Dec. 10th, 1960
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
5' 9 1/2"
Kenneth Branagh's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, to parents William Branagh, a carpenter born in 1930, and Frances Branagh, also born in 1930. His brother William Branagh Jr. was born in 1955 and sister Joyce Branagh was born in 1970. At 23 Branagh joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he took on starring roles in "Henry V" and "Romeo and Juliet". He soon found the RSC too large and impersonal and formed his own, the Renaissance Theatre Company, which now counts Prince Charles as one of its royal patrons. At 29 he directed and starred in the film Henry V (1989), which costarred his then-wife, Emma Thompson (I). The film brought him Best Actor and Best Director Oscar nominations. In 1993 he brought Shakespeare to mainstream audiences again with his hit adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing (1993), which featured an all-star cast that included Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves. At 30 he published his autobiography and at 34 he directed and starred as Victor Frankenstein in the big-budget adaptation of Mary Shelley (I)'s novel, Frankenstein (1994), with Robert De Niro as the monster himself. The bad reviews may have had some effect on his marriage, though, because in October 1995 he and Thompson announced their plans to divorce. In 1996 Branagh wrote, directed and starred in a lavish adaptation of Hamlet (1996). In recent years he starred in a series of non-Bard-related roles in Celebrity (1998), Wild Wild West (1999), and as a voice in The Road to El Dorado (2000).
- Was one of the directors considered for _Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)_ (qv). He had appeared in the previous film, _Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)_ (qv).
- He was awarded the 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) Theatre Award in 1983 (1982 season) for Most Promising Newcomer for his performance in "Another Country".
- Has directed two people who have played Batman: 'Christian Bale' (qv) in _Henry V (1989)_ (qv), and 'Michael Keaton' (qv) in _Much Ado About Nothing (1993)_ (qv).
- Moved to Reading, England at the age of nine. At age 23, he became the youngest actor in the Royal Shakespeare Company to ever play the lead in Shakespeare's "Henry V".
- Was considered for the role of Jack Crawford in _The Silence of the Lambs (1991)_ (qv).
- Originally cast as the lead in _Amadeus (1984)_ (qv) before the production company decided on casting American actors in the leading roles.
- Educated at RADA, London
- Shares two roles with 'Laurence Olivier' (qv): Henry V and Hamlet. He and Olivier also both directed their own performances in both films. He also directed _Sleuth (2007)_ (qv), a remake of the 1972 film, in which Olivier starred. This time, 'Michael Caine (I)' (qv) played Olivier's part, while 'Jude Law' (qv) played the second of two roles he shared with Caine--having previously appeared in _Alfie (2004)_ (qv).