Hugh Bonneville is a British stage, television and film actor. He is best known for playing Robert Crawley in the ITV period drama series, ‘Downton Abbey’ from 2010 until 2015, and has been nominated for BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe awards.
Bonneville’s first professional stage appearance was at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park. In 1987, he joined the National Theatre where he appeared in several plays, then the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1991, where he played Laertes to Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. He played Valentine in ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’, Bergetto in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore’, ‘Kastril’ and later, Surly in ‘The Alchemist’.
In 1991, Bonneville made his television debut, billed as Richard Bonneville.
His debut film was 1994’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with Robert De Niro and Kenneth Branagh. His early roles were usually good-natured bumbling characters like Bernie in Notting Hill (1999) and Mr Rushworth in Mansfield Park (1999).
In the BBC television series, ‘Take A Girl Like You’ and ‘Armadillo’, he played more villainous characters, leading up to the domineering Henleigh Grandcourt in Daniel Deronda and the psychopathic killer James Lampton in The Commander series. In Love Again, he played the poet Philip Larkin.
In Iris, he played the young John Bayley opposite Kate Winslet, with his performance lauded by critics and receiving a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 2004, Bonneville played Sir Christopher Wren in the docudrama Wren – The Man Who Built Britain. Bonneville also works extensively in radio.
He played the role of Jerry Westerby in the BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the John le Carré novel The Honourable Schoolboy, first broadcast in January 2010. Earlier, he appeared in the surreal parallel universe comedy Married.
From 2010 until 2015, he appeared in the ITV period drama Downton Abbey, as Robert, Earl of Grantham.
In early 2010, he appeared in the comedy film Burke and Hare. In 2011 and 2012, he starred as Ian Fletcher in the award-winning BBC comedy series Twenty Twelve, and reprised the role in the 2014 BBC comedy series W1A.
In December 2012, he appeared on BBC Two with co-star Jessica Hynes in World’s Most Dangerous Roads, travelling through Georgia. He will also appear in the much-delayed film Hippie Hippie Shake with Cillian Murphy and Sienna Miller.
Since 2011, Bonneville has been the narrator of the Channel 4 show The Hotel.
In 2014, Bonneville played Mr. Brown in the film Paddington. He will also star in the film’s sequel to be released in 2017. He has also appeared in the singing comedic role of The Pirate King in the ABC fairy tale-themed musical comedy extravaganza series Galavant during its 2015 and 2016 seasons. He has narrated two series of The Cruise.
In May 2017, it was announced that Bonneville would play Roald Dahl in an upcoming biopic about the author.
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