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).
- Grew up in poverty in the shadow of a tobacco factory in Belfast.
- Wrote many of the _In the Bleak Midwinter (1995)_ (qv) characters for specific actors.
- He was awarded the 1988 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre Award) for Special Award.
- He was nominated for a 2004 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Edmond" at the Royal National Theatre.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).