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Jeremy Irons (1948)

Jeremy John Irons

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  Summary  

Jeremy John Irons is an English actor. After receiving classical training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Irons began his acting career on stage in 1969, and has since appeared in many London theatre productions including The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, and Richard II. In 1984, he made his Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing and received a Tony Award for Best Actor.

Irons's first major film role came in the 1981 romantic drama The French Lieutenant's Woman, for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor. After starring in such films as Moonlighting , Betrayal , and The Mission , he gained critical acclaim for portraying twin gynaecologists in David Cronenberg's psychological thriller Dead Ringers . In 1990, Irons played accused murderer Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune, and took home multiple awards including an Academy Award for Best Actor. Other notable films have included The House of the Spirits , The Lion King , Die Hard with a Vengeance , Lolita , The Merchant of Venice , Being Julia , Appaloosa , and Margin Call .

Irons has also made several notable appearances on television. He earned his first Golden Globe Award nomination for his breakout role in the ITV series Brideshead Revisited . In 2006, Irons starred opposite Helen Mirren in the historical miniseries Elizabeth I, for which he received a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Since 2011, he has been starring in the Showtime historical drama The Borgias.

On 17 October 2011, Jeremy Irons was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations .

  Biography  

 early life
Irons was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, the son of Barbara Anne Brereton Brymer (née Sharpe; 1914–1999), a housewife, and Paul Dugan Irons (1913–1983), an accountant. Part of his maternal ancestry is Irish, and his great-grandfather was one of the first Metropolitan Policemen, and later a chartist. Irons has a brother, Christopher , and a sister, Felicity Anne . He was educated at the independent Sherborne School in Dorset, (c. 1962–66). He achieved some fame as the drummer and harmonica player (most memorably for his rendition of "Stairway to Heaven" 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 has stated that his family is Catholic, but of himself he states, "I don’t go to church much because I don’t like belonging to a club, and I don’t go to confession or anything like that, I don’t believe in it. But I try to be aware of where I fail and I occasionally go to services. I would hate to be a person who didn’t have a spiritual side because there’s nothing to nourish you in life apart from retail therapy."

 acting career
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 busked 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 Roundhouse on 17 November 1971 before transferring to Wyndham's Theatre playing a total of 1,128 performances.

Irons was bestowed an Honorary-Life Membership by the Law Society in September 2008, in honour of his contribution to television, film, audio, music and theatre.

 Television
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 , 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 .

The role which brought him fame was that of Charles Ryder in the television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited . 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? In 2008 he played Lord Vetinari in Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic, an adaptation for Sky One.

On 6 November 2008, TV Guide reported he would star as photographer Alfred Stieglitz with Joan Allen as painter Georgia O'Keeffe, in a Lifetime Television O'Keeffe biopic.
Irons also appeared in the documentary for Irish television channel TG4, Faoi Lan Cheoil in which he learned to play the fiddle.

On 12 January 2011, Irons was a guest-star in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit called "Mask". He played Dr. Cap Jackson, a sex therapist. He reprised the role on an episode that ran on 30 March 2011.

Irons stars in the 2011 U.S. premium cable network Showtime's series The Borgias, a highly fictionalized account of the Renaissance dynasty of that name. Irons portrays patriarch Rodrigo Borgia, better known to history as Pope Alexander VI.

 Film
Irons' made his film debut in 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 gynecologists in David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers in 1988. Other films include Danny the Champion of the World , Reversal of Fortune , for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, Kafka , Damage , M. Butterfly , The House of the Spirits appearing again with Glenn Close and Meryl Streep, Die Hard with a Vengeance co-starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty , 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.

Other roles include the evil wizard Profion in the film Dungeons and Dragons and Rupert Gould in Longitude . He played the Über-Morlock from the movie The Time Machine . In 2004, Irons played Severus Snape in Comic Relief's Harry Potter parody, "Harry Potter and the Secret Chamberpot of Azerbaijan".

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 and Eragon , though they did not have any scenes together in Eragon.

In 2008, Irons co-starred with Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen in Appaloosa, directed by Harris. In 2011, Irons appeared alongside Kevin Spacey in the thriller film Margin Call.

 Theatre
Irons has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company three times in 1976, 1986–87 and 2010. 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.

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 19 March 2008.

In 2009 Irons appeared on Broadway opposite Joan Allen in the play Impressionism. The play ran through 10 May 2009 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater.

 personal life
Irons married Irish actress Sinéad Cusack in March 1978. They have two sons, Samuel James Brefni Irons , who works as a photographer, and Maximilian Paul Diarmuid Irons , also an actor, who appeared in the 2006 Burberry fashion campaign and Red Riding Hood. Both of Irons' sons have appeared in films with their father – Sam as the eponymous hero in Danny, Champion of the World and Max in Being Julia. Irons lives in the small town of Watlington, Oxfordshire and the village of Ballydehob, in County Cork, Republic of Ireland.

He has been the patron since 2002 of the Thomley Activity Centre, an Oxfordshire non-profit activity centre for disabled children. Irons owns Kilcoe Castle in County Cork, Ireland, and has become involved in local politics there. He also has another Irish residence in The Liberties, Dublin. Irons is a patron of the Chiltern Shakespeare Company. He is a fan of English football club Portsmouth.

politics
In 1998, Irons and his wife were named in the list of the biggest private financial donors to the Labour Party, a year after their return to government after 18 years in opposition. In 2004, he publicly declared his support for the Countryside Alliance, referring to the hunting ban as an "outrageous assault on civil liberties".

In 2010, Irons starred in a promotional video for “” – a worldwide drive to attract at least one million signatures to a petition calling on international leaders to move hunger to the top of the political agenda.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Jeremy Irons", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.