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RALPH FIENNES (Christopher Marshall) has emerged as one of the leading actors of his generation, with acclaimed screen performances in films such as the Oscar®-winning The English Patient and Schindler's List, as well as Quiz Show, Sunshine, The End of the Affair, Oscar and Lucinda and Onegin. Fiennes has also garnered a great deal of critical acclaim for his performances in the theater, both here and in the U.K., for the title roles in such classics as "Hamlet," "Ivanov," "Richard II," and "Coriolanus." This past year he was also seen in two thrillers, Red Dragon and David Cronenberg's Spider.

Born in Suffolk, Fiennes grew up in England and Ireland and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1985. He began working professionally as an actor in England's open-air theatre in Regents Park, the Theatre Clwyd and the Oldman Coliseum, and became part of Michael Rudman's company at the National Theatre in 1987, only two years after leaving drama school. In 1988, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company where he remained for two seasons, giving notable performances in "Henry VI," "King Lear" and "Love's Labour's Lost."

In 1991 Fiennes landed a small, but compelling, role in the award-winning TV series "Prime Suspect." This led to his being cast by David Puttnam as T.E. Lawrence in a special television film about the legendary hero, "A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia." That same year he made his feature film debut in an adaptation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights opposite Juliette Binoche. Fiennes next starred in the BBC's haunting telefilm, "The Cormorant."

It was Fiennes' iconoclastic interpretation of Bronte's Heathcliff that compelled Steven Spielberg to cast him as SS Commandant Amon Goeth, opposite Liam Neeson, in Schindler's List, the Oscar® winner for Best Picture in 1993. His extraordinary performance in the film won critical praise worldwide. He received an Academy Award® nomination as best supporting actor as well as the BAFTA, New York Film Critics, National Society of Film Critics, Boston and Chicago Film Critics Awards, a Golden Globe nomination and the London Film Critics Award for Best British Actor of 1994.

He then landed the role of Charles van Doren in Robert Redford's critically acclaimed film, Quiz Show. In 1995, Fiennes starred in Katherine Bigelow's futuristic thriller, Strange Days, after which he returned to the stage for a much-lauded production of "Hamlet," directed by Jonathan Kent for London's Almeida Theatre. A subsequent special Broadway engagement won him Broadway's 1995 Tony Award as Best Actor.

In 1996 he starred as the mortally wounded pilot in Anthony Minghella's brilliant and moving adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient. The film garnered acclaim around the world, won the Academy Award® for Best Picture and garnered Fiennes his second Oscar® nomination, this time as Best Actor.

Returning to the stage, at London's Almeida Theatre, he portrayed the title role in Chekhov's tragicomic early play "Ivanov." With a striking modern translation by David Hare, and rave reviews all around, the production and cast were granted the singular honor of an invitation to Moscow for a week's special performance.


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