)". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2008. 
  24. ^ "2011 Golden Space Award for Outstanding Achieveent in Acting". Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  25. ^ "The Jury of the 65th Festival de Cannes". festival-cannes.com. Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  26. ^ "2012 Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award". BBC News. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  27. ^ "Hedsor House used in the film Mortdecai (2015)". Hedsor House. 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  28. ^ "McGregor play opens in West End". BBC News. 22 January 1999. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  29. ^ Wolf, Matt (25 November 2001). "V Legit Reviews: The Play What I Wrote". Variety. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  30. ^ "Guys and Dolls musical". Guys and Dolls the Musical. Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  31. ^ Singh, Anita (25 October 2005). "McGregor wins theatre award". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). 
  32. ^ "The nominees and winners of the 2006 Laurence Olivier Awards". The Society of London Theatre. Archived from the original on 5 February 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2008. [dead link]
  33. ^ a b "Ewan McGregor returns to London stage for minimum wage". International Herald Tribune. 12 May 2007. [dead link]
  34. ^ "Ewan McGregor to Play Iago in Othello at London's Donmar". Broadway.com. 11 May 2007. 
  35. ^ "Long Ride to Self Discovery". The Daily Telegraph. Long Way Around. 14 October 2004. Archived from the original on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  36. ^ a b c d e "Ewan McGregor gets back on his bike – this time for BBC Two". BBC. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
  37. ^ Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, David Alexanian, and Russ Malkin (18 October 2004). "Long Way Round". Long Way Round. 42 minutes in. Sky One.
  38. ^ Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, David Alexanian, and Russ Malkin (28 October 2007). "Long Way Down". Long Way Down. BBC Two.
  39. ^ Stephen M. Silverman and Pete Norman (12 April 2006). "Ewan McGregor Adopts a Daughter". People. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  40. ^ Adams, Cindy (25 May 2011). "Beginning of a new friendship". New York Post (News Corporation). ISSN 1090-3321. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  41. ^ White, Gemma (31 July 2012). "Celebrity adoptions: Love sees no colour". Scene magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  42. ^ "Ewan McGregor Tattoo Pictures". Ready2Beat. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  43. ^ Khokhar, Ahmer (1 August 2010). "'London eats liberty', says Ewan McGregor". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  44. ^ C Taylor (17 November 2007). "Ewan McGregor Admits To Drinking Problem". Entertainment Wise. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  45. ^ "McGregor fine after cancer scare". BBC. 22 April 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2008. 
  46. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (30 October 2014). "Broadway Review: ‘The Real Thing’ with Ewan McGregor". Variety. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  47. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 12. 29 December 2012.
  48. ^ "BBC News - New Year Honours 2013: At a glance". BBC Online. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 

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