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While the British-born PAUL BETTANY (Peter Colt) is a recognized star overseas with well-received performances in film, on the London stage and on British television, American audiences first discovered him in A Knight's Tale, in which he played the comical role of Chaucer opposite Heath Ledger's Sir William. For this performance, he won the London Film Critics' Award for Best Supporting Actor and was named one of Daily Variety's "Ten to Watch” for 2001.

Classically trained at the Drama Centre in London, Bettany made his stage debut in a West End production of An Inspector Calls, under the direction of Stephen Daldry (The Hours, Billy Elliot). He then spent a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in productions of Richard III, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar before landing his first feature film role in Bent.

Bettany returned to the stage to appear in Love and Understanding at London's Bush Theatre. He later reprised that role at the Longwharf Theatre in Connecticut. The play led to more British television work, including Lynda La Plante's Killer Net and Coming Home, in which he starred with Peter O'Toole.

Bettany's appearance in the Royal Court Theatre production of One More Wasted Year and Stranger's House preceded his second feature film role in David Leland's Land Girls, with Catherine McCormack and Rachel Weisz. He next appeared in the film After the Rain.

He then portrayed Steerforth in the TNT production of David Copperfield, directed by Peter Medak, opposite Sally Field and Michael Richards. More feature film roles followed, including Suicide Club, with Jonathan Pryce and David Morrissey. Bettany was nominated for a British Independent Film award and a London Film Critics' Award for Best Newcomer for IFC's Gangster No.1, directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis and Saffron Burrows.

Bettany next starred as the imaginary roommate opposite Russell Crowe, Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly in the Academy Award®-winning A Beautiful Mind for director Ron Howard. His performance in the film won him the London Film Critics' Award for Best British Actor.

Bettany next starred in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, opposite Russell Crowe for director Peter Weir. In this adaptation of Patrick O'Brien's novel, Bettany plays the ship's surgeon, Stephen Maturin, the first naturalist and best friend of Captain Jack Aubrey (Crowe). In addition to being nominated for a BAFTA and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, his performance won him the Evening Standard Award for Best British Actor, as well as the London Film Critics' Award for Best Supporting Actor (for both Master and Commander and The Heart of Me); he also won the Elle Style Award for Best Actor (for Master and Commander and Dogville).

In addition to Master and Commander, this past year Bettany has appeared in three independent features. In The Heart of Me, he stars opposite Helena Bonham-Carter and Olivia Williams for director Thaddeus O'Sullivan; the film centers around a married couple and the husband who has an affair with his wife's sister. In The Reckoning, for Gangster director McGuigan, he stars opposite Willem Dafoe and Brian Cox; the period drama centers on a priest on the run who comes into contact with a band of traveling actors and together they solve a murder. Lastly, he stars opposite Nicole Kidman for director Lars von Trier (Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark) in the dramatic thriller Dogville.

Bettany splits his time between London and New York and has a son with wife, actress Jennifer Connelly.


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