Mark Rylance Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (37)  | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (3)

Born in Ashford, Kent, England, UK
Birth NameDavid Mark Rylance Waters
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Widely regarded as the greatest stage actor of his generation, Sir Mark Rylance has enjoyed an esteemed career on stage and on screen, and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Rudolf Abel in Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies (2015). He is also the winner of 2 Olivier Awards and 3 Tony Awards, as well as a BAFTA for his role in The Government Inspector. His film appearances also include Prospero's Books (1991), Angels and Insects (1995), Institute Benjamenta (1996), Intimacy (2001), and Spielberg's The BFG (2016).

Rylance was born in Ashford, Kent, the son of Anne (née Skinner) and David Waters, both English teachers. His grandmother was Irish. His parents moved to Connecticut in 1962 and Wisconsin in 1969, where his father taught English at the University School of Milwaukee. Rylance attended this school. He starred in most of the school's plays with the theatre's director, Dale Gutzman, including the lead in a 1976 production of Hamlet. He played Romeo in the school's production of Romeo and Juliet.

Mark was the first artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe in London, from 1995 to 2005. Rylance made his professional debut at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow in 1980. He went on to win the Olivier Award for Best Actor for Much Ado About Nothing in 1994 and Jerusalem in 2010, and the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for Boeing Boeing in 2008 and Jerusalem in 2011. He won a third Tony Award in 2014 for Twelfth Night. On television, he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor for his role as David Kelly in the 2005 Channel 4 drama The Government Inspector and was nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and BAFTA TV Award for playing Thomas Cromwell in the 2015 BBC Two miniseries Wolf Hall.

In 2007, Rylance performed in Boeing-Boeing in London. In 2008, he reprise the role on Broadway and won Drama Desk and Tony Awards for his performance. In 2009, Rylance won the Critics' Circle Theatre Award Best Actor, 2009 for his role of Johnny Byron in Jerusalem written by Jez Butterworth at the Royal Court Theatre in London. In 2010, Rylance starred in a revival of David Hirson's verse play La Bête. The play ran first at London's Comedy Theatre before transferring to the Music Box Theatre on Broadway, on 23 September 2010. Also in 2010, he won another Olivier award for best actor in the role of Johnny Byron in Jerusalem at the Apollo Theatre in London. In 2011, he won his second Tony Award for playing the same role in the Broadway production. He played Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall (2015), BBC Two's adaptation of Hilary Mantel's historical novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. For his performance, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Rylance was featured as the castaway on the BBC radio program Desert Island Discs on 15 February 2015.

Rylance co-starred in the biographical drama Bridge of Spies, released in October 2015, directed by Spielberg, and starring Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan and Alan Alda. The film is about the 1960 U-2 Incident and the arrest and conviction of Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel and the exchange of Abel for U-2 pilot Gary Powers. Rylance plays Abel and has received unanimous universal acclaim for his performance with many critics claiming it as the best performance of 2015. The St. Louis Post-Depatch quoted, "As the deeply principled Donovan, Hanks deftly balances earnestness and humor. And Rylance's spirited performance is almost certain to yield an Oscar nomination." David Edelstein from New York cited 'It's Rylance who keeps Bridge of Spies standing. He gives a teeny, witty, fabulously non-emotive performance, every line musical and slightly ironic - the irony being his forthright refusal to deceive in a world founded on lies." Rylance won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and New York Film Critics Circle Award in the Best Supporting Actor categories, as well as receiving Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, among other wins and nominations.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Polythene Paul and Pedro Borges

Family (2)

Spouse Claire van Kampen (21 December 1989 - present)
Parents Anne Waters (Skinner)
David Waters

Trade Mark (2)

Frequently works with Steven Spielberg
Fond of wearing hats indoors.

Trivia (37)

University School of Milwaukee (Wisconsin), Class of 1978.
He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1994 (1993 season) for Best Actor for his performance in Much Ado About Nothing.
He was nominated for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actor of 2002 for his performance in Twelfth Night performed at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
He was awarded the 2002 London Critics Circle Theatre Award for Best Shakespearian Performance for his role in Twelfth Night performed at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
He was awarded the 2002 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Special Award for the 2002 Globe Season of Cupid and Psyche.
Became an Associate Member of the RSC.
Graduated from RADA.
In 1989, played both Hamlet and Romeo in repertoire for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Rylance is his paternal grandfather's middle name.
His family moved to the US in 1962, when his father was hired to teach at the Choate School, in Connecticut. They moved to Milwaukee in 1969, where his father was in charge of upper-level English at the University School.
Won a Tony Award in 2008 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Play for "Boeing-Boeing".
Won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for "Jerusalem".
When he won his Tonys in 2008 and 2011, he didn't give standard acceptance speeches or thank people. Instead, both times he gave Zen-like, non sequitur recitations of works by poet Louis Jenkins. In 2008, he recited "Backcountry". In 2011, he recited "Walking Through a Wall".
In July 2011, Mark gave the Tony Award he had earned in "Jerusalem" to Mickey Lay, a 71-year-old builder and resident of Pewsey, a small village west of London. Lay had inspired and helped him to create the Gypsy character he played in his acclaimed Broadway role.
Just finished a limited engagement of "La Bete" in London's West End, along with David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley. The play is about to open on Broadway in New York for an 18-week run starting September 23, 2010. [September 2010]
Stars as "Robert" in the London revival of "Boeing, Boeing" [February 2007]
He is currently playing the title role in "Peer Gynt" at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. [February 2008]
May-September 2004: Shakespeare's Globe, London: playing Duke Vincentio in "Measure for Measure" [August 2004]
Stars as "Robert" in the New York production of "Boeing, Boeing" [May 2008]
Announced he will be leaving his position as artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London at the end of 2005. He has served as the theatre's artistic director for 10 years and is the only one who has filled the position so far. [October 2004]
Stepfather of actress Juliet Rylance (from his marriage to her birth mother Claire).
In 2014 he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play. He was nominated for his performance as King Richard in William Shakespeare's Richard III.
In 2008 he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a play. He was nominated for his performance as Robert in Boeing Boeing.
In 1983 he was nominated for an Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a supporting role. He was nominated for his performance as Michael in the Elizabethan play "Arden of Faversham".
In 2010 he won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a play. He won for his performance as Johnny "Rooster" Byron in Jez Buttersworth's "Jerusalem".
In 2013 he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a play. He was nominated for his performance as Olivia in William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night". This nomination gave him the rare distinction of being nominated twice for the same role. His previous nomination was ten years previously in 2003 in the same category.
In 2014 he won his third Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play. He won for his performance as Olivia in William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night".
In 2011 he was nominated for an Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a play. He was nominated for his performance as Valere in David Hirson's "La Bete".
His grandmother was Irish.
Member of the 'Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS) since 2016.
He was awarded the Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to Theatre. He is an actor in London, England. This is the second highest order of chivalry the Queen can award for contributions to the arts.
Although he's generally regarded as one of the greatest Shakesperean actors, he is a somewhat controversial figure among scholars due to his support for the Oxfordian theory, which is one of many schools of thought stating that Shakespeare wasn't the author of any of the works attributed to him. He agreed to appear in the film Anonymous (2011), which is based on the Oxfordian theory, in order to draw more attention to the authorship debate.
In July 2018, he will return to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London (where he was the first Artistic director) to play the role of Iago in a new production of Othello. He will also act as mentor, (along with his successor Dominic Dromgoole) to the Globe's newly appointed Artistic director, Michelle Terry.
Mark Rylance is actually his middle names. His first and last name, David Waters, he shares with his father.
As of 2022, he has been in 4 films that were Oscar nominated for Best Picture: Bridge of Spies (2015), Dunkirk (2017), The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), and Don't Look Up (2021).
Mark is one of 6 performers to receive two acting Tony nominations in different categories in the same year. In 2014 he was nominated for "Twelfth Night"(Featured Actor in a Play) and "Richard III"(Lead Actor in a Play), winning for "Twelfth Night". The other performers to share this distinction are Amanda Plummer, Dana Ivey, Kate Burton, Jan Maxwell and Jeremy Pope. Only Mark and Amanda Plummer have won one of their nominations, and no one has won both.
With his best supporting acting Oscar win for Bridge Of Spies, he is only one of two people to win an academy award for a Spielberg film. The other is Daniel Day Lewis for Lincoln.

Personal Quotes (15)

There have been more books alone written about Hamlet than have been written about the Bible.
You know, I don't think you need to be educated to be a great actor.
Well, my wife always says to me, and I think it's true, it's very difficult for us to understand the Elizabethan understanding and enjoyment and perception of form as it is to say... it would be for them to understand computers or going to the moon or something.
Great actors try to dismiss all ideas from their conscious mind in order to provide an experience that is real.
So there's a lot of people tied into believing that the traditional response to the authorship question. In terms of actors, some people get very angry about it.
But I don't sit down at dinner and have clever ideas.
But I find with Francis Bacon, some of the things were in the place, and someone who was connected with these schools of thought, and someone who had a motivation that equals the scope of the comedy and the tragedy in the plays.
I think that was very important to Bacon... personally. I think he went to great efforts to get a house for the Stratford man, to make it so difficult for us to prove that it was Francis Bacon, because it is very difficult to prove.
It's difficult for me to say, but I don't think the sex scenes are particularly erotic.
Burleigh, absolutely; and a lot about Elizabeth. I mean I found when I play Henry V a lot of connections with the hidden history of the connection between Francis Bacon and Elizabeth.
And it is a very beautiful idea, and possibly true, that a common man from Stratford with a common education was able to write these plays.
Our job is to make manifest the story, to be it. In a sense, the theatre is such a big star itself, bigger than any Shakespearean actor I could hire, that we should take the opportunity to fill it with voice and verse and movement, not interpretation.
Pretty much all children are helpful to act with; they lack any guile when they act. Ruby (Ruby Barnhill) was particularly helpful: very, very present. And you also hear the very useful basic instructions that Steven would never say to Tom Hanks or to me, but he says to her: "Now concentrate, take your time before we start, just get into character, feel and think what's going on." I'm doing that anyway, but it's great to be reminded. Steven's got such incredible performances out of children; understands them so well and loves them so deeply, loves their imagination and energy tirelessly. So I was really very happy to be quiet and watch that. And then our [Mark and Ruby] relationship really came together when we were on screen.
It's an intuitive exercise to do a Shakespeare play and to go through a Shakespeare play.
Moments are incredible, but in my fantasy mind I see a Globe company which is renowned throughout the world for what it does with pure storytelling. So that people come and say: it's not just the building, it's the only place you can hear this kind of work.

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