Kenneth Branagh - Directors, Family and Facts

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Kenneth Branagh's Personal Details

Kenneth Branagh is a British actor, director, producer, and screenwriter

InformationDetail
BirthdayDecember 10, 1960
NationalityBritish
FamousFilm & Theater Personalities, Actors, Directors, T V & Movie Producers
Partners
  • Helena Bonham Carter
SpousesEmma Thompson
Known asSir Kenneth Charles Branagh
Universities
  • Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Birth PlaceBelfast
Height177cm
GenderMale
FatherWilliam Branagh
MotherFrances Branagh
Sun SignSagittarius
Born inBelfast
Famous asActor, Director

// Famous Directors

Kenneth Branagh's photo

Who is Kenneth Branagh?

Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh, professionally known as Kenneth Branagh, is a British actor, producer, director, and screenwriter, who is well known for his film and TV adaptations of a number of Shakespeare’s plays as well as for blockbusters like 'Thor' and 'Cinderella.' Trained at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he later served as its president, succeeding Richard Attenborough. Interested in dramatics from a young age, Kenneth Branagh joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he received acclaim for his performances in Shakespeare’s plays like ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Henry V’. He co-founded the Renaissance Theatre Company, and started adapting Shakespearean plays into films, making them accessible to the masses. This Irish-born British actor/director became one of the two non-American actors to be nominated for Oscars for writing, directing, and acting, and one amongst the only eight actors to have received this honor. A man wearing many professional hats, he has been active in the television industry as well. He played the title role in BBC radio broadcasts of ‘Hamlet’ and ‘King Lear,’ and has narrated several audiobooks. He received an honorary Doctorate in Literature from Queen's University of Belfast and has been conferred with the Freedom of the City of Belfast. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the RomaFictionFest in 2009.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Childhood & Early Life

Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to Frances Harper and William Branagh, a plumber who also ran a company that specialized in suspended ceilings and fitting partitions. He belongs to a family of working class Protestants. Kenneth has two siblings.

When he was nine, his family left Ireland to avoid the ongoing violent religious conflict known as ‘The Troubles’, and settled in Reading, Berkshire, England.

He received his early education at Grove Primary School, Whiteknights Primary School, and Meadway School in Tilehurst. In Meadway School, he participated in school plays like ‘Toad of Toad Hall’, and ‘Oh, What a Lovely War!

Career

Kenneth Branagh received training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and embarked on a career as a stage actor. In 1982, he won the SWET Award for Best Newcomer, for his performance as Judd in ‘Another Country’, directed by Julian Mitchell.

He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and in 1984, performed in the company’s production of ‘Henry V’, directed by Adrian Noble. The play ran to full houses in London. Later, he would adapt this version of the play into a film in 1989.

In 1987, he co-founded the Renaissance Theatre Company with English film producer and actor David Parfitt. He experienced success with several productions including ‘Romeo and Juliet’, in which he co-starred with English actress Samantha Bond.

One of Renaissance’s major productions was ‘Twelfth Night’ (1987), starring Frances Barber as Viola and Richard Briers as Malvolio. The play featured an original score by musician and composer Patrick Doyle, who would also compose the music for Kenneth's film adaptation of ‘Henry V’.

In 1988, he collaborated with Birmingham Rep for a tour of three Shakespearean plays—comedy ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, romantic drama ‘As You Like It’, and tragedy ‘Hamlet’. The project was called Renaissance Shakespeare on the Road.

In 1989, Renaissance presented ‘Look Back in Anger’, directed by Judi Dench, who also directed the television version. The play featured Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson.

Kenneth Branagh became popular as an interpreter of Shakespeare’s works on the big and the small screens, making the plays accessible to the masses. He not only directed but also starred in a number of adaptations. He directed the film ‘Henry V’ in 1989, and also appeared as the title character. The film was critically acclaimed and he received Oscar nominations for his acting performance and direction.

His next Shakespearean adaptation was ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, directed in 1993. The film featured him along with Emma Thompson. This was followed by ‘Hamlet’ in 1996, a musical version of ‘Love's Labour's Lost’ in 2000, and ‘As You Like It’ in 2006. ‘As You Like It’ was also aired on HBO in August 2007.

His directorial venture ‘Love's Labour's Lost’ was not successful commercially and critically, and the movie’s failure almost ended his directorial career for some time.

In the 1990s, he also directed two non-Shakespearean films, ‘Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ in 1994 and ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ in 1995.

As an actor, he appeared in some non-Shakespearean films, including the romantic thriller ‘Dead Again’ in 1991, action comedy ‘Wild Wild West’ in 1999, the fantasy film ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’, and ‘Rabbit-Proof Fence’ in 2002, and ‘Valkyrie’ in 2008.

He was critically acclaimed for his performance as SS leader Reinhard Heydrich in the TV film ‘Conspiracy’ in 2001. He also received an Emmy for his performance. In 2002, he starred in the television movie ‘Shackleton’, and was nominated for a BAFTA award and an Emmy.

In 2006, he directed the film version of Mozart's opera ‘The Magic Flute’. This was followed by his directorial venture, the thriller film ‘Sleuth’, which was a remake of the 1972 film of the same name. He portrayed Dormandy in Richard Curtis’ film ‘The Boat That Rocked’ in 2009.

In 2011, he directed ‘Thor’, an American superhero film based on Marvel Comics characters. The film was a commercial success, and the performance of the cast received critical acclaim. In the same year, his appearance as Olivier in ‘My Week with Marilyn’ earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.

He appeared in several TV films as well. His portrayal of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 2005 film ‘Warm Springs’ earned him an Emmy Award nomination.

He played the title role in the radio version of ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’, broadcast on BBC radio. He also played the role of Edmund in ‘King Lear’, broadcast on radio. In addition, he narrated several audiobooks like ‘The Magician's Nephew’ by C. S. Lewis.

In 2015, he directed ‘Cinderella’, an adaptation of the fairy tale. Co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures, the film featured Lily James and Cate Blanchett as Cinderella and Lady Tremaine respectively. The film was a financial success, grossing $201.2 million in the US and Canada, and a total of $543.5 million worldwide against a budget of $100 million.

In 2017, he played the role of a British naval commander in the World War II, in the film ‘Dunkirk’. The film highlights the evacuation of the Allied troops from France. That same year, he directed the film ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ based on Agatha Christie’s novel. He appeared as the detective Hercule Poirot.

Major Works

One of Kenneth Branagh’s early works, ‘Henry V,’ received much praise. The historical drama film was adapted from William Shakespeare's play of the same name. Branagh starred in and also directed the film. Besides him, the film had Paul Scofield, Derek Jacobi, Ian Holm, and Emma Thompson. The film received worldwide critical acclaim for Branagh's performance and direction, and was nominated for three Oscars. He won the British Academy Film Award for best direction.

His directorial venture ‘Thor’ was a huge commercial success. It earned $181.0 million in North America and $449.3 million worldwide, making it the 15th highest grossing film in 2011. It starred Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig. Patrick Doyle composed the film's score. The film bagged one Empire Award and one Saturn Award, besides earning several other award nominations.

Personal Life

Kenneth Branagh married actress Emma Thompson in 1989. They were featured together in several television series like ‘Fortunes of War’ and films including ‘Look Back in Anger’, ‘Henry V’, and ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’

While still married to Emma, Kenneth started having an affair with actress Helena Bonham Carter while he was directing and co-starring with her in ‘Mary Shelley's Frankenstein’. Emma ended the marriage in 1995. His relationship with Helena continued for several years.

He met film art director Lindsay Brunnock during the filming of ‘Shackleton’. They got married in 2003.

He meditates regularly to keep himself calm and balanced.

He is the Honorary President of the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, and a patron for Over The Wall, a charity. He was appointed an honorary Doctor of Literature at the Shakespeare Institute of The University of Birmingham in 2001.

He wrote several books about his filmmaking. He released his autobiography, ‘Beginning,’ in 1989.

In 2015, he became the President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and owing to this position, he was named on Debrett's 2017 list of the most influential people in the UK.

// Famous T V & Movie Producers

Kenneth Branagh awards

YearNameAward

Primetime Emmy Awards

2001Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a MovieConspiracy (2001)

BAFTA Awards

2010Best ActorWallander (2008)
2009Best Drama SeriesWallander (2008)
1990Best DirectionHenry V (1989)

Kenneth Branagh biography timelines

  • // 10th Dec 1960
    Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to Frances Harper and William Branagh, a plumber who also ran a company that specialized in suspended ceilings and fitting partitions. He belongs to a family of working class Protestants. Kenneth has two siblings.
  • // 1982
    Kenneth Branagh received training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and embarked on a career as a stage actor. In 1982, he won the SWET Award for Best Newcomer, for his performance as Judd in ‘Another Country’, directed by Julian Mitchell.
  • // 1984 To 1989
    He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and in 1984, performed in the company’s production of ‘Henry V’, directed by Adrian Noble. The play ran to full houses in London. Later, he would adapt this version of the play into a film in 1989.
  • // 1987
    In 1987, he co-founded the Renaissance Theatre Company with English film producer and actor David Parfitt. He experienced success with several productions including ‘Romeo and Juliet’, in which he co-starred with English actress Samantha Bond.
  • // 1987
    One of Renaissance’s major productions was ‘Twelfth Night’ (1987), starring Frances Barber as Viola and Richard Briers as Malvolio. The play featured an original score by musician and composer Patrick Doyle, who would also compose the music for Kenneth's film adaptation of ‘Henry V’.
  • // 1988
    In 1988, he collaborated with Birmingham Rep for a tour of three Shakespearean plays—comedy ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, romantic drama ‘As You Like It’, and tragedy ‘Hamlet’. The project was called Renaissance Shakespeare on the Road.
  • // 1989
    In 1989, Renaissance presented ‘Look Back in Anger’, directed by Judi Dench, who also directed the television version. The play featured Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson.
  • // 1989
    Kenneth Branagh became popular as an interpreter of Shakespeare’s works on the big and the small screens, making the plays accessible to the masses. He not only directed but also starred in a number of adaptations. He directed the film ‘Henry V’ in 1989, and also appeared as the title character. The film was critically acclaimed and he received Oscar nominations for his acting performance and direction.
  • // 1989
    Kenneth Branagh married actress Emma Thompson in 1989. They were featured together in several television series like ‘Fortunes of War’ and films including ‘Look Back in Anger’, ‘Henry V’, and ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’
  • // 1989
    He wrote several books about his filmmaking. He released his autobiography, ‘Beginning,’ in 1989.
  • // 1994 To 1995
    In the 1990s, he also directed two non-Shakespearean films, ‘Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ in 1994 and ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ in 1995.
  • // 1995
    While still married to Emma, Kenneth started having an affair with actress Helena Bonham Carter while he was directing and co-starring with her in ‘Mary Shelley's Frankenstein’. Emma ended the marriage in 1995. His relationship with Helena continued for several years.
  • // 2001 To 2002
    He was critically acclaimed for his performance as SS leader Reinhard Heydrich in the TV film ‘Conspiracy’ in 2001. He also received an Emmy for his performance. In 2002, he starred in the television movie ‘Shackleton’, and was nominated for a BAFTA award and an Emmy.
  • // 2001
    He is the Honorary President of the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, and a patron for Over The Wall, a charity. He was appointed an honorary Doctor of Literature at the Shakespeare Institute of The University of Birmingham in 2001.
  • // 2003
    He met film art director Lindsay Brunnock during the filming of ‘Shackleton’. They got married in 2003.
  • // 2005
    He appeared in several TV films as well. His portrayal of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 2005 film ‘Warm Springs’ earned him an Emmy Award nomination.
  • // 2011
    In 2011, he directed ‘Thor’, an American superhero film based on Marvel Comics characters. The film was a commercial success, and the performance of the cast received critical acclaim. In the same year, his appearance as Olivier in ‘My Week with Marilyn’ earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.
  • // 2011
    His directorial venture ‘Thor’ was a huge commercial success. It earned $181.0 million in North America and $449.3 million worldwide, making it the 15th highest grossing film in 2011. It starred Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig. Patrick Doyle composed the film's score. The film bagged one Empire Award and one Saturn Award, besides earning several other award nominations.
  • // 2015
    In 2015, he directed ‘Cinderella’, an adaptation of the fairy tale. Co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures, the film featured Lily James and Cate Blanchett as Cinderella and Lady Tremaine respectively. The film was a financial success, grossing $201.2 million in the US and Canada, and a total of $543.5 million worldwide against a budget of $100 million.
  • // 2015 To 2017
    In 2015, he became the President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and owing to this position, he was named on Debrett's 2017 list of the most influential people in the UK.
  • // 2017
    In 2017, he played the role of a British naval commander in the World War II, in the film ‘Dunkirk’. The film highlights the evacuation of the Allied troops from France. That same year, he directed the film ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ based on Agatha Christie’s novel. He appeared as the detective Hercule Poirot.

// Famous Actors

Kenneth Branagh's FAQ

  • What is Kenneth Branagh birthday?

    Kenneth Branagh was born at 1960-12-10

  • Where is Kenneth Branagh's birth place?

    Kenneth Branagh was born in Belfast

  • What is Kenneth Branagh nationalities?

    Kenneth Branagh's nationalities is British

  • Who is Kenneth Branagh spouses?

    Kenneth Branagh's spouses is Emma Thompson

  • What was Kenneth Branagh universities?

    Kenneth Branagh studied at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

  • How tall is Kenneth Branagh?

    Kenneth Branagh's height is 177

  • Who is Kenneth Branagh's father?

    Kenneth Branagh's father is William Branagh

  • Who is Kenneth Branagh's mother?

    Kenneth Branagh's mother is Frances Branagh

  • What is Kenneth Branagh's sun sign?

    Kenneth Branagh is Sagittarius

  • How famous is Kenneth Branagh?

    Kenneth Branagh is famouse as Actor, Director