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Ralph Fiennes Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (42) | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 22 December 1962Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK
Birth NameRalph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Ralph Twisleton Wykeham Fiennes was born on December 22, 1962 in Suffolk, England, to Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne (Lash), a novelist, and Mark Fiennes, a photographer. He is the eldest of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus Fiennes, a musician; Sophie, a producer; and Joseph Fiennes, an actor. He is of English, Irish, and Scottish origin.

Fiennes has been honored with two Academy Award nominations, the first in 1994 for his performance in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning Best Picture, Schindler's List (1993). Fiennes' chilling portrayal of Nazi Commandant Amon Goeth also brought him a Golden Globe nomination and a BAFTA Award, as well as Best Supporting Actor honors from numerous critics groups, including the National Society of Film Critics, and the New York, Chicago, Boston and London Film Critics associations. Four years later, Fiennes earned his second Oscar nomination, for Best Actor, in another Best Picture winner, Anthony Minghella's The English Patient (1996). He also garnered Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations, as well as two Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations, one for Best Actor and another shared with the film's ensemble cast.

His long list of film credits also includes the award-winning drama The Reader (2008), co-starring Kate Winslet; Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar®-winning The Hurt Locker (2008); the Neil Jordan-directed films The End of the Affair (1999) and The Good Thief (2002); István Szabó's Sunshine (1999); Maid in Manhattan (2002); the animated The Prince of Egypt (1998); Oscar and Lucinda (1997); Robert Redford's Quiz Show (1994); and Wuthering Heights (1992), which marked his film debut. Fiennes notably portrayed of the evil Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter blockbuster film franchise. His nephew, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin played Tom Riddle, the young Lord Voldemort, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).

Fiennes made his feature film directorial debut with a contemporary version of Shakespeare's political thriller Coriolanus (2011), in which he also starred with Gerard Butler and Vanessa Redgrave. He will star next in Mike Newell's screen adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (2012), with Helena Bonham Carter and Jeremy Irvine, and in the highly anticipated Skyfall (2012), the next film in the Bond series, from director Sam Mendes.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gustaf Molin <gumo@hem2.passagen.se>

Spouse (1)

Alex Kingston (September 1993 - 28 October 1997) (divorced)

Trade Mark (3)

Rich mellifluous voice
Often plays mysterious characters with equally mysterious pasts
Often plays menacing, sadistic villains

Trivia (42)

Name pronounced "Rafe Fines".
Ranked #34 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Of the roughly one dozen actors to play "Hamlet" on Broadway, he is the first to win a Tony Award for doing so, in the 1995 Almeida Theatre production directed by Jonathan Kent.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#33).
On 3 March 2001, he received the William Shakespeare Award from the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. Past recipients include Mel Gibson, Patrick Stewart, Lynn Redgrave, Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline.
His uncle, Nicholas Lash, is a former priest and Cambridge theology professor, and his great-uncle, Dom Patrick Moore, is a Benedictine monk.
(1995 - 2006) Partner Francesca Annis.
Gained several pounds of muscle for his role in Red Dragon (2002).
His performance as Amon Goeth from his film Schindler's List (1993) was ranked #15 on the American Film Institute's Villains list in their compilation of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains.
Is the oldest of 6 children - younger siblings; Martha Fiennes (b. 1964), Magnus Fiennes (b. 1965), Sophie Fiennes (b. 1967) and Jacob Mark Fiennes & Joseph Fiennes (b. 27 May 1970). He also has a foster brother, Michael Emery (b. 31 December 1952) who has been with the family since he was 11.
An Associate Member of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
He and his The End of the Affair (1999) co-star Julianne Moore have acted in separate Hannibal Lecter films: he in Red Dragon (2002) and she in Hannibal (2001).
His tattoo in Red Dragon (2002) took eight hours to apply.
Has appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) with Gary Oldman. Both of them have played villains in the Hannibal Lecter films: Fiennes played Francis Dolarhyde in Red Dragon (2002), and Oldman played Mason Verger in Hannibal (2001).
4th cousin of Lord Saye & Sele, owner of Broughton Castle, which appears in Shakespeare in Love (1998) as Viola's house.
8th cousin of 'Prince Charles'.
Fiennes was reluctant to take the role of Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). In a television interview on AMC's Shootout (2003) (November 20, 2005), he claimed to have been unimpressed with the previous three Harry Potter films. Fiennes was apparently nonplussed at the idea of appearing in the fourth film of a series and stated that he had "never bought into [the] world" of Harry Potter. Family members urged him to take the role while other friends counseled against it. He eventually changed his mind after Goblet of Fire director Mike Newell showed Fiennes preproduction conceptions of what the character of Voldemort might look like: "The little kid in me that likes to dress up and be bad went 'Yeah! I want to do it!'".
He was considered for the role of Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code (2006), which went to Tom Hanks.
Broke up with Francesca Annis [February 7, 2006].
Has appeared in three Best Picture winners (Schindler's List (1993), The English Patient (1996) and The Hurt Locker (2008)), and a Best Animated Feature winner (The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)).
He and his brother, Joseph Fiennes, have both worked with Cate Blanchett (Oscar and Lucinda (1997) and Elizabeth (1998)), Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener (2005) and Enemy at the Gates (2001)) and Liv Tyler (Onegin (1999) and Stealing Beauty (1996)).
When he noticed that children watching the filming were scared of him as "Lord Voldemort" in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), he knew he had the character right.
His performance as "Amon Goeth" in Schindler's List (1993) is ranked #61 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
He was considered for the role of Simon Templar in The Saint (1997), which went to Val Kilmer.
Filmed his role as Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) in only two days.
His nephew, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, will be playing the 11-year-old version of his character Tom Riddle a.k.a. "Lord Voldemort" in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).
Has shared two roles with Peter O'Toole. They have both played Hamlet on stage, and both made their film debut playing T.E. Lawrence.
Is a huge fan of professional wrestling.
He was a guest of a Belgrade Film Festival - FEST 2009.
Won the 1995 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Drama for "Hamlet" and was nominated for the 2006 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Drama for "Faith Healer".
Friends with Liam Neeson and the late Natasha Richardson.
The Hurt Locker (2008) marks the third best picture Oscar winning film that Ralph Fiennes has co-starred in. In addition, the other two, Schindler's List (1993); Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee) and The English Patient (1996); Best Actor Oscar nominee), were also dramas set during wartime.
Has appeared twice on the cover of GQ magazine: August '94 and July '98.
When appearing on Inside the Actors Studio (1994), Julianne Moore named him as her favorite leading man. They appeared together in The End of the Affair (1999).
London, UK: Playing lead role of Prospero in Trevor Nunn's production of The Tempest at the Royal Haymarket Theatre. [August 2011]
Appearing in the London West End production of Oedipus as the title character [October 2008]
New York, NY: It was announced that he, as well as Cate Blanchett, will be honored by gala tributes (separately) in October by the Film Society of Lincoln Center during its annual film festival. [August 2013]
Stars in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" as Mark Antony at London's Barbican Centre, in a production by Deborah Warner with Fiona Shaw (Calpurnia) and John Shrapnel (Caesar). The production will be on tour to France and Spain later this year with the same cast. [April 2005]
Currently appearing in the title role of Brian Friel's "Faith Healer", at the Booth Theatre on Broadway. The revival co-stars 'Cherry Jones' and Ian McDiarmid, who won a Tony for best supporting actor. Ralph received a Tony nomination. [June 2006]
Belgrade (Serbia), sightseeing locations for filming "Coriolanus", Shakespeare play set in modern time. [August 2008]
He has English, Northern Irish, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Many of his recent ancestors lived in India, during the British colonial period. He has said that his surname, "Fiennes", is of Norman origin.
As of 2014, has appeared in five films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Schindler's List (1993), Quiz Show (1994), The English Patient (1996), The Reader (2008) and The Hurt Locker (2008). Of those, Schindler's List (1993), The English Patient (1996) and The Hurt Locker (2008) are winners in the category.

Personal Quotes (15)

It's 'Rafe', actually.
When children were introduced to Lord Voldemort, they looked suitably terrified. Which gave me great gratification.
As an actor, a part of you expects to be looked at. A part of you wants to be looked at. But when I'm playing a part, in my imagined world, I feel I'm not me. I may be using bits of me, but I love the sense that I'm being someone else.
Awards are like applause, and every actor likes to hear applause.
The process of making a film is a mad lottery. Whenever you get the feeling that you're making something special, you have to quickly squash it because you are so often proved wrong.
[on The Avengers (1998)] I think it's a badge of honor to have a real flop on your resume.
I tried not to play Voldemort over the top, and then I realized there's no other way.
I veer away from trying to understand why I act. I just know I need to do it.
The people I consider successful are so because of how they handle their responsibilities to other people, how they approach the future, people who have a full sense of the value of their life and what they want to do with it. I call people successful not because they have money or their business is doing well but because, as human beings, they have a fully developed sense of being alive and engaged in a lifetime task of collaboration with other human beings -- their mothers and fathers, their family, their friends, their loved ones, the friends who are dying, the friends who are being born.

Success.. is all about being able to extend love to people... not in a big, capital letter sense but in the everyday. Little by little, task by task, gesture by gesture, word by word.
[on the death of Natasha Richardson] I cannot imagine a world without her wit, her love, her mischief, her great, great talent and her gift for living. I loved her very much. She was a supreme friend. I shall miss her deeply.
[on filming Coriolanus in Belgrade, Serbia] I needed an important and big capital city and I didn't want it to be Rome, but any contemporary city. Given this is a modern interpretation of Shakespeare, Rome just wasn't the suitable location because Rome of today is reminiscent of a mighty state like the USA or Russia, and I wanted it to be something different. I've come to realize here in Belgrade that a lot of history is reflected through buildings. This is a capital city with a great history. I have been to Bucharest and Zagreb, but Belgrade has always been the first choice for me. Initially, I was attracted by Belgrade's spirit and later I realized this was an ideal filming location.
[on filming Coriolanus in Belgrade, Serbia] I am lucky to have a great crew from Serbia and the UK, and I've been working on the script with John Logan for almost three and a half years.
[on filming Coriolanus in Belgrade, Serbia] You really do have fantastic actors here in Serbia as well as a long theatre tradition, which is probably why it's now even stronger than that of London and I'm really flattered to be filming here.
My parents were very financially-challenged. All of us children have the memory of being told that there was no money, we have to sell this, there's no presents for Christmas. Of being in the front line of that constant worry; the atmosphere in the home always charged with anxiety. 'What do we do? What do we do?'
[on directing himself in 'The Invisible Woman'] I've loved being able to be, as it were, the puppet master of my own performance. I love that. But you need people to give you good, constructive, critical feedback. It's crazy. It's very, very hard. I don't know how people do it consistently and do it well - like Orson Welles did, or Laurence Olivier did, Clint Eastwood does. Kevin Costner's done it. There's no question that you've got two often opposing headspaces which you have to balance.

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