Jim Broadbent

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Jim Broadbent
JimBroadbent07TIFF cropped.jpg
BornJames Broadbent
(1949-05-24) 24 May 1949 (age 65)
Holton cum Beckering, England
Years active1972[1]–present
Spouse(s)Anastasia Lewis (m. 1987)
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Jim Broadbent
JimBroadbent07TIFF cropped.jpg
BornJames Broadbent
(1949-05-24) 24 May 1949 (age 65)
Holton cum Beckering, England
Years active1972[1]–present
Spouse(s)Anastasia Lewis (m. 1987)

James "Jim" Broadbent (born 24 May 1949) is an English film, television and theatre actor. He is known for his roles in Topsy-Turvy (1999), Iris (2001) for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Moulin Rouge! (2001) for which he received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Bridget Jones' Diary (2001), Hot Fuzz (2007), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), The Iron Lady (2011), Cloud Atlas (2012) and Le Week-End (2013). He also appeared in Harry Potter films as Horace Slughorn.

On television, Broadbent has starred in the drama Longford (2006), earning the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film.

Early life[edit]

Broadbent was born in Holton cum Beckering,[2] in Lincolnshire, the second son of Doreen "Dee" Broadbent (née Findlay), a sculptor, and Roy Laverick Broadbent, an artist, sculptor, interior designer and furniture maker who turned a former church into a theatre named after him.[3] Broadbent's parents were both amateur actors who co-founded the Holton Players acting troupe at Holton cum Beckering;[4] the two have been described by the BBC as conscientious objectors who "worked the land" rather than participate in World War II.[3] He had a twin sister who died at birth. Broadbent was educated at Leighton Park School, a Quaker school in Reading,[5] and briefly attended art college before transferring to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art from which he graduated in 1972.[6]


Broadbent's early stagework included a number of productions for The National Theatre of Brent, as the downtrodden assistant Wallace to Patrick Barlow's self-important actor/manager character Desmond Olivier Dingle. Broadbent and Barlow played many male and female character roles in comically less-than-epic tellings of historical and religious stories such as The Complete Guide to Sex, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Revolution!!, and All The World's A Globe. These were hits at the Edinburgh Fringe, in London, and on tour. Later stage work included the original productions of Kafka's Dick (1986) and Our Country's Good (1988) at the Royal Court Theatre and work for the Royal National Theatre including "The Government Inspector". Work on the stage with Mike Leigh includes Goosepimples and Ecstasy.

Broadbent had worked with Stephen Frears in The Hit (1984) and Terry Gilliam in Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985) before establishing himself in Mike Leigh's Life Is Sweet (1990). He proved his ability as a character actor in films including The Crying Game (1992), Enchanted April (1992), Bullets over Broadway (1994), The Borrowers (1997), and Little Voice (1998) before taking a leading role in another Mike Leigh film, Topsy-Turvy (1999), playing dramatist Sir William S. Gilbert. He played "The Shy Doctor" in the 1999 Comic Relief parody Doctor Who sketch, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death. In 2001, Broadbent starred in three of the year's most successful films: Bridget Jones's Diary; Moulin Rouge!, for which he won a BAFTA; and Iris, for which he won an Oscar for his portrayal of John Bayley.[7]

Broadbent voiced Madame Gasket from the 2005 film Robots. Broadbent also appeared as DCI Roy Slater, an associate character in the enormously popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses. The character appeared in three episodes over an eight-year period. He had originally been offered the lead role of Del Trotter in the series, but he turned it down due to other commitments. He has also played a role in the Inspector Morse series. Other comic roles include the lead role in the sitcom The Peter Principle and occasional guest appearances in Not The Nine O'Clock News, Only Fools and Horses, and Victoria Wood As Seen on TV. He played Don Speekingleesh in The Queen of Spain's Beard in the first series of The Black Adder in 1983. He also played the role of Prince Albert in Blackadder's Christmas Carol, first broadcast in 1988. He joined Rowan Atkinson in his Spider-Man spoof Spider-Plant Man, as a disgruntled Batman, jealous of Spider-Plant Man's success.

Broadbent played the title role in the Channel 4 drama Longford in October 2006, earning a BAFTA TV Award, a Golden Globe, and a 2007 Emmy nomination for his performance as Frank Pakenham (1905–2001), Earl of Longford, which was centred on the late Lord's ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the parole of Myra Hindley from her life imprisonment for the Moors Murders.

Broadbent appeared as Inspector Frank Butterman in Hot Fuzz in 2007.

The Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, named after Roy Broadbent, father of Jim. Photographed 2006

He appeared in the original radio production of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, playing the character Vroomfondel. He was also a regular in Stephen Fry's radio comedy show Saturday Night Fry, which aired on BBC Radio 4 in 1988.

Broadbent played Dean Charles Stanforth in the fourth film in the Indiana Jones series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; King William IV in The Young Victoria; and Horace Slughorn in the sixth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as well as the final movie in the series Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.[8] In 2008, he starred as pro-Newtonian physicist Sir Oliver Lodge in the fact-based single drama Einstein and Eddington, for the BBC.

In 2009, he portrayed Sam Longson, chairman of Derby County football club in the 1960s and 1970s, in the film The Damned United; the starring character in the film was football manager Brian Clough, played by Michael Sheen.

In 2010, he provides the voice for the character Major Mouse in a series of radio adverts and one produced for television for energy company; E.ON for their 'eonenergyfit.com' website campaign. He also starred as the older Logan Mountstuart in the TV adaptation of William Boyd's novel Any Human Heart.

He had a lead role in Exile, a BBC One drama, starring John Simm and written by Danny Brocklehurst.[9]

In 2012 he played Denis Thatcher opposite Oscar-winner Meryl Streep as the former Prime Minister in The Iron Lady.

Personal life[edit]

Broadbent is married to painter and former theatre designer Anastasia Lewis. He is an atheist.[10]

Filmography and awards[edit]

1979Not the Nine O'Clock NewsUnion negotiatorSketch "Final Demands"
1980Breaking GlassStation Porter
1981Dogs of War, TheThe Dogs of WarFilm crew
1981Time BanditsCompere
1982Bird of PreyDI Richardson
1982Birth of a NationGeoff Fig
1983Black Adder, TheThe Black AdderDon Speekingleesh
1983–1991Only Fools and HorsesDet. Chief Insp. Roy SlaterTelevision series: 3 episodes
1985BrazilDr. Jaffe
1985Good Father, TheThe Good FatherRoger Miles
1985Happy FamiliesDalcroixTelevision series: 3 episodes
1987Superman IV: The Quest for PeaceJean Pierre Dubois
1988Blackadder's Christmas CarolPrince AlbertTelevision Special
1989Revolution!!WallaceTelevision Film
Also Writer
1989Erik the VikingErnest the Viking
1990Life Is SweetAndy
1991Gone to the DogsJim Morley
1991Murder Most HorridSelwyn ProopsTelevision series, 1 episode: "A Determined Woman".
1992A Sense of HistoryThe 23rd Earl of LeeteTelevision Film
Also Writer
1992Enchanted AprilFrederick Arbuthnot
1992Crying Game, TheThe Crying GameCol
1993Prince CindersUgly Brother
1994Bullets over BroadwayWarner Purcell
1994Princess CarabooMr. Worrall
1994Widows' PeakCon Clancy
1995Richard IIIThe Duke of Buckingham
1995The Last EnglishmanCol. Alfred D. Wintle
1996–2000Percy the Park KeeperPercyVoice for animated children's series
1997Borrowers, TheThe BorrowersPod Clock
1997Smilla's Sense of SnowDr. Lagermann
1998Avengers, TheThe AvengersMother
1998Little VoiceMr. BooNominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1999Topsy-TurvyW. S. Gilbert
1999Doctor Who: Curse of Fatal DeathCredited as The Shy DoctorTelevision Special
2001Bridget Jones's DiaryColin Jones, Bridget's father
2001Moulin Rouge!Harold Zidler
2001IrisJohn Bayley
2002Gathering Storm, TheThe Gathering StormDesmond Morton
2002Gangs of New YorkBoss Tweed
2002Nicholas NicklebyMr. Wackford SqueersNational Board of Review Award for Best Cast
2003Bright Young ThingsDrunk Major
2003Young Visiters, TheThe Young VisitersAlfred Salteena
2004Around the World in 80 DaysLord Kelvin
2004PrideEddieVoice Role
Television Film
2004Vanity FairMr. Osborne
2004Vera DrakeJudge
2004Bridget Jones: The Edge of ReasonColin Jones, Bridget's father
2005RobotsMadame GasketVoice Role
2005ValiantSergeantVoice Role
2005Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, TheThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeProfessor Kirke
2006Free JimmyIgor StromowskijVoice Role for 2008 English version
2006Street, TheThe StreetStan McDermott
2006LongfordLord Longford
2006Art School ConfidentialJimmy
2007Hot FuzzInspector Frank Butterman
2007And When Did You Last See Your Father?Arthur Morrison
2008Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullDean Charles Stanforth
2008Einstein and EddingtonSir Oliver LodgeTelevision Film
2009Young Victoria, TheThe Young VictoriaKing William IV
2009Damned United, TheThe Damned UnitedSam LongsonNominated—British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2009Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceHorace Slughorn
2009Perrier's BountyJim McCrea
2010Another YearTom
2010Animals UnitedWinston
2010Any Human HeartLogan Mountstuart (older)
2011Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2Horace Slughorn
2011ExileSam RonstadtTelevision series: 3 episodes
2011Arthur ChristmasMalcolm "Santa" ClausVoice Role
2011The Iron LadyDenis Thatcher
2012Cloud AtlasCaptain Molyneux
Vyvyan Ayrs
Timothy Cavendish
Korean Musician
Prescient 2
2014Postman Pat: The MovieMr. Brown[11][12]Voice only
2013Closed CircuitAttorney General
2013FilthDr. Rossi
2013Le Week-EndNick Burrows
2013The Great Train RobberyTommy Butler
2013The Harry Hill MovieBill the Cleaner
2014PaddingtonMr. Gruber
2014Big GamePost-production

Other awards and honours[edit]

Broadbent was offered an OBE in 2002 however declined stating there were more deserving recipients than actors and the British Empire was not something he wanted to "celebrate".[13][14]


  1. ^ "Jim Broadbent". MovieActors.com. 24 May 1949. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "It's a Golden Globe for Jim Broadbent", Louth Leader, 14 January 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2011
  3. ^ a b "BBC – Lincolnshire – History – Famous Yellowbelly – Jim Broadbent". Bbc.co.uk. 24 August 2005. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Broadbent Theatre Member Profile: Roy Broadbent". Broadbent.org. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Home. "An in-depth look at your favourite celebrity personalities – hellomagazine.com, HELLO!". Hellomagazine.com. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Newsmakers, Issue 4. Gale, 2008
  7. ^ "The 74th Academy Awards (2002) Nominees and Winners, Sunday, 24 March 2002". Oscars.org. 24 March 2002. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Broadbent on "Potter" & "Indy 4" (17 September 2007)". Darkhorizons.com. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "BBC news entertainment-arts". Bbc.co.uk. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Nigel Farndale, 'The Heartbreak Kid: Jim Broadbent', Sunday Telegraph, 23 September 2007, Section 7, Pg.8.
  11. ^ "Postman Pat to make movie debut". BBC (UK). 16 September 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Postman Pat to Hit the Big Screen in 3D". ComingSoon. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Eden, Richard (8 January 2012). "Oscar-winning star Jim Broadbent says 'rogue' actors should reject honours". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Broadbent Snubbed Obe". contactmusic.com. 5 March 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 

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