Born on March 21, 1958 in London, England, Gary Oldman is an actor, writer, director, and producer best known to young and mainstream audience as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series of movies. He is often referred to as an actor’s actor for his abhorrence of the Hollywood celebrity scene. The son of a housewife and a welder, Oldman’s father was an abusive alcoholic who reportedly left them when he was 7. As a child, he was an accomplished pianist and singer but he opted to pursue acting instead. He earned a scholarship to the Rose Bruford College, graduating with a degree in drama in 1970. He was refused entry to the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Upon graduation, Oldman studied with the Greenwich Young People’s Theater, where he performed in several plays, including The Pope’s Wedding, for which a magazine named him the best newcomer of the 1985-86 season. He went on to spend around eight years in theater. While doing so, however, he also engaged in movies, appearing in several minor television films such as Remembrance and Morgan’s Boy. He bagged his first starring role in 1986 for Sid and Nancy. T his opened the doors of Hollywood to Oldman. His portrayal received very positive feedback, making it to #62 of Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.
Oldman went on to achieve mainstream popularity in the 1990s, first with a performance as alleged presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK, then as Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, an international box office hit. His other screen credits include True Romance, Leon, Murder in the First, The Fifth Element, Immortal Beloved, and Air Force One. During the onset of 2000, he appeared in even more prominent roles, including in the movie The Contender, where he earned a Screen Actors Guild nomination. He then played as Hannibal Lecter’s only surviving victim in Hannibal. He later landed a major role in the Harry Potter franchise as Sirius Black, plus Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
New Cross, London, England, UK
Donya Fiorentino (16 February 1997 - 13 April 2001) (divorced) 2 children
Uma Thurman (1 October 1990 - 30 April 1992) (divorced)
Lesley Manville (1987 - 1990) (divorced) 1 child
Has one son, Alfie Oldman, born in 1988, from his first marriage to Lesley Manville.
Sons, with Donya Fiorentino: Gulliver Flynn Oldman, born 20 August 1997 and Charlie John, born 11 February 1999.
Actor Ryan Gosling lists Oldman as his favorite actor.
He and his ex-wife, Uma Thurman, have both appeared in Batman films. Thurman played Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin (1997), and Oldman played James Gordon in Batman Begins (2005).
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#72). .
Harry Potter co-actor Jason Isaacs lists him as one of his favorite actors.
Lives in Los Angeles.
- My big love was the Beatles. I was more into music.
- My passion and energy get mistaken for anger.
- Rather like Batman, I embody the themes of the movie which are the values of family, courage and compassion and a sense of right and wrong, good and bad and justice.
- I don't think Hollywood knows what to do with me. I would imagine that when it comes to romantic comedies, my name would be pretty low down on the list.