About Benedict Cumberbatch
The man with the unlikely marquee name, Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch, was born on July 19, 1976 in London, England to British actors Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham. He attended Brambletye School in West Sussex and then Harrow School in London, where he first began dabbling as an actor. Cumberbatch then took a year off to teach English in a Tibetan monastery, before attending the University of Manchester as a drama student. After continuing his training at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, he began making the rounds on stage, appearing in productions such as "Hedda Gabler" (2005) and in the 2011 stage production of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." During this time, he also began making inroads on television with guest starring roles on dramas like "Silent Witness" (BBC, 1996- ) and in the 2003 made-for-TV historical movie "Cambridge Spies," about the lives of four British men recruited to spy for Russia in the early 1930s. In 2003, Cumberbatch joined the cast of ITV's "Fortysomething," as one of the sex-obsessed sons of a middle-aged doctor (Hugh Laurie) who can hear the inner thoughts of others.
Cumberbatch's career took off after starring in the 2004 BBC biopic "Hawking," a critically acclaimed drama about the early days of noted physicist Stephen Hawking while working at the University of Cambridge. He continued to earn rave reviews for his performances in the BBC miniseries "To the Ends of the Earth," based on a trilogy of novels by William Golding that told the story of a young British aristocrat who travels to Australia by ship in 1812. By this time, Cumberbatch had become a widely sought film actor in period pieces like "Atonement" (2007) and "The Other Boleyn Girl" (2008), as one of King Henry VIII's courtiers and husband of Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson). He returned to his miniseries roots with a lead role in the thriller "The Last Enemy" (BBC, 2008), a story of a government conspiracy involving a deadly virus as seen through the eyes of a mathematical genius. The talented actor next tackled a string of British films and TV projects including "Small Island" (BBC, 2009) and "Van Gogh: Painted with Words" (2010), a small-screen drama where he delivered an impassioned performance as famed Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh.
Cumberbatch then took Hollywood by storm as star of the BBC hit detective drama series "Sherlock," a modern take on the classic tales of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about Britain's most famous sleuth and his partner, Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman). Cumberbatch's quirky yet confident portrayal of Holmes was decidedly his breakout role, earning him critical acclaim as well as commercial success beyond his native England. Early in the season, Cumberbatch wowed critics and fans alike by bringing a classic literary figure into the 21st century and making him relevant in the age of Internet social media. He was duly honored with an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2012. In addition, the actor's unconventionally handsome looks made him a bona fide heartthrob on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2011, Cumberbatch continued making waves by appearing in the Oscar-nominated thriller "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," as a former head of the British intelligence who is demoted to run a branch of the service known as "the scalp hunters." He also appeared that year in Steven Spielberg's "War Horse," a story of a teenage boy in England who enlists to serve in World War I after his horse is sold to the cavalry.
By Candy Cuenco
|Appeared in the Oscar nominated films "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and Steven Spielberg's "War Horse"|
|Starred in title role in the modern day adaptation of "Sherlock" (BBC)|
|Played the famed Dutch post-impressionist painter in "Van Gogh: Painted with Words" (BBC)|
|Returned to his miniseries roots with a lead role in the thriller "The Last Enemy" (BBC)|
|Cast in the period drama "Atonement" opposite Keira Knightley and James McAvoy|
|Earned rave reviews for his performance in BBC miniseries "To the Ends of the Earth," based on a trilogy of novels by William Golding|
|Portrayed noted scientist Stephen Hawking in BBC biopic "Hawking"|
|Played one of the sons of a middle-aged doctor (Hugh Laurie) who can hear the inner thoughts of others on "Fortysomething" (ITV)|
|Made feature film debut in war drama "To Kill a King"|
|Taught English in a Tibetan monastery|
|Began acting while attending Harrow School in London|