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Real Name: James Andrew McAvoy
Birthday: April 21, 1979

Biography And Filmography:

Seen as one of the best British actors under age 30,” Glasgow Scotland born James McAvoy’s talent for portraying imperfect yet compassionate characters made him an actor to keep your eye on. Starting his movie career at age sixteen in the 1995 thriller, “The Near Room,” it would be another eight years before he got his big break in the 2003 Sci-Fi Channel original television series, “Children of Dune.” 

After a few admired television roles, his movie career shot like a rocket in 2005, with a starring role in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” (2005), a story about four kids who travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion. James followed with a very impressive role in the smash hit, “The Last King of Scotland” (2006) with Gillian Anderson, a story based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970's.

Born Jan. 1, 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, James was raised by his mother's grandparents after his birth parents divorced in 1986. Growing up in the 1980's, he absorbed the stereotypical American movies of the time, including “St. Elmo’s Fire” (1985) with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, “Top Gun” (1986) with Tom Cruise and “Back to the Future” (1986) with Michael J. Fox.

An avid movie lover and “sci-fi fanatic,” his aspirations of becoming an actor became real, when at age fifteen, the young actor met Scottish actor David Hayman at a school career day. Impressed by this talent, Hayman called him five months later to see if he would audition for a role in his latest film, “The Near Room” (1986) – a dramatic thriller about child prostitution. His small role in the movie as the son of a pimp won him an invitation to the Royal Scottish Academy of Dance and Music.

After graduation, he relocated to London, where he shared an apartment with several roommates and a dog. Working at a bread shop as a day job, the discouraged actor nearly gave up and considered joining the Royal Navy, until he was cast in a small role in the World War II television miniseries, “Band of Brothers” (2001). After that, he shot to international attention with his role in the science-fiction miniseries, “Children of Dune.” As the young adult Leto Atreides II, he made his introduction in the movie's second chapter and stayed on through part three. 

He next appeared up in British television crime serial, “State of Play” (2003). His charismatic role as stubborn journalist Dan Foster led to role in another popular television in the bizarre British comedy, “Shameless” (2004). During this project, he met an actress nine years older then him, Anne-Marie Duff, and the two fell in love and married in October 2006.

Even with his growing celebrity in the U.K., he remained mostly unknown in the United States until the release of the smash hit fantasy movie, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.” Playing the well intentioned faun, Mr. Tumnus, he charmed longtime fans of the C.S. Lewis novel with his touching role. Capitalizing on audiences appetite for epic fantasy adventure movies after the runaway success of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy starring Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Liv Tyler, “The Chronicles of Narnia” was huge at the box office, earning almost $775 million worldwide.

The young actors most distinguished role was the following year in “The Last King of Scotland”. Based on journalist Giles Foden’s 1998 book, “The Last King of Scotland” starred James as Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, the head doctor to Ugandan dictator Idi Amin played by Forrest Whitaker. His character, Garrigan showed the type of character he played best: callous, damaged, but kind hearted and empathetic. Next, he starred alongside Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon in the comedy fantasy "Penelope" (2006), a modern romantic tale about a young aristocratic heiress born under a curse that can only be broken when she finds true love with "one who will love her faithfully."

With an amazing six films to his credit in a period of just two years, the now famous celebrity showed no signs of letting up. In 2007, he starred in “Starter for 10”, a coming-of-age romantic comedy set in the mid-1980s about a working class boy from Essex who enrolls at the prominent Bristol University trying to keep his ties to home while trying to make the university brain team that’s battling it out on a popular televised quiz show. 

He was then hired and cast in the dramatic biography "Becoming Jane" (2007) starring alongside Anne Hathaway, a biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman. He next starred in “Atonement” (2007), playing the Cambridge boyfriend of a young woman (Keira Knightley) whose harmless naked frolicking around the family mansion gets twisted by her spiteful sister (Saoirse Ronan) into an outrageous lie that has ramifications for everyone involved for the next thirty years.

The actor got another break with the summer blockbuster action thriller "Wanted" (2008), a movie that tells the tale of one apathetic nobody's transformation into an unparalleled enforcer of justice. He wrapped his year starring in the dramatic "The Last Station" (2008) with Paul Giamatti and Helen Mirren, a historical drama that illustrates Russian author Leo Tolstoy's struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things.

It has been rumored that McAvoy will team once again with Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis in the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy adventure movie "The Hobbit" scheduled to hit theaters in 2011. The movie tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit, who journeys to the Lonely Mountain accompanied by a group of dwarves to reclaim a treasure taken from them by the dragon Smaug.


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