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Cary Elwes Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (36) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 26 October 1962London, England, UK
Birth NameIvan Simon Cary Elwes
Height 5' 11¼" (1.81 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Cary Elwes is the third son born to interior designer/shipping heiress Tessa Kennedy and the late portrait painter Dominick Elwes, and is the brother of producer/agent Cassian Elwes and artist Damian Elwes. He was born and raised in London and attended Harrow. After graduating from Harrow, he moved to the US and studied drama at Sarah Lawrence College. He left school after two years to begin his film career. Cary is well respected by colleagues and fans alike and considered by many to be one of the finest young actors working today. He is interested in history and says, "It's deliberate that a lot of my films have been period pieces". He is politically active for causes he believes in, such as protecting the environment and helping Native American peoples. He is married to Lisa Marie Kurbikoff, a stills photographer.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Amy L. Cheetham

Comes from a long-established recusant English family on his father's side. Several prominent Catholic clerics are among his relatives, including Fr. Luke Cary-Elwes, Dom Columba Cary-Elwes, and Dom Cuthbert Cary-Elwes. His paternal great-grandfather was Chamberlain to the Pope. Cary (the surname "Cary-Elwes" was shortened to "Elwes" in some branches of the family) was an altar boy at London's Brompton Oratory, although he did not attend a Catholic high school.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: rms125a@hotmail.com

Spouse (1)

Lisa Marie Kurbikoff (2000 - present) (1 child)

Trivia (36)

Became engaged in Paris to Lisa Marie Kurbikoff. [December 1997]
He has had cameo appearences in several movies that his brother, Cassian Elwes, produced such as The Chase (1994) and Never on Tuesday (1989).
Stepson of Elliott Kastner.
His recurring character on The X-Files (1993)'s 9th season, FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer, is named after the show's creator/executive producer Chris Carter's assistant, Brad Follmer.
Was chosen for the part of Westley in The Princess Bride (1987) after Rob Reiner saw him in Lady Jane (1986). He spent weeks training in fencing with both his left hand and right hand while performing acrobatics.
Last name is pronounced El-wez.
Made his film debut in Marek Kanievska's award-winning drama Another Country (1984). Based on that performance, Cary was chosen by renowned Director of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Trevor Nunn, to star opposite Helena Bonham Carter in the highly acclaimed historical epic Lady Jane (1986).
Played a filmmaker 4 times: as John Houseman in Cradle Will Rock (1999), as Fritz Arno Wagner in Shadow of the Vampire (2000), as Fritz Hippler in Uprising (2001), and as Thomas H. Ince in The Cat's Meow (2001).
Having been a dramatic actor, he had never done a comedy prior to his acclaimed performance in The Princess Bride (1987).
Was a projectionist at school.
As a student in Sarah Lawrence College in 1980, he studied acting, philosophy and history. He also studied German Expressionist Film in college. Despite his parents' wealth, Elwes supplemented his income by working his way through school.
For the video game The Bard's Tale (2004), he spent at least 20 hours in Los Angeles and London recording studios to bring his title character to life. In order for his character to converse with nonplayable characters in either a 'snarky' or 'nice' tone, both leavened with comic relief, Cary had to record two responses for every interaction - a total of 1,200 lines and a lot of his own script improvising.
His very devout Catholic mother (former Protestant) took him to meet Pope John Paul II in the Vatican when Cary was 22 years old. Cary portrayed the young pontiff in the docudrama Pope John Paul II (2005).
His paternal grandfather was the famous portrait-painter Simon Elwes, and his other prominent ancestors include his great-grandfathers, tenor Gervase Elwes, diplomat James Rennell Rodd, 1st Baron Rennell, industrialist Ivan Rikard Ivanovic, and his great-great-great-grandfather, Alexander Kennedy, a civil/electrical engineer and academic.
Met his wife Lisa Marie in 1991 at a Malibu chili cook-off.
Is a distant relative of the famed Lord Carnarvon who funded archaeologist Howard Carter's expedition which uncovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1923; he is also a distant nephew of Tudor King Henry VIII of England, and is a distant nephew of King Henry's third wife, Jane Seymour.
Daughter, Dominique, was born on April 24, 2007.
Raised as a Catholic. He was an altar boy at Brompton Oratory in London. His father and paternal grandfather were also Catholics. His father's side includes several prominent Catholic clerics, and his paternal great-grandfather was Chamberlain to the Pope. His mother is a former Protestant-turned-Catholic.
Cousin of Amanda Elwes.
Is an accomplished horseman.
Prepares intensely for most of his acting roles. (For example, for Days of Thunder (1990), he had to rely on practical research to meet the physical demands of playing a race car driver. For his role as Air Force Colonel James Burton in The Pentagon Wars (1998), he spent a few days in Burton's home interviewing him and poring over his BFV files, and even filing boxes of Burton's Bradley documents and giving every page back to Burton.).
Played a number of villainous roles. His first role as a villain was in Leather Jackets (1992).
Nicknamed "The Next Errol Flynn" by Mel Brooks. Brooks said, "He can do comedy and drama".
Brother Cassian Elwes was a studio head at the William Morris Agency.
Father was Dominick Elwes (August 1931-September 1975), a portrait painter and Mayfair figure. Parents divorced when Cary was young. A sufferer of manic depression, Dominick was less of a commercial success compared to his artist father Simon Elwes. Dominick was later ostracized by a close circle of friends because of his link to the notorious Lord Lucan. He committed suicide at age 44.
Was personally offered by Trevor Nunn, Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), to join the RSC after starring in Nunn's film Lady Jane (1986). Elwes turned down the offer in order to continue working in films.
Is the ambassador for the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund with UNICEF. As ambassador, he traveled to Banda Aceh, Indonesia for the documentary "The Children of the Tsunami", which was filmed 90 days after the tsunami of December 2003 to document the damage and recovery efforts.
Entered Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, to study drama but left after two years. Also studied at the London Drama Centre.
Older half-brother of Milica Kastner and Dillon Kastner from his mother's marriage with Elliott Kastner.
Brother of artist Damian Elwes.
He said after The Princess Bride (1987), he was getting lots of offers to act in several costume period pieces. He turned most of them down because he didn't want to be typecast, as he had already starred in period pieces, mostly as a romantic love interest, in the previous films Another Country (1984), Lady Jane (1986), and Maschenka (1987). In contrast, he later starred in several films as a villain, which include Leather Jackets (1992), Twister (1996), The Jungle Book (1994),Ella Enchanted (2004), The Riverman (2004) to name a few.
His stage name "Cary Elwes" is actually his surname. The surname "Cary Elwes" was shortened to "Elwes" in some branches of his family.
Attending the Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas, TX as part of the Saw (2004) panel. [April 2011]
Studied with Julie Bavasso at Sarah Lawrence.
Cary was the son of shipping heiress and interior designer Tessa Kennedy, who eloped with painter Dominick Elwes. Cary's stepfather, producer Elliot Kastner, set up a production base at Pinewood Studios in Britain.
His maternal grandmother, born Daska Marija Ivanovic-Banac, was of half Croatian Jewish (from her own father) and half Serbian (from her own mother) descent. Cary's other ancestry is English, with some Scottish and Irish (including distant American-born ancestors).

Personal Quotes (5)

"I take away something from every role. I'm still learning and that's what life is about." (People 2/6/95)
I like historical pieces. History was my favorite subject in school, it was the only subject I excelled in. I love the idea of history and the idea that we may have the opportunity to learn from our past mistakes.
On preparing his role as young Karol Wojtyla for Pope John Paul II (2005): "I was blessed enough to meet Pope John Paul when I was 22 years old in the Vatican; I had that privilege. My mother took me to visit him, and I remember distinctly his incredible charisma and personal charm and his warmth and compassion. You felt it immediately the minute you met him, and that spirit I came away with, having met the man, is something that I've been constantly working on to infuse the character with. My mother is a very devout Catholic. Her criticism will be the one I pay the most attention to."
(On making The Princess Bride (1987)) It was a wonderfully supportive set, and that's a great atmosphere for being creative. An atmosphere of fun, is an atmosphere where the mind is more likely to come up with great stuff.
(On first meeting André the Giant) I met him at the read-through at the Dorchester Hotel in London. I saw his hand first, through the door. And there was a collective gasp from everyone in the room. The only people who had met him were Rob (Reiner) and [screenwriter] Bill Goldman. This huge smile came in, and everyone got up to meet him. He was huge in Japan, you know. They offered to fly him out there any time, because giants are considered lucky. People would run across the street just to touch him.

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