Oct. 10th, 1946
Redditch, Worcestershire, England, UK
Charles Dance's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
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Walter Charles Dance, (born 10 October 1946) is an English actor, screenwriter, and film director. Dance typically plays assertive bureaucrats or villains. Some of his most high-profile roles are Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Dr. Jonathan Clemens in Alien 3 (1992), Sardo Numspa in The Golden Child (1986), Benedict in Last Action Hero (1993), and Lord Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones.
Dance was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, the son of Eleanor (née Perks), a cook, and Walter Dance, an engineer. He attended Widey Technical School for Boys (it closed when known as Widey High School in 1988) in Crownhill. He was set for a career in graphic design after graduating from the Plymouth College of Art before turning to acting.
Dance was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company during the mid- to late-1970s and was in many of their productions in London and Stratford-upon-Avon. Later he returned to the RSC to take the title role in Coriolanus at Stratford-upon-Avon and Newcastle in 1989, and at the Barbican Theatre in 1990. He received rave reviews and a Critics' Circle Best Actor award for his performance as the Oxford don C. S. Lewis in William Nicholson's Shadowlands, in the 2007 stage revival.
Dance made his screen debut in 1974, in a BBC mystery series Father Brown as Commandant Neil O'Brien in The Secret Garden, but his big break came ten years later when he played the major role of Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (Granada Television, Christopher Morahan 1984), an adaptation of Paul Scott's novels that also made stars of Geraldine James and Art Malik. He has also starred in many other British television dramas such as Murder Rooms, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), Rebecca, The Phantom of the Opera, Fingersmith and Bleak House (for which he received an Emmy nomination).
He was name-checked in the British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, as being slated to play the title character in The Life of Jesus Christ 2, which was filming in Morocco at the same time as the main characters of the series were there for a photo shoot. He also played Guy Spencer, the pro-Hitler propagandist, in the second installment of Foyle's War, and had an ongoing role as Dr. Maltravers in the ITV drama Trinity.
Dance made a guest appearance on the BBC drama series Merlin as the Witchfinder Aredian, and himself in the third series of Jam & Jerusalem. He played Havelock Vetinari in the 2010 Sky adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. He plays the role of Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones, based on the Song of Ice and Fire novels by 'George R. R. Martin'. Dance was wooed for the role by the producers whilst filming Your Highness in Belfast.
Dance also played Conrad Knox on the British television series Strike Back: Vengeance as the primary villain in the series. He appeared in Paris Connections (2010) as the Russian oligarch Aleksandr Borinski. Dance made one of his earliest big screen appearances in the 1981 'James Bond' film For Your Eyes Only as evil henchman Claus, and in 1989 he played Bond creator Ian Fleming in Anglia Television's dramatised biography, Goldeneye (the name of Fleming's estate in Jamaica and a title later used for a James Bond film).
- Insitially studied graphic design at an art school in Leicester, but on returning to Devon, a passion for acting took over his interest.
- Children, Oliver and Rebecca
- Found international notice after playing the leading part of Guy Perron in the TV mini-series _"The Jewel in the Crown" (1984)_ (qv).
- In 1975 he became supporting player with the Royal Shakespeare Company and played roles in "Hamlet," "Henry IV," "Richard III," "Henry V," "As You Like It," and "Coriolanus," among others.
- Following the death of his father at age four, his mother moved he and his siblings to the Plymouth area of Devon. Charles went on to and two retired RADA actors agreed to coach him part time.
- He was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to drama in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours List.
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