Paul Jesson, born in England in 1946, was introduced to the world of theater at a young age, as his mother was an amateur actress who adored Shakespeare. Jesson's youth was filled with readings of Shakespeare's classics, something that lent itself nicely to the different plays he starred in when he went through school. All of this ended with his years at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied acting for several years. Following his graduation, he took to the stage, appearing in Shakespeare productions and much more. A few years into his promising career, he started appearing in guest roles on a variety of television shows, starting with "Carry on Laughing!" (ITV 1975), "Second City Firsts" (BBC 1973-78), and "Softly Softly: Task Force" (BBC 1969-1976) in 1975. Jesson appeared in numerous TV projects in England during the late '70s and '80s. His first film appearance was "The Ploughman's Lunch" (1983). His focus, though, was on the stage, as he regularly starred in plays at the Royal National Theatre and with the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company. One of his crowning achievements was a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting for his performance in "The Normal Heart." In the early 2000s, he worked with acclaimed director Mike Leigh for the first time, appearing in "All of Nothing" (2002). He worked with Leigh again in "Vera Drake" (2004), while appearing in seven episodes of "Rome" (HBO 2005-07) the following year. He played a major role as the father of Timothy Spall's acclaime British painter J.M.W. Turner in the well-received "Mr. Turner" (2014), once again reuniting with Leigh.