Feb. 5th, 1969
Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK
Michael Sheen's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2010 - Alice in Wonderland
2010 - Unthinkable
2009 - The Damned United
2009 - Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
2009 - The Twilight Saga: New Moon
2008 - Frost/Nixon
2007 - Music Within
2006 - Underworld: Evolution
2006 - The Queen
2006 - Blood Diamond
2005 - The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse
2005 - Kingdom of Heaven
2004 - Laws of Attraction
2003 - Bright Young Things
2003 - Timeline
2003 - Underworld
2002 - The Four Feathers
2000 - Gladiator
1997 - Wilde
1996 - Mary Reilly
1995 - Othello
Guest TV Roles
Even though he had burned up the London stage for nearly a decade--and appeared in several films--Michael Sheen was not really "discovered" by American audiences until his critically acclaimed turn as "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart" in the 1999 Broadway revival of "Amadeus".
The only son of Meyrick and Irene Sheen, the charming, curly-haired actor grew up a middle-class boy in the working-class town of Port Talbot, Wales. Although his parents worked in personnel, they shared with their two children a deep appreciation for acting, with Meyrick Sheen enjoying some success later in life as a Jack Nicholson impersonator.
As a young man, Michael Sheen turned down the opportunity to pursue a possible professional football career, opting to follow in the footsteps of Daniel Day-Lewis and Patrick Stewart (I) by attending the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School instead of university. In his second year, he won the coveted Laurence Olivier Bursary for consistently outstanding performances. While Sheen was still studying, he landed a pivotal role opposite stage legend Vanessa Redgrave in Martin Sherman (I)'s "When She Danced" (1991). He left school early to make his West End debut and has been dazzling audiences and critics with his intense and passionate performances ever since. Among his most memorable roles were "Romeo" in "Romeo and Juliet", the title role in Yukio Ninagawa's 1994 Royal Shakespeare Company's staging of "Peer Gynt" and "Jimmy Porter" both in a 1994 regional staging in a 1999 London revival of "Look Back in Anger". A critic from the London Times panned the multimedia production of "Peer Gynt", but praised Sheen for his ability to express "astonishing vitality despite lifeless direction". Referring to Sheen's performance in "Look Back in Anger", Susannah Clapp of The Observer hailed him for his "luminous quality" and ability to be goaded and fiery and defensive all at the same time. Sheen also managed to set critics' tongues wagging with a deft performance in the role of "Henry V", not a part traditionally given to a slight, boyish-looking actor. One writer raved: "Sheen, volatile and responsive in an excellent performance, showed us the exhilaration of power and conquest".
In 1993, Sheen joined the troupe "Cheek By Jowl" and was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for his performance in "Don't Fool with Love". That same year, he excelled as a mentally unstable man who becomes enmeshed in a kidnapping plot in Gallowglass (1993) (TV), a three-part BBC serial that aired in the USA on PBS' "Mystery!" in 1995. The actor nabbed his first feature film role in 1994, playing Dr. Jekyll's footman in Mary Reilly (1996) opposite John Malkovich and Julia Roberts (I), but that film did not make it into theaters until 1996, a year after Sheen's second movie, Othello (1995), was filmed and released. Perhaps his most memorable big screen role at that point, however, was "Robert Ross", Oscar Wilde's erstwhile lover, in the 1997 biopic Wilde (1997). He would also be seen in the Brit road film Heartlands (2002) opposite Mark Addy.
Hot off the success of "Amadeus", Sheen began racking up even more notable big screen credits, starring opposite Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley and Kate Hudson (I) in The Four Feathers (2002) and landing a major role opposite Kate Beckinsale in the action-horror blockbuster Underworld (2003), along with supporting turns in Bright Young Things (2003), Timeline (2003) and as British Prime Minister Tony Blair (I) in director Stephen Frears' film The Queen (2006). Next, Sheen grabbed good notices played a divorce-embattled rock star, stealing scenes from Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore (I) in the romantic comedy Laws of Attraction (2004).
Back on the stage, the actor earned raves for his performance as "Caligula" in London, for which he won the Evening Standard Award and Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, along with a nomination for the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award.
- Became an Associate Member of RADA.
- He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2009 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to Drama.
- Brought up in Port Talbot, the Welsh town that famously produced 'Richard Burton (I)' (qv) and 'Anthony Hopkins' (qv).
- He was nominated for a 1999 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) Theatre Award for Best Supporting Performance of 1998 for his role in "Amadeus".
- Primary residence is in London, England. He also has an apartment in Los Angeles so he can spend time with his daughter.
- He was nominated for a 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) Theatre Award in 2000 (1999 season) for Best Actor for his performance in "Look Back in Anger" at the Royal National Theatre, Lyttelton stage.
- In 1997, as both actor and director, he ran "Thin Language", a Welsh theatre company co-jointly with 'Simon Harris (II)' (qv), and mounted a production (directed by Sheen) of Harris's play "Badfinger" at the Donmar. He also joined forces with 'Helen McCrory' (qv) and 'Robert Delamere' (qv) to set up a new writing production company called "Foundry" that same year.
- He was awarded the 2003 London Critics Circle Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in Caligula at the Donmar Warehouse.