Ralph Fiennes

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Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes 2013.jpg
Fiennes at the London Film Festival premiere of The Invisible Woman, October 2013
BornRalph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes
(1962-12-22) 22 December 1962 (age 51)
Ipswich, Suffolk, England
OccupationActor, director, producer
Years active1985–present
Spouse(s)Alex Kingston
(m. 1993; div. 1997)
Partner(s)Francesca Annis
(1995–2006)
ParentsMark Fiennes
Jennifer Lash
RelativesJoseph Fiennes (brother)
Magnus Fiennes (brother)
Martha Fiennes (sister)
Sophie Fiennes (sister)
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from the BBC programme Front Row, 20 November 2011.[1]

 
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Not to be confused with Ranulph Fiennes.
Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes 2013.jpg
Fiennes at the London Film Festival premiere of The Invisible Woman, October 2013
BornRalph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes
(1962-12-22) 22 December 1962 (age 51)
Ipswich, Suffolk, England
OccupationActor, director, producer
Years active1985–present
Spouse(s)Alex Kingston
(m. 1993; div. 1997)
Partner(s)Francesca Annis
(1995–2006)
ParentsMark Fiennes
Jennifer Lash
RelativesJoseph Fiennes (brother)
Magnus Fiennes (brother)
Martha Fiennes (sister)
Sophie Fiennes (sister)
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
from the BBC programme Front Row, 20 November 2011.[1]

Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes (/ˈrf ˈfnz/;[2][not in citation given] RAYF FYNZ; born 22 December 1962), is an English actor. A noted Shakespeare interpreter, he first achieved success onstage at the Royal National Theatre.

Fiennes' portrayal of Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth in Schindler's List (1993) earned him nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His performance as Count Almásy in The English Patient (1996) garnered him a second Academy Award nomination, for Best Actor, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.

Since then, Fiennes has been in The End of the Affair (1999), Red Dragon (2002), The Constant Gardener (2005), the Harry Potter film series (2005–2011), in which he played Lord Voldemort, The Reader (2008), and Clash of the Titans (2010). In 2012, Fiennes played Gareth Mallory and later M in the James Bond film Skyfall and Magwitch in Great Expectations.

In 2011, Fiennes made his directorial debut with his film adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus, in which he also played the title character. Fiennes won a Tony Award for playing Prince Hamlet on Broadway.

Early life and family[edit]

Fiennes was born in Ipswich, on 22 December 1962. He is the eldest child of Mark Fiennes (1933–2004), a farmer and photographer, and Jennifer Lash (1938–1993), a writer. He has English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.[3][4] His surname is of Norman origin.[5] His grandfathers were industrialist Sir Maurice Fiennes (1907–1994) and Brigadier Henry Alleyne Lash.

Fiennes is an eighth cousin of the Prince of Wales, and a third cousin of adventurer Ranulph Fiennes and author William Fiennes. He is the eldest of six children, his siblings being actor Joseph Fiennes; Martha Fiennes, a director (in her film Onegin, he played the title role); Magnus Fiennes, a composer; Sophie Fiennes, a filmmaker; and Jacob Fiennes, a conservationist. His foster brother, Michael Emery, is an archaeologist. His nephew Hero Fiennes-Tiffin played Tom Riddle, young Lord Voldemort, in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

The Fiennes family moved to Ireland in 1973, living in West Cork and County Kilkenny for some years. Fiennes was educated at St Kieran's College for one year, followed by Newtown School, a Quaker independent school in County Waterford. They moved to Salisbury in England, where Fiennes finished his schooling at Bishop Wordsworth's School. He went on to pursue painting at Chelsea College of Art before deciding that acting was his true passion.[6]

Career[edit]

Fiennes trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art between 1983 and 1985. He began his career at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park and also at the National Theatre before achieving prominence at the Royal Shakespeare Company.[5] Fiennes first worked on screen in 1990 and then made his film debut in 1992 as Heathcliff in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights opposite Juliette Binoche.

1993 was his "breakout year". He had a major role in the controversial Peter Greenaway film The Baby of Mâcon with Julia Ormond, which was poorly received. Later that year he became known internationally for portraying the amoral Nazi concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. For this he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[5] He did not win the Oscar, but did win the Best Supporting Actor BAFTA Award for the role. His portrayal as Göth also earned him a spot on the American Film Institute's list of Top 50 Movie Villains. To look suitable to represent Goeth, Fiennes gained weight, but he managed to shed it afterwards.[7]

Fiennes later claimed that playing the role had a profoundly disturbing effect on him.[8] In a subsequent interview, Fiennes recalled,

Evil is cumulative. It happens. People believe that they've got to do a job, they've got to take on an ideology, that they've got a life to lead; they've got to survive, a job to do, it's every day inch by inch, little compromises, little ways of telling yourself this is how you should lead your life and suddenly then these things can happen. I mean, I could make a judgment myself privately, this is a terrible, evil, horrific man. But the job was to portray the man, the human being. There’s a sort of banality, that everydayness, that I think was important. And it was in the screenplay. In fact, one of the first scenes with Oskar Schindler, with Liam Neeson, was a scene where I'm saying, "You don't understand how hard it is, I have to order so many-so many meters of barbed wire and so many fencing posts and I have to get so many people from A to B." And, you know, he's sort of letting off steam about the difficulties of the job.[9]

Ralph Fiennes with Eddie and Gloria Minghella at the 2011 Minghella Film Festival

In 1994, he portrayed American academic Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show. In 1996 he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the World War II epic romance The English Patient in which he starred with Kristin Scott-Thomas.[5] Fiennes' film work has ranged from thrillers (Spider) to animated Biblical epic (The Prince of Egypt) to campy nostalgia (The Avengers) to romantic comedy (Maid in Manhattan) to historical drama (Sunshine).

In 1999, Fiennes starred in the legendary role of Eugene Onegin in Onegin, a movie which he also helped produce. His sister Martha Fiennes directed and brother Magnus composed the score.

The Constant Gardener was released in 2005 with Fiennes in the central role.[5] The film is set in Kenya, dealing in part with real people in the slums of Kibera and Loiyangalani. The situation affected the cast and crew to the extent that they set up the Constant Gardener Trust to provide basic education for children of these villages. Fiennes is a patron of the charity.[10]

He is also a patron of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a charity that enables school children across the UK to perform Shakespeare in professional theatres.[11]

Fiennes portrayed Lord Voldemort in the 2005 fantasy film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He kept the role for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and both Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2.

Fiennes' 2006 performance in the play Faith Healer gained him a nomination for a 2007 Tony Award. In 2008, Fiennes worked with frequent collaborator, director Jonathan Kent, playing the title role in Oedipus the King by Sophocles, at the National Theatre in London. In 2008, he played the Duke of Devonshire in the film The Duchess, and played the protagonist in The Reader.

Fiennes meets young journalists in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in 2003 during his visit as a UNICEF UK ambassador.

In February 2009, Fiennes was the special guest of the Belgrade's Film Festival FEST. He filmed his version of Shakespeare's Coriolanus in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.[12]

Fiennes reunited with Kathryn Bigelow for her Iraq War film The Hurt Locker, released in 2009, appearing as an English mercenary. They had previously worked together on Strange Days (1995). In April 2010, he played Hades in Clash of the Titans, a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. In 2012, he starred in the twenty-third James Bond film, Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes. He will replace Dame Judi Dench as M in future Bond films.[13] Interestingly, Dench and Fiennes' brother, Joseph, have acted in Shakespeare in Love.

Though he is not noted as a comic actor, in 2014 he made an impression for his farcical turn in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Said one critic about the film, "In the end it's Fiennes who makes the biggest impression. His stylized, rapid-fire delivery, dry wit and cheerful profanity keep the movie bubbling along."[14]

Personal life[edit]

Fiennes is a UNICEF UK ambassador and has done work in India, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda and Romania.[15]

Fiennes met English actress Alex Kingston while they were both students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After dating for ten years, they married in 1993 and divorced in 1997.[16]

In 1995, Fiennes began an affair with Francesca Annis, whom he met when she played his mother Gertrude in the play Hamlet.[17] After 11 years together, the couple separated in February 2006.[17]

Work[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1992Emily Brontë's Wuthering HeightsHeathcliff
1993Baby of Mâcon, TheThe Baby of MâconBishop's son, TheThe Bishop's son
1993Schindler's ListAmon GöthBAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
1994Quiz ShowCharles Van Doren
1995Strange DaysLenny NeroNominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor
1996The English PatientCount László de AlmássyNominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
1997Oscar and LucindaOscar Hopkins
1998Avengers, TheThe AvengersJohn SteedNominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor
Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Combo (shared with Uma Thurman)
1998Prince of Egypt, TheThe Prince of EgyptRameses IINominated—Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
1999SunshineIgnatz Sonnenschein/Adam Sors/Ivan SorsEuropean Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
1999OneginEvgeny OneginAlso executive producer
1999End of the Affair, TheThe End of the AffairMaurice BendrixNominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
2000Miracle Maker, TheThe Miracle MakerJesus ChristVoice role
2002SpiderDennis "Spider" Cleg
2002Good Thief, TheThe Good ThiefTony AngelUncredited
2002Red DragonFrancis DolarhydeNominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2002Maid in ManhattanChristopher MarshallNominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie - Liplock
2005Chumscrubber, TheThe ChumscrubberMayor Michael Ebbs
2005ChromophobiaStephen Tulloch
2005Constant Gardener, TheThe Constant GardenerJustin QuayleBIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a British Independent Film
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
2005Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-RabbitLord Victor QuartermaineNominated—Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
2005White Countess, TheThe White CountessTodd Jackson
2005Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireLord VoldemortNominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
2006Land of the BlindJoe
2007Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixLord Voldemort
2008In BrugesHarry WatersNominated—BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actor
2008Duchess, TheThe DuchessWilliam Cavendish, 5th Duke of DevonshireNominated—BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actor of the Year
2008Reader, TheThe ReaderOlder Michael Berg
2009Hurt Locker, TheThe Hurt LockerContractor Team LeaderGotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast Performance
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
2009Harry Potter and the Half Blood PrinceLord Voldemort
2010Cemetery JunctionMr. Kendrick
2010Clash of the TitansHades
2010Nanny McPhee and the Big BangLord Gray
2010Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1Lord Voldemort
2010Wildest Dream, TheThe Wildest DreamGeorge Mallory
2011Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2Lord VoldemortScream Award for Best Villain
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Fight
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Fight
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2011Page EightAlec Beasley
2011CoriolanusCoriolanusAlso director and producer
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
2012Wrath of the TitansHades
2012SkyfallGareth Mallory/M
2012Great ExpectationsMagwitch
2013The Invisible WomanCharles DickensAlso director
2014The Grand Budapest HotelMonsieur Gustave H.
2014Turks & CaicosAlec Beasley
2014Salting the BattlefieldAlec Beasley
2014Two WomenM.A. RakitinCompleted
2015Unnamed James Bond filmMPre-production

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1990Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia, AA Dangerous Man: Lawrence After ArabiaT. E. Lawrence
1991Prime SuspectMichael (a victim's boyfriend)
2008Bernard and DorisBernard LaffertyNominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2011Rev.Bishop of London

Stage[edit]

Selected other projects, contributions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ralph Fiennes". Front Row. 20 November 2011. BBC Radio 4. http://bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01772hm. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Person Page 18418". thePeerage.com. 6 April 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  3. ^ "Ralph Fiennes Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  4. ^ Ralph Fiennes – Biography – IMDb
  5. ^ a b c d e James Lipton interview with Ralph Fiennes on Inside the Actors Studio
  6. ^ Ralph Fiennes on Veritaserum.com
  7. ^ Cagle, Jess (1994-03-04). "It's Pronounced 'Rafe Fines'". Ew.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  8. ^ 09:00 – 09:45 (31 October 1999). "Desert Island Discs – Castaway: Ralph Fiennes". BBC. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Voices on Antisemitism | Transcript". Ushmm.org. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Constant Gardener Trust – Patrons". UNICEF. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ Coriolanus (2010) at IMDb
  13. ^ "Skyfall, James Bond, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 October 2012
  14. ^ Noveck, Jocelyn (2014-03-05). "Review: Fiennes shows comic chops in Anderson film". Boston.com. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  15. ^ "Ralph Fiennes, UNICEF UK Ambassador". UNICEF. Archived from the original on 14 February 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2008. 
  16. ^ Ellen, Barbara (7 July 2002). "Intensive care". The Observer (UK). Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  17. ^ a b "Ralph Fiennes Splits from Longtime Partner". People. 8 February 2006. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 

External links[edit]