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Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie

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Also Known As: James Hugh Calum Laurie Died:
Born: June 11, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Oxford, England, GB Profession: writer, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

After gaining notice in his native England as a writer and sketch comedy performer, actor Hugh Laurie would eventually make his name as a gifted dramatic actor in the United States. As a member of the Footlights Club at Cambridge, Laurie was able to hone comedic chops that later served him well on such British shows as "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" (BBC2/BBC1, 1989-1995), "Jeeves and Wooster" (ITV, 1990-93), and the famed "Blackadder" series. He made his feature film debut in Emma Thompson's "Sense and Sensibility" (1995), which she adapted and starred in. Making strides in Hollywood via kiddie movies, he appeared in "101 Dalmatians" (1996) and "Stuart Little" (1999). Despite years of steady work on both sides of the pond, Laurie remained an unknown to most Americans until he landed the leading role on the hit series "House, M.D." (Fox, 2004-2012), in which he played the misanthropic, cantankerous Dr. Gregory House. For several seasons, Laurie portrayed the Vicodin-riddled genius able to diagnose rare diseases using unorthodox means with flair, turning Dr. House into one of the most complex and well-liked characters in small screen history. Over the years, he earned numerous awards and nominations for...

After gaining notice in his native England as a writer and sketch comedy performer, actor Hugh Laurie would eventually make his name as a gifted dramatic actor in the United States. As a member of the Footlights Club at Cambridge, Laurie was able to hone comedic chops that later served him well on such British shows as "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" (BBC2/BBC1, 1989-1995), "Jeeves and Wooster" (ITV, 1990-93), and the famed "Blackadder" series. He made his feature film debut in Emma Thompson's "Sense and Sensibility" (1995), which she adapted and starred in. Making strides in Hollywood via kiddie movies, he appeared in "101 Dalmatians" (1996) and "Stuart Little" (1999). Despite years of steady work on both sides of the pond, Laurie remained an unknown to most Americans until he landed the leading role on the hit series "House, M.D." (Fox, 2004-2012), in which he played the misanthropic, cantankerous Dr. Gregory House. For several seasons, Laurie portrayed the Vicodin-riddled genius able to diagnose rare diseases using unorthodox means with flair, turning Dr. House into one of the most complex and well-liked characters in small screen history. Over the years, he earned numerous awards and nominations for the role, which allowed the previously unknown Laurie to become a beloved American fixture on television.

Laurie was born on June 11, 1959, and raised in Oxford, England. He was the youngest of four children to father, William ("Ran"), who was a doctor and had been an Olympic gold medalist in rowing, and mother Patricia, who died when her son was 29. Television and movies were a rare treat in the staid household, but even without their influence, young Laurie had an outgoing instinct to be an entertainer. At the age of nine, he won a drama award in middle school, but it was still rather expected that he would someday follow in the footsteps of his father. Indeed, Laurie did go on to first attend the elite Eton School, before attending Selwyn College at his father's alma mater of Cambridge University. At Selwyn, he, too, was competitive in rowing, until a bout with mononucleosis prevented him from pursuing the sport any further. He was not doing too well in his academic studies of archeology and anthropology, so without sports to get by on, he turned to theater, auditioning for Footlights â¿¿ one of the most renowned student theater groups in the world.

While performing with Footlights, Laurie's fellow cast mates included future TV collaborator Stephen Fry, as well as then-girlfriend and future award-winning actress, Emma Thompson. Before graduating in 1981, the group brought its final revue, "The Cellar Tapes," to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they won the Perrier Comedy Award. Following the win, they were invited to stage the show at the West End and then adapt it for television, where it aired in 1982. Cast members Laurie, Thompson, and Fry were then recruited alongside other up-and-comers Ben Elton, Robbie Coltrane, and Siobhan Redmond to write and perform in a weekly sketch show. "Alfresco" ran from 1982-84 on Granada television. In 1984, Laurie, Fry, and Thompson poked fun at their Cambridge past by guest starring as a group of posh college kids on the BBC2 alternative sitcom, "The Young Ones" (1982-84).

Laurie made his first appearance on American movie screens with a small supporting role in the 1985 drama, "Plenty." He appeared in "The Secret Policeman's Third Ball" in 1987, the same year he landed a recurring role as "thickie" Prince Regent (later King George IV) in Rowan Atkinson's "Blackadder III" (1987-88). He forayed into film again with a larger part in the romantic drama "Strapless" (1989), before returning to Adder fold as the dim Lt. George in "Blackadder Goes Forth" (1989-1990). In 1995, Laurie and Stephen Fry launched their own sketch comedy show, "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" (BBC, 1989-1995), which frequently included Laurie performing self-penned parody songs on guitar and piano. From 1990-93, the pair also co-starred in "Jeeves and Wooster" (ITV), a uniquely British Edwardian comedy based on the stories of P.G. Wodehouse.

Laurie began a steady run of feature film appearances, beginning in 1992 with "Peter's Friends," a Kenneth Branagh film about a group of old college chums reuniting during the Christmas holidays. Next, real life chum Emma Thompson tapped him to play Mr. Palmer when she adapted "Sense and Sensibility" (1995) for director Ang Lee. Following that, Laurie was cast over the pond as one of Cruella De Vil's henchmen in "101 Dalmatians" (1996). Laurie was also frequently seen during the 1996 first season of Tracey Ullman's acclaimed HBO sketch comedy series "Tracey Takes On...," while his big screen career as a top-rated supporting player took flight with such films as "The Borrowers" (1997) and "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998). He also essayed the Little family patriarch in the charming children's film "Stuart Little" (1999) and its two sequels and subsequent television series. More animated voiceover roles followed "Little," including the British TV series "Little Grey Rabbit" and "Preston Pig" (both 2000).

On American television, the distinguished actor garnered favorable reviews for playing film director Vincente Minnelli in the award-winning made-for-television biopic, "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows" (ABC, 2001). He reunited with writer Ben Elton, now a director, to star in the 2002 comedy "Maybe Baby," before a short run directing the British TV dramedy, "Fortysomething" (2003), in which he also starred. Laurie enjoyed a dramatic role in the remake of the military feature "Flight of the Phoenix" in 2004, and while he was there, submitted a casting tape for a role that would change his career forever.

Later that year, the man who had built a reputation as a top British comic actor, broke through to international audiences when was cast as antisocial American physician Dr. Gregory House in the critically praised medical series, "House, M.D." (Fox, 2004-2012). Executive produced by film director Bryan Singer, "House" put a different, slightly demented twist on the medical drama, drawing in a loyal fanbase tired of typical "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) fare. Laurie won back-to-back Golden Globes for Best Actor in a Drama Series in 2006 and 2007, and was Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2005 and 2007 through 2011. Meanwhile, Laurie ventured into feature animation, voicing mad scientist Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D. in the blockbuster "Monsters vs. Aliens" (2009), E.Bâ¿¿s dad in "Hop" (2011) and Steve in "Arthur Christmas" (2011). In fact, his feature career began to pick up due in large part to "House" finally drawing to a close after eight seasons on the air. Though in its last few years the show slipped considerably in the ratings and became far more sentimental â¿¿ some critics bemoaned the show for losing its sense of humor â¿¿ Laurie still managed to please fans with his ever-unpredictable portray of the irascible Dr. House.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Tomorrowland (2015)
3.
 Mister Pip (2012)
4.
 Hop (2011)
5.
 Arthur Christmas (2011)
6.
7.
 Valiant (2005) Voice
8.
9.
 Stuart Little 2 (2002) Mr Little
10.
 Maybe Baby (2000) Sam Bell
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Was a member of the Footlights Club, a theater group at Cambridge which included Emma Thompson and Stephen Fry
1982:
Made English TV debut with the Footlight show "The Cellar Tapes"
1982:
Co-wrote and performed in two seasons of his first English TV series "Alfresco"
1985:
Made feature acting debut in "Plenty"
:
Starred in the series "LWT's South of Watford"
1986:
Regularly performed on the English comedy series "Saturday Live" (ITV)
1987:
American TV debut on the PBS presentation of "Mrs. Capper's Birthday"
1987:
Cast as Prince Regent on the BBC comedy series "Black Adder the Third"
1987:
Co-wrote and co-starred in the English sketch comedy series "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" with Stephen Fry (BBC)
1990:
Cast as Lt. George in the English comedy series "Blackadder Goes Forth" (BBC)
1990:
Co-starred in the PBS/BBC adaptation of P G Wodehouse's "Jeeves & Wooster" series; series also co-starred Stephen Fry
1992:
Joined the ensemble cast in Kenneth Branagh's "Peter's Friends"
1995:
Co-starred in "Sense and Sensibility," adapted by and starring Emma Thompson
1996:
Starred in the Disney classic "101 Dalmatians"
1998:
Cast opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, as the King's Advisor in "The Man in the Iron Mask"
1999:
Played Mr. Little in "Stuart Little" based on the book by E.B. White
2001:
Portrayed Vincente Minnelli in the ABC TV movie "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows"
2002:
Reprised the role of Mr. Little for "Stuart Little 2"
2002:
Guest starred on two episodes of the spy thriller series "Spooks" (BBC1)
2003:
Starred in and directed ITV's comedy-drama series "Fortysomething"
2004:
Starred with Dennis Quaid in "Flight of the Phoenix"
2004:
Landed breakthrough role as Dr. Gregory House on the Fox medical drama "House"
2008:
Co-starred with Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker in "Street Kings"
2009:
Voiced Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D., a mad scientist with the head of a cockroach, in the computer-animated 3-D feature, "Monsters vs. Aliens"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Drama
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in Drama Series
2011:
Voiced the character of E.B.'s (Russell Brand) dad in the animated feature "Hop"
2011:
Voiced the character Steve in the animated feature "Arthur Christmas"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Eton College: -
Selwyn College, University of Cambridge: -
Selwyn College, University of Cambridge: -
Dragon School: -

Notes

"Hugh's a novelist, he's a piano player, he's a comedian, and he rides a motorcycle!"---Producer Bryan Singer on Laurie's multi talents to People, April 11, 2005.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Emma Thompson. Actor. Dated briefly while both attended Cambridge.
wife:
Jo Green. Married in June 1989.

Family close complete family listing

father:
W G R M Laurie. Retired physician. Was a competitive oarsman at Cambridge; won 1948 Olympic Gold Medal.
mother:
Patricia Laurie.

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Gun Seller" Soho Press

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