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).
- Educated at RADA, London
- Has directed many other Harry Potter cast members in his own movies. Ex-wife 'Emma Thompson (I)' (qv) appeared with him in _Henry V (1989)_ (qv), _Dead Again (1991)_ (qv), and _Much Ado About Nothing (1993)_ (qv). 'Robbie Coltrane' (qv) appeared in _Henry V (1989)_ (qv). 'Julie Christie (I)' (qv) and 'Timothy Spall' (qv) appeared in _Hamlet (1996)_ (qv). 'Imelda Staunton' (qv) appeared in _Much Ado About Nothing (1993)_ (qv). 'John Cleese' (qv), 'Robert Hardy (I)' (qv), and 'Helena Bonham Carter' (qv) appeared in _Frankenstein (1994)_ (qv).
- Mentioned in theme song in _The Adventures of George the Projectionist (2006)_ (qv).
- He was awarded the 1988 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre Award) for Special Award.
- He was one of the guests at 'Prince Charles' (qv)'s and 'Camilla Parker-Bowles' (qv)' wedding on 9 April 2005.
- The last film he made with 'Emma Thompson (I)' (qv) was _Much Ado About Nothing (1993)_ (qv). Their roles had previously been played in an earlier film by 'Robert Stephens (I)' (qv) and 'Maggie Smith (I)' (qv), who were also a couple at the time. Branagh and Thompson appeared together in _"Fortunes of War" (1987)_ (qv) and _Henry V (1989)_ (qv), which also featured Stephens, and in the Harry Potter films with Smith.
- Nominated for the 2009 Evening Standard Theatre Award as Best Actor in a play for his role as Ivanov in the play Ivanov at Wyndham's Theatre in London as part of the Donmar West End Season.
- Was originally considered for the part of the younger Obi-Wan Kenobi in _Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)_ (qv).