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KENNETH BRANAGH (Henning von Tresckow), a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, made his West End acting debut in "Another Country,” for which he won the Society of West End Theater's Award for "Most Promising Newcomer.” Numerous stage appearances followed, including the RSC's "Henry V,” "Love's Labour's Lost” and "Hamlet.” In 1985 he founded the Renaissance Theatre Company. Productions which Branagh either wrote, starred in, or directed include "Public Enemy,” "Twelfth Night,” "The Life of Napoleon,” "Much Ado About Nothing,” "As You Like It,” "Hamlet,” "Look Back in Anger,” "Uncle Vanya,” "King Lear,” "A Midsummer Night's Dream” and "Coriolanus.”

Kenneth directed the hit stage comedy "The Play What I Wrote,” which transferred from London's West End to Broadway and received a Tony nomination. He returned to the stage in "Richard III” at the Sheffield Crucible to great acclaim, and to the London stage with Mamet's "Edmond” at the National Theatre.

His first venture into film met instant success. His 1989 production of Henry V won a score of international awards, including Academy Award® nominations for Best Actor and Best Director. Branagh was subsequently invited to Hollywood to direct and star in Dead Again, which was a huge international hit. He next directed the ensemble film Peter's Friends, which won the Evening Standard Peter Sellers Award for Comedy. His second Shakespearean film success was Much Ado About Nothing, and in the same year his short film of the Chekhov play Swan Song received an Academy Award® nomination.

He went on to direct Robert De Niro in the financially successful Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. His black-and-white film In the Bleak Midwinter (A Midwinter's Tale) opened the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious Osello d'Oro at the Venice Film Festival. His critically acclaimed full-length version of Hamlet, in 70mm, received 4 Academy Award® nominations. Branagh's fourth Shakespeare film adaptation was a 1930's musical version of Love's Labour's Lost.

More recently, Branagh directed HBO Films' As You Like It, a film of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, and Sleuth, written by Harold Pinter and starring Jude Law and Michael Caine.

Branagh's other film work includes acting roles in: Pat O'Connor's A Month in the Coutry, Oliver Parker's Othello, Robert Altman's The Gingerbread Man, Woody Allen's Celebrity, Danny Boyle's Alien Love Triangle, Paul Greengrass's The Theory of Flight, Barry Sonnenfeld's Wild Wild West, Philip Noyce's Rabbit Proof Fence, and the second Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Branagh starred as Gilderoy Lockhart, Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts, with a richly comic performance. 

Branagh appeared in three outstanding television dramas: Shackleton for Channel 4 and A&E; Conspiracy, for which he won an Emmy as Best Actor and a Golden Globe nomination; and Warm Springs, in which he played FDR and was nominated for an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award. 

In 2008 he filmed a lead role in the new Richard Curtis comedy The Boat That Rocked and returns to London's West End in the title role of Chekhov's "Ivanov.” He also stars in a major new BBC TV crime series as Detective Kurt Wallander, from Henning Mankell's best-selling thrillers.

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