Toby Stephens

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Toby Stephens
Born(1969-04-21) 21 April 1969 (age 43)
London, England
Years active1992–present
Spouse(s)Anna-Louise Plowman (2001–present)
ChildrenEli Stephens
Tallulah Stephens
Kura Stephens
ParentsMaggie Smith
Robert Stephens
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Toby Stephens
Born(1969-04-21) 21 April 1969 (age 43)
London, England
Years active1992–present
Spouse(s)Anna-Louise Plowman (2001–present)
ChildrenEli Stephens
Tallulah Stephens
Kura Stephens
ParentsMaggie Smith
Robert Stephens

Toby Stephens (born 21 April 1969) is an English stage, television and film actor who has appeared in films in both Hollywood and Bollywood. He is best known for playing megavillain Gustav Graves in the James Bond film Die Another Day (2002), Edward Fairfax Rochester in the BBC television adaptation of Jane Eyre (2006) and Philip Marlowe on the BBC Radio 4 Saturday Play "Classic Chandler" series (2010-11).



Stephens, the younger son of actors Dame Maggie Smith and Sir Robert Stephens, was born in London, England. He was educated at Aldro and Seaford College and trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He began his film career with the role of Othello in 1992's Orlando. He has since made regular appearances on television (including in The Camomile Lawn) and on stage.

He has gained acclaim as a stage actor of distinction, notably playing the title role in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Coriolanus shortly after graduation from LAMDA; that same season he played Claudio in Measure for Measure for the RSC. He also played Stanley Kowalski in a West End production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, and Hamlet in 2004. He has appeared on Broadway in Ring Round the Moon. He played the lead in the film Photographing Fairies and played Orsino in Trevor Nunn's film of Twelfth Night. In 2002 he took on the role for which he is most widely known, that of Gustav Graves in the James Bond film Die Another Day.

In 2005 he played the role of a British Army captain in the Indian film, The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey, portraying events in the Indian rebellion of 1857. The following year he returned to India to play a renegade British East India Company officer in Sharpe's Challenge. In late 2006 he starred as Edward Rochester in the BBC television adaptation of Jane Eyre (broadcast in the United States on PBS in early 2007) and The Wild West in February 2007 for the BBC in which he played General George Armstrong Custer in Custer's Last Stand.

During mid-2007, Stephens played the role of Jerry in a revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal under the direction of Roger Michell. Later that year, Stephens also starred as Horner in Jonathan Kent's revival of William Wycherley's The Country Wife. The play was the inaugural production of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company, which in addition to Stephens includes the actors/actresses Eileen Atkins, Patricia Hodge, David Haig and Ruthie Henshall. Various members of the company are expected to star in upcoming productions at the Haymarket Theatre with various artistic directors. The formation of the company is considered by many London theatre critics to be a bold move for West End theatre.[1]

In February 2008, Fox Broadcasting Company gave the go-ahead to cast Stephens as the lead in a potential one hour, prime time U.S. television show, Inseparable, to be produced by Shaun Cassidy. Billed as a modern Jekyll and Hyde story, the show was to feature a partially paralyzed forensic psychologist whose other personality is a charming criminal. Stephens' casting was highly unusual, because Fox had not yet approved a script nor purchased a pilot for the show. However, in mid-May 2008, The Hollywood Reporter announced that "[b]y the time the network picked up the pilot . . . [the producers'] hold on Stephens had expired . . . ."[2][3]

In May 2008, Stephens performed the role of James Bond in a BBC Radio 4 production of Ian Fleming's Dr. No, as part of the centenary celebration of Fleming's birth. The production was reportedly the first BBC radio dramatisation of the novel though Moonraker was on South African radio in 1956, with Bob Holness providing the voice of Bond.[4]

Also in May 2008, Stock-pot Productions announced that Stephens will have the lead role in a feature-length film entitled Fly Me, co-starring Tim McInnerny.[5] Stock-pot was also the producer of One Day, a short 2006 film shown at international film festivals, in which Stephens played a small part as the boss of McInnerny's character.

On 5 October 2008, Stephens appeared onstage at the London Palladium as part of a benefit entitled "The Story of James Bond, A Tribute to Ian Fleming." The event, organised by Fleming's niece, Lucy Fleming, featured music from various James Bond films and Bond film stars reading from Fleming's Bond novels. Stephens took the part of James Bond himself in the readings.

In early December 2008, Stephens read from Coda, the last book written by his good friend Simon Gray, for BBC Radio 4. The excerpts from which Stephens read included Gray's description of Gray's participation as godfather at the christening of Stephens' son Eli.

Early in 2009, Stephens appeared as Prince John in season 3 of the BBC series Robin Hood. The series also aired on BBC America in the United States. Stephens' more recent television appearances include two episodes of a six-part television series, Strike Back, based on the novel by Chris Ryan.[6] The series aired in May 2010.

In the summer of 2009, Stephens returned to the London stage in the Donmar Warehouse production of Ibsen's A Doll's House alongside Gillian Anderson and Christopher Eccleston.

In 2010, Stephens once again performed on television. First, he starred in the made-for-television film, The Blue Geranium, a further sequel to the television series and films based on Agatha Christie's Miss Marple character.[7] The show was broadcast in the U.S. on PBS in June 2010, and is expected to finally air in Britain later this year. Stephens also recently starred as a highly self-centred detective opposite Lucy Punch in a three-part comedy television series for BBC Two entitled Vexed.[8]

Stephens also took on a small supporting role in a short film, The Lost Explorer, the directorial debut of photographer Tim Walker. The film is based on a short story by author Patrick McGrath.[9]

Meantime, on the London stage in the spring of 2010, Stephens received outstanding reviews for his performance as Henry in a revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, directed by Anna Mackmin at the Old Vic Theatre in London.[10] Of debuting at the Old Vic, where his parents performed as part of Laurence Olivier's Royal National Theatre Company, Stephens said: "It's quite moving for me to do something there. It means it has an added fascination. It was an historic place but I never saw anything when [my parents] were there, which is really sad, because I was just born. I'm a huge admirer of Stoppard's work."[11]

Stephens' most recent stage role, performed in the summer and autumn of 2010, was Georges Danton in Danton's Death. The play was another debut for Stephens, this time at London's Royal National Theatre.[12][13]

Over the years, Stephens has continued to prolifically narrate audiobooks and perform in broadcast radio dramas; in the last three years, he has averaged four or five such performances per year. In January 2011, Stephens will join other stars in narrating portions of the King James Version of the Bible for BBC Radio 4 as part of a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the bible's publication. BBC Radio 4 also recently announced that Stephens will be performing the role of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe in a radio serial planned schedule to start in February 2011. Stephens has also narrated another audiobook, Paul Temple and the Geneva Mystery, also due for release in February 2011.

Personal life

In May 2007, Toby Stephens and his wife of six years, New Zealand actress Anna-Louise Plowman, had their first child, son Eli Alistair.[14] The late Simon Gray, the renowned British playwright (who penned Japes, a stage play, and Missing Dates, a radio drama, both of which starred Stephens), was reportedly Eli's godfather.[15] Stephens and his wife became the parents of a second child, daughter Tallulah, in May 2009.[16] The couple welcomed their third child, a daughter named Kura in September 2010.[17]


1992OrlandoOthelloSally PotterWritten by Sally Potter, based on the novel Orlando by Virginia Woolf
1996Twelfth NightDuke OrsinoTrevor NunnBased on the Shakespeare play Twelfth Night
1997Photographing FairiesCharles CastleNick WillingBased on the book by Steve Szilagyi
1998Cousin BetteVictorin HulotDes McAnuffBased on the book Cousin Bette by Honoré de Balzac
1999OneginVladimir LenskyMartha FiennesBased on the poem Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
1999Sunset HeightsLuke BradleyColm Villa
2000The AnnouncementRossTroy Miller
2000Space CowboysFrankClint Eastwood
2001PossessionFergus WolfeNeil LaButeBased on the novel Possession: A Romance by A. S. Byatt
2002Die Another DayGustav GravesLee TamahoriBased on the characters of Ian Fleming
2004Terkel in TroubleVoice of JustinKresten Vestbjerg Andersen, Thorbjørn Christoffersen, Stefan FjeldmarkAnimated film
2005Midsummer DreamVoice of DemetriusÁngel de la Cruz, Manolo GómezAnimated film Based on the play A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare
2005Mangal Pandey: The RisingCaptain William GordonKetan MehtaBollywood historical drama set during the Indian Mutiny of 1857.
2006Dark CornersDr WoodleighRay GowerWritten by Ray Gower
2006SeveranceHarrisChristopher Smith


1992The Camomile LawnOliverBased on the book The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley
1996The Tenant of Wildfell HallGilbert MarkhamBased on the book The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
2000The Great GatsbyJay GatsbyBased on the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2001Perfect StrangersCharles
2002NapoléonTsar Alexander IBased on the book by Max Gallo
2003Essential ByronReaderDramatised documentary focusing on poet Lord Byron's work
2003Cambridge SpiesKim Philby
2003Agatha Christie's Poirot Five Little PigsPhilip BlakeBased on the book Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
2005Waking the DeadDr Nick HendersonSeason 5, Episodes 5 and 6 (Subterraneans, Parts I and II)
2005The Queen's SisterAnthony Armstrong-Jones
2006The Best ManPeter Tremaine
2006Secrets of the Dead:The Umbrella AssassinNarratorSeason 5, Episode 5; an account of the murder of Georgi Markov
2006Sharpe's ChallengeWilliam DoddBased on Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe series
2006Jane EyreEdward Fairfax RochesterBased on the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
2007The Wild West - Custer's Last StandGeneral George Armstrong CusterDramatised documentary
2008WiredCrawford HillMini-Series
2009The Best Job In The WorldNarratorDocumentary based on Tourism Queensland's publicity stunt for a barrier islands' 'caretaker'
2009Robin Hood - Series 3Prince John of England
2010Strike BackArlingtonBased on the book by Chris Ryan
2010Lost: The Mystery of Flight 447NarratorDocumentary on Air France Flight 447
2010The Blue GeraniumGeorge PritchardA Miss Marple mystery based on the Agatha Christie short story (first published in The Thirteen Problems
2010, 2012VexedJack ArmstrongWritten by Howard Overman
2012Law & Order: UKProf. Martin Middlebrook
2012Inspector LewisDavid ConnellySeries 6 episode 2 (Generation of Vipers)


1992TartuffeDamisDirected by Sir Peter Hall (Playhouse); play by Molière; Stephens' West End theatre debut
1992TamburlaineCelebinus/King of ArgierDirected by Terry Hands (RSC); play by Christopher Marlowe
1992Antony and CleopatraPompeyDirected by John Caird (RSC); play by Shakespeare
1992All's Well That Ends WellBertramDirected by Sir Peter Hall (RSC); play by Shakespeare
1993WallensteinMax PiccolominiDirected by Tim Albery (RSC); play by Friedrich von Schiller
1994Unfinished BusinessYoung BeamishDirected by Steven Pimlott (RSC); play by Michael Hastings
1994CoriolanusCaius Marcius CoriolanusDirected by David Thacker (RSC); play by Shakespeare
1994A Midsummer Night's DreamLysanderDirected by Adrian Noble (RSC); play by Shakespeare
1994Measure for MeasureClaudioDirected by Steven Pimlott (RSC); play by Shakespeare
1996A Streetcar Named DesireStanley KowalskiDirected by Sir Peter Hall (The Haymarket); play by Tennessee Williams
1998/99PhedreHippolytusDirected by Jonathan Kent (Almeida & Brooklyn Academy); play by Jean Racine
1998/99BritannicusNeroDirected by Jonathan Kent (Almeida & Brooklyn Academy); play by Jean Racine
1999Ring Round the MoonHugo/FrederickDirected by Gerry Gutierrez (Lincoln Center Theatre NY); play by Jean Anouilh; Stephens' Broadway debut
2001JapesJapesDirected by Sir Peter Hall (The Haymarket); play by Simon Gray
2001The Royal FamilyAnthony CavendishDirected by Sir Peter Hall (The Haymarket); play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber
2004HamletHamletDirected by Michael Boyd (RSC); play by Shakespeare
2004The Pilate WorkshopJesusDirected by Michael Boyd (RSC); play by Helen Edmundson, based on Ann Wroe's Pontius Pilate: The Biography of an Invented Man
2007BetrayalJerryDirected by Roger Michell (Donmar); play by Harold Pinter
2007The Country WifeMr. HornerDirected by Jonathan Kent (Haymarket); play by William Wycherley
2009A Doll's HouseThomas (Torvald, Nora's husband, in the original)Directed by Kfir Yefet (Donmar); play by Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Zinnie Harris
2010The Real ThingHenryDirected by Anna Mackmin; play by Tom Stoppard
2010Danton's DeathGeorges DantonDirected by Michael Grandage; play by Georg Büchner
2012Private LivesElyot ChaseDirected by Jonathan Kent; play by Noel Coward

Radio drama and audio books

YearTitleRoleOther notes
1994Time and the ConwaysRobinRadio drama based on the play Time and the Conways by J.B. Priestley: released as a BBC Audiobook in March 2010
1995The Prince's ChoiceCoriolanus, Hamlet, Henry V, Henry IV and Edward PoinsA selection from Shakespeare's works; narrators include the Prince of Wales and Stephens' parents, Sir Robert Stephens and Dame Maggie Smith, Hodder & Stoughton Audio Books
1997As You Like ItOrlandoBBC dramatised recording of Shakespeare's play
1997The Lifted VeilLatimerBBC dramatised recording of the novella by George Eliot
1997The Guns of NavaroneMalloryBBC two part dramatised recording of the novel by Alistair MacLean, BBC Radio Collection Audiobook
1997BirdsongStephen WraysfordBBC three-part drama based on the Sebastian Faulks novel (sometimes listed under the title of Part I, 'France 1910')
1997Anna KareninaCount VronskyBBC dramatised recording of the Leo Tolstoy novel, BBC Classic Collection Audiobook
1998The Troy trilogyAchilles3 x 90 minute plays by Andrew Rissik for the BBC with Paul Scofield

King Priam and His Sons; The Death of Achilles; Helen at Ephesus

1999Tales from the Arabian NightsNarratorIncludes Aladdin and His Magic Lamp, Sinbad and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Naxos Audiobooks
1999MacbethMacbethVoice of Macbeth for the Movingstage Marionette Company's production of the Shakespeare play
2000Conversations with NapoleonReaderThe words of Napoleon Bonaparte
2001King LearEdmundPaul Scofield is King Lear in a dramatised reading of Shakespeare's play, Naxos Audiobooks
2001On the RoadNarratorBBC radio reading of the Jack Kerouac book
2002The Riddle of the SandsNarratorNovel by Robert Erskine Childers, Penguin Audiobooks
2002The Woman in WhiteWalter HartrightBBC dramatised recording of novel by Wilkie Collins, BBC Radio Collection Audiobook
2002AeneidAeneasVirgil's Classical Poem abridged by James Burbidge with Paul Scofield, Naxos Audiobooks
2003DionysosPentheus, King of ThebesBBC radio drama by Andrew Rissik with Paul Scofield
2004Will in the WorldReaderBased on Stephen Greenblatt's book, a reconstruction of Shakespeare's life & era
2005Much Ado About NothingBenedickBBC dramatised recording of Shakespeare's play
2006ShylockBassanioBBC Radio 3 dramatised recording of play by Sir Arnold Wesker
2007Heart of DarknessNarratorNovel by Joseph Conrad, Silksoundbooks Audiobook
2007Flashman on the MarchNarratorNovel by George MacDonald Fraser, HarperCollins Audiobook
2008Flashman and the DragonNarratorNovel by George MacDonald Fraser, HarperCollins Audiobook
2008Missing DatesJason (Japes)BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of play by Simon Gray (a reworking of his play Japes, in which Stephens also played the title role, see Theatre above)
2008The Good SoldierNarratorBBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime reading of the novel by Ford Madox Ford
2008Dr. NoJames BondBBC Radio 4 dramatisation of novel by Ian Fleming
2008Let's Murder VivaldiBenBBC Radio 4 The Saturday Play, adaptation of David Mercer's television drama
2008CodaSimon GrayBBC Radio 4 reading of Simon Gray's autobiographical book
2008–2009The Dark FlowerNarratorBBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime featuring the novel by John Galsworthy
2009My Dark PlacesJames EllroyBBC World Service radio drama based on the autobiographical book by James Ellroy
2009Journey Into Space: The HostJetBBC Radio 4 The Saturday Play, written by Julian Simpson, based on BBC Radio show Journey Into Space by Charles Chilton (to be released as an audiobook, April 2010)
2009King Solomon's MinesNarratorNovel by H. Rider Haggard, BBC Worldwide Audiobook
2009BecketKing Henry IIBBC Radio 3 adaptation of Jean Anouilh's play[18]
2010Dick Barton Special Agent: The Mystery of the Missing FormulaNarratorNovel by Mike Dorrell, based on the character Dick Barton of the BBC Light Programme of the 1940s; BBC Audiobook
2010GoldfingerJames BondBBC Radio 4 dramatisation of novel by Ian Fleming
2010No Place Like HomeJonathanBBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play by Robert Rigby and Nick Russell-Pavier
2011King James Version of the BibleNarratorBBC Radio 4 celebration of the 400th anniversary of publication of the KJV
2011Paul Temple and the Geneva MysteryNarratorNovel by Francis Durbridge; BBC Audiobook
2011Paul Temple and the Margo MysteryNarratorNovel by Francis Durbridge; Audiobook
2011Paul Temple IntervenesNarratorNovel by Francis Durbridge; Audiobook
2011The Lady in the LakePhilip MarloweBBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the novel by Raymond Chandler
2011The Big SleepPhilip MarloweBBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the novel by Raymond Chandler
2011Farewell, My LovelyPhilip MarloweBBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the novel by Raymond Chandler
2011Playback (novel)Philip MarloweBBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the novel by Raymond Chandler
2011Carte BlancheNarratorNovel by Jeffrey Deaver; Hodder & Stoughton Audiobooks
2011The Long Goodbye (novel)Philip MarloweBBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the novel by Raymond Chandler
2011The High WindowPhilip MarloweBBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the novel by Raymond Chandler
2011The Little SisterPhilip MarloweBBC Radio 4 dramatization of the novel by Raymond Chandler
2011Poodle SpringsPhilip MarloweBBC Radio 4 dramatizarion of the novel by Raymond Chandler and Robert B. Parker
2012From Russia, with LoveJames BondBBC Radio 4 dramatisation of novel by Ian Fleming


  1. ^ David Benedict, "Theatre Royal Haymarket Gambles", Variety, July 23, 2007, online edition. [1]
  2. ^ Nellie Andreeva, "Busy Pre-upfront Weekend", The Hollywood Reporter, May 10, 2008, updated May 11, 2008, Online edition. [2]
  3. ^ "Pilot Buzz", zap2it, May 12, 2008
  4. ^ "Bob Holness on Game Shows". Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  5. ^ Stock-pot Productions Limited, Blog, May 27, 2008
  6. ^ Dan French, "Richard Armitage for Sky1's 'Strike Back'", "Digital Spy", August 24, 2009 [3]
  7. ^ "Julia McKenzie returns as the fictional sleuth Miss Marple, in her seventh film The Blue Geranium for ITV1",, January 21, 2010 [4]
  8. ^ Katherine Rushton, "Greenlit Gets First BBC Order with Cop Comedy", "Broadcast", July 23, 2009 [5]
  9. ^ Sam Elliott Connor, "The Lost Explorer," "Dazed & Confused," May 2010
  10. ^ Leo Benedictus, "What to say about...The Real Thing", "The Guardian", 23 April 2010 [6]
  11. ^ Louise Jury, "Toby's emotional debut for classic Stoppard play", London Evening Standard, 7 December 2009. [7]
  12. ^ "Slumdog's Danny Boyle Returns to the Stage as Frankenstein," Theatre News, London Evening Standard, 21 January 2010. [8]
  13. ^ Terri Paddock, "20 Questions with... Toby Stephens," 19 November 2001. [9]
  14. ^ Mark Lawson, "Prodigal Son", The Guardian, May 31, 2007, Online edition. [10]
  15. ^ Janice Turner, "Simon Gray Has Lung Cancer But Won't Stop Smoking," The Times, April 24, 2008, Online edition. [11]
  16. ^ Tim Walker, "Toby Stephens: Being born into the theatre was a mixed blessing," The Daily Telegraph, May 21, 2009, Online edition. [12]
  17. ^ Lesley White, "Home and Dry," The Times, July 18, 2010.
  18. ^ BBC Press Office (28 August 2009). "Classic stage plays and adaptations of major works of fiction at the heart of new drama season on Radio 3". Press release. Retrieved on 28 August 2009.


Interviews and articles

External links