Jeremy Irons

Jeremy Irons

Infobox actor
name = Jeremy Irons

imagesize = 150px
caption = Jeremy Irons, July 2006
birthname = Jeremy John Irons
birthdate = birth date and age|1948|9|19
birthplace = Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
yearsactive = 1971 - present
spouse = Julie Hallam (1969-1969)
Sinéad Cusack (1978-)
academyawards = Best Actor
1990 "Reversal of Fortune"
cesarawards = Honorary César
2002 Lifetime Achievement
emmyawards = Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
1997 "The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century"
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
2005 "Elizabeth I"
tonyawards = Best Leading Actor in a Play
1984 "The Real Thing"
goldenglobeawards = Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
1991 "Reversal of Fortune"
Best Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries or TV Movie
2007 "Elizabeth I"
sagawards = Outstanding Actor - Miniseries or TV Movie
2007 "Elizabeth I"
awards = BSFC Award for Best Actor
1990 "Reversal of Fortune"
CFCA Award for Best Actor
1988 "Dead Ringers"
1990 "Reversal of Fortune"
Genie Award for Best Actor
1988 "Dead Ringer"
KCFCC Award for Best Actor
1990 "Reversal of Fortune"
LAFCA Award for Best Actor
1990 "Reversal of Fortune"
NSFC Award for Best Actor
1990 "Reversal of Fortune"
NYFCC Award for Best Actor
1988 "Dead Ringers"

Jeremy John Irons (born September 19 1948) is an English film, television and stage actor. He has won an Academy Award, a Tony Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards.


Early life

Irons was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, the son of Barbara Anne (née Sharpe), a housewife, and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant. [ [ Jeremy Irons Biography (1948-) ] ] Part of his maternal ancestry is Irish, [ [ BBC - History - WDYTYA? Series Three: Celebrity Gallery ] ] and his great-grandfather was one of the first Metropolitan Policemen and later a Chartist. Irons has a brother, Christopher. He was educated at Sherborne School in Dorset, (c. 1962–1966). He achieved some fame as the drummer and harmonica player (most memorably for his rendition of "Moon River" on harmonica) in a four-man school band called the Four Pillars of Wisdom. They performed, in a classroom normally used as a physics lab, for the entertainment of boys compulsorily exiled from their houses for two hours on Sunday afternoons. He was also known within Abbey House as half of a comic duo performing skits on Halloween and at end-of-term House Suppers.


Irons trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is now president of its fundraising appeal. He performed a number of plays and supported himself by busking on the streets of Bristol, before appearing on the London stage as John the Baptist and Judas opposite David Essex in "Godspell", which opened at the Round House on 17 November 1971 before transferring to Wyndham's Theatre playing a total of 1,128 performances. [Stanley Green's "Encyclopaedia of the Musical", Cassell (1976)]


He made several appearances on British television, including the children's television series "Play Away" and as Franz Liszt in the BBC 1974 series "Notorious Woman". More significantly he starred in the 13-part adaptation of H.E. Bates' novel "Love for Lydia" for London Weekend Television (1977), and attracted attention for his key role as the pipe-smoking German student, a romantic pairing with Judi Dench in Harold Pinter's screenplay adaptation of Aidan Higgins' novel "Langrishe, Go Down" for BBC television (1978).

The role which brought him fame was that of Charles Ryder in the television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited" in 1981. "Brideshead" reunited him with Anthony Andrews, with whom he had appeared in "The Pallisers" seven years earlier. In the same year he starred in the film "The French Lieutenant's Woman" opposite Meryl Streep.

Almost as a 'lap of honour' after these major successes, in 1982 he played the leading role of an exiled Polish building contractor, working in the Twickenham area of South West London, in Jerzy Skolimowski's independent film Moonlighting, widely seen on television, a performance which extended his acting range.

In 2005, Irons won both an Emmy award and a Golden Globe award for his supporting role in the TV mini-series, Elizabeth I. A year later Irons was one of the participants in the third series of the BBC documentary series "Who Do You Think You Are?" [ [ Jeremy Irons: The fire in irons - People, News - The Independent ] ] cite press release|url=|title=BBC One Fall 2006||accessdate=2006-07-18] In 2008 he played Lord Vetinari in "Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic", an adaptation for Sky One.


Irons' film debut came with "Nijinsky" in 1980. He appeared sporadically in films during the 1980s, including the Cannes Palme d'Or winner "The Mission" in 1986, and in the dual role of twin physicians in David Cronenberg's "Dead Ringers" in 1988. Over the years, Irons has become known for playing somber, often mentally tortured characters. Other films include "Danny the Champion of the World" (1989), "Reversal of Fortune" (1990), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, "Kafka" (1991), "Damage" (1993), "The House of the Spirits" (1993) appearing again with Glenn Close and Meryl Streep, "Die Hard With a Vengeance" (1995), Bernardo Bertolucci's "Stealing Beauty" (1996), the 1997 remake of "Lolita" and as the musketeer Aramis opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1998 film version of "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998).

He is also known for playing the evil wizard Profion, along with Bruce Payne as Damodor, in the 2000 film, Dungeons and Dragons, from Time Warner studio New Line Cinema. The film was also based on the Tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons.

He played the Über-Morlock from the movie "The Time Machine" (2002). In 2004, Irons played Severus Snape in Comic Relief's Harry Potter parody, "Harry Potter and the Secret Chamberpot of Azerbaijan". Irons and Alan Rickman (who plays Snape in the Harry Potter film series), played the Gruber brothers, Simon and Hans, respectively, in the "Die Hard" film series.

In 2005, he appeared in the films "Casanova" opposite Heath Ledger, and Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven". He has co-starred with John Malkovich in two movies; "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998) and "Eragon" (2006), though they did not have any scenes together in "Eragon".


Irons read the audio book recording of Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited", Paulo Coelho's ""The Alchemist"", and the audio book recording of Vladimir Nabokov's ""Lolita"".

One of his best known film roles has turned out to be the voice of Scar in "The Lion King" (1994). Irons has since provided voiceovers for two Disney World attractions. He narrated the "Spaceship Earth" ride, housed in the large geodesic globe at Epcot, and voiced H.G. Wells in the English version of the former Disney attraction The Timekeeper.

He was originally to star as the Phantom in a 2006 French musical adaptation of Gaston Leroux's novel "The Phantom of the Opera", though the project was canceled.Fact|date=May 2008 He will be the narrator for Val Kilmer and Bill Pullman's brand-new Lewis and Clark movie from Revolution Studios.

Research to find 'the perfect voice' has indicated that Irons's voice is one of the best. ["BBC News", 2008. [ Formula 'secret of perfect voice'] .]


In 1985, Irons directed a music video for Carly Simon and her heavily promoted single, "Tired of Being Blonde". Although the song was not a hit, the video - featuring the fast cutting, parallel narratives and heavy use of stylized visual effects that were a staple of pop videos at the time - received ample attention on MTV and other outlets.

Irons has contributed to other musical performances, recording William Walton's "Façade" with Dame Peggy Ashcroft, and in 1997 the songs from Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady" with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, released on the Decca label.

He sang a selection of sophisticated Noël Coward songs at the 1999 Last Night of the Proms in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Coward's birth.

In 2003 he played Fredrik Egerman in a New York revival of Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music", and two years later appeared as King Arthur in Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot" at the Hollywood Bowl.

Jeremy Irons also has a full song named "Be Prepared" that takes part in the movie "The Lion King". This song can be found in the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of the movie.


Irons has twice worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1976 and 1986-87. [] In 1984, Irons made his New York debut and won a Tony Award for his Broadway performance opposite Glenn Close in "The Real Thing".

After an absence from the London stage for 18 years, in 2006 he co-starred with Patrick Malahide in Christopher Hampton's stage adaptation of Sándor Márai's novel "Embers" at the Duke of York's Theatre. [The Stage review of "Embers" [] ]

He made his National Theatre debut playing Harold Macmillan in "Never So Good", a new play by Howard Brenton which opened at the Lyttelton on March 19, 2008. [ [ The Stage / News / Irons to play Harold Macmillian in National debut ] ] [ [ National Theatre : Productions : Never So Good ] ]

Personal life

Irons is married to Irish actress Sinéad Cusack and is the father of two sons, Samuel James Brefni Irons (September 16 1978), who works as a photographer, and Maximilian Paul Diarmuid Irons (October 17, 1985), who appeared in the 2006 Burberry fashion campaign. Both of Irons' sons have appeared in films with their father. He now lives in the small town of Watlington in Oxfordshire, as well as a residence in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

He is also the patron since 2002 of the Thomley Activity Centre, [ [ The Thomley Activity Centre ] ] an Oxfordshire non-profit activity centre for disabled children. Irons owns Kilcoe Castle (which he had painted a rusty pink) in County Cork, Ireland, and has become involved in local politics there. He also has another Irish residence near Kilmainham, Dublin. Irons is a patron of the Chiltern Shakespeare Company. [] He is a fan of English football club Portsmouth F.C..

At the 1991 Tony Awards, Irons was one of the few celebrities to wear the recently created red ribbon to support the fight against AIDS, and he was the first celebrity to wear it onscreen.cite web |url= |title=World Aids Day | |accessdate=2007-12-01] cite web |url= |title=Why a Red Ribbon means Aids | | |accessdate=2007-04-21] He supports a number of other charities, including the Prison Phoenix Trust of which he is an active patron.cite web |url= |title=Prison Phoenix Trust | |accessdate=2006-11-10]



Following training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school Irons initially stayed with the company:
*Florizel in "The Winter's Tale", Bristol Old Vic 1969
*Simon in "Hay Fever" (Noël Coward) Bristol Old Vic 1969
*Nick in "What the Butler Saw" (Joe Orton) Bristol Old Vic 1969
*"Major Barbara" (Shaw) Bristol Old Vic 1969
*"A Servant of Two Masters" (Carlo Goldoni) Bristol Old Vic 1969
*"Macbeth", Bristol Old Vic 1969
*"The Boy Friend" (Sandy Wilson) Bristol Old Vic 1969
*"As You Like It", Bristol Old Vic 1970
*"Oh! What a Lovely War", Little Theatre Bristol 1970
*"The School for Scandal" (Sheridan) Little Theatre Bristol 1970
*John/Judas in "Godspell", Roundhouse and Wyndham's Theatre, November 1971-1973
*The Madman in "The Diary of a Madman" (Gogol), Act Inn 1973
*Don Pedro in "Much Ado About Nothing", Young Vic
*Mick in "The Caretaker" (Pinter) Young Vic 1974
*Petruchio in "The Taming of the Shrew", New Shakespeare Company, Roundhouse 1975
*Harry Thunder in "Wild Oats" (John O’Keefe) RSC Aldwych Theatre, December 1976; RSC Stratford and Piccadilly Theatre 1977
*Jameson in "The Rear Column" (Simon Gray), Globe Theatre, February 1978 — Clarence Derwent Award
*Henry in "The Real Thing" (Tom Stoppard) New York 1984 —Tony Award for Best Actor
*Leontes in "The Winter's Tale", Royal Shakespeare Theatre Stratford 1986)
*Willmore in "The Rover" (Aphra Behn) RSC Swan Theatre and Mermaid Theatre 1986
*Richard II in "Richard II", RSC Royal Shakespeare Theatre, 1986, Barbican Theatre 1987
*Fredrik Egerman in "A Little Night Music" (Sondheim) New York, 2003
*Russell in "Celebration", a Pinter staged reading, Gate Theatre, Dublin/Albery Theatre, 2005
*Henrik in "Embers" (Christopher Hampton/Sándor Márai novel) Duke of York's Theatre March 2006
*Harold Macmillan in "Never So Good" (Howard Brenton) National Theatre Lyttelton, March 2008



External links

* [ Jeremy - an unofficial fan website]
* [ - an unofficial fan website]
* [ BFI: Jeremy Irons]
*"A Dictionary of the RSC" by Simon Trowbridge: Jeremy Irons []
*"Jeremy Irons: Power Player", Daily Telegraph profile 13 March 2008 []

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