Oct. 6th, 1973
Llwydcoed, Aberdare, Cynon Valley, Wales
Ioan Gruffudd's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Ioan Gruffudd (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈjo.an ˈɡrɪfɪð]; born October 6, 1973) is a Welsh actor.
Born in Llwydcoed, near Aberdare, Cynon Valley, in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, the eldest of three siblings. Gruffudd's parents, Peter and Gillian (née James) Gruffudd, were both teachers.
His father was headmaster at two Welsh comprehensive schools in South Wales, first at Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari (in Llanharry, Rhondda Cynon Taf) then later at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen (in Church Village, Llantwit Fardre, Rhondda Cynon Taf). He has a younger brother, Alun, two years younger, and a sister, Siwan, who is seven years his junior. The Gruffudd siblings were raised in a Protestant non-conformist household.
The Welsh name "Ioan", like "Ian", is an equivalent of "John", and "Gruffudd" corresponds to the anglicised "Griffith". He has been quoted as saying, "I'm determined not to lose my name. It's who I am. It has neither aided my progress nor hampered it. It's just who I am. My character... my make-up. My culture and heritage is a very rich one. So what if it's difficult for people to pronounce? We all learned how to say 'Schwarzenegger'".
During his childhood, his family moved to Cardiff. Gruffudd attended Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdar (Ynyslwyd; now located in Cwmdare), Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd (in Whitchurch, Cardiff), and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf (in Llandaff).
He was an accomplished oboist in his teens, achieving a Grade 8 level in the ABRSM music examinations and playing in the South Glamorgan Youth Orchestra for several years, but gave it up once acting took up most of his time. He won prizes for his high baritone singing while at school, including one at the National Eisteddfod. He has said, "As a Welshman, I grew up in a culture of singing and performing with music, and I think it was through this performing that I got my confidence as an actor".
Gruffudd's parents are committed Christians, and in his early 20s, he was a member of the London Church of Christ, but his mother later came to London to "sort (his) head out". In June 2007, he said that he "wouldn't describe myself as a deeply religious man".
At 18, he won a spot at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). He won his first role in the TV film a few years later, in Poldark (1996).
After playing 'Oscar Wilde's lover in Wilde (1997) and Officer Lowe in Titanic (1997), Gruffudd became a leading man in the Hornblower series of TV movies between 1998 and 2003.
His television work includes playing the character Pip in the BBC TV production of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1999), Lt. John Feeley in BBC One's Warriors (1999) and architect Philip Bosinney in ITV's adaptation of The Forsyte Saga (2002). He has starred in the films 102 Dalmatians (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001) and King Arthur (2004).
In 2007, he starred in the historical drama Amazing Grace as William Wilberforce, the British abolitionist, receiving critical acclaim for the role. Gruffudd has also portrayed characters of both Marvel Comics and DC Comics, having appeared as Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) in Marvel's Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and provided the voice of Mister Miracle in DC's Justice League Unlimited (2004–06).
Gruffudd lives with his wife, actress 'Alice Evans', in Los Angeles, California. The couple met during the production of 102 Dalmatians, and married (September 14, 2007) in Mexico. One of Gruffudd's best men and speechmakers at the wedding was fellow Welsh actor Matthew Rhys, his long-time friend and former flatmate of eight years. Both are patrons of Trust PA, a UK spinal injuries charity.
On April 20, 2009, Gruffudd and Alice announced they were expecting their first child together. The couple has two daughters.
- Best friends with 'Jamie Bamber' (qv) who played Archie Kennedy in the Hornblower TV movie series and is currently playing Lee Apollo Adama on _"Battlestar Galactica" (2004)_ (qv).
- Best friend is 'Matthew Rhys' (qv).
- Living with fellow British actress 'Alice Evans (I)' (qv) in Los Angeles (July 2005).
- Shared a flat in London with old friend and fellow Welsh actor 'Matthew Rhys' (qv).
- Was invited to and accepted into Gorsedd y Beirdd Ynys Prydain (the Welsh Bardic Order of Great Britain) at the highest rank in the National Eisteddfod at Meifod in 2003, with the bardic name Ioan.
- First language is Welsh.
- He played the oboe in the South Glamorgan Youth Orchestra for several years.
- An associate member of RADA.