RALPH FIENNES Ralph Fiennes was born in Suffolk and grew up in England and Ireland. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), after which he began his professional acting career on stage. He performed at London's Regents Park in both "The Theatre Clwyd" and "The Oldman Coliseum." Two years after graduating RADA, he joined Michael Rudman's company at the Royal National Theatre. He later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where for two seasons he appeared in such plays as "Henry VI," "King Lear" and "Love's Labour's Lost."
In 1991, Ralph Fiennes landed his first television appearance in a small but telling role in the award-winning PRIME SUSPECT. Ralph Fiennes was then cast by David Puttnam as T.E. Lawrence in A DANGEROUS MAN: LAWRENCE AFTER ARABIA, a film which detailed the legendary hero's struggle to secure Arab independence on the battlefield of the Paris Peace Conference.
Ralph Fiennes made his feature film debut starring opposite Juliette Binoche as Heathcliff in Peter Kosminsky's, EMILY BRONTE'S WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Steven Spielberg was so impressed by Ralph Fiennes performance in WUTHERING HEIGHTS that he cast him as the sinister Nazi Aman Goeth in SCHINDLER'S LIST, opposite Liam Neeson. His role as Aman Goeth earned him an Academy Award nomination, and awards from BAFTA, the New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics, Boston Society of Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics Association, and London Critics Circle for best supporting actor.
Other notable acting performances include Robert Redford's acclaimed QUIZ SHOW, Kathryn Bigelow's STRANGE DAYS, Gillian Armstrong's OSCAR AND LUCINDA and Martha Fiennes' ONEGIN opposite Liv Tyler, which Ralph Fiennes also executive produced. Ralph Fiennes also starred in Neil Jordan's THE END OF THE AFFAIR, THE GOOD THIEF, THE AVENGERS and Istvan Szabo's SUNSHINE.
In 1994 Ralph Fiennes opened as Hamlet in a sell-out production by Jonathan Kent for the Almeida Theatre Company at the Hackney Empire, which became the theatrical event of the year. The production moved to Broadway, and Ralph Fiennes won the coveted Tony award for his performance in June of 1995.
In 1995, Ralph Fiennes starred in the Academy Award-winning THE ENGLISH PATIENT, directed by Anthony Minghella, for which Ralph Fiennes was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Actor.
Ralph Fiennes then returned to the theatre in Jonathan Kent's acclaimed production of "Ivanov" at the Almeida Theatre in London. Ralph Fiennes performance won rave reviews, which took the play to Moscow. During 2000, Ralph Fiennes appeared triumphantly on the London stage in the title roles of Richard II and Coriolanus for the Almeida Theatre, and he triumphed in a guest cameo role in Kenneth Branagh's West End production of "The Play I Wrote."
In 2002 Ralph Fiennes starred in David Cronenberg's film SPIDER as the disturbed schizophrenic in search of his past and in RED DRAGON as the psychotic but vulnerable serial killer, opposite Emily Watson and Edward Norton. He had a cameo role in Neil Jordan's THE GOOD THIEF and also starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in MAID IN MANHATTAN.
In 2005, Ralph Fiennes appeared in THE CHUMSCRUBBER, opposite Rita Wilson and Glenn Close. THE CHUMSCRUBBER debuted at the Sundance Film Festival that year. Ralph Fiennes was also seen in Martha Fiennes' CHROMOPHOBIA with Kristen Scott Thomas and Penélope Cruz. CHROMOPHOBIA world premiered as the closing-night film at the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival. Fiennes voice was also featured in the animated feature, WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE RABBIT. In the film, Ralph Fiennes is the voice of Lord Victor Quartermaine as Wallace and Gromit set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village.
That same year, Ralph Fiennes starred in THE CONSTANT GARDENER opposite Rachel Weisz and Danny Huston. Directed by Fernando Meirelles' Fiennes played Kenya-based English diplomat Justin Quayle, a man whose wife is murdered along with the man with whom she is suspected of having an affair. Ralph Fiennes received a London Critics Circle award for Best British Actor and a British Independent Film award for Best Actor for this role.
Ralph Fiennes also starred in the final Merchant-Ivory film, THE WHITE COUNTESS, opposite Natasha Richardson. Set in 1930's Shanghai, Ralph Fiennes played Todd Jackson, a blind American diplomat who develops a relationship with a young Russian refugee who works illicit jobs to support members of her family. Finally that year, Ralph Fiennes played the pivotal role of the dreaded Lord Voldemort in HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, the fourth installment of the blockbuster series.
In April of 2006, Ralph Fiennes reunited with director Jonathan Kent to star on stage in Brian Friel's Tony Award nominated play "Faith Healer," which originally premiered at Dublin's Gate Theatre. During its limited run at the Gate Theatre, for the first time in the theatre's history, tickets sold out before previews began. Ralph Fiennes starred opposite Cherry Jones and Ian McDiarmid to rave reviews. "Faith Healer" told the moving tale of a dissolute, charismatic Frank Hardy (Fiennes), his long-time lover (Jones) and his devoted manager (McDiarmid) as they traveled the back roads of Scotland and Wales peddling miracles. Ralph Fiennes and the play received Tony nominations.
In July 2007, Ralph Fiennes reprised his role as Lord Voldemort in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, the fifth installment of the Harry Potter series.
This past February, Ralph Fiennes starred in the critically acclaimed film BERNARD AND DORIS, opposite Susan Sarandon and directed by Bob Balaban. The film is loosely based on tobacco heiress Doris Duke and her relationship with her shy, alcoholic butler, Bernard Lafferty. Ralph Fiennes and the film are nominated for Golden Globe awards this year. That same month, Ralph Fiennes starred in the film IN BRUGES, opposite Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. IN BRUGES follows two hit men who are forced to spend time in Bruges, Belgium after a job gone bad. Directed by Martin McDonagh, IN BRUGES premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
In April, Ralph Fiennes starred in a production of Yasmina Reza's "God of Carnage" at London's Gielgud Theatre. "God of Carnage," which opened to rave reviews, follows what happens when two sets of parents meet up to deal with the unruly behavior of their children.
Ralph Fiennes recently starred in Samuel Beckett's one-man show, "First Love," which premiered at New York's Lincoln Center Festival presented by the Gate Theatre in Dublin. Directed by Michael Colgan, "First Love" tells the tale of a man who finds refuge on a bench by a canal after being thrown out of his house when his father dies. Ralph Fiennes previously performed "First Love" at the Sydney Festival in 2007.
This October, Ralph Fiennes reunites with director Jonathan Kent to star opposite theatre legend, Clare Higgins, as the title role in "Oedipus Rex," which will be staged at the National Theatre in London. The play begins previews on October 8th and opens on October 15th.
Ralph Fiennes was recently seen in THE DUCHESS opposite Keira Knightley. Directed by Saul Dibb, the film revolves around the 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and her complicated marriage, extravagant political views and unconventional life.
Ralph Fiennes was introduced to UNICEF in 1999 and became an avid supporter of the organization for many years before becoming an ambassador in 2001. He has travelled to multiple countries on their behalf. UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
Ralph Fiennes currently resides in London, England.