Famous Actors and Directors in Wales

Christian Bale (born 1974)
Christian Charles Phillip Bale was born in Haverfordwest in 1974 and began working in commercials as a child. He then played a leading role in Steven Spielberg’s film “Im Reich der Sonne” in 1987 and really took off. In 2007 he played Bob Dylan in the hit film “I’m not there”. The multi-award winning Hollywood actor received his first Oscar in 2011. In 2012 he came out with “The Dark Knight Rises”.

Richard Burton (1925-1984)
who lived in Pontrhydyfen as Richard Walter Jenkins jr. born actor Richard Burton is one of the great British actors. One of his most famous and impressive films was certainly “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” from 1966, which is also seen as a reflection of his own life with then-wife Elizabeth Taylor. Burton studied at Oxford. His last role was in 1984, the year he died, a film adaptation of the disturbing novel by George Orwell.

Timothy Peter Dalton (
born 1946) Timothy Peter Dalton was born in Colwyn Bay in 1946 and is a promising Shakespeare actor. Films like “The Living Daylights” (1987) and “License to Kill” (1989), in which he played the agent of the British secret service James Bond, made him known internationally. Dalton is also active on television, including in series such as “Tales from the Crypt” or “Scarlett”. He lives in Los Angeles.

Ioan Gruffudd (born 1973)
Ioan Gruffudd was born in Cardiff in 1973 and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He first appeared in Welsh films. His breakthrough as an actor came with James Cameron’s “Titanic” (1997), where he acted as an officer. In addition, Gruffudd is one of the superheroes from the “Fantastic Four” and Lancelot in “King Arthur” (2004) by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Anthony Hopkins (born 1937)
Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins was born in Margam in 1937 and trained at the London Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Hopkins was particularly well-known for his characterful portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 film “The Silence of the Lambs” with Jodie Foster. He was awarded an Oscar for his role. This was followed by many important roles in very successful films such as “Legends of Passion”, “Mission: Impossible II” and “Hannibal”.

Rhys Ifans (
born 1968) Rhys Ifans was born in Haverfordwest in 1968 and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He earned international fame for his role in the comedy film “Nottingham” (1999), but also with the film “Elizabeth – The Golden Kingdom” (2007). In between he made a name for himself as a musician. Ifans has already received the BAFTA TV Award.

Terry Jones (born 1942)
comedian, director and writer. Terence Graham Parry Jones was born in Colwyn Bay in 1942 and studied at Oxford. He became famous as a co-founder of the comedian group Monty Python. As a member of the group he played in the films “The Life of Brian” and “The Knights of the Coconut”. Jones, known for his socially critical speeches and books, wrote the non-fiction book “The Crusades”. But he also wrote a children’s book (“Strange spots and strange smells”).

Richard Marquand (1938-1987)
film director and producer, screenwriter. Richard Marquand was born in Cardiff in 1938. He studied in both Cambridge and France and often appeared under the stage name Jannis Laux. His greatest success was taking over the direction of the “Star Wars” movie episode “Return of the Jedi” in 1983. He also felt at home in genres such as horror and thriller. Richard Marquand died very young of a heart attack in 1987 in Los Angeles.

Jonathan Pryce (born 1947)
Jonathan Pryce was born in Holywell in 1947 and was one of the chosen ones of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He played roles in cineastes such as “Brazil” (1985), where he was in front of the camera with Robert De Niro, among others, or in “Evita” (1996) alongside Madonna. He also cut a good figure alongside Pierce Brosnan and Judi Dench in the classic “Tomorrow never dies” (1997). The father of three already shone on stage in musicals like “Miss Saigon” and “My Fair Lady”.

Matthew Rhys (born 1974)
Matthew Rhys Evans was born in Cardiff in 1974 and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. With “Titus” in 1999 he played for the first time with greats like Anthony Hopkins. But Rhys is also often represented in series and already shone in the stage adaptation of “Die Reifepr├╝fung” (2000). His prominent counterpart was none other than Kathleen Turner.

Michael Sheen (born 1969)
film and stage actor. Michael Sheen was born in Newport in 1969 and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His important supporting role in the historical film “The Four Feathers” (2002) is particularly noteworthy. He also played a central role in Len Wiseman’s “Underworld” from 2003. In the same year Sheen also starred in the TV movie “The Deal”, where he attracted attention as Prime Minister Tony Blair. The role suited him so well that he played Blair again in 2006 in Stephen Frears’ drama “The Queen”.

Peter Wingfield (born 1962)
Peter Michael Wingfield was born in Cardiff in 1962 and initially studied medicine. After he decided for the film and television business, Wingfield convinced with roles in films such as “Highlander: Endgame” (2000) and “Catwoman” (2004). But also series like “24”, “Navy CSI: LA” and “Bliss” are part of his repertoire. Wingfield has one son and lives in the United States with his second wife.

Catherine Zeta-Jones (born 1969)
Catherine Zeta-Jones was born in Swansea in 1969. The actress is married to Michael Douglas and received an Oscar for best supporting actress in the film musical “Chicago” in 2003. She is known internationally as Femme Fatal from films such as “The Mask of Zorro” alongside Antonio Banderas or from “Verlockende Traps”. Zeta-Jones is one of the great Hollywood actresses and was also part of the team around George Clooney in the movie “Ocean’s Twelve”.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

About the author