Jude Law Biography

PHOTO: Jude Law

He was once voted the world's sexiest man and has been acting for over 20 years, but is better known for his tumultuous love-life. Will the Alfie star get Closer to serious acting and further from celebrity?

Jude Law was born in South London to teacher parents and was educated at John Ball Primary School in Blackheath, before moving on to a private school. By the age of 12 he was acting with the National Youth Music Theatre, and when he turned 17 he left formal education to take a part in the cult soap 'Families'.

Early film roles in 'The Crane' and 'Shopping' failed to set the world of cinema alight and so the young actor returned to the stage to star in 'The Snow Orchid', 'Live Like Pigs' and 'Les Parents Terribles'.

The latter of these plays saw Jude nominated for an Olivier award as Best Newcomer and, following a title change to 'Indiscretions', the play transferred to Broadway in 1995.

Again, the play was a huge success and Jude once again picked up another prestigious theatre award nomination – this time for a Tony. Moving back to film, Jude landed the part of 'Bosie' opposite Stephen Fry in 'Wilde'.

"Bosie was the first part I was ever offered, which I suppose is sort of an insult because he's just the nastiest bastard!"

The film was applauded by critics and brought the young star to the attention of studio bosses in Hollywood. Jude suddenly became a busy man in films such as 'Music From Another Room', 'I Love You, I Love You Not', 'Gattaca' and 'Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil'.

1999 saw Jude star in the film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel 'The Talented Mr Ripley'. Cast as the playboy Dickie Greenleaf, Jude starred alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Philip Seymour-Hoffman before being bumped off by an obsessed Matt Damon. Jude walked away with a BAFTA for his efforts and was also nominated for an Oscar.

Steven Spielberg secured Jude's acting talents next to play Gigolo Joe in the sci-fi film 'AI'. The project was inherited from the late Stanley Kubrick and, although Jude received a Golden Globe nomination, critics were somewhat divided on the film's merits.

Sam Mendes' 'Road To Perdition' saw Jude play a hit-man hot on the heels of Tom Hanks. Keen not to trade on his pretty-boy looks, Jude excelled as the twisted killer with a penchant for photographing his victims. Next up was the hugely successful epic 'Cold Mountain' with Jude as a traumatised Civil War soldier opposite Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger. The film was an Oscar magnet and saw Jude pick up his second nomination.

Whilst his career was going from strength to strength, his personal life was beginning to attract an increased number of column inches. Having married Sadie Frost in 1997, the couple and their friends were dubbed the 'Primrose Hill set' and gossip about their social life became a tabloid obsession. The couple extended their family with the births of children Rafferty, Iris and Rudy. Sadie Frost already had one son, Finlay, with former Spandau Ballet star Gary Kemp.

However, by the birth of Rudy in 2002, the couple's relationship was already heading for trouble. Jude's hectic work schedule and tabloid intrusion even led Nicole Kidman to sue The Sun newspaper over false reports of an affair with her handsome co-star. Jude and Sadie divorced in 2003.

Jude began dating Sienna Miller after they met on the set of the remake of the film 'Alfie'. Taking on the role made famous by Michael Caine, Jude found himself working his charms on Susan Sarandon and Jane Krakowski. However, the film failed to charm both critics and audiences and was even voted one of the worst remakes of all time.

A cameo as Errol Flynn in Martin Scorsese's 'The Aviator' saw Jude bounce back to form and 'Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow' performed well at the US box office. A run of credible roles in 'I Heart Huckabees', 'Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events', 'Closer' and 'All The King's Men’ saw Jude become one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood.

However, in July 2005 it was his private life once again that dominated the headlines when he issued a public apology to his fiancée, Sienna Miller. The apology followed a kiss and tell story sold to a tabloid newspaper by his children's nanny, Daisy Wright, detailing her affair with the star.

"I just want to say I am deeply ashamed and upset that I've hurt Sienna and the people most close to us."

Sienna immediately broke off the engagement and the tabloids again began to shadow the couple's every move. However, far from being a thing of the past, the couple became involved in what can best be described as an on/off relationship. After becoming a father for the fourth time, after a brief relationship with model Samantha Burke in 2008, Jude and Sienna rekindled their relationship.

They got back together in December 2009 after starring in different shows on Broadway that year. The couple spent Christmas 2009 in Barbados with three of his children but they revealed they had split again in February 2011.

His troubles off screen appear not to have affected his work as Jude highlighted in 2006's 'The Holiday', which landed him a nomination for an MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss, shared with co-star Cameron Diaz. He played the role of a book editor and single father in the American romantic comedy film, which was a commercial success despite receiving mixed reviews.

Parts in 2007's 'My Blueberry Nights', 'Sleuth' and 'Rage' (2009) followed, before Jude appeared in 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'. He was cast in the film, alongside Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell, as transformations of the late Heath Ledger's character as he travels through a dream world. The move was necessitated by Ledger's untimely death before filming ended.

Further critical acclaim came in 2009 in the form of a Saturn Award nomination for best supporting actor for his performance as Dr John Watson in Guy Ritchie's 'Sherlock Holmes'. Based on a tale created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the film starring Robert Downey Jr was a commercial success and helped to cement Jude’s acting abilities.

In 2011, he played Hugo's father in Martin Scorsese's 'Hugo', appeared in 'Contagion' and reprised his role as Watson in 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows'. He also returned to the stage in 'Anna Christie'. It was announced on 15 March 2012 that Jude has been nominated for a Best Actor Olivier Award - the most prestigious in the world of theatre - for his role in the play.

He will be playing Alexei Karenin in 'Anna Karenia' in 2012 as well as lending his voice to 'Rise of the Guardians'. In 2013, he will appear in 'The Bitter Pill' with Catherine Zeta Jones, Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum.

Related Bios

View More Biographies
GalleryLightboxDialog
© 2013 AETN UK. All Rights Reserved.