- Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton Wykeham Fiennes
December 22, 1962 (age 58)
- Actor, Film Director, Film Producer
- Alex Kingston
- Jennifer Lash, Mark Fiennes
Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton Wykeham Fiennes (born 22 December 1962), better known as Ralph Fiennes is an English theatre and film actor. A noted Shakespeare interpreter, he first achieved success onstage in the Royal National Theatre.
Fiennes' portrayal of Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth in Schindler's List (1993), earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His performance as Count Almásy in The English Patient (1996), garnered him a second Academy Award nomination, for Best Actor, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.
Since then, Fiennes has been in a number of notable films, includingThe End of the Affair (1999), Red Dragon (2002), The Constant Gardener (2005), In Bruges (2008), The Reader (2008), Clash of the Titans (2010), Great Expectations (2012), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). He is also known for his roles in major film franchises such as the Harry Potter film series (2005–2011), in which he played Lord Voldemort, and the James Bond series, in which he has played M, starting with the 2012 film Skyfall.
In 2011, Fiennes made his directorial debut with his film adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus, in which he also played the titular character. Fiennes won a Tony Award for playing Prince Hamlet on Broadway.
Early life and family
Fiennes was born in Ipswich, on 22 December 1962. He is the eldest child of Mark Fiennes (1933–2004), a farmer and photographer, and Jennifer Lash (1938–1993), a writer. He has English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. His surname is of Norman origin. His grandfathers were industrialist Sir Maurice Fiennes (1907–1994) and Brigadier Henry Alleyne Lash.
Fiennes is an eighth cousin of the Prince of Wales, and a third cousin of adventurer Ranulph Fiennes and author William Fiennes. He is the eldest of six children, his siblings being actor Joseph Fiennes; Martha Fiennes, a director (in her film Onegin, he played the title role); Magnus Fiennes, a composer; Sophie Fiennes, a filmmaker; and Jacob Fiennes, a conservationist. His foster brother, Michael Emery, is an archaeologist. His nephew Hero Fiennes-Tiffin played Tom Riddle, young Lord Voldemort, in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
The Fiennes family moved to Ireland in 1973, living in West Cork and County Kilkenny for some years. Fiennes was educated at St Kieran's College for one year, followed by Newtown School, a Quaker independent school in County Waterford. They moved to Salisbury in England, where Fiennes finished his schooling at Bishop Wordsworth's School. He went on to pursue painting at Chelsea College of Art before deciding that acting was his true passion.
Fiennes trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art between 1983 and 85. He began his career at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park and also at the National Theatre before achieving prominence at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Fiennes first worked on screen in 1990 and then made his film debut in 1992 as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights opposite Juliette Binoche.
1993 was his "breakout year". He had a major role in the controversial Peter Greenaway film The Baby of Mâcon with Julia Ormond, which was poorly received. Later that year he became known internationally for portraying the amoral Nazi concentration camp commandant Amon Göth in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. For this he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He did not win the Oscar, but did win the Best Supporting Actor BAFTA Award for the role. His portrayal as Göth also earned him a spot on the American Film Institute's list of Top 50 Movie Villains.
Fiennes met English actress Alex Kingston while they were both students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After dating for ten years, they married in 1993. They divorced in 1997.
In 1995, Fiennes began an affair with Francesca Annis, whom he met when she played his mother Gertrude in the play Hamlet. After 11 years together, the couple separated in February 2006.