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Real Name: Jude Law
Birthday: Dec. 29, 1972
Place of Birth: Lewisham, England

 

Biography:

Golden boy and British artist Jude Law has been able to widen his talents into an esteemed actor known for playing difficult and often blemished characters. Though he stumbled a little early on in his profession to make a name for himself, he ultimately shot onto the scene full blast with his Oscar nominated role in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999) starring alongside Matt Damon. From there, he was unexpectedly everywhere onscreen, playing the role of a Russian shooter fighting a Nazi sharpshooter during the Battle of Stalingrad in “Enemy at the Gates” (2001), a battered murderer with a desire for photography in “Road to Perdition” (2002) featuring  Tom Hanks and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and then a confederate soldier assumed dead and under pressure to make it home in “Cold Mountain” (2003). 

Born on Dec. 29, 1972 in Lewisham, England, a region in southwestern London, he is the son of teachers who encouraged him to perform at an early age. When only thirteen years old, he started acting with the National Youth Music Theatre. 

A starring role in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" led to his television introduction in a musical based on Beatrix Potter's "The Tailor of Gloucester" (1990). That same year, he left his schooling behind for the British soap, "Families.” Ten months later, he ended the show and returned to the stage, touring Italy as Freddie in "Pygmalion" and making a run in London with "The Fastest Clock in the Universe.” 

In 1994, the actor made an impact on movie goers in London and New York, as a young man dealing with his oppressive parents in "Les Parents Terrible,” mainly for an extensive nude shower scene in the 2nd act. Making a large impact, he was the only ensemble player of the English play asked to join the production on Broadway, including the nude scene, and was flattered with a Tony Award nomination for his work.

His first movie role,  playing a meek car thieving street kid in "Shopping" (1994), about a group of young boys led by a recently released joy rider and his Belfast girlfriend. This started an awkward pattern for his early film career during much of the 1990s, during which he offered strong characters  in dull films. Often spoke of as the next big thing, he would find himself swiftly added to the "Who is he again?" list after a number of second-rate movies. 

In 1997, he was cast in three assorted roles - the flawed Lord Alfred Douglas in drama "Wilde” the story of Oscar Wilde, the genius, poet and playwright. Next the actor played a hard drinking cripple in "Gattaca", and finally as a gay lover who ends up a murder victim in the acclaimed "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” In all roles, he added force and personality to the film, but each movie failed at the box office.

His losing streak seemed never ending, with the narrowly released "Music From Another Room,” with the actor starring as an artist who meets up with a woman, and "The Wisdom of Crocodiles" (1998 - 2000), as a vampire in London who is searching for the ideal woman to 'redeem' him.  While many thought that David Cronenberg's science fiction adventure "eXistenZ" starring Jennifer Jason Leigh (1999) would finally shoot Law onto the A-list, it was not received well by audiences. He finally got a break when Anthony Minghella asked him to play decadent Dickie Greenleaf, who became an object of desire to Matt Damon's "The Talented Mr. Ripley” - set in the late 1950's New York, about Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, who is sent to Europe to find a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy, named Dickie Greenleaf. But when the task fails, Ripley kills the playboy and begins to assume his life.

Prior to the release of "Ripley,” the actor went back to the London stage and received rave reviews for "'Tis Pity She's a Whore," as well as launching his directors debut with a television movie called "Tube Tales" (1999). Next to his wife Sadie Frost, who he had starred with in "Shopping", and best friends Johnny Lee Miller, Wean McGregor and Sean Pertwee, Jude created the management and production company "Natural Nylon", with a host of movies in assorted stages of production.

Hollywood was searching for the movie star again in 2001 for a starring role in "Enemy at the Gates." His outstanding role quickly led to a movie part as a hustler android in Steven Spielberg's greatly awaited "A.I." From there, he would become a very popular player in the middle of Hollywood royalty. In 2002, he took a supporting part as a homicidal photographer next to Tom Hanks in "Road to Perdition,” prior to starring as a leading male in 2003 when he took over the lead role from Tom Cruise in Anthony Minghella's "Cold Mountain," opposite Nicole Kidman in the variation of Charles Frazer's Civil War adventure. Playing confederate army traitor Inman, his character escapes his unit to visit his adored Ada at Cold Mountain and faces enormous anguish on his long, traumatic journey home. His role was an absolutely authentic and believable film character. The actors job was rewarded with an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor, and a Golden Globe nomination. 

His next film role was the action adventure movie "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" (2004) opposite Bai Ling and Angelina Jolie, where he played a character battling giant robots and probing for missing scientists. "Sky Captain" was the first in a string of showcased films that were on the move during 2004. He next appeared in the company of writer director David O. Russell's comedy, "I Love Huckabees" with Dustin Hoffman, as Jason Schwartzman's rival, an executive rising to the top at the retail superstore Huckabees, whose outwardly wonderful life is explored by a pair of thoughtful detectives. 

He next was hired and cast in the Mike Nichols directed adventure "Closer" (2004)  next to Clive Owen as a pair of friends whose relationships become hysterically intertwined, the performance was his finest of the year. The actor also had a guest appearance as the polished but wicked Hollywood megastar Errol Flynn in Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic, "The Aviator" with a cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio and Gwen Stefani, a biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career, from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s. 

He ended the year lending his voice to the title role in the fantasy "Lemony Snicket's Unfortunate Series of Events" (2004) starring Jim Carrey as Count Olaf.  

Later on that year, more unnecessary tabloid media hype started when he released a testimonial apologizing to his girlfriend for having an affair with his child's nanny three months into their seven month engagement. The British and American tabloid media had a feeding frenzy. The couple tried to reunite, but eventually called it quits.

In “All the King’s Men” (2006), Steven Zaillian’s version of Robert Penn Warren’s book, he teamed with a talented cast that included Sean Penn, Anthony Hopkins, Patricia Clarkson and James Gandolfini and based on the novel of the life of populist Southerner Willie Stark, a political figure loosely based on Governor Huey Long of Louisiana.

Jude then starred in a more upbeat movie, “The Holiday” (2006), a romantic comedy surrounding two females, British Kate Winslet, the other American Cameron Diaz, whose messy love lives encourage them to cross the ocean and switch homes for the Christmas holiday.

In the meantime, he teamed with director Anthony Minghella for “Breaking and Entering” (2006), playing a colleague at a prosperous architecture firm who leaves on an expedition of self-discovery, and eventually deliverance, when he searches for the robber that broke into his office and stole all his company’s computer equipment. 

In the role in “Sleuth” (2007),  he played Milo Tindle, a hairdresser being conned by Andrew Wyke, a more mature and well-off society man trying to find retribution on Tindle for taking his wife. Next for the actor was the romantic comedy "My Blueberry Nights" (2007) about a young woman who takes a soul-searching journey across America to resolve her questions about love while encountering a series of offbeat characters along the way. 

Next for movie star was the Johnny Depp and Heath Ledger fantasy adventure "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" (2009), the story about a traveling theater company who gives its audience much more than they were expecting. He then returned to his science fiction roots with "Repossession Mambo" (2009) set in the near future when artificial organs can be bought on credit, it revolves around a man who struggles to make the payments on a heart he has purchased. He must therefore go on the run before it is repossessed. 

Finishing up 2009 is the action adventure fantasy "King Conqueror" (2009) an epic of the life and battles of James I, King of Aragon, (King Conqueror), in the line of 300. The most renowned of the Spanish medieval kings of Aragon (1213-1276), who added the Balearic Islands and Valencia to his realm and thus initiated the Catalan-Aragonese expansion in the Mediterranean that was to reach its zenith in the last decades of the 14th century. 

 

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