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Hugh Laurie Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (40) | Personal Quotes (34) | Salary (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 11 June 1959Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Birth NameJames Hugh Calum Laurie
Height 6' 2½" (1.89 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Hugh was born in Oxford, England on June 11, 1959. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge. Son of an Olympic gold medalist in the sport, he rowed for the England youth team (1977) and for Cambridge (1980). He met Emma Thompson at Cambridge in 1978 when both joined "Footlights" and was introduced to Stephen Fry by Emma in 1980. Hugh is married and lives in Los Angeles. His wife and three children, who previously lived in London, are moving to Los Angeles to live with him. Besides acting and comedy, he has written the best-selling thriller The Gun Seller. A second novel, titled The Paper Soldier, is forthcoming.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Joanne Green (16 June 1989 - present) (3 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Fluent American accent from House M.D. (2004).
Frequently plays upper-class and dimwitted English characters

Trivia (40)

Achieved a Third-Class Honours degree in anthropology and archaeology at Selwyn College, Cambridge University.
Bought an all-black Triumph Bonneville motorcycle, a replica of the 1960s British model, in Los Angeles, upon getting the role in House M.D. (2004), but he was always an avid motorcyclist, even in England. He enjoys the anonymity the motorcycle helmet gives him.
Attended the Dragon School, a renowned British "public" college preparatory school located in Oxford, England. Also attended by actress Emma Watson and tennis player Tim Henman.
Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), originally wanted him to play Arthur Dent for the film adaptation. A deal was almost in place to have Hugh play Dent, along with Jim Carrey as Zaphod and Jay Roach directing, before Adams's untimely death.
1977: Won the National Junior Championship for rowing (coxed pair). In the same year, he and his rowing partner represented England in the World Junior Championship for rowing where they finished fourth place.
He lives in a West Hollywood apartment rental while working on House M.D. (2004), but flies home to London to be with his family whenever he has a break in filming. He has said that he will move his whole family to America to be with him if the second season looks to be equally successful as the first.
Has played the husband opposite Imelda Staunton's characters in two films: Peter's Friends (1992) and Sense and Sensibility (1995).
His father, William George Ranald Mundell Laurie (known as Ran), and mother, Patricia, were both of Scottish descent.
Is the youngest of four children, by six years. He has a brother and two sisters, Charles (who works as a lawyer/shepherd in Scotland) Susan Lassen (who helped found the Save the Children Long Island, NY Volunteer Chapter and was a member of Save the Children's Board of Trustees) and Janet.
His father won an Olympic gold medal for coxless pairs in the 1948 Games in London. Hugh also had a promising career as an oarsman, but he was forced to give it up while at Cambridge when he contracted glandular fever (mononucleosis). His brother was also an oarsman.
Is an accomplished piano player.
Entered the 1980 Silver Goblets and Nicklass Cup with his Eton rowing partner J.S. Palmer at the Henley Royal Regatta, becoming the only British crew to reach the final that year. They finished in second place behind the favored American crew.
He was first cast in the role of Perry White in Superman Returns (2006). However, the popularity of his television series House M.D. (2004) caused schedule conflicts. Frank Langella was then cast.
Auditioned for the role of Rimmer in Red Dwarf (1988). Others to audition for the role were Norman Lovett, Lee Cornes, Alfred Molina, Alan Rickman and Craig Ferguson. The role went to Chris Barrie.
He was a house captain (senior prefect) in his last year at Eton College. He also played percussion for the school's orchestra and was a "wet bob" - a member of Eton's prestigious rowing team.
He received his first motorcycle when he was 16 as a present from his father. The same year he owned his first guitar, a Yamaha.
Although his first name is James, he has never been called that. His third name, Calum, is the short form of 'Mael Calum', which translates from Gaidhlig (Scots Gaelic) to Scottish and English as 'Malcolm'. (The Gaeilge or Irish Gaelic form is 'Maol Colm', or 'Colm' in short form). His brother's full name is Charles Alexander Lyon Mundell Laurie.
He took up diving.
Is a huge fan of Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen.
He was a member of Cambridge Footlights throughout his university years, serving as a writer and cast member for two years (1978-1980) and president during his last year (1980-1981). Emma Thompson was the vice president.
Is a member of the Leander Club, one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world. His father once served as the club's president.
His son William Laurie auditioned for a role in a Harry Potter film but was told he was too young.
His daughter Rebecca Laurie starred in the film Wit (2001) as Emma Thompson's character aged five.
Is a member of the celebrity band, "Band From TV", with Greg Grunberg of Heroes (2006), Alias (2001) and Felicity (1998), James Denton of Desperate Housewives (2004), Bob Guiney of The Bachelor (2002), Jesse Spencer of House M.D. (2004), and other special guests.
Plays keyboard in the band, "Poor White Thrash", with Lenny Henry, Shade Adejumo, Kate McKenzie, Sophie Elton (wife of Ben Elton), Ken Bowley, Andy Gangadeen, John Thirkell and Phil Smith.
Has three children: Charles Laurie (Charles Archibald Laurie, born November 1988), William Laurie (William Albert Laurie, born January 1991), and Rebecca Laurie (Rebecca Augusta Laurie, born September 10, 1993).
Directed some scenes of his film Maybe Baby (2000) when Ben Elton had to go to hospital for the birth of his children.
He was a member of the Cambridge Footlights and, in 1981, along with Stephen Fry, Tony Slattery, Emma Thompson, Penny Dwyer and Paul Shearer, he became the winner of the first ever "Perrier Award" at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Stephen Fry is godfather of his three children.
Is a published author. His novel, The Gun Seller, was released in 1996. A follow-up novel, The Paper Soldier (UK title: Paper Soldiers), is forthcoming.
He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2007 Queen's New Year's Honours List for his services to drama.
Is very good friends with House M.D. (2004) co-star Robert Sean Leonard.
Great-great-nephew of George Alexander.
When Bryan Singer cast Laurie as Gregory House on House M.D. (2004), he was unaware that Laurie is British.
In the 1980s, he shared a house in London with Stephen Fry. They needed some plastering done. The plasterers turned out to be Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, who were inspired by Fry and Laurie to have a go at comedy.
Plays keyboard in the celebrity band "Band from TV".
Longtime best friend Stephen Fry served as best man at Laurie's marriage to Jo Green (1989).
Stated on a British chat show that he doesn't like doing plays; he said that in the only play he'd ever done (Gasping, by Ben Elton), he "felt like [he] was going out of [his] mind", and that he had out of body experiences on stage. He also stated it was something he would never do again.
Is a huge fan of the Fulham Football Club (English Premier League soccer club). Fellow fans include Elizabeth Hurley, Lily Allen, Pierce Brosnan, Hugh Grant, Benicio Del Toro, Daniel Radcliffe, Andrew Johnston and the late Michael Jackson.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records (2012), Laurie is the most watched leading man on television due to the worldwide viewership of House M.D. (2004). Laurie is also the highest paid television actor, earning a reported $400K per episode as Dr. House (2011).

Personal Quotes (34)

[on Cambridge] I went there to row. I'll be blunt with it. It's been ten years, and I think the admissions tutor can take it now... but that's really what I went for, and anthropology was the most convenient subject to read while spending eight hours a day on the river.
[on the Oxford-vs.-Cambridge Boat Race] The year was 1980, I was #4 in this particular encounter, and the result was a loss by Cambridge by a distance of five feet, which is something which I will carry to my grave... in fact, I shouldn't really say this, because I still to this day wouldn't want to give any pleasure or satisfaction to the opposing crew. But yes, it's true, it was a very bitter defeat.
[on picking up his new hobby] Boxing is fascinating. It's good for the soul to be made to feel clumsy. I swank around during the week thinking I'm a big cheese, but you don't feel like that when you're in the ring with a chap who knows what he's doing. It's ritual humiliation. I'm going to be slugged about and probably killed, but I love it and have to do something to keep fit.
I picked a reverence for medicine because I rather hero-worshiped my father [a former doctor], and because I admire doctors, I admire study, empiricism and rational thought. I don't admire crystals and chewing willow bark and herbal remedies.
[on his late father's reaction to his character Dr. Gregory House] He would be absolutely appalled. He was an endlessly polite, generous and soft-spoken man. He was no pushover, but he would never hurt, shock or outrage people just for the hell of it. At the same time, I hope he would be entertained and see that science and logic are like a religion to House. He'd approve of that.
[on what he misses about England] The buildings and the cruelty. They're very harsh people, the British: hard to impress, very tough on each other, but I rather like that. It's not that the British are more honest - you're just under no illusion with them. L.A. runs on optimism, enthusiasm and flattery. I think you can go a little bit crazy. I've heard people say there's a limit to the number of years you can stay in this city without going slightly mad. It's just too damn sunny in every dimension - weather-wise, socially and professionally.
I travel to work on my motorcycle, so it's jeans, boots and a brown Aero leather jacket that weighs as much as I do. If it were black, it would seem like I've got a [Marlon Brando] idea going on, which I don't.
[on raising his daughter] Girls are complicated. The instruction manual that comes with girls is 800 pages, with chapters 14, 19, 26 and 32 missing, and it's badly translated, hard to figure out.
I grew up with an impatience with the anti-scientific. So I'm a bit miffed with our current love affair with all things Eastern. If I sneeze on the set, 40 people hand me echinacea. But I'd no sooner take that than eat a pencil. Maybe that's why I took up boxing. It's my response to men in white pajamas feeling each other's chi.
[on the difficulty of performing with an American accent] It's as if you're playing left-handed. Or like everyone else is playing with a tennis racket and you have a salmon.
[his speech after winning a Golden Globe for House M.D. (2004)] I am absolutely speechless. Seriously, I don't have a speech. People are falling all over themselves to send you free shoes and free cuff links and colonic irrigations for two. Nobody ever offers you a free acceptance speech. There just seems to be a gap in the market. I would love to be able to pull out a speech by Dolce & Gabbana.
Guilt I can do. If [I have] any expertise at all, it's in the area of guilt. I have a black belt in guilt. If you ever want a guilt-off, the next time we meet let's see how we match up. I'm pretty confident in that area.
Obviously you are in a very vulnerable position when you give an interview. You are putting your testicles on a chopping board. I get anxious about a lot of things, that's the trouble. I get anxious about everything. I just can't stop thinking about things all the time. And here's the really destructive part - it's always retrospective. I waste time thinking of what I should have said or done. I can't bear going through the same f***ing dance of despair.
On living in America while filming House M.D. (2004): I do feel very foreign there, as if I'm on safari, looking at the exotic animals and the way they behave. Then again America is made up of people who don't feel American until they do, so I'm not alone in that.
When asked if living in America would make him any less pessimistic or miserable: Oh, I hope nothing would ever do that. I won't let go of my roots.
I admit I can't shake the idea that there is virtue in suffering, that there is a sort of psychic economy, whereby if you embrace success, happiness and comfort, these things have to be paid for.
Celebrity is absolutely preposterous. Entertainment seems to be inflating. It used to be the punctuation to your life, a film or a novel or a play, a way of celebrating a good week or month. Now it feels as if it's all punctuation. The people I admire are those blokes in Fair Isle sweaters with pencils behind their ears who knew how to design mechanical things better than anybody else in the world.
Something in me says you shouldn't have toys.
Recalling his father winning a gold medal in rowing at the 1948 Olympics in London: He was in a coxless pair with a man called Jack Wilson. I've got a fantastic picture on my desk of the two of them getting their medals on a pontoon at Henley. I imagine they were playing the national anthem and my dad is very rigid, 'this is the way to behave', and Jack Wilson is loose and groovy and looks like he should be mixing a martini. I sometimes wished my father could take that pleasure in himself.
[after he received his 2009 Screen Actors Guild Awards] I actually had a 100 dollars on James Spader, this is just not my night.
Commenting on The Paper Soldier, his sequel to his best-selling The Gun Seller: My second novel will be coming out two years ago.
[on living at the Chateau Marmont during the first season of House M.D. (2004)]: I was so convinced the whole thing was going to fail, I couldn't contemplate committing to any long-term arrangement. I thought a hotel was a safe bet.
[Was he shocked at the success of House M.D. (2004)]: I still am. There are a lot of days when I feel as if I have been woken from a coma and told six years have gone by, and I have no awareness of it. Is Queen Elizabeth II still on the throne? Do we still drive on the left? Do we still have pounds?
[on working nine-to-ten-hour days, five days a week in Hollywood]: It's a way of living that, had you described it to me 10 years ago, I would have just found absurd beyond belief, inconceivable. But here we are. Yes, there were plenty of times when it was pretty overwhelming, I think for everybody. Like anybody completely absorbed in a single thing, it's rather unhealthy. It's the sort of thing you can do for a certain period of time - in a sort of emergency state - but you can't live like that indefinitely because you start popping rivets.

Look, it sounds like I'm moaning. I am constantly aware of my good fortune. But the thing is, almost nothing in this life is as easy as it looks. I did work very, very hard - I do still - but it has been very rewarding, very enjoyable, and I work with a terrific bunch of people. So I feel blessed.
I used to worry much more about the prospect of failure. That 200 people were going to be out of a job. That shame and disgrace would attach, and I would have my acting uniform stripped from me.
Yes, I still like him [House M.D. (2004)] very, very much. I know he has problems, and he is not necessarily a good man. But I realised long ago that one doesn't only like good people. Sometimes one doesn't even like good people.
[What does he like most about House M.D. (2004)?]: I suppose I am drawn to people who worry, who are tortured. I find I am always faintly suspicious of happy people. I always think there is something going wrong or missing somewhere. They would probably argue that I am the one with the thing missing, and that may be so. But the fact that he is not happy makes a lot of his mis­demeanours more forgivable. If someone is behaving badly, yet remains unhappy and tortured, the bad behaviour is very often its own punishment, so it's hard to be too upset by it.
[on the possibility of staying in LA after House M.D. (2004)]: I can certainly imagine it, in a way I couldn't have done before. It held no appeal for me before, but I do have an affection for the place now. Maybe once the show finishes, I will see it in a different way. For now, I'm in a gilded cage.
In life you don't regret the things you do, you regret the things you don't do. (BBC, May 2011 on his record deal)
[on jamming in a jazz club in New Orleans] I can't deny it was, without a doubt, the most frightening thing I've done. To stand up and play music to an audience is a very, very daunting but wonderful experience. Many things in life are daunting and wonderful if your survive them. Being attacked by a lion is probably brilliant, but the survival part is important.
I sometimes think that in this Youtube age - God, I sound like such an old fart - history has gone vertical rather than horizontal. You can click on 'St. James Infirmary', let's say [and]see a hip-hop version of that done three months ago or hear Louis Armstrong from nearly 100 years ago. And there's almost no sense of separation or context, or of a progression through time.
[on performing the blues] Let the record show that I am a white, middle-class Englishman, openly trespassing on the music and myth of the American South. I know how it must look. I suppose, in my defence, I was trying to get people to examine what authenticity means. Is it authentic to have American actors playing Shakespeare? Or indeed to have an Englishman play an American doctor?
[as presenter at the 2008 BAFTA Awards] Screenwriting is the most prized of all the cinematic arts. Actually, it isn't, but it should be. The point is that it should be. The original screenplay is the most precious commodity of all. In the original screenplay the writer creates the heart, the mind, the skeleton, the sinew, the epithelial membrane, if you will, of the show.
The great trap for non-American actors trying to play Americans, I think, is to start thinking of American-ness as a characteristic. It isn't. It is no more a character trait than height. It is just a physical fact, and that's all there is to it.

Salary (5)

House M.D. (2004) $300,000/episode (2007-08)
House M.D. (2004) $400,000/episode (2009-10)
House M.D. (2004) $400,000/episode (2010-11)
House M.D. (2004) 2006 - $300,000 per episode
House M.D. (2004) £240,000per episode

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