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British-born PAUL BETTANY was first discovered by American audiences in A Knight's Tale, in which he played the comical role of Chaucer opposite Heath Ledger. For this performance, he won the London Film Critics' Award for Best Supporting Actor and he 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. He 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 Long Wharf 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 productions of "One More Wasted Year" and "Stranger's House" preceded his second feature film role in David Leland's The Land Girls with Catherine McCormack and Rachel Weisz.

In his first leading film role, Gangster No.1, Bettany was nominated for a British Independent Film Award and a London Film Critics' Award for Best Newcomer. Directed by Paul McGuigan, the film co-starred Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis and Saffron Burrows. That performance brought him to the attention of director Ron Howard, who cast him as the imaginary roommate of Russell Crowe's in the Academy Award®-winning A Beautiful Mind. His performance earned him the London Film Critic's Award for Best British Actor.

Bettany then starred in Dogville for director Lars Von Trier. The film also starred Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skaarsgård and Lauren Bacall. He segued into the critically acclaimed Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World opposite Crowe for director Peter Weir. His performance won him the Evening Standard Award for Best British Actor, the London Film Critic's Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Elle Style Award for Best Actor. He was also nominated by the British Film Academy for Best Supporting Actor and by the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Bettany then starred in the romantic comedy Wimbledon opposite Kirsten Dunst for director Richard Loncraine. His most recent appearance was in the Warner Bros. thriller Firewall opposite Harrison Ford and Virginia Madsen, which reteamed him with director Loncraine.

Paul currently lives in NY with his wife, actress Jennifer Connelly, and their two sons.


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