RUFUS SEWELL Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Rufus Frederik Sewell                                                         
Born: 29 October 1967 Twickenham, England                                           
Rufus Frederik Sewell (born October 29, 1967) is an English actor. In film, he       
appeared in The Woodlanders, Dangerous Beauty, Dark City, A Knight's Tale, and       
Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence. On television, he became well known for     
his role as the hero, Will Ladislaw, in the BBC adaptation of George Eliot's         
Middlemarch. In 2003, he appeared in the lead role in Charles II: The Power and     
The Passion about the life of King Charles II of England. On stage, he               
originated the role of Septimus Hodge in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia and the role of     
Jan in Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll, which earned him an Olivier Award for the           
latter performance.                                                                 
Sewell was born in Twickenham in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in       
South West London, the son of William Sewell, an Australian animator, and Jo, a     
Welsh artist and waitress. His father worked on the Lucy in the Sky with             
Diamonds animation for The Beatles. His parents split up when Sewell was five       
and his mother supported her two sons by working different jobs. His father died     
when Rufus was 10 and by his own admission, Sewell was a difficult teenager.         
Sewell attended Orleans Park School, which he left in 1984. It was clear from       
his lively eccentricities and charismatic behaviour at the school that he would     
be temperamentally well suited for playing the lead role in several period           
dramas. A drama teacher at West Thames College spotted his promise and sent him     
to audition for drama school. He enrolled at the Central School of Speech and       
Drama in London. After graduating, he was set up with an agent by Dame Judi         
Dench who had directed him in a play while at Central.                               
Sewell found 1993 to be his breakthrough year when he starred in both the BBC       
serial of George Eliot's Middlemarch and on stage in Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia     
at The Royal National Theatre (Lyttelton). In 1995 he was directed by John           
Schlesinger in the cult film Cold Comfort Farm. He continues to be a triple-threat, 
working continually in film, television and the theater. Although best known for     
his work in costume dramas, Sewell prefers 'cravat-less' roles in modern pieces.     
One of his more recent ventures in this genre was playing the part of Petruchio     
in the BBC's 2005 version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew as part of       
the Shakespeare Re-Told season, which earned him a Best Actor nomination at the     
2006 BAFTA Television Awards. In this modern retelling of the story the action       
moves from 17th Century Padua, Italy to the glamorous social circles of 21st         
Century London. This production marks the fourth time that Sewell has acted in a     
Shakespeare play since becoming a professional actor: he previously portrayed       
Hotspur in Henry IV, Part 1 in 1995, Fortinbras in Hamlet in 1996 and Macbeth in     
Macbeth in 1999. Moreover, Sewell appeared in the lead role of John Murdoch in       
the landmark sci-fi film Dark City in 1998.                                         
He appeared in the premiere of Tom Stoppard's latest play Rock 'n' Roll at the       
Royal Court Theatre from June to July 2006 and at the Duke of York's Theatre         
from July until November 2006. The play was a critical and commercial success;       
playing to full houses and garnering several awards and nominations, including       
wins for Sewell in the Best Actor category at The Evening Standard Awards, The       
Critics' Circle Awards and The Olivier Awards.                                       
Sewell was recently seen in Amazing Grace, The Illusionist and Nancy Meyers'         
romantic comedy The Holiday. Amazing Grace is a film based on the story of           
William Wilberforce's political fight to abolish slavery in Britain. Sewell         
portrays Wilberforce's co-campaigner Thomas Clarkson and yet again had to wear a     
cravat for the part.                                                                 
He read 11 of Ian Fleming's James Bond books on 36 CDs for Collins.