Hugh Bonneville is an English stage, film, television and radio actor. He is most well known for portraying the roles of Robert, Earl of Grantham in the ITV hit...Read More
Hugh Bonneville is an English stage, film, television and radio actor. He is most well known for portraying the roles of Robert, Earl of Grantham in the ITV hit television series Downton Abbey and Ian Fletcher, Head of Deliverance of the Olympic Deliverance Commission, in BBC comedy series Twenty Twelve.
Bonneville was born in London, and educated at Sherborne School, an independent school in the market town of Sherborne, Dorset, followed by Corpus Christi College at the University of Cambridge, where he read Theology, and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Bonneville is also an alumnus of the National Youth Theatre.
Bonneville's first professional stage appearance was at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park. In 1987 he joined the National Theatre where he appeared in several plays, then the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1991, where he played Laertes to Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1992–1993). He was also Valentine in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Bergetto in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Kastril and later Surly in The Alchemist.
He made his television debut in 1991, billed as Richard Bonneville. His early roles were usually good-natured bumbling characters like Bernie in Notting Hill (1999) and Mr. Rushworth in Mansfield Park (1999). In the BBC television series, Take a Girl Like You (2000) and Armadillo (2001), he played more villainous characters, leading up to the domineering Henleigh Grandcourt in Daniel Deronda (2002) and the psychopathic killer James Lampton in The Commander (2003). In Love Again, he played the poet Philip Larkin. In 2004, he played Sir Christopher Wren in the docudrama Wren – The Man Who Built Britain. In Iris (2001), he played the young John Bayley opposite Kate Winslet, with his performance lauded by critics and receiving a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In early 2010 earned a role in the comedy film Burke and Hare. In 2011, he starred as Ian Fletcher in the award winning BBC comedy series Twenty Twelve. He is currently appearing in popular ITV period drama Downton Abbey, as Robert, Earl of Grantham. He is also slated to appear in Hippie Hippie Shake, alongside Cilian Murphy and Sienna Miller.Read Less
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