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
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
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] 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 a nomination 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]

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]

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1990Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia, AA Dangerous Man: Lawrence After ArabiaT. E. LawrenceTelevision film
1991Prime SuspectMichael (a victim's boyfriend)Television series
1992Emily Brontë's Wuthering HeightsHeathcliff
1993Baby of Mâcon, TheThe Baby of MâconBishop's son, TheThe Bishop's son
1993Schindler's ListAmon Göth
1994Quiz ShowCharles Van Doren
1995Strange DaysLenny Nero
1996The English PatientCount László de Almássy
1997Oscar and LucindaOscar Hopkins
1998Avengers, TheThe AvengersJohn Steed
1998Prince of Egypt, TheThe Prince of EgyptRameses II
1999SunshineIgnatz Sonnenschein/Adam Sors/Ivan Sors
1999OneginEvgeny OneginAlso executive producer
1999End of the Affair, TheThe End of the AffairMaurice Bendrix
2000Miracle Maker, TheThe Miracle MakerJesus ChristVoice role
2002SpiderDennis "Spider" Cleg
2002Good Thief, TheThe Good ThiefTony AngelUncredited
2002Red DragonFrancis Dolarhyde
2002Maid in ManhattanChristopher Marshall
2005Chumscrubber, TheThe ChumscrubberMayor Michael Ebbs
2005ChromophobiaStephen Tulloch
2005Constant Gardener, TheThe Constant GardenerJustin Quayle
2005Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-RabbitLord Victor Quartermaine
2005White Countess, TheThe White CountessTodd Jackson
2005Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireLord Voldemort
2006Land of the BlindJoe
2007Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixLord Voldemort
2008Bernard and DorisBernard Lafferty
2008In BrugesHarry Waters
2008Duchess, TheThe DuchessWilliam Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire
2008Reader, TheThe ReaderOlder Michael Berg
2009Hurt Locker, TheThe Hurt LockerContractor Team Leader
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 Voldemort
2011Page EightAlec Beasley
2011Rev.Bishop of LondonTelevision series
2011CoriolanusCoriolanusAlso director and producer
2012Wrath of the TitansHades
2012SkyfallGareth Mallory/M
2012Great ExpectationsMagwitch
2013The Invisible WomanCharles DickensAlso director
2014The Grand Budapest HotelM. Gustave
2014Turks & CaicosAlec Beasley
2014Salting the BattlefieldAlec Beasley
2015Unnamed James Bond filmMPre-production
2015Two WomenPost-Production

Stage[edit]

Selected television credits[edit]

Selected other projects, contributions[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
1993Boston Society of Film Critics AwardsBest Supporting ActorSchindler's ListWon
Los Angeles Film Critics Association AwardsBest Supporting ActorNominated
New York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Supporting ActorWon
1994Academy AwardsBest Supporting ActorNominated
BAFTA AwardsBest Actor in a Supporting RoleWon
Chicago Film Critics Association AwardsBest Supporting ActorWon
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association AwardsBest Supporting ActorWon
Golden Globe AwardsBest Supporting Actor – Motion PictureNominated
MTV Movie AwardsBest Breakthrough PerformanceNominated
National Society of Film Critics AwardsBest Supporting ActorWon
1996Saturn AwardsBest ActorStrange DaysNominated
1997Academy AwardsBest ActorThe English PatientNominated
BAFTA AwardsBest Actor in a Leading RoleNominated
Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor – Motion Picture DramaNominated
Satellite AwardsBest Actor – Motion Picture DramaNominated
Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureNominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading RoleNominated
Southeastern Film Critics Association AwardsBest ActorNominated
1999Annie AwardsBest Voice Acting in an Animated Feature ProductionThe Prince of EgyptNominated
Razzie AwardsWorst ActorThe AvengersNominated
Worst Screen Couple (shared with Uma Thurman)Nominated
2000BAFTA AwardsBest Actor in a Leading RoleThe End of the AffairNominated
Genie AwardsBest Performance by an Actor in a Leading RoleSunshineNominated
2003Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie Liplock (shared with Jennifer Lopez)Maid in ManhattanNominated
Saturn AwardsBest Supporting ActorRed DragonNominated
2005British Independent Film AwardsBest ActorThe Constant GardenerWon
2006Annie AwardsBest Voice Acting in an Animated Feature ProductionThe Curse of the Were-RabbitNominated
BAFTA AwardsBest Actor in a Leading RoleThe Consteant GardnerNominated
MTV Movie AwardsBest VillainHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireNominated
2008British Independent Film AwardsBest Supporting ActorIn DuchessNominated
In BrugesNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a MovieBernard and DorisNominated
Satellite AwardsBest Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmNominated
2009Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmNominated
Best Supporting Actor – Motion PictureThe DuchessNominated
Gotham AwardsBest Ensemble CastThe Hurt LockerWon
Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television MovieBernard and DorisNominated
2012BAFTA AwardsOutstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or ProducerCoriolanusNominated
MTV Movie AwardsBest Fight (shared with Daniel Radcliffe)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2Nominated
Saturn AwardsBest Supporting ActorNominated
Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie Fight (shared with Daniel Radcliffe)Won

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]