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|Sir Patrick Stewart|
Stewart at the 71st Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon 2012
13 July 1940 
Mirfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Influenced by||Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ian Richardson and Ian Holm|
|Spouse||Sheila Falconer (1966–90)|
Wendy Neuss (2000–03)
|Sir Patrick Stewart|
Stewart at the 71st Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon 2012
13 July 1940 
Mirfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Influenced by||Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ian Richardson and Ian Holm|
|Spouse||Sheila Falconer (1966–90)|
Wendy Neuss (2000–03)
Sir Patrick Stewart, OBE (born 13 July 1940) is an English film, television and stage actor, who has had a distinguished career on stage and screen. He is most widely known for his television and film roles, such as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and its successor films, or Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men film series.
Stewart was born on 13 July 1940 in Mirfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. He is the son of Gladys (née Barrowclough), a weaver and textile worker, and Alfred Stewart, a Regimental Sergeant Major in the British Army and has two older brothers Geoffrey (b. 1925) and Trevor (b. 1935).
Stewart's father served with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and then the Parachute Regiment during the Second World War, having previously worked as a general labourer and as a postman. As a result of his wartime experience during the Dunkirk evacuation, his father suffered from what was then known as shell shock (Post-traumatic stress disorder). In a 2008 interview, Stewart said: "My father was a very potent individual, a very powerful man who got what he wanted. It was said that when he strode onto the parade ground, birds stopped singing. It was many, many years before I realised how my father inserted himself into my work. I've grown a moustache for Macbeth. My father didn't have one, but when I looked in the mirror just before I went on stage I saw my father's face staring straight back at me."
Stewart grew up in a poor household rife with domestic violence from his father, an experience which influenced his later political and ideological beliefs. In 2006, Stewart made a short video against domestic violence for Amnesty International, in which he recollected his father's physical attacks on his mother and the effect it had on him as a child, and he has given his name to a scholarship at the University of Huddersfield, where he is Chancellor, to fund post-graduate study into domestic violence. His childhood experiences also led him to become the patron of Refuge, a UK charity for abused women. In October 2011 he presented a BBC Lifeline Appeal on behalf of Refuge, talking about his own experience of domestic violence and interviewing a woman whose daughter was murdered by her ex-husband.
Stewart attended Crowlees Church of England Junior and Infants School. He attributes his acting career to an English teacher named Cecil Dormand who "put a copy of Shakespeare in my hand [and] said, 'Now get up on your feet and perform'". In 1951, aged 11, he entered Mirfield Secondary Modern School (now Mirfield Free Grammar School), where he continued to study drama. At age 15, Stewart dropped out of school and increased his participation in local theatre. He acquired a job as a newspaper reporter and obituary writer at the Mirfield & District Reporter, but after a year, his employer gave him an ultimatum to choose acting or journalism. He quit the job. His brother tells the story that Stewart would attend rehearsals during work time and then invent the stories he reported. Stewart also trained as a boxer.
Following a period with Manchester's Library Theatre, he became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966, staying with them until 1982. He was an Associate Artist of the company in 1968. He appeared next to actors such as Ben Kingsley and Ian Richardson. In January 1967, he made his debut TV appearance on Coronation Street as a Fire Officer. In 1969, he had a brief TV cameo role as Horatio, opposite Ian Richardson's Hamlet, in a performance of the gravedigger scene as part of episode six of Sir Kenneth Clark's Civilisation television series. He made his Broadway debut as Snout in Peter Brook's legendary production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, then moved to the Royal National Theatre in the early 1980s. Over the years, Stewart took roles in many major television series without ever becoming a household name. He appeared as Vladimir Lenin in Fall of Eagles; Sejanus in I, Claudius; Karla in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People; Claudius in a 1980 BBC adaptation of Hamlet. He even took the romantic male lead in the 1975 BBC adaptation of Mrs Gaskell's North and South (wearing a hairpiece). He also took the lead, playing Psychiatric Consultant Dr. Edward Roebuck in a BBC TV series called Maybury in 1981.
He also had minor roles in several films such as King Leondegrance in John Boorman's Excalibur (1981), the character Gurney Halleck in David Lynch's 1984 film version of Dune and Dr. Armstrong in Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce (1985).
While not wealthy, Stewart had a comfortable lifestyle as an actor; however, he found that despite a lengthy career, his reputation was not great enough to bring a production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to West End theatre. Stewart thus in 1987 agreed to work in Hollywood, after Robert H. Justman, producer for a revival of a long-cancelled television show, saw him while attending a literary reading at UCLA. Stewart knew nothing about the original show, Star Trek, or its iconic status in American culture. He was reluctant to sign the standard contract of six years, but did so as he believed that the new show would quickly fail and he would return to his London stage career after making some money.
When Stewart began his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–94) the Los Angeles Times called him an unknown British Shakespearean actor. Stewart was unprepared for the long hours of television production, had difficulty in fitting in with his less-disciplined castmates, and his "spirits used to sink" when required to memorise and recite Treknobabble. He came to better understand the cultural differences between the stage and television, remains close friends with his fellow Star Trek actors, and his favourite technical line became "space-time continuum". Marina Sirtis credited Stewart with "at least 50%, if not more" of the show's success because others emulated his professionalism and dedication to acting.
Besides becoming immediately wealthy because of the show's great success—Stewart calculated during one break during filming the show that he made more money during that break than from 10 weeks of Woolf in London—Stewart received a 1995 Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series". From 1994 to 2002, he also portrayed Picard in the films Star Trek: Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002); and in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's pilot episode "Emissary".
When asked in 2011 for the highlight of his career, he chose Star Trek: The Next Generation, "because it changed everything [for me]." He has also said he is very proud of his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation, for its social message and educational impact on young viewers. On being questioned about the significance of his role compared to his distinguished Shakespearean career, Stewart has said that: "The fact is all of those years in Royal Shakespeare Company – playing all those kings, emperors, princes and tragic heroes – were nothing but preparation for sitting in the captain's chair of the Enterprise." The accolades Stewart has received include the readers of TV Guide in 1992 choosing him with Cindy Crawford, of whom he had never heard, as television's "most bodacious" man and woman. Stewart considered this an unusual distinction considering his age and baldness. In an interview with Michael Parkinson, he expressed gratitude for Gene Roddenberry's riposte to a reporter who said, "Surely they would have cured baldness by the 24th century," to which Roddenberry replied, "In the 24th century, they wouldn't care."
Stewart has said that he would never have joined The Next Generation had he known that it would air for seven years: "No, no. NO. And looking back now it still frightens me a little bit to think that so much of my life was totally devoted to Star Trek and almost nothing else." Stewart became so typecast as Picard that he has found obtaining other Hollywood roles difficult. The main exception is the X-Men film series. The films' success has resulted in another lucrative regular genre role in a major superhero film series. Stewart's character, Charles Xavier, is very similar to Picard and himself; "a grand, deep-voiced, bald English guy". He has also since voiced the role in three video games, X-Men Legends, X-Men Legends II and X-Men: Next Dimension. Other film and television roles include the flamboyantly gay Sterling in the 1995 film Jeffrey and King Henry II in The Lion in Winter, for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance and an Emmy Award nomination for executive-producing the film. He portrayed Captain Ahab in the 1998 made-for-television film version of Moby Dick, receiving Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for his performance. He also starred as Scrooge in a 1999 television film version, receiving a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for his performance.
In late 2003, during the eleventh and final season of NBC's Frasier, Stewart appeared on the show as a gay Seattle socialite and Opera director who mistakes Frasier for a potential lover. In July 2003, he appeared in Series 02 (Episode 09) of Top Gear in the Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car segment, achieving a time of 1:50 in the Liana. In 2005, he was cast as Professor Ian Hood in an ITV thriller 4-episode series Eleventh Hour, created by Stephen Gallagher. The first episode was broadcast on 19 January 2006. He also, in 2005, played Captain Nemo in a two part adaptation of The Mysterious Island. Stewart also appeared as a nudity obsessed caricature of himself in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's television series Extras, as a last-minute replacement for Jude Law. For playing himself, he was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2006 for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
Stewart is a fairly frequent guest voice on Fox's animated comedy American Dad! as Avery Bullock and appearing with the rest of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the Family Guy episode "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven."
In 2011, Stewart appeared in the feature length documentary The Captains alongside William Shatner, who also wrote and directed the film. In the film, Shatner interviews actors who have portrayed captains within the Star Trek franchise. The film pays a great deal of attention to Shatner's interviews with Stewart at his home in Oxfordshire as well as at a Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada; Stewart reveals the fear and personal failings that came along with his tenure as a Starfleet captain, but also the great triumphs he believes accompanied his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
After The Next Generation began, Stewart soon found that he missed acting on the stage. Although he remained associated with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the lengthy filming for the show prevented Stewart from participating in most other works. He instead began writing one-man shows that he performed in California universities and acting schools. Stewart found that one—a version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol in which he portrayed all 40-plus characters—was ideal for him because of its limited performing schedule. In 1991, Stewart performed it on Broadway, receiving a nomination for that year's Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show. He staged encore performances in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, again for the benefit of survivors and victims' families in the 11 September attacks, and a 23-day run in London's West End in December 2005. For his performances in this play, Stewart has received the Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance in 1992 and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment for Solo Performance in 1994. He was also the co-producer of the show, through the company he set up for the purpose: Camm Lane Productions, a reference to his birthplace in Camm Lane, Mirfield.
Shakespeare roles during this period included Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest, on Broadway in 1995, a role he would reprise in Rupert Goold's 2006 production of The Tempest as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works Festival. In 1997, he took the role of Othello with the Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.) in a race-bending performance, in a "photo negative" production of a white Othello with an otherwise all-black cast. Stewart had wanted to play the title role since the age of 14, so he and director Jude Kelly inverted the play so Othello became a comment on a white man entering a black society.
His years in the United States had left Stewart a "gaping hole in his CV" for a Shakespearean actor, as he had missed the opportunity to play such notable roles as Hamlet, Romeo, and Richard III. He played Antony again opposite Harriet Walter's Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra at the Novello Theatre in London in 2007 to excellent reviews. During this period, Stewart also addressed the Durham Union Society on his life in film and theatre. When Stewart began playing Macbeth in the West End in 2007, some said that he was too old for the role; however, he and the show again received excellent reviews, with one critic calling Stewart "one of our finest Shakespearean actors".
He was named as the next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre based at St Catherine's College, Oxford in January 2007. In 2008, Stewart played King Claudius in Hamlet alongside David Tennant. He won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor for the part. When collecting his award, he dedicated the award "in part" to Tennant and Tennant's understudy Edward Bennett, after Tennant's back injury and subsequent absence from four weeks of Hamlet disqualified him from an Olivier nomination. Stewart has expressed interest in appearing in Doctor Who.
In 2009, Stewart appeared alongside Ian McKellen as the lead duo of Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), in Waiting for Godot. Stewart had previously only appeared once alongside McKellen on stage, but the pair had developed a close friendship while waiting around on set filming the X-Men films. Stewart stated that performing in this play was the fulfilment of a 50 year ambition, having seen Peter O'Toole appear in it at the Bristol Old Vic while Stewart was just 17. Reviewers stated that his interpretation captured well the balance between humour and despair that characterises the work.
Known for his strong and authoritative voice, Stewart has lent his voice to a number of projects. He has narrated recordings of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle (conclusion of the series The Chronicles of Narnia), Rick Wakeman's Return to the Centre of the Earth; as well as numerous TV programs such as High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman. Stewart provided the narration for Nine Worlds, an astronomical tour of the solar system and nature documentaries such as The Secret of Life on Earth and Mountain Gorilla. He is also heard as the voice of the Magic Mirror in Disneyland's live show, Snow White – An Enchanting Musical. He also was the narrator for the American release of Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real. He is narrator for two fulldome video shows produced and distributed by Loch Ness Productions, called MarsQuest and The Voyager Encounters.
He also was a voice actor on the animated films The Prince of Egypt, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Chicken Little, The Pagemaster, and on the English dubbings of the Japanese anime films Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki and Steamboy. He voiced the pig Napoleon in a TV adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm and guest starred in the Simpsons episode "Homer the Great" as Number One. Patrick also narrated the prologue and epilogue for Disney's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which also appears on the film's soundtrack. He was originally going to do the voice for Jafar in Aladdin, but couldn't finish due to scheduling conflicts. He said in interviews that not voicing Jafar was the biggest mistake in his career.
More recently, he has played a recurring role as CIA Deputy Director Avery Bullock, lending his likeness as well as his voice on the animated series American Dad! as well as making (as of 6 August 2011) eight guest appearances on Family Guy in various roles: first in "Peter's Got Woods", second in "No Meals on Wheels" when Peter likens something to when he once swapped voices with him for a day, third in "Lois Kills Stewie" as his American Dad! character Bullock, fourth in "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" as himself, fifth in "And Then There Were Fewer" as a cat that proclaims himself a professor, sixth in "Halloween on Spooner Street" as Dick Pump, seventh in "The Hand That Rocks the Wheelchair" as Susie Swanson and eighth in the DVD version of It's A Trap! as Captain Picard. In 2006, Stewart voiced Bambi's father, the Great Prince of the Forest in Disney's direct-to-video sequel, Bambi II.
He lent his voice to the Activision-produced Star Trek computer games Star Trek: Armada, Armada II, Star Trek: Starfleet Command III, Star Trek: Invasion, Bridge Commander, and Elite Force II, all reprising his role as Captain Picard. Stewart reprised his role as Picard in Star Trek: Legacy for both PC and Xbox 360, along with the four other 'major' Starfleet captains from the different Star Trek series.
In addition to voicing his characters from Star Trek and X-Men in several related computer and video games, Stewart worked as a voice actor on games unrelated to both franchises, such as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for which in 2006 he won a Spike TV Video Game Award for his work as Emperor Uriel Septim. He also lent his voice to several editions of the Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia.
His voice talents also appeared in a number of commercials including the UK TV Adverts for Domestos 5x Longer Bleach and Moneysupermarket.com, an advertisement for Shell fuel, and an American advertisement for the prescription drug Crestor. He also voiced the UK and Australian TV advertisements for the PAL version of Final Fantasy XII.
Stewart used his voice for Pontiac and Porsche cars and MasterCard Gold commercials in 1996, and Goodyear Assurance Tyres in 2004. He also did voice-overs for RCA televisions. He provided the voice of Max Winters in TMNT in March 2007. In 2008, he is also the voice of television advertisements for Currys and Stella Artois beer. In 2010, he is the voice in television advertisements for National Car Rental.
He voiced the narrator of the Electronic Arts computer game, The Sims Medieval, for the game's introduction cinematic and trailer released on 22 March 2011. He also voiced the story plaques and trailer of the MMOG LEGO Universe.
Stewart and his first wife, Sheila Falconer, have two children: Daniel Stewart and Sophie Alexandra. Stewart and Falconer divorced in 1990. In 1997, he became engaged to Wendy Neuss, one of the producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and they married on 25 August 2000, divorcing three years later.[n 1] Four months prior to his divorce from Neuss, Stewart played opposite actress Lisa Dillon in a production of The Master Builder, and the two were romantically involved until 2007.
Having lived in Los Angeles for many years, Stewart moved back to England in 2004, in part to return to work in the theatre. In the same year, Stewart was appointed Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield and subsequently as a Professor of Performing Arts in July 2008. In this role, Stewart regularly attends graduation ceremonies in the UK and Hong Kong and teaches master classes for drama students. Stewart was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2001 New Year Honours list, and was made a Knight Bachelor in the 2010 New Year Honours for services to drama.
His politics are rooted in his belief in fairness and equality. He considers himself a socialist and is a member of the Labour Party. He stated, "My father was a very strong trade unionist and those fundamental issues of Labour were ingrained into me." He has been critical of the Iraq War and recent UK government legislation in the area of civil liberties, in particular, its plans to extend detention without charge to 42 days. He signed an open letter of objection to this proposal in March 2008. Stewart identifies himself as a feminist. Additionally, he has publicly advocated the right to assisted suicide.
Stewart is president of Huddersfield Town Academy, the local football club's project for identifying and developing young talent. He is a lifelong supporter of the club. In an interview with American Theatre, Stewart was asked if he could be something other than an actor, what would he be. He stated "From time to time, I have fantasies of becoming a concert pianist. I've been lucky enough through the years to work very closely with the great Emanuel Ax. I've said to him that if I could switch places with anyone it would be with him." Stewart is also something of a petrol-head; he is regularly seen at Silverstone during British Grand Prix weekends, and on a 2003 appearance on Top Gear set a lap time of 1min 50secs on the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car feature. He holds an MSA Competition Licence and is competing in the 2012 Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge race.
Stewart's son Daniel is a television actor, and has appeared alongside his father in the 1993 made for television film Death Train, and the 1992 Star Trek episode "The Inner Light" playing his son.[n 2]
In July 2012 Stewart carried the Olympic torch as part of the official relay for the 2012 Summer Olympics and stated it was an experience he will 'never forget', adding that it was better than any movie première.
Stewart has been a prolific actor in performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in more than 60 productions. His first appearance was in 1966 in The Investigation and in the years that followed he became a core member of the company, taking on three or four major roles each season. In 2008, he played Claudius in Hamlet. His most recent role there was in spring 2011, when he played Shylock in Rupert Goold's avant garde production of The Merchant of Venice.
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|1967||Coronation Street||Fire Officer||1 Episode|
|1974||Fall of Eagles||Vladimir Lenin||Television mini-series|
|1974||Antony and Cleopatra||Enobarbus||Television film|
|1976||I, Claudius||Sejanus||Television mini-series|
|1979||Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy||Karla||Television mini-series|
|1980||Little Lord Fauntleroy||Wilkins|
|1980||Hamlet, Prince of Denmark||Claudius||Television film|
|1982||The Plague Dogs||Major||Voice role|
|1982||Smiley's People||Karla||Television mini-series|
|1985||Wild Geese II||Russian General|
|1985||Code Name: Emerald||Colonel Peters|
|1985||The Doctor and the Devils||Professor Macklin|
|1985||Walls of Glass|
|1986||Lady Jane||Henry Grey/Duke of Suffolk|
|1987–1994||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Captain Jean-Luc Picard||Television series|
|1987||The Devil's Disciple||Anthony Anderson|
|1991||L.A. Story||Mr. Perdue/ Maitre D' at L'Idiot|
|1993||Robin Hood: Men in Tights||King Richard|
|1993||Death Train||Malcolm Philpott||Television film|
|1994||Star Trek Generations||Captain Jean-Luc Picard|
|1994||The Pagemaster||Adventure||Voice role|
|1994||Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos||King Richard||Voice role / Video game|
|1994||In Search of Dr. Seuss||Sgt. Mulvaney||Puppet-voice over / Television film|
|1995||Let It Be Me||John|
|1995||The Simpsons||Number 1||Episode: "Homer the Great"|
|1995||500 Nations||Voice role / Television mini-series|
|1996||Star Trek: First Contact||Captain Jean-Luc Picard|
|1996||The Canterville Ghost||Sir Simon de Canterville||Television film|
|1997||Conspiracy Theory||Dr. Jonas|
|1998||Star Trek: The Experience: The Klingon Encounter||Captain Jean-Luc Picard||Voice role|
|1998||Dad Savage||Dad Savage|
|1998||Moby Dick||Captain Ahab||Television film|
|1998||Safe House||Mace Sowell|
|1998||Star Trek: Insurrection||Captain Jean-Luc Picard||Also associate producer|
|1998||The Prince of Egypt||Pharaoh Seti I||Voice role|
|1999||A Christmas Carol||Ebenezer Scrooge||Television film|
|1999||Animal Farm||Napoleon||Voice role / Television film|
|2000||X-Men||Professor Charles Xavier|
|2001||Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius||King Goobot||Voice role|
|2002||Star Trek Nemesis||Captain Jean-Luc Picard|
|2002||King of Texas||John Lear||Television film|
|2002||X-Men: Next Dimension||Professor Charles Xavier||Voice role / Video game|
|2003||X2: X-Men United||Professor Charles Xavier|
|2003||The Lion in Winter||King Henry II||Television film|
|2004||Boo, Zino & The Snurks||Albert Drollinger||Voice role|
|2004||Steamboy||Dr. Lloyd Steam||English dubbing|
|2005||The Game of Their Lives||Older Dent McSkimming|
|2005||Chicken Little||Mr. Woolensworth||Voice role|
|2005||Mysterious Island||Nemo||Television film|
|2005||Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind||Lord Yupa||English dubbing|
|2005||The Snow Queen||The Raven||Voice role / Television film|
|2005–present||American Dad||Avery Bullock||Voice role / Television cartoon|
|2006||Eleventh Hour (UK TV series)||Professor Ian Hood||TV Series|
|2006||Bambi II||The Great Prince/Stag||Voice role|
|2006||X-Men: The Last Stand||Professor Charles Xavier|
|2006||The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion||Emperor Uriel Septim VII||Voice role / video game|
|2007||TMNT||Max Winters/Yaotl||Voice role|
|2009||X-Men Origins: Wolverine||Professor Charles Xavier||Cameo|
|2009||Hamlet||Claudius/the Ghost||Television film|
|2010||Castlevania: Lords of Shadow||Zobek / Narrator||Voice role|
|2010||Family Guy||Dick Pump||Voice Role|
|2011||Family Guy||Himself||Voice Role|
|2011||Gnomeo & Juliet||William Shakespeare||Voice role|
|2011||Family Guy||Susie Swanson's inner monologue||Voice Role|
|2011||The Captains||Himself / Captain Jean-Luc Picard|
|2012||Ice Age: Continental Drift||Ariscratle|
|2012||Richard II||John of Gaunt||TV film|
|2012||Futurama||The Huntmaster||Episode: 31st Century Fox|
|2013||Dorothy of Oz||Tugg||Voice role|
|2013||Hunting Elephants (film)|
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