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KENNETH BRANAGH is one of the world's most consistently critically acclaimed and renowned actors and filmmakers whose work is trademarked by quality, truth and passion. Branagh has most recently directed the hugely successful action adventure, THOR, starring Natalie Portman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Chris Hemsworth. Branagh's first venture into filmmaking met instant success. His 1989 production of HENRY V, which he adapted from the Shakespeare and both starred in and directed, won a score of international awards including an Academy Award nomination and a BAFTA win for Best Director and Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for Best Actor. He was subsequently invited to Hollywood to direct and star in DEAD AGAIN, which was a huge international hit, and next directed himself in the ensemble film PETER'S FRIENDS, which won the Evening Standard Peter Sellers Award for Comedy. Branagh's second Shakespearean film success as actor, director, writer and producer was MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, which was invited to screen at the Cannes Film Festival, 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 commercial hit MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN and his black-and-white film A MIDWINTER'S TALE (UK: IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER ) opened the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious Osello d'Oro at the Venice Film Festival. Branagh's critically acclaimed full-length version of HAMLET, in 70mm, received 4 Academy Award nominations.

His 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. His other film work includes acting roles in Pat O'Connor's A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY; 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; HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS; the Richard Curtis comedy, PIRATE RADIO (UK: THE BOAT THAT ROCKED); and Bryan Singer's VALKYRIE. Branagh has appeared in several outstanding television dramas including His current regular turn as Detective Kurt Wallander in the BAFTA winning series "Wallander,” earned him Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and a BAFTA win as Best Actor. He has also starred in the title role of SHACKLETON for Channel 4, for which he won a BAFTA nomination; CONSPIRACY for the BBC, for which he won an Emmy for Best Actor and earned Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations; and WARM SPRINGS, in which he played FDR and was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award. Branagh's stage work began when he made his West End acting debut in "Another Country,” which earned him the Society of West End Theatre's Award for "Most Promising Newcomer." He founded the Renaissance Theatre Company for whom he either starred in or directed the following works: "Public Enemy,” "Twelfth Night,” "Much Ado About Nothing,” ”As You Like It,” "Hamlet,” "Look Back in Anger,” ”Uncle Vanya,” "King Lear,” ”A Midsummer Night's Dream,” and ”Coriolanus.” He also directed "The Life of Napoleon,” which was written by and starred John Sessions.

Numerous stage appearances include the RSC's ”Henry V,” "Love's Labour's Lost,” and "Hamlet.” His more recent theatrical endeavours include directing the hit stage comedy "The Play What I Wrote,” which transferred from London's West End to Broadway where it received a Tony nomination, and five-star performances on the British stage in ”Richard III,” Mamet's "Edmund” and ”Ivanov.” He will be returning to the stage for the reopening season at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast in a new comedy "Painkiller” in the autumn of 2011. Branagh is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and holds a prestigious Michael Balcon Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

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