Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast. He is an Emmy Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated Northern Irish actor and film director. He attended Grove Primary School and relocated with his family to England.
He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at 23, and worked on starring roles in plays like Henry V and Romeo and Juliet. He found the Company too large for his tastes, and moved on to form his own, known as the Renaissance Theatre Company in 1987. Kenneth Branagh became a success in Northern Ireland for his leading role in BBC’s Play for Today series, written by Graham Reid. In the UK, he received acclaim for his performances on stage. He won the 1982 SWET Award for Best Actor for his role in Another Country.
His theater company collaborated with Birmingham Rep for a touring season in 1988. It featured three Shakespeare plays and was called Renaissance Shakespeare on the Road. In 1989, at the age of 29, Kenneth Branagh directed and starred in the film Henry V, which also starred Emma Thompson. He earned Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Director for Henry V. He also starred with Thompson in the Renaissance revival of Look Back in Anger, directed by Judi Dench. In 2001, Kenneth Branagh directed The Play that I Wrote in England, as well as its Broadway production in 2003.
Kenneth Branagh’s film career is filled with film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. He has been in the adaptations of Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Hamlet. In 2006, he was also seen in As You Like It, which premiered on HBO in 2007. He has been in many made-for-television films. In 2005, he was well-received for his portrayal of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in Warm Springs. Branagh was also in Conspiracy, which won him an Emmy award for his performance. He has also been nominated for four Academy Awards.
Other films he has appeared in include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Dead Again, which he both directed. Kenneth Branagh is also in 1999’s Wild Wild West, and portrayed Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in 2002’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.