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Peter Firth Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (9) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 27 October 1953Bradford, Yorkshire, England, UK
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Peter Firth was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1953. His parents owned a pub and he attended local grammar school. Firth took weekend classes at the Bradford Playhouse near his Pudsey home and by his mid-teens was playing in "Camelot" at the Bradford Alhambra. Leaving school at 16, he became a major child star in television series such as The Double Deckers, which was shot at a number of film studios in the UK. He made his film debut at the age of 18 in Franco Zeffirelli's Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972). In July 1973 he received his big break by winning the leading role of disturbed adolescent Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer's play "Equus," which was performed by the National Theatre at the Old Vic in London. In October 1974, the play opened on Broadway to sensational reviews, with Firth playing opposite Anthony Hopkins as the middle-aged Dr. Martin Dysart. Firth returned to the play at the Plymouth Theater on Broadway with Richard Burton as Dysart, and then starred in several other plays by the National Theatre including versions of "Romeo and Juliet" (as Romeo) and "Spring Awakening." After taking leading roles in several films such as Aces High (1976) and Joseph Andrews (1977), Firth reprized the role of Alan Starng in the movie version of Equus (1977), directed by Sidney Lumet and again co-starring with Burton. Receiving a Bafta Award and an Academy Award nomination, Firth next played Angel Clare in Roman Polanski's Tess (1979). In 1981, he replaced Simon Callow as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Peter Shaffer's play "Amadeus" on Broadway, co-starring with Sir Ian McKellen. He gave other notable performances as a Russian sailor in the kitchen sink drama Letter to Brezhnev (1985), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Shadowlands (1993) and as a sinister theater manager in An Awfully Big Adventure (1995) with Hugh Grant. In 1994, he returned to British television with a major role in the hugely popular series Heartbeat (1992). He is married with four children and is good friends with his Equus (1977) co-star Jenny Agutter, who also starred with him in MI-5 (2002). He has continued to appear in major movies, including Amistad (1997) and Pearl Harbor (2001).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Harvey

Spouse (1)

Lindsey Readman (1990 - ?) (divorced) (4 children)

Trivia (9)

Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1977" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 29.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1975 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for "Equus," a role he recreated in an Oscar-nominated performance in the film version of the same title, Equus (1977).
Twice divorced father of four children.
Replaced Tim Curry in the role of Mozart in the Broadway run of Peter Shaffer 's play "Amadeus" in 1981, with Ian McKellen as Salieri.
Peter admits that he initially became interested in acting because he liked a girl who was apart of a local theater group, and joined to impress her!
He has one sister.
Firth and Simon Callow were initially considered for the lead roles in "The Romans in Britain." However, filming schedules meant that both actors were unavailable.
He was nearly cast in the title role in Caligula (1979), but was filming Equus (1977) at the time.
Received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters for his film and television work from the University of Bradford on 17 July 2009.

Personal Quotes (5)

I feel I know Jenny [Agutter] as a best friend. That's what happens when you spend a long time naked together!
I didn't really capitalise on that early success because I had high artistic ideals and they didn't involve commercial cinema. That said, becoming an international film star takes its toll - there's a price to be paid for being recognised all the time, so I'm quite happy not to be.
When you've had an Academy Award nomination for the film Equus (1977), the work comes rolling in. So I had my chance to be a film star, but I resisted fame. I had peculiar high artistic ideals in those days. There is some regret about turning down Hollywood style-fame now, but only really financially.
I stayed with the National company to do Spring Awakening and Romeo and Juliet but then I got the chance to play Equus on Broadway and took it. And somehow the National have never quite forgiven that. It's like leaving school early all over again. Somehow you no longer belong, and when you try to rejoin they make it very difficult.
We get scripts, but they change on a daily basis - they evolve as we go along. (On MI-5 (2002))

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