Charles Dance

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Charles Dance
OBE
Charles Dance 2012 (cropped).jpg
Dance at the London Film and Comic Con, July 2012
Born Walter Charles Dance
(1946-10-10) 10 October 1946 (age 70)
Redditch, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Education De Montfort University
Plymouth College of Art
Occupation Actor, screenwriter, film director
Years active 1974–present
Spouse(s) Joanna Haythorn (m. 1970; div. 2004)
Children Oliver Matthew (b. 1974)
Rebecca Le Fevre (b. 1980)
Rose (b. 2012)
Parents
  • Walter Dance (1874–1949) (father)
  • Eleanor Marion Perks (mother)

Walter Charles Dance, OBE (born 10 October 1946) is an English actor, screenwriter, and film director.

Dance typically plays assertive bureaucrats or villains, some of his most high-profile roles are Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones, Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Sardo Numspa in The Golden Child (1986), Jonathan Clemens in Alien 3 (1992), Benedict in Last Action Hero (1993), the Master Vampire in Dracula Untold (2014), Lord Havelock Vetinari in Terry Pratchett's Going Postal (2010) and Alastair Denniston in The Imitation Game (2014).

Early life[edit]

Charles Dance was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, the son of Eleanor Marion (née Perks), a cook, and Walter Dance, an engineer who had previously served during the Boer War in South Africa.[1][2] Growing up in Plymouth, he attended Widey Technical School for Boys (it closed when known as Widey High School in 1988) in Crownhill. Dance later attended The Leicester College of Arts (now known as De Montfort University), where he studied Graphic Design and Photography.[3]

When Dance was about 3 years old, his father died. Dance had always thought that his father had been in his early fifties when he died, but discovered that was incorrect when he took part in the Who Do You Think You Are? TV programme first broadcast on 6 July 2017, in which he discovered his father was actually some 25 years older when he died.[4]

Career[edit]

Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)[edit]

Dance was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company during the mid-to-late-1970s and was in many of their productions in London and Stratford-upon-Avon. Later he returned to the RSC to take the title role in Coriolanus at Stratford-upon-Avon and Newcastle in 1989, and at the Barbican Theatre in 1990. He received rave reviews and a Critics' Circle Best Actor award for his performance as the Oxford don C. S. Lewis in William Nicholson's Shadowlands, in the 2007 stage revival.[5]

Television and film[edit]

Dance made his screen debut in 1974, in the ITV series Father Brown as Commandant Neil O'Brien in "The Secret Garden", but his big break came ten years later when he played the major role of Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (Granada Television, Christopher Morahan 1984), an adaptation of Paul Scott's novels that also made stars of Geraldine James and Art Malik. He appeared in Paris Connections (2010) as the Russian oligarch Aleksandr Borinski. Dance made one of his earliest big screen appearances in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only as evil henchman Claus. Though he turned down the opportunity to screen test for the James Bond role,[6] in 1989 he played Bond creator Ian Fleming in Anglia Television's dramatised biography, Goldeneye (the name of Fleming's estate in Jamaica and a title later used for a James Bond film).

He has also starred in many other British television dramas such as Edward the Seventh (as dissolute Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Edward VII's oldest son, and heir to the throne), Murder Rooms, Randall and Hopkirk, Rebecca, The Phantom of the Opera, Fingersmith and Bleak House (for which he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie). He was name-checked in the British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, as being slated to play the title character in The Life of Jesus Christ 2, which was filming in Morocco at the same time as the main characters of the series were there for a photo shoot. He also played Guy Spencer, the pro-Hitler propagandist, in the second instalment of Foyle's War, and had an ongoing role as Dr. Maltravers in the ITV drama Trinity.[7]

Dance made a guest appearance on the BBC drama series Merlin as the Witchfinder Aredian,[8] and as a vainglorious version of himself in the third series of Jam & Jerusalem. He played Havelock Vetinari in the 2010 Sky adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal,[9] he played the role of Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones, based on the Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin. Dance was wooed for the role by the producers while filming Your Highness in Belfast.[10] Dance also played Conrad Knox on the British television series Strike Back: Vengeance as the primary villain in the series.[11]

On 30 June 2013, Dance appeared with other celebrities in an episode of the BBC's Top Gear as a "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" for the debut of the Vauxhall Astra.[12]

Screenwriting and directing[edit]

Dance's debut film as a writer and director was Ladies in Lavender (2004), which starred Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. In 2009, he directed his own adaptation of Alice Thomas Ellis's The Inn at the Edge of the World.

Personal life[edit]

Dance married Joanna Haythorn in 1970, they have two children.[13][14] He became engaged to sculptor Eleanor Boorman in September 2010, they have a daughter, Rose, born in March 2012, though the two subsequently separated.[15]

Dance was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on 17 June 2006.[16] He lives in Kentish Town in north London.[17]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Title Year Role Director(s) Notes Ref(s)
For Your Eyes Only 1981 Claus John Glen
Plenty 1985 Raymond Brock Fred Schepisi
The Golden Child 1986 Sardo Numspa Michael Ritchie
White Mischief 1987 Josslyn Hay Michael Radford
Good Morning, Babylon 1987 D.W. Griffith Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
Hidden City 1987 James Richards Stephen Poliakoff
Pascali's Island 1988 Anthony Bowles James Dearden
Alien 3 1992 Clemens David Fincher
Kalkstein 1992 Surveyor Italian film
Last Action Hero 1993 Benedict John McTiernan
Century 1993 Professor Mandry Stephen Poliakoff
China Moon 1994 Rupert Munro John Bailey
Kabloonak 1994 Robert Flaherty Claude Massot Paris Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Shortcut to Paradise 1994 Quinn Spanish film
Space Truckers 1996 Nabel / Macanudo Stuart Gordon
Michael Collins 1996 Soames Neil Jordan
The Blood Oranges 1997 Cyril Philip Haas
What Rats Won't Do 1998 Gerald
Don't Go Breaking My Heart 1998 Frank Willi Patterson
Hilary and Jackie 1998 Derek Du Pré Anand Tucker
Gosford Park 2001 Raymond Stockbridge Robert Altman
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby 2001 Ralph Nickleby Stephen Whittaker
Dark Blue World 2001 Wing Commander Bentley Jan Svěrák
Black and White 2002 Roderic Chamberlain Craig Lahiff
Ali G Indahouse 2002 David Carlton Mark Mylod
Swimming Pool 2003 John Bosload François Ozon
Dolls 2006 Narrator Susan Luciani Voice
Scoop 2006 Mr. Malcolm Woody Allen
Starter for 10 2006 Michael Harbinson Tom Vaughan
The Contractor 2007 DCS Andrew Windsor Josef Rusnak Direct-to-video
The Commuter 2010 Traffic Warden Short film to promote Nokia N8
Ironclad 2011 Archbishop Langton Jonathan English
Your Highness 2011 King Tallious David Gordon Green
Midnight's Children 2012 William Methwold Deepa Mehta
Underworld: Awakening 2012 Thomas Måns Mårlind
Björn Stein
Patrick 2013 Doctor Roget Mark Hartley
Justin and the Knights of Valour 2013 Legantir Manuel Sicilia Voice
Bones of the Buddha 2013 Narrator Voice
Viy 2013 Lord Dudley Oleg Stepchenko Credited as Charlz Dens
Dracula Untold 2014 Master Vampire Gary Shore
The Imitation Game 2014 Commander Alastair Denniston Morten Tyldum
Victor Frankenstein 2015 Frankenstein Paul McGuigan
Michiel de Ruyter 2015 Charles II Roel Reiné
Woman in Gold 2015 Sherman Simon Curtis
Child 44 2015 Major Grachev Daniel Espinosa
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 2016 Mr. Bennet Burr Steers
Me Before You 2016 Stephen Traynor Thea Sharrock
Ghostbusters 2016 Harold Filmore Paul Feig
Despite the Falling Snow 2016 Old Alexander Shamim Sarif
Underworld: Blood Wars 2016 Thomas Anna Foerster
Viy 2: Journey to China Films that have not yet been released 2017 Lord Dudley Oleg Stepchenko Post-production
Euphoria Films that have not yet been released 2017 Lisa Langseth Post-production
That Good Night Films that have not yet been released 2017 The Visitor Eric Styles Completed
Fanny Lye Deliver'd Films that have not yet been released 2017 John Lye Thomas Clay Post-production
Godzilla: King of the Monsters Films that have not yet been released 2019 Michael Dougherty Filming [18]
Key
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released

Television[edit]

Title Year(s) Role Network Notes Ref.
Father Brown 1974 Commandant Neil O'Brien ITV Episode: "The Secret Garden"
Edward the Seventh 1975 Prince Eddy ITV 2 episodes
The Jewel in the Crown 1984 Guy Perron ITV
Out on a Limb 1984 Cpt. Truman BBC
Rainy Day Women 1987 Gerry Stamford ABC TV miniseries
First Born 1988 Edward Forester BBC TV miniseries
The Phantom of the Opera 1990 Erik/The Phantom of the Opera NBC TV miniseries
Rebecca 1997 Maxim de Winter ITV TV miniseries
The Real Spartacus 2000 Narrator Documentary
A History of Britain 2000 Winston Churchill BBC Voice (document reading)
Episode: "The Two Winstons"
Foyle's War 2000 Guy Spencer ITV Episode: "The White Feather"
Henry VIII 2003 Duke of Buckingham ITV TV movie
Saint John Bosco: Mission to Love 2004 Marquis Clementi Italian film
Fingersmith 2005 Mr. Lilly BBC TV movie
Bleak House 2005 Mr. Tulkinghorn BBC
To the Ends of the Earth 2005 Sir Henry Somerset BBC Episode: "Close Quarters"
Last Rights 2005 Richard Wheeler Channel 4 TV miniseries
Marple: By the Pricking of My Thumbs 2006 Septimus Bligh ITV Episode: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"
Fallen Angel 2007 David Byfield
Consenting Adults 2007 John Wolfenden BBC TV movie
Jam & Jerusalem 2009 Himself BBC One
Merlin 2009 Aredian BBC Episode: "The Witchfinder"
Trinity 2009 Dr. Edmund Maltraver ITV2
Going Postal 2010 Havelock Vetinari Sky 1
This September 2010 Edmund Aird 2 episodes
Game of Thrones 2011–2015 Tywin Lannister HBO 27 episodes [19]
Neverland 2011 Dr. Richard Fludd Syfy Episode: "Part 1"
Secret State 2012 John Hodder Channel 4 TV miniseries
Strike Back: Vengeance 2012 Conrad Knox Sky 1
Top Gear 2013 Himself BBC Appeared in Series 20, Episode 1
Was It Something I Said? 2013 Narrator Channel 4 Guest (one episode)
Rosamunde Pilchers's Shades of Love 2013 Edmund Aird
The Great Fire 2014 Lord Denton ITV TV miniseries
Childhood's End 2015 Karellen Syfy TV miniseries [20]
Deadline Gallipoli 2015 General Ian Hamilton Showcase TV miniseries
And Then There Were None 2015 Justice Lawrence Wargrave BBC One TV miniseries
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2016 2016 Himself Channel 4
Who Do You Think You Are 2017 Himself BBC One

Video games[edit]

Title Year(s) Voice role Notes Ref.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 2015 Emperor Emhyr var Emreis Voice [21]

Theatre credits[edit]

Stage[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Charles Dance Biography (1946–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  2. ^ "Charles Dance Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  3. ^ http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/news/2015/april/winter-is-coming-dmu-alumnus-is-back-on-our-screens-with-the-return-of-game-of-thrones.aspx
  4. ^ "TheGenealogist featured article on Charles Dance". TheGenealogist. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  5. ^ Nicholas de Jongh (9 October 2007). "Dance is poignant perfection – Theatre & Dance – Arts – London Evening Standard". Thisislondon.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  6. ^ http://www.charlesdance.co.uk/goldeneye.html
  7. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (15 July 2008). "ITV2 plans 'sex, drugs and murder' drama to follow Billie Piper hit series". guardian.co.uk. London. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  8. ^ 25 May 2009, 15:07 BST (25 May 2009). "Guest stars confirmed for 'Merlin' – Merlin News – Cult". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  9. ^ Gibson, Linda (2010-05-25). "Interview Extra". TV Choice Magazine. 
  10. ^ "Game of Thrones: News – Charles Dance Cast as Tywin Lannister". Westeros.org. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  11. ^ "Strike Back: Vengeance on Sky 1 HD". Skymedia.co.uk. 15 August 2012. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Top Gear returns to BBC Two at 8pm, featuring Warwick Davis, Charles Dance and Joss Stone". TV Newsroom. 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  13. ^ Riggs, Thomas (2006). Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, Volume 67. Gale / Cengage Learning. pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-0-7876-9040-3. 
  14. ^ Walker, Tim (24 September 2010). "Charles Dance is to marry his artist girlfriend". The Daily Telegraph. London: TMG. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Glennie, Alasdair (20 October 2012). "Dance splits from mother of his baby girl: Game of Thrones star ends relationship just months after daughter's birth". Daily Mail. London. 
  16. ^ London Gazette issue 58014 17 June 2006 page 10
  17. ^ Helliker, Adam Dance-ing to an older tune Daily Mail, 13 April 2004
  18. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 18, 2017). "‘Game Of Thrones’ Alum Charles Dance Joins ‘Godzilla: King Of The Monsters’". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Game of Thrones: Cast". HBO. Archived from the original on September 1, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  20. ^ "'Game of Thrones' actor to star in major Syfy miniseries". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com. 
  21. ^ "The Witcher – News". CD Projekt Red. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 

External links[edit]