Jul. 19th, 1976
London, England, UK
6' 0 1/2
Benedict Cumberbatch's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2008 - The Other Boleyn Girl
2007 - Atonement
2006 - Amazing Grace
2003 - To Kill a King
Guest TV Roles
Stephen Hawking (Voiced)
Alan Rickman (Voiced)
Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch (born 19 July 1976) is an English film, television, and theatre actor. His most acclaimed roles include: Stephen Hawking in the BBC drama Hawking (2004); William Pitt in the inspirational historical film Amazing Grace (2006); the protagonist Stephen Ezard in the miniseries thriller The Last Enemy (2008); Paul Marshall in Atonement (2007); Bernard in Small Island (2009); and Sherlock Holmes in the modern BBC adaptation series Sherlock (2010).
Early life and education
Benedict Cumberbatch was born on 19 July 1976 in London, England. He is the son of actors Timothy Carlton (birth name Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch) and Wanda Ventham.
Cumberbatch was educated at two independent schools: first at Brambletye School in West Sussex, and then at the prestigious Harrow School in northwest London, where he began performing as an actor. After graduation, he took a gap year to teach English in a Tibetan monastery. He then attended the University of Manchester, where he studied drama. At the university, he met his longtime partner, actress Olivia Poulet. After graduating, Cumberbatch trained further in acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Since 2001, Cumberbatch has had major roles in a dozen classic plays at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, Almeida Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, and the National Theatre. He was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for his performance as Tesman in Hedda Gabler, a role he performed at the Almeida Theatre on 16 March 2005, as well as at the Duke of York's Theatre when it transferred to the West End on 19 May 2005.
Cumberbatch will be acting in The Children’s Monologues, a star-studded theatrical event at London's Old Vic Theatre on 14 November 2010. The show is produced by Dramatic Need. At the National Theatre, he will play, on alternate nights, both Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, opposite Jonny Lee Miller, in an upcoming stage adaptation of Frankenstein. Both The Children’s Monologues and Frankenstein will be directed by Danny Boyle.
Cumberbatch's television roles include two separate guest roles in Heartbeat (2000, 2004), Freddy in Tipping the Velvet (2002), Edward Hand in Cambridge Spies (2003), and Rory in the ITV comedy drama series Fortysomething (2003). He has also featured in Spooks and Silent Witness.
In 2004, he starred in his acclaimed role as Stephen Hawking in Hawking. For the role, he was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor, and won the Golden Nymph for Television Films – Best Performance by an Actor.
In 2005 Cumberbatch starred as the protagonist Edmund Talbot in the miniseries To The Ends of the Earth, based on William Golding's trilogy. Regarding the production, director David Attwood said:
We found Benedict Cumberbatch fairly early. We needed a very good actor, someone young enough to be believable as an aristocratic, an almost slightly dislikeable character who is an adolescent in terms of his views of the world, his upbringing. But we also needed someone who could hold the screen for four and half hours, in every scene. We needed someone with experience who was not only a very good actor, but also with terrific comic timing. Benedict was the ideal answer to that.
And producer Lynn Horsford added:
Benedict was remarkable. He carried the Golding novels with him on set and constantly referred to them. We needed him every single day and he just didn't stop, nor complain. He simply became Edmund Talbot. And that commitment spread to every cast member. The process of making this film echoed the journey the characters went on in the story — we really got to know each other during our four months on location and we became very close.
He also had brief appearances in the comedy sketch show Broken News in 2005.
Cumberbatch next starred alongside Tom Hardy in the television adaptation of the book Stuart: A Life Backwards, which aired on the BBC in September 2007. In 2008 he starred in the tense BBC miniseries drama The Last Enemy, for which he was nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Film. In December 2008, Cumberbatch appeared in an unreleased pilot for The Dark Side of the Earth, a fantasy film in development, as Max, a Victorian paranoid about germs who lives inside a sealed bio-suit.
In 2009, Cumberbatch starred in Marple: Murder Is Easy. Also in 2009, he played Bernard in the TV adaptation of Small Island, and the performance earned him a nomination for BAFTA Television Award for Best Supporting Actor.
- Trained at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).
- Met Professor 'Stephen Hawking' (qv) twice before filming _Hawking (2004) (TV)_ (qv) to prepare for the role.
- Son of actor 'Timothy Carlton' (qv) and actress 'Wanda Ventham' (qv).
- He went to Harrow, one of the most prestigious public schools in the country. Benedict's first ever acting role was when he was still at school. He played Titania, Queen of the Fairies in the Shakespeare play A Midsummer Night's Dream. During his gap year before going to Manchester University, he spent some time teaching English at a Tibetan monastery.
- His grandmother paid for his high tuition fee at Harrow.