A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, KENNETH BRANAGH (Sir
Alistair Dormandy) made his West End acting debut in Another Country, for which he
won the Society of West End Theatres Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Numerous
other stage appearances followed, including Royal Shakespeare Company productions of
Henry V, Love's Labour's Lost, and Hamlet.
In 1985, he founded the Renaissance Theatre Company. Among their productions which
Mr. Branagh either starred in or directed were ones of Twelfth Night, Much Ado About
Nothing, As You Like It, Look Back in Anger, Uncle Vanya, King Lear, A Midsummer
Night's Dream, and Coriolanus. His own plays, staged with the company, included Public
Enemy and The Life of Napoleon.
He directed the hit stage comedy The Play What I Wrote, which transferred from London's
West End to Broadway, where it received a Tony Award nomination. His recent stage
performances include the title roles in Richard III, at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield; in
Edmond, at the National Theatre; and, returning to London's West End, in Ivanov.
Mr. Branagh's first venture into filmmaking was with 1989's Henry V, which he adapted,
directed, and starred in. He received Academy Award nominations for Best
Actor and Best Director, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Director, among other
accolades for the film.
His next features as director and actor were the sleeper hit thriller Dead Again; the
ensemble comedy Peter's Friends, which he also produced; and the star-studded Much Ado
About Nothing, which he also produced and adapted. Mr. Branagh was again nominated for
an Academy Award, as director of the Best Short Film (Live Action) nominee Swan Song,
which starred John Gielgud and Richard Briers.
He went on to direct the features Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, in which he starred opposite
Robert De Niro and which he co-produced; In the Bleak Midwinter (a.k.a. A Midwinter's
Tale), from his original screenplay, which opened the Sundance Film Festival and for
which he was named Best Director at the Venice International Film Festival; and the
screen version of Hamlet, filmed in 70MM, and in which he starred. The latter film
received 4 Academy Award nominations, including one for Mr. Branagh's screenplay
Among his other films as director are the musical Love's Labour's Lost and As You Like It,
both of which he also adapted, produced, and starred in; the short Listening, which he also
wrote; The Magic Flute, which he adapted from Mozart's opera; and Sleuth, which he also
produced and which was adapted by Harold Pinter and starred Michael Caine opposite
Among his other films as actor are Chris Columbus' Harry Potter and the Chamber of
Secrets, for which Mr. Branagh won the London Film Critics Circle Award for Best
Supporting Actor; Pat O'Connor's A Month in the Country; Oliver Parker's Othello;
Robert Altman's The Gingerbread Man; Woody Allen's Celebrity; Paul Greengrass' The
Theory of Flight; Phillip Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence; and Bryan Singer's Valkyrie.
Also as actor, he has starred in several notable telefilms and miniseries. These include
Frank Pierson's Conspiracy, for which he won an Emmy Award and was nominated for a
Golden Globe Award; Charles Sturridge's Shackleton, for which he was again an Emmy
Award nominee; Joseph Sargent's Warm Springs, receiving Emmy, Golden Globe, and
Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for his portrayal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt;
and, most recently, Wallander, which won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series and
for which he was once more an Emmy Award nominee. Mr. Branagh executive-produced
the latter trio of telefilms, directed by Philip Martin and Niall MacCormick, respectively,
and adapted from Henning Mankell's novels.
Mr. Branagh is currently at work as director of the much-anticipated adventure film Thor,
for Marvel Enterprises and Paramount Pictures.
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