by hul_zi-1 | created - 20 Feb 2018 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

1. Kenneth Branagh

Actor | Henry V

Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family ...

Twelfth Night, or What You Will 1988 Henry V, Henry V, 1989 Discovering Hamlet, Himself/Hamlet 1990 Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick, 1993 Othello, Iago 1995 Hamlet, Hamlet 1996 Looking for Richard, Himself, 1996 Love’s Labour’s Lost, Berowne 2000 As You Like It 2006 Macbeth, Macbeth 2013 The Winter’s Tale, Leontes 2015 Romeo and Juliet 2016

2. John Gielgud

Actor | Arthur

Born in London, England, John Gielgud trained at Lady Benson's Acting School and RADA, London. Best known for his Shakespearean roles in the theater, he first played Hamlet at the age of 26. He worked under the tutelage of Lilian Bayliss with friend and fellow performer Laurence Olivier and other ...

Julius Caesar, Cassius 1953 Romeo and Juliet, Chorus 1954 Richard III, George Duke of Clarence 1955 Hamlet, Ghost (voice) 1964 Chimes at Midnight, Henry IV 1965 Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar 1970 Hamlet, The Ghost 1970 Romeo & Juliet, Chorus 1978 Richard II, John of Gaunt 1978 Prospero’s Books, Prospero 1991 Hamlet, Priam 1996

3. Derek Jacobi

Actor | Gladiator

Preeminent British classical actor of the first post-Olivier generation, Derek Jacobi was knighted in 1994 for his services to the theatre, and, in fact, is only the second to enjoy the honor of holding TWO knighthoods, Danish and English (Olivier was the other). Modest and unassuming in nature, ...

Othello, Cassio 1965 Much Ado About Nothing, Don John 1967 Richard II, Richard II 1978 Hamlet, Hamlet 1980 Henry V, Chorus 1989 Discovering Hamlet, Himself 1990 Hamlet, Claudius 1996 Looking for Richard, Himself 1996 King Lear, King Lear 2011 Anonymous, Prologue 2011 Shakespeare Uncovered, Himself/Richard II 2012 Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio 2016

4. Helen Mirren

Actress | RED

Dame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in West London. Her mother, Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda (Rogers), was from a working-class English family, and her father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, was a Russian-born civil servant, from Kuryanovo, whose own father was a diplomat. ...

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hermia 1968 Hamlet, Ophelia/Gertrude 1976 As You Like It, Rosalind 1978 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania 1981 Cymbeline, Imogen 1982 The Tempest, Prospera 2010 Shakespeare Uncovered, Herself 2012 Shakespeare Live! From the RSC, Herself /Performer 2016

5. Elijah Moshinsky

Director | Genghis Cohn

Elijah Moshinsky was born on January 8, 1946 in Shanghai, China. He is known for his work on Genghis Cohn (1993), Theatre Night (1985) and The Green Man (1990).

All’s Well That Ends Well 1981 A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1981 Cymbeline 1982 The Tragedy of Coriolanus 1984 Love’s Labour’s Lost 1985

6. Laurence Olivier

Actor | Sleuth

Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett, who met Olivier in 1927.

Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High ...

As You Like It, Orlando 1936 Henry V, Henry V 1944 Hamlet, Hamlet 1948 Richard III, Richard III 1955 Othello, Othello 1965 Romeo and Juliet, Narrator /voices (Uncredited) 1968 The Merchant of Venice, Shylock 1973 King Lear, King Lear 1983

7. Patrick Stewart

Actor | Logan

Sir Patrick Stewart was born in Mirfield, Yorkshire, England, to Gladys (Barrowclough), a textile worker and weaver, and Alfred Stewart, who was in the army. He was a member of various local drama groups from about age 12. He left school at age 15 to work as a junior reporter on a local paper; he ...

Hamlet, Claudius 1980 Playing Shakespeare, Himself 1982 Discovering Hamlet, Narrator 1990 King of Texas, John Lear 2002 Hamlet, Claudius/Ghost 2009 Macbeth, Macbeth 2010 Gnomeo and Juliet, Bill Shakespeare 2011 The Hollow Crown: Richard II, John of Gaunt 2012 Shakespeare Uncovered, Himself, 2015

8. Anthony Hopkins

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales, to Muriel Anne (Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. His parents were both of half Welsh and half English descent. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, ...

Hamlet, Claudius, 1969 Othello, Othello, 1981 Titus, Titus Andronicus, 1999 King Lear, Lear, 2018

9. Nicol Williamson

Actor | Excalibur

Nicol Williamson was an enormously talented actor who was considered by some critics to be the finest actor of his generation in the late 1960s and the 1970s, rivaled only by Albert Finney, whom Williamson bested in the classics. Williamson's 1969 "Hamlet" at the Roundhouse Theatre was a sensation ...

Hamlet, Hamlet, 1969 Macbeth, Macbeth, 1983

10. Jon Finch

Actor | Frenzy

Dark, broodingly handsome Jon Finch was the son of a merchant banker. His first stage role was in elementary school at age 13 playing a Roman noblewoman(!). After gaining experience in amateur theatre groups and following a short stint with a folk singing group, he suddenly left for military ...

Macbeth, Macbeth 1971 Richard II, Henry Bolingbroke 1978 Henry IV, Henry, 1979 Henry IV, Henry 1979 Much Ado About Nothing, 1984

11. Stuart Burge

Director | Talking Heads 2

Stuart Burge was born on January 15, 1918 in Brentwood, Essex, England. He was a director and producer, known for Talking Heads 2 (1998), Drama 61-67 (1961) and Secret Agent (1964). He was married to Josephine Parker. He died on January 24, 2002 in Lymington, Hampshire, England.

Julius Caesar 1959, Othello, 1965, Julius Caesar 1970, Much Ado About Nothing, 1984

12. Judi Dench

Actress | Skyfall

Dame Judi Dench was born Judith Olivia Dench in York, England, to Eleanora Olive (Jones), who was from Dublin, Ireland, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor from Dorset, England. She attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with the ...

Age of Kings: Henry V, Katherine, 1960 A Midsummer Night's Dream, Titania, 1968 The Comedy of Errors, 1978 A Performance of Macbeth, 1979 Henry V, Mistress Quickly 1989 Hamlet, Hecuba, 1996 Shakespeare in Love, Queen Elizabeth, 1998 Branagh Theatre Live: The Winter's Tale 2015 The Hollow Crown: Richard III, Cecily, 2016 Shakespeare Live!From the RSC, 2016

13. Jonathan Miller

Producer | Cosi Fan Tutte

Jonathan Miller was born on July 21, 1934 in London, England as Jonathan Wolfe Miller. He is a writer and producer, known for Cosi Fan Tutte (1986), Sunday Night (1965) and Take a Girl Like You (1970). He has been married to Helen Rachel Collet since 1956. They have three children.

King Lear, 1975 The Taming of the Shrew, 1980 Timon of Athens,1981 Anthony & Cleopatra, 1981 Othello, 1981 Troilus & Cressida, 1981 King Lear, 1982

14. Claire Bloom

Actress | Limelight

Age has not taken the flower off this Bloom. The well-known and respected stage, screen and television actress Claire Bloom, originally named Patricia Claire Blume, continues to be in demand as an octogenarian actress and looks as beautiful as ever.

She was born Patricia Claire Blume on February 15,...

Richard III, Lady Anne, 1955 Romeo and Juliet, Juliet 1957 Henry VIII, Katharine, 1979 Hamlet, Getrude, 1980 Cymbeline, Queen, 1982 King John, Constance, 1984

15. Jeremy Irons

Actor | Dead Ringers

British actor Jeremy Irons was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England. He is the son of Barbara Anne Brereton (Sharpe) and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant. Young Jeremy didn't prove very fond of figures. He visited mainland England only once a year. He wound up ...

The Lion King, Scar (Based on Claudius), 1994 The Merchant of Venice, Antonio, 2004 The Hollow Crown, Henry IV, 2012

16. Richard Eyre

Director | Notes on a Scandal

Richard Eyre was born on March 28, 1943 in Barnstaple, Devon, England as Richard Charles Hastings Eyre. He is a director and producer, known for Notes on a Scandal (2006), Iris (2001) and Stage Beauty (2004). He has been married to Sue Birtwistle since 1973.

Richard III (Original Stage Production) 1995 King Lear 1998 The Hollow Crown : Henry IV 2012 King Lear 2018

17. Trevor Nunn

Director | Twelfth Night or What You Will

Trevor Nunn was born on January 14, 1940 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England as Trevor Robert Nunn. He was previously married to Imogen Stubbs, Sharon Lee Hill and Janet Suzman.

Anthony and Cleopatra 1974 Macbeth 1979 Othello 1990 Twelfth Night 1996 The Merchant of Venice 2001 King Lear 2008

18. Michael Hordern

Actor | Where Eagles Dare

Following a brief teaching career, Michael Hordern made his stage debut in 1937. He made his film debut in 1939, but his career was stalled by WWII. He resumed his acting career in 1946, both in theatre and films. He hit his stride in the 1960s playing befuddled characters, particularly stuffy ...

As You Like It, Jacques, 1953 The Merchant of Venice, Shylock 1955 Macbeth, Banquo, 1960 The Taming of the Shrew, Bapista, 1967 King Lear, King Lear 1975 Romeo & Juliet, Capulet, 1978 The Tempest, Prospero, 1980 All's Well That Ends Well, Lafeu 1981, King Lear, King Lear, 1982 Cymbeline, Jupiter, 1982

19. Nigel Hawthorne

Actor | The Madness of King George

Born in Coventry, England on 5 April 1929. Raised in South Africa. Returned to the UK in the 1950s. Extensive theatre work in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. His portrayal of "Sir Humphrey Appleby" in the BBC comedy Yes Minister (1980) won him international acclaim in the 1980s. In 1992, he was awarded...

The Tempest, Stephano, 1980 Richard III, Clarence, 1995 Twelfth Night, Malvolio, 1996

20. Brian Blessed

Actor | Flash Gordon

Boisterous British actor Brian Blessed is known for his hearty, king-sized portrayals on film and television. A giant of a man accompanied by an eloquent wit and booming, operatic voice, Brian was born in 1936 and grew up in the mining village of Goldthorpe in South Yorkshire. His father was a ...

Henry V, Duke of Exeter, 1989 Much Ado About Nothing, Antonio 1993 Hamlet, Ghost 1996 Macbeth, King Edward 1997 King Lear, King Lear, 1997 King Lear, King Lear 1999 As You Like It, Duke Senior 2006

21. David Tennant

Actor | Doctor Who

One of Scotland's greatest ever actors, David Tennant has won almost universal acclaim from audiences, critics and fellow professionals for his outstanding and award-winning performances on stage and screen. He was born David John McDonald in West Lothian, Scotland, to Essdale Helen (McLeod) and ...

Hamlet, Hamlet 2009 Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick 2011 Richard II, Richard II, 2013

The Winter's Tale 1981 The First Part of King Henry VI 1983 The Second Part of King Henry VI 1983 The Third Part of King Henry VI 1983 Richard III 1983 Titus Andronicus 1985

23. Richard Briers

Actor | Peter Pan

Richard Briers was born on January 14, 1934 in Merton, Surrey, England as Richard David Briers. He was an actor, known for Peter Pan (2003), Watership Down (1978) and Much Ado About Nothing (1993). He was married to Ann Davies. He died on February 17, 2013 in London, England.

Twelfth Night, Malvolio 1988 Henry V, Lieutenant Bardolph 1989 Much Ado About Nothing, Leonato 1993 A Midwinter's Tale, Henry Wakefield 1995 Hamlet, Polonius 1996 Love's Labour's Lost 2000 As You Like It 2006

24. Richard Burton

Actor | Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Probably best-remembered for his turbulent personal life with Elizabeth Taylor (whom he married twice), Richard Burton was nonetheless also regarded as an often brilliant British actor of the post-WWII period.

Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins in 1925 into a Welsh (Cymraeg)-speaking family in ...

25. Ben Whishaw

Actor | Cloud Atlas

Proclaimed by many critics as one of the best young actors of his generation, Benjamin John Whishaw was born in Clifton, Bedfordshire, to Linda (Hope), who works in cosmetics, and Jose Whishaw, who works in information technology. He has a twin brother, James. He is of French, German, Russian (...

The Tempest, Ariel 2010 Hollow Crown: Richard II, Richard II 2012 Julius Caesar, Brutus 2018

26. Maggie Smith

Actress | Gosford Park

One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor ...

Othello, Desdemona 1965 Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice 1967 The Merchant of Venice, Portia 1972 Richard III, Duchess of York 1995 Gnomeo & Juliet, Lady Bluebury 2011

27. Tom Hiddleston

Actor | The Avengers

Thomas William Hiddleston was born in Westminster, London, to English-born Diana Patricia (Servaes) and Scottish-born James Norman Hiddleston. His mother is a former stage manager, and his father, a scientist, was the managing director of a pharmaceutical company. He started off at the preparatory ...

Henry IV 1 Prince Hal, 2012 Henry IV 2 Prince Hal, 2012 Henry V, Henry V, 2012 Coriolanus, Coriolanus 2014

28. Bernard Hill

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Bernard Hill was born on December 17, 1944 in Manchester, England. He is known for his work on The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and Titanic (1997). He is married to Marianne. They have one child.

The First Part of King Henry VI, Master Gunner /York 1983 The Second Part of King Henry VI, York 1983 The Third Part of King Henry VI, York 1983 Richard III, First Murderer 1983 Shakespeare the Animated Tales: A Midsummer Night's Dream , Bottom 1992 A Midsummer Night's Dream, Egeus 1999

29. Ron Cook

Actor | Hot Fuzz

Ron Cook was born in 1948 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England. He is an actor, known for Hot Fuzz (2007), The Merchant of Venice (2004) and Chocolat (2000).

Will Shakespeare, Jack Rice 1978 The Merry Wives of Windsor, Peter Simple 1982 The First Part of King Henry VI, Messenger 1983 The Second Part of King Henry VI, Richard Plantagenet 1983 The Third Part of King Henry VI, Richard Duke of Gloucester 1983 Richard III, Richard III, 1983 The Merchant of Venice, Old Gobbo, 2004 National Theatre Live : King Lear, The Fool 2011

30. Cyril Cusack

Actor | Fahrenheit 451

Cyril James Cusack was born in Durban, Natal, South Africa, to Alice Violet (Cole), a Cockney English actress and chorus girl, and James Walter Cusack, an Irish mounted policeman in Natal. He was brought up in Ireland. He was a child star on the Irish stage, appearing first at the age of 7. He ...

The Taming of the Shrew, Grumio 1967 King Lear, Albany 1971 The Comedy of Errors, Aegeon 1983 As You Like It, Adam, 1992

31. John McEnery

Actor | Romeo and Juliet

John McEnery was born on November 1, 1943 in Birmingham, England. He was an actor, known for Romeo and Juliet (1968), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) and Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003). He was married to Stephanie Beacham. He died on April 12, 2019 in the UK.

Othello, Senators-soldiers-Cypriots 1965 Much Ado About Nothing, Gentleman 1967 Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio 1968 Will Shakespeare, Hamnet Sadler 1978 Measure for Measure, Lucio 1979 Hamlet, Osric 1990 Henry V at Shakespeare's Globe, Untitled 1997 Richard II, Lord Willoughby 1997 Richard II, John of Gaunt et others 2003

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