Cumberbatch was born in London, England, the son of actors Timothy Carlton (birth name Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch) and Wanda Ventham.
Cumberbatch was educated at two independent schools, Brambletye School in West Sussex and Harrow School in northwest London, where he began performing as an actor. After school, he took a gap year to teach English in a Tibet monastery. He then attended the University of Manchester, where he studied drama. After graduating, Cumberbatch continued his training as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Bold light blue eyes
Rich baritone voice
Often portrays posh upper-class figures
Usually plays highly-intelligent and gifted characters
Obtained an MA in Classical Acting for Professional Theatre at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), United Kingdom's oldest drama school.
Met Professor Stephen Hawking twice before filming Hawking (2004) (TV) to prepare for the role. He then subsequently provided the voice of the physicist in 'Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking' in 2010 and 'Stephen Hawking's Grand Design' in 2012 which both aired in Discovery Channel.
He went to Harrow, one of oldest, most-respected and expensive all-male boarding schools in the UK.
He experienced a terrifying carjacking in South Africa while he filmed "To the Ends of the Earth" (2005). He wrote about the experience in an article for The Prince's Trust.
His character Sherlock's warm relationship with Mrs. Hudson is influenced by Cumberbatch's own real-life relationship with Una Stubbs, as she is a good friend of his mother's and he considers her a mother figure.
He is a huge fan of Robert Downey Jr. with whom he shares the iconic role of "Sherlock Holmes".
Lost a notable amount of weight for his role as Sherlock Holmes, his goal being to portray Holmes as a character with such high intelligence that it manifests itself in a physical, "mind-over-matter" sort of way.
Good friends with Jonny Lee Miller, with whom he shared the central roles of Frankenstein and his creature in Danny Boyle's stage production "National Theatre Live: Frankenstein (#2.4)" (2011) in 2011. Coincidentally, Miller was cast as Sherlock Holmes in "Elementary" (2012) and Cumberbatch has been playing the legendary detective in "Sherlock" (2010) since July 2010.
One of his first ever acting roles was playing Titania, Queen of the Fairies in the Shakespeare play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" when he was 13.
During his gap year, before studying Drama in Manchester University, he spent some time teaching English at a Tibetan monastery.
Painted oil canvases and was a member of the rugby team while he was studying at Harrow.
In 2012, he won a 'Laurence Olivier Award', 'London Evening Standard Award' & 'Critics' Circle Award' for his performance in Danny Boyle's stage production of Frankenstein at the Royal National Theatre wherein he played Victor Frankentein and his creature in alternating nights.
In 2005, he was nominated for a 'Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor' for playing 'Jørgen Tesman' in Henrik Ibesen's play entitled 'Hedda Gabler'.
Famous for his Alan Rickman impressions.
He got one of his earliest reviews when he played Nick Bottom in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. It says, "Cumberbatch's 'Bottom' will be long remembered".
He accidentally got dual voice roles in "The Simpsons" (1989) when he visited Fox's studio for a completely unrelated appointment. He voiced the UK's Prime Minister (patterned from Hugh Grant's character in "Love, Actually") and did an Alan Rickman impression to voice Snape for the Special Valentine Episode that aired February 2013.
His grandfather, Lt. Commander Henry Carlton Cumberbatch, was a decorated submarine officer of both World Wars and was a prominent figure of London's high-society at the time.
His great-grandfather was the British Consul General in Turkey, Henry Arnold Cumberbatch who is a companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for his services to foreign and Commonwealth affairs.
Has numerous connections outside the franchise to fellow Star Trek cast members. He played Stephen Hawking, who had previously played himself on an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987). He shares the role of Sherlock Holmes with both Leonard Nimoy and Christopher Plummer. Cast member Karl Urban appeared in the last two Lord of the Rings films, while Cumberbatch appears in the prequel trilogy based on The Hobbit.
Despite blowing his GCSEs out of the water, he forfeited his qualifications for Oxford and Cambridge because he discovered "pot, girls and music" and "got a bit lazy" during his last term at Harrow.
Three of his roles have connections to Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy, obviously, originated the role of Mr. Spock. He also played Sherlock Holmes on stage, and in the 1970s, released a song called "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins".
According to ancestry.ca, he is related to famed astronaut Chris Hadfield.
He originally wanted to pursue Law in university.
On Stephen Hawking: "He's such a presence and you have to really know what you want to say to him or ask him because it takes such a huge, phenomenal effort for him to communicate with you. You think, 'I really don't want to waste this man's time'. I was myself rather than thinking, 'I'm a stupid actor; how on earth can I impress someone like this? I don't know what to say to make me feel worthy of playing this man.'"
Cumberbatch - it sounds like a fart in a bath, doesn't it? What a fluffy old name. I can never say it on a Monday morning. When I became an actor, Mum wasn't keen on me keeping it.
I am very flattered. I have also become a verb as in "I have cumberbatched the UK audience" apparently. Who knows, by the end of the year I might become a swear word too! It's crazy and fun and very flattering.
It's the standard actors' joke - 'What are you doing after this?' 'Oh, if Spielberg doesn't call then I'm going to go on holiday.' But a week after I'd said that, I got the call to say I had the job. It's one of those moments you never forget - I just fell off my chair. Which is not a good start to the horseriding.
[on being invited by Madonna to her London home to discuss playing Duke of Windsor (aka "Edward VIII") in W.E. (2011)] I'd whizzed round on my bike and thought we were going to have a read-through and a chat, but she wanted a full-on dress rehearsal... So I ended up in a suit and tie with Madonna operating the camera herself.
[on initially using his father's stage name "Carlton"] When I started, I just assumed I couldn't be called Benedict Cumberbatch... but then, one day, I told someone in the business what I was really called and they said, "That's great, that's something you can use to stand out."
[on his 'Sherlock Holmes' series] It's a rare challenge, both for the audience and an actor, to take part in something with this level of intelligence and wit. You have to really enjoy it. It's a form of mental and physical gymnastics.
I've been very lucky at what's happened in my career to date, but playing something as far from me as possible is an ambition of mine - anything from a mutated baddy in a comic book action thriller, to a detective. If anything, I'd like Gary Oldman's career: he's the perfect example of it. I've love to have a really broad sweep of characters - to be able to do something edgy, surprising and unfashionable. (May 2005)
[on Martin Freeman playing Bilbo Baggins] It was great. I got to hang out with him, and I kept a straight face for a bit and then I started giggling because I know Martin, I don't know Bilbo. For Martin to be sitting there playing Bilbo is amazing. He's going to be amazing, he's going to be fantastic in this film.
[on "Sherlock" (2010) fan-fiction] I suppose my bodily proportions are quite flattering. I'm ripped, doing something I wouldn't normally do with my body, or having done to it, involving Watson. So that's as far as I'll hit about that one, but it's all there on the Web if you want to find it. I was amazed at the level of artistry; people have spent hours doing it. And there's some really weird cross breeding stuff that goes on. The news got out that I was playing Smaug in 'Hobbit' and suddenly there were lots of dragons with purple scarves flying around so it's crazy, it's crazy.
[on declining to reprise his much-acclaimed role in 'After the Dance' on Broadway] I've never really made a head-over-heart decision like that before but there's a bit of momentum and I'd like to keep myself available for films. (September 2011)
I've seen and swam and climbed and lived and driven and filmed. Should it all end tomorrow, I can definitely say there would be no regrets. I am very lucky, and I know it. I really have lived 5,000 times over. (May 2013)
(March 2005) Beginning his run in Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" at the Almeida Theater, London, England, UK.
(February 2007) Currently co-starring in the film Amazing Grace (2006), playing "William Pitt the Younger".
(January 2009) London and Cardiff, filming a 3-part "Sherlock" (2010) series.
(March 2013) London - Has just begun filming series 3 of "Sherlock" (2010).
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