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One of the U.K.'s busiest actors, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH continues to garner praise and audience attention in multiple mediums. He studied Drama at Manchester University before training at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

He will soon be seen starring on-screen in Steven Spielberg's War Horse, adapted from Michael Morpurgo's novel. Currently, he is at work for Peter Jackson playing the dragon Smaug in the two highly anticipated The Hobbit movies. His earlier films include Joe Wright's Atonement, also for Focus Features and Working Title Films; Justin Chadwick's The Other Boleyn Girl; Tom Vaughan's Starter for 10, adapted by David Nicholls from the latter's novel; Jon Amiel's Creation; Christopher Morris' Four Lions; Hattie Dalton's Third Star; Michael Apted's Amazing Grace, for which he received a London Critics Circle Film Award nomination; Dictynna Hood's soon-to-be-released Wreckers; and Larysa Kondracki's The Whistleblower.

His recent stage work includes starring at The National Theatre in Thea Sharrock's award-winning revival of Terence Rattigan's After the Dance; and in Danny Boyle's visionary staging of Frankenstein, for which Mr. Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated the roles of The Creature and Dr. Frankenstein. His earlier stage work includes two seasons in Regents Park with The New Shakespeare Company; Trevor Nunn's staging of Lady from the Sea; The City, at the Royal Court; Rhinoceros; Period of Adjustment; and Richard Eyre's acclaimed West End staging of Hedda Gabler, for which Mr. Cumberbatch received Olivier and Ian Charleston Award nominations.

His performance as cosmologist Stephen Hawking in Philip Martin's highly acclaimed telefilm Hawking brought him international attention and his first BAFTA Award nomination. His second BAFTA nomination came for John Alexander's miniseries Small Island; his third came for the recent series of Sherlock telefilms, which advanced a contemporized interpretation of Sherlock Holmes with Mr. Cumberbatch's portrayal. A new series of Sherlock telefilms, reteaming him and Martin Freeman as Watson, is planned.

He previously teamed with his Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy colleague Tom Hardy in David Attwood's telefilm Stuart: A Life Backwards. His other miniseries credits include Tipping the Velvet; Cambridge Spies; The Last Enemy; and To the Ends of the Earth, also directed by David Attwood. Mr. Cumberbatch next begins work on Susanna White's miniseries Parade's End, adapted by Tom Stoppard from Ford Madox Ford's books, in which he stars opposite Rebecca Hall.


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