Gary Oldman is one of England’s most successful actors, filmmakers, and musicians. Not only has he established himself as one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors, but he has also developed a cult following for his dapper good looks and talent. He has collaborated with a number of top Hollywood filmmakers, including Christopher Nolan, Francis Ford Coppola, Ridley Scott, and Quentin Tarantino, to name a few. He is best known for his roles in films such as Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” “Air Force One,” “State of Grace,” “Meantime,” “Lawless,” and the “Harry Potter” series, and the “Batman” trilogy. He is a trained actor who has worked with the “Royal Court Theatre” and the “Royal Shakespeare Company.” He has been praised for his traditional acting style and versatility and has been hailed as one of Hollywood’s greatest actors by prominent film critics.
Gary Leonard Oldman was born in New Cross, London, to Leonard Bertram Oldman and Kathleen.
Gary’s father was an alcoholic who abandoned the family when he was seven years old.
He went to the West Greenwich School in Deptford but dropped out to work in a sports shop. He had a strong interest in music since he was a child and was a talented singer and pianist.
In 1970, he decided to pursue a career in acting after seeing Malcolm McDowell’s performance in “The Raging Moon.” This is when he decided to join Greenwich’s “Young People’s Theater.”
During this time, he also worked a variety of odd jobs to supplement his income. He then won a scholarship to Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in Kent, where he graduated with a BA in Acting in 1979.
In 1979, he made his professional stage debut at York’s Theatre Royal as “Puss” in “Dick Whittington and his Cat.”
During the 1980s, he became a big hit with Glasgow audiences. He appeared in several plays, including “Massacre at Paris,” “Desperado Corner,” “A Waste of Time,” and “Chincilla.”
In 1982, he made his film debut in Colin Gregg’s “Remembrance.” The following year, he landed a role in “Meantime.” He went on to star in “Saved,” which was a major breakthrough for the actor.
In 1984, he was cast in the lead role of “Scope” in the play “The Pope’s Wedding.” For his outstanding performance, he received two of British theater’s highest honors: the Time Out Fringe Award for Best Newcomer and the Drama Theatre Award for Best Actor. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1985 to 1986.
In 1987, he was nominated for a BAFTA for his performance as Joe Orton in “Pick Up Your Ears.” He appeared in the plays “Serious Money” and “The Country Wife” in the same year.
He co-starred in the 1988 film “We Think the World of You” with Alan Bates. The following year, he appeared in “Chattahoochee” alongside Dennis Hopper and Frances McDormand. The following year, he starred in the British drama “The Firm,” which is widely regarded as one of his best performances to date.
In the 1990s, he relocated to the United States and appeared in films such as “The State of Grace,” “JFK,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” and “True Romance.” Oldman quickly became known as an actor who played anti-heroes and bad people in movies.
From 1995 to 1999, he appeared in a number of films, including “Murder in the First,” “The Fifth Element,” “Lost in Space,” “Air Force One,” and “Jesus.”
In the new millennium, he starred as “Sheldon Runyon,” a Republican congressman, in the 2000 film “The Contender.”
The following year, he co-starred in “Hannibal” with his “Dracula” co-star, Anthony Hopkins, as the only living victim of Hannibal Lecter. In the same year, he appeared in two episodes of the popular American television show “Friends.”
Following his appearance on “Friends,” his career took a significant downturn in the first half of the new millennium. He was in a few forgettable movies, including “Tiptoes” and “Sin.”
In the “Harry Potter” film series, he reprised his role as Sirius Black, Harry Potter’s “godfather.” During the film’s production in 2004, Radcliffe and Oldman reportedly became very close.
He was cast as “James Gordon” in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” in 2005.
From 2009 to 2011, he appeared in a number of films, including “A Christmas Carol,” “The Unborn,” “The Book of Eli,” and Catherine Hardwicke’s “Red Riding Hood.”
Gary Oldman reprised his role as “James Gordon” in “The Dark Knight Rises” in 2012, and he also played a mobster in “Lawless.”
He appeared in the 2014 remakes of “RoboCop” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”
Gary Oldman portrayed Herman J. Mankiewicz in Mank in 2020.
For the role, he was nominated for a lot of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role.
His performance in the 1986 film “Sid and Nancy” received critical acclaim. In ‘Sex Pistols,’ he played the infamous ‘Sid Vicious.’His performance in the film is largely credited with establishing him as a permanent fixture in Hollywood. This is widely regarded as one of his major works, as his performance is ranked 62 on Premiere’s list of the “100 Greatest Performances of All Time.” His name is also on Uncut’s list of the “10 Best Actors in Rockin’ Roles.”
His performance in the 1991 film “JFK” was praised by critics, and he quickly became known for his villainous roles. The movie is by far one of his most successful. It made $205,405,498 at the box office and was nominated for eight Academy Awards.
Achievements & Awards
In 1987, Gary Oldman received the “Evening Standard British Film Award” for “Most Promising Newcomer” for his performance in “Sid and Nancy.”
In 1992, he received the Saturn Award for “Best Actor” for his performance in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”
In 2009, he received the People’s Choice Award for “Best Cast” for “Dark Knight.”
In 2011, he received the San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for “Best Actor” for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy.”
In 2012, he received the Richard Attenborough Regional Film Award for “Best British Film Star” for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
Personal History and Legacy
Gary Oldman married Lesley Manville in 1987 and they had a son.
He married actress Uma Thurman in 1990 but divorced her two years later. The couple had no children.
He was in a relationship with model and actress Isabella Rossellini, but they called it quits. From 1997 to 2001, he was married to Donya Florentino for a short time. With her, he fathered two sons.
In 2008, he married Alexandra Edenborough and now lives in Los Angeles with his family.
Gary Oldman is a big fan of the Millwall football team.
In almost every movie he has been in, this well-known Hollywood actor has used a different accent and voice tone.