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BILL NIGHY (Friedrich Olbricht) was born in Caterham, Surrey, in 1949 and trained for the stage at the Guildford School of Acting. He made his professional stage debut at Newbury's Watermill Theatre and subsequently gained experience at regional theatres. It was in Liverpool that he formed a touring theatre company with Julie Walters and Peter Postlethwaite. He made his first appearance in London in "Comings and Goings” at the Hampstead Theatre in November 1978.

Bill's long association with the work of David Hare began in the early 1980s when he was cast in Dreams of Leaving, a BBC film written and directed by Sir David. They next worked together on "Map Of The World,” which Hare both wrote and staged at the National Theatre in London. When Hare was asked by Peter Hall, the National's Artistic Director, to form a company of actors, Bill became a founding member of the ensemble that also included Anthony Hopkins. Hare's first production for the new company was "Pravda,” a merciless satire on the British newspaper industry which he co-wrote with Howard Brenton. Hopkins and Nighy were again reunited for Hare's production of "King Lear,” with Bill playing Edgar and Anthony in the title role. A decade later, he starred in Hare's "Skylight,” which won him a Barclay's Theatre Award.

Bill has regularly appeared at the National Theatre in a succession of new plays by leading British writers. In 1993 he starred as an ambitious academic in Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia” in a production by Trevor Nunn. Seven years later he won enormous critical acclaim for his performance as psychiatrist Dr. Robert Smith in "Blue/Orange,” written by Joe Penhall and directed by Roger Michell. It was a performance that also brought him a Best Actor nomination in the prestigious Olivier Awards. Other theatre credits include two revivals of Harold Pinter plays: "Betrayal” and "A Kind of Alaska.” Bill was also seen in a National Theatre production of Chekhov's "The Seagull” opposite Judi Dench. Nighy previously worked with Dame Judi on Absolute Hell (BBC), and they were recently reunited for the critically acclaimed film Notes on a Scandal, also starring Cate Blanchett and directed by Richard Eyre.

Bill's long list of television credits includes virtually every major drama series on British TV, but it was his work on The Men's Room (BBC) in 1991 that brought him particular attention. More recently, he won a BAFTA Best Actor Award and a Royal Television Society Best Actor Award for his performance as a newspaper editor in the cult-series State of Play, and he has starred in two television films for writer/director Stephen Poliakoff: The Lost Prince, for which he won a Golden Satellite Award, and the extraordinary Gideon's Daughter. His playing of Lawrence, a middle-aged Treasury official rejuvenated by love in HBO's The Girl in the Cafe, won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries and widespread praise from critics.

Bill made his movie debut in the early 1980s with appearances in such films as The Little Drummer Girl, and it was The Constant Gardener, another le Carre screen adaptation, which won him Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards in 2005. But it was Still Crazy and his performance as ageing rock vocalist Ray Simms that established Bill's cinema profile and which won him the Peter Sellers Award for Best Comedy Performance, given by the London Evening Standard. Bill landed a second Peter Sellers Award for his unforgettably washed-up pop star Billy Mack in Love, Actually, an enormously popular performance that also won him a London Film Critics Award and a Best Supporting BAFTA.

Other cinema credits include Underworld, Underworld: Evolution, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Enduring Love. In 2003, Bill won the Best Supporting Actor award from The L.A. Film Critics Association for his performances in AKA, Lawless Heart, I Capture the Castle and Love Actually. He's also known for stellar performance as pirate captain Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, for which he was nominated for the Teen Choice Awards. 

Bill recently performed on Broadway in David Hare's "The Vertical Hour” alongside Julianne Moore. His forthcoming film projects include the animated film G Force, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Richard Curtis' The Boat That Rocked.


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