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JOSEPH FIENNES (Proteus) was already a star of the British theatre when he rose to international fame in 1998 with his back-to-back starring roles in the acclaimed biopic "Elizabeth," and the Oscar®-winning Best Picture "Shakespeare in Love." Fiennes' portrayal of a love-struck William Shakespeare in the latter brought him both BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations, and he also shared in winning the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Motion Picture Cast. That same year, he received the Broadcast Film Critics Award for Breakthrough Performance for his work in both "Shakespeare in Love" and "Elizabeth."

Fiennes had made his feature film debut in Bernardo Bertolucci's "Stealing Beauty." His other film credits include "The Very Thought of You," Paul Schrader's "Forever Mine," Edward Thomas' "Rancid Aluminum," Jean-Jacques Annaud's "Enemy at the Gates," Milcho Manchevski's "Dust," which premiered at the 2001 Venice Film Festival, and "Leo," which screened at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival. He also stars in several upcoming films, including John Dahl's "The Great Raid," with Benjamin Bratt and James Franco; and the Martin Luther biopic "Luther," in which he plays the title role.

Fiennes began his career on the stage after graduating from London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1993. He made his professional stage debut as The Actor in "The Woman In Black," and later spent three seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing leading roles in such plays as "Troilus And Cressida," "Les Enfants du Paradis," "As You Like It" and Dennis Potter's "Son Of Man." He also starred in the West End productions of "A Month in the Country" and "A View From the Bridge." Fiennes continues to return to the legitimate theatre and includes among his recent credits the Royal National Theatre presentation of Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost," the Royal Court's production of "Real Classy Affair," and "Edward II," in Sheffield.

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