Kenneth Branagh

Actor, Director, Producer
Once hailed as the "new Laurence Olivier," Shakespearean-trained actor and director Kenneth Branagh struggled throughout his career to balance his near-obsessive drive to work with the need for a somewhat normal ... Read more »
Born: 12/09/1960 in United Kingdom

Filmography

Actor (67)

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 2014 (Movie)

Viktor Cherevin (Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2012, 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 68th Annual Tony Awards 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Presenter

Wallander 2008 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Performer

Stars In Shorts 2012 (Movie)

(Prodigal) (Actor)

The Graham Norton Show 2011 - 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

My Week With Marilyn 2011 (Movie)

Sir Laurence Olivier (Actor)

Prodigal 2011 (Movie)

Mark Snow (Actor)

With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story 2011 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Pirate Radio 2009 (Movie)

Sir Alistair Dormandy (Actor)

Valkyrie 2008 (Movie)

Major-General Henning von Tresckow (Actor)

Secrets of the Dead 2007 (Tv Show)

Voice

The Goebbels Experiment 2005 (Movie)

Narrator (Actor)

Five Children and It 2004 (Movie)

(Actor)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2002 (Movie)

Gilderoy Lockhart (Actor)

How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog 2002 (Movie)

Peter McGowan (Actor)

Rabbit-Proof Fence 2002 (Movie)

Mr. Neville (Actor)

The Prehistoric Beasts Within 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Narrator

Triumph of the Prehistoric Beasts 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Tramp and the Dictator 2001 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Ghosts 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Love's Labour's Lost 2000 (Movie)

Berowne (Actor)

The 54th Annual Tony Awards (CBS) 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Road to El Dorado 2000 (Movie)

of Miguel (Voice)

Cold War 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Narrator

Galapagos 1999 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Great Composers 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Book That Wrote Itself 1999 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Periwig-Maker 1999 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Wild Wild West 1999 (Movie)

Dr Arliss Loveless (Actor)

Alien Love Triangle 1998 (Movie)

Steven Chesterman (Actor)

Celebrity 1998 (Movie)

Lee Simon (Actor)

The Gingerbread Man 1998 (Movie)

Rick Magruder (Actor)

The Proposition 1998 (Movie)

Father Michael McKinnon (Actor)

The Theory of Flight 1998 (Movie)

Richard (Actor)

The 69th Annual Academy Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Hamlet 1996 (Movie)

Hamlet (Actor)

Looking for Richard 1996 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Anne Frank Remembered 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Narrator

Othello 1995 (Movie)

Iago (Actor)

Anne Frank Remembered 1994 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 1994 (Movie)

Victor Frankenstein (Actor)

Look Back in Anger 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Much Ado About Nothing 1993 (Movie)

Benedick--of Padua (Actor)

Swing Kids 1993 (Movie)

(uncredited) SS Official (Actor)

Peter's Friends 1992 (Movie)

Andrew (Actor)

Dead Again 1991 (Movie)

Mike Church (Actor)

The 62nd Annual Academy Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Thompson 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Henry V 1989 (Movie)

Henry V (Actor)

A Month in the Country 1988 (Movie)

Charles Moon (Actor)

Fortunes of War 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

High Season 1988 (Movie)

Rick Lamb (Actor)

Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (TV Show)

Narrator

Conspiracy (TV Show)

Actor

Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (TV Show)

Narrator

Shackleton (TV Show)

Actor

Strange Interlude (TV Show)

Actor

To the Lighthouse (TV Show)

Actor

Universal Horror (TV Show)

Narrator

Walking With Monsters (TV Show)

Narrator

Warm Springs (TV Show)

Actor
Director (15)

Cinderella 2015 (Movie)

(Director)

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Thor 2011 (Movie)

(Director)

Sleuth 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

As You Like It 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

The Magic Flute 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

Love's Labour's Lost 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

A Midwinter's Tale 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Hamlet 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Much Ado About Nothing 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Peter's Friends 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Swan Song 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Dead Again 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Henry V 1989 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (7)

As You Like It 2006 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Magic Flute 2006 (Movie)

(adaptation) (Screenplay)

Love's Labour's Lost 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

A Midwinter's Tale 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hamlet 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Much Ado About Nothing 1993 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Henry V 1989 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))
Producer (7)

Sleuth 2007 (Movie)

(Producer)

As You Like It 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Magic Flute 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

Love's Labour's Lost 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 1994 (Movie)

(Co-Producer)

Much Ado About Nothing 1993 (Movie)

(Producer)

Peter's Friends 1992 (Movie)

(Producer)
Music (1)

The Road to El Dorado 2000 (Movie)

("It's Tough to be a God") (Song Performer)

Biography

Once hailed as the "new Laurence Olivier," Shakespearean-trained actor and director Kenneth Branagh struggled throughout his career to balance his near-obsessive drive to work with the need for a somewhat normal, settled life. After his directorial breakthrough with his excellent interpretation of The Bard's "Henry V" (1989), Branagh had what appeared to many to be the picture-perfect life: a beautiful wife in Emma Thompson, a thriving career - thanks to his deft thriller "Dead Again" (1991) - and a reputation replete with an air of seriousness and unerring artistic credibility. But on the inside, Branagh claimed to have been going a bit mad - a realization exacerbated by his separation from Thompson and the debacle of "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (1995). Later in life, he learned how to relax every now and then, but continued to push himself to greater artistic heights, sometimes to the point of failure, as with "Hamlet" (1996) and "Love's Labour's Lost" (2000). He rebounded, however, with a marvelous performance as a young Franklin Delano Roosevelt in "Warm Springs" (HBO, 2005), followed by an acclaimed turn as a brilliant but dysfunctional detective in the "Wallander" (PBS, 2009) miniseries and a return to the director's chair for the superhero smash "Thor" (2011). With his heralded body of work as an actor, writer and director, Branagh had long emerged from Olivier's shadow to be recognized as one of the more formidable filmmakers of his generation.

Relationships

Joyce Branagh Production Assistant

Sister
Born in 1970

William Branagh

Father
Married Branagh's mother on Aug. 28, 1954 in Belfast, Ireland

Frances Branagh

Mother
Married Branagh's father on Aug. 28, 1954 in Belfast, Ireland

William Branagh

Brother
Born in 1955

Lindsay Brunnock Art Director

Wife
Met on the set of the Channel 4 drama "Shackleton" in 2001 Married May 24, 2003

Helena Bonham Carter Actor

Companion
Began dating in 1994 Co-starred in "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (1994) and "The Theory of Flight" (1998) Split in 1999

Emma Thompson Actor

Wife
Married Aug. 20, 1989 Thompson was directed by and co-starred with Branagh in "Henry V" (1989) and "Much Ado About Nothing" (1993) Divorced Oct. 1, 1995

EDUCATION

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England 1981
Won the Bancroft Gold Medal for his performance in "Hamlet"

Milestones

2012

Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II; title changed to Sir Kenneth Branagh

2011

Played Sir Laurence Olivier in "My Week with Marilyn"

2011

Directed Chris Hemsworth in the title role of "Thor," based on the Marvel superhero

2009

Played a government minister in Richard Curtis' "Pirate Radio"

2008

Cast as a Swedish detective in three feature-length adaptations of Henning Mankell's best-selling "Wallander" crime novels for the BBC; also executive produced; earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Television Movie

2008

Co-starred with Tom Cruise in Bryan Singer's historical thriller, "Valkyrie"

2007

Directed Michael Caine and Jude Law in an adaptation of Harold Pinter's Tony Award-winning play "Sleuth"

2005

Earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations as Franklin D. Roosevelt in the HBO original movie, "Warm Springs"

2003

Returned to the London stage playing the title role in David Mamet's "Edmond" at the National Theater

2002

Portrayed Gilderoy Lockhart in "Harry Potter in the Chamber of Secrets"

2002

Played the title role in the A&E biographical drama, "Shackleton"

2002

Returned to the British stage to play the title role of "Richard III" at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield

2001

Had small but pivotal role as the Chief Protector of Aborigines in the Australia film, "Rabbit Proof Fence"

2001

Portrayed SS General Richard Heydrich in the HBO drama, "Conspiracy"

2000

Provided the voice of Miguel for the animated "The Road to El Dorado"; also credited as song performer on "It's Tough to be a God"

2000

Directed a musical film version of "Love's Labour's Lost"; also wrote screen adaptation and starred as Berowne

2000

Narrated the Oscar-nominated animated short, "The Periwig-Maker"

2000

Received rave reviews for turn as a curmudgeonly playwright in "How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog"

1999

Cast as the villainous Dr. Loveless in the feature version of "Wild Wild West"

1998

Played the lead in Woody Allen's "Celebrity"

1998

Co-starred with Helena Bonham Carter in the critically-acclaimed "Theory of Flight"

1998

Played a Southern lawyer in Robert Altman's "The Gingerbread Man"; John Grisham's first original screenplay

1996

Played himself in Al Pacino's documentary drama "Looking for Richard"

1996

Adapted and directed a theatrical film version of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet"; also played the title role; earned an Oscar nomination for Adapted Screenplay

1995

Played the villain Iago to Laurence Fishburne's "Othello"

1994

Disbanded the Renaissance Theatre Company

1994

Made off-Broadway debut as director and playwright of "Public Enemy" at the Irish Arts Centre

1994

Co-produced and directed, "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"; also co-starred as Victor Frankenstein opposite Robert De Niro's monster; first film with actress Helena Bonham Carter

1993

Adapted and directed the film version of William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"; also co-starred with Emma Thompson

1993

Reprised role of Jimmy Porter in the telecast of John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger" (Bravo); Thompson co-starred

1992

Received an Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short Film for "Swan Song"

1992

Produced first feature, "Peter's Friends"; also directed and co-starred with an ensemble cast that included wife Thompson

1991

Played dual roles in "Dead Again" as a chirpy private eye and a tortured composer; also directed and co-starred with wife Thompson

1989

Film directing debut, William Shakespeare's "Henry V"; also adapted and played the title role; earned Best Actor and Best Director Oscar nominations

1989

Co-starred with Emma Thompson in the Renaissance revival of "Look Back in Anger"; both the theatre and television productions were directed by Judi Dench

1988

Portrayed Gordan Evans (as an adult) in the three-part "American Playhouse" (PBS) presentation of Eugene O'Neill's epic "Strange Interlude"

1987

Directed the Renaissance production of "Twelfth Night"

1987

Co-starred with future wife Emma Thompson in the BBC production of "Fortunes of War" (aired in the U.S. on PBS' "Masterpiece Theater" in 1988)

1987

Formed the Renaissance Theatre Company with David Parfitt

1987

Film acting debut in "A Month in the Country"

1986

Played Oswald Alving in the the TV version of Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts" (aired in the U.S. on BBC America in 1999)

1985

Wrote and directed first play, "Tell Me Honestly"

1984

Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at age 23; was the youngest "Henry V" in the company's history

1984

Made American TV debut in the "Great Performances" presentation of Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse" (PBS)

1982

Made West End stage debut in "Another Country"

1982

Played the lead role in the BBC trilogy "Play for Today"

1969

Relocated with his family to Reading, England

Raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Bonus Trivia

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On his band The Fishmongers: "We're literally a garage band, that's where we play. It's fantastic relaxation, there's about seven of us in the group now and we're always having guest people in. It's a case of if you play the triangle, you're in The Fishmongers." – Branagh quoted in Empire magazine, May 2000

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On Nov. 9, 2012, Branagh was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for his services to drama and his philanthropy in his native Northern Ireland.

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In 1994, Branagh declined an appointment as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

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"I feel more Irish than English. I feel freer than British, more visceral, with a love of language. Shot through with fire in some way. That's why I resist being appropriated as the current repository of Shakespeare on the planet. That would mean I'm part of the English cultural elite, and I am utterly ill-fitted to be." – Branagh quoted to The New York Times, Nov. 9, 1994

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About working with Branagh on "Othello": "I haven't met that many people who are as talented as Ken and still manage to be really humble. I was freaking out about one of the speeches I had to do and saying, 'Maybe you should cut it out. Do we really need it?' And Ken looked at me and said, 'Look, man, I'm a pug Irish kid from Belfast, and I'm not supposed to be able to do this stuff either.' That kind of generosity, that kind of humility – that's who Ken Branagh is." – Laurence Fishburne to The Advocate, Feb. 20, 1996

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"People assume that anyone who'd do a four-hour film of 'Hamlet' must be a heavyweight intellectual, incapable of enjoying life. In fact, the thing I showed the greatest facility for in drama school was comedy, and when I left school I felt unless I made an effort, I'd spend the rest of my life in sitcoms." – Branagh to The Los Angeles Times, Feb. 8, 1998

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