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Paul Rhys

Paul Rhys

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 19, 1963 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: United Kingdom Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This tall, attractive, reed-thin actor with expressive eyes is perhaps best remembered as Theo, older brother of artist Vincent Van Gogh in Robert Altman's "Vincent & Theo" (1990). Rhys was still attending the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London when he was cast as the stylish Dean Swift, a "sharp modern jazz creation" in Julien Temple's "Absolute Beginners" (1986). Small roles as the Mayor of Underground City in Franklin J Schaffner's medieval epic "Lion Heart" (1987) and a 'Bright Young Gentleman' in Christine Edzard's adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Little Dorrit" (1988) followed before Altman cast him as Theo Van Gogh. While it seemed to echo Vincente Minnelli's biopic "Lust for Life" (1956), the focus of "Vincent and Theo" was on the siblings' relationship. Originally shot as a miniseries for European TV, the edited version opened to critical praise, particularly for the leads (Rhys and Tim Roth). Many critics heaped praise on Rhys' interpretation of a twitchy, somewhat bloodless character, especially his use of nervous tics, darting glances and abrupt explosions of anger or laughter. One would have expected a major career for the actor who projects a magnetic onscreen presence....

This tall, attractive, reed-thin actor with expressive eyes is perhaps best remembered as Theo, older brother of artist Vincent Van Gogh in Robert Altman's "Vincent & Theo" (1990).

Rhys was still attending the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London when he was cast as the stylish Dean Swift, a "sharp modern jazz creation" in Julien Temple's "Absolute Beginners" (1986). Small roles as the Mayor of Underground City in Franklin J Schaffner's medieval epic "Lion Heart" (1987) and a 'Bright Young Gentleman' in Christine Edzard's adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Little Dorrit" (1988) followed before Altman cast him as Theo Van Gogh. While it seemed to echo Vincente Minnelli's biopic "Lust for Life" (1956), the focus of "Vincent and Theo" was on the siblings' relationship. Originally shot as a miniseries for European TV, the edited version opened to critical praise, particularly for the leads (Rhys and Tim Roth). Many critics heaped praise on Rhys' interpretation of a twitchy, somewhat bloodless character, especially his use of nervous tics, darting glances and abrupt explosions of anger or laughter. One would have expected a major career for the actor who projects a magnetic onscreen presence.

While he has continued to work, mostly in period dramas, Rhys has had only a few leading roles since 1990. "Rebecca's Daughters" (1992), based on an unproduced comic screenplay by Dylan Thomas, was a reworking of "The Scarlet Pimpernel", with Rhys as a cross-dressing Welsh landowner fighting English tax collectors. In a rare contemporary role, Rhys portrayed a married Welsh photographer carrying on an affair with a bored woman (Laura San Giacomo) in "Nina Takes a Lover" (1994). He also won praise for his supporting turn as Sydney Chaplin in Richard Attenborough's earnest, though overlong biopic "Chaplin" (1992).

Rhys has worked on stage in England and in Scotland and has had several strong roles in British TV shows, several of which have been aired in the US, notably "102 Boulevard Haussmann" (A&E, 1991), an Alan Bennett-scripted drama based on the life of Marcel Proust (played by Alan Bates), and the multi-part "Gallowglass" (PBS, 1995), in which Rhys played a manipulative schemer who uses a former mental patient in his plan to kidnap his lover, a wealthy heiress.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Deal, The (2004)
3.
 Food of Love (2002) Richard Kennington
4.
 From Hell (2001) Doctor Ferral
5.
 Haunting of Helen Walker, The (1995) Edward Goffe
6.
 Nina Takes a Lover (1994) Photographer
7.
 Spirit (1992) Douglas Rimmer
8.
 Rebecca's Daughters (1992) Anthony Raine
9.
 Chaplin (1992) Sydney Chaplin
10.
 Becoming Colette (1991) Chapo
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Neath, South Wales
:
Attended RADA
:
Worked on stage in England and Scotland
1984:
Early theater credit, "The Orphan" at the Greenwich Theatre
1984:
Spent a season with the Glasgow Citizens Theatre
1986:
Feature film debut in Julien Temple's "Absolute Beginners"
1988:
Had small role in the epic adaptation of Dickens' "Little Dorrit"
1990:
First major film role, Theo Van Gogh in Robert Altman's "Vincent & Theo"
1990:
American TV debut, "Tumbledown" (aired on A&E)
1990:
Appeared in "Bent" at the Royal National Theatre
:
Starred as Thomas de Quincy in BBC biopic "The Opium Eaters"
1992:
Cast as Sydney Chaplin in Richard Attenborough's biopic "Chaplin"
:
Co-starred with Alan Bates in BBC drama "102 Boulevard Haussman" by Alan Bennett
1994:
Co-starred in the Donmar staging of Noel Coward's "Design for Living"
1995:
Starred in miniseries "Gallowglass" shown on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre"
1995:
Cast as Simon Templar in BBC Radio 4 production of "The Saint"; first time character was featured on radio in over 50 years
1997:
Supported Ian Holm in the National Theatre staging of "King Lear"; reprised role of Edgar in 1998 TV adaptation
1997:
Appeared in the acclaimed Channel 4 miniseries "A Dance to the Music of Time"
1997:
Played the younger incarnation of A E H Houseman in the stage premiere of Tom Stoppard's "The Invention of Love"
1998:
Had featured role in the Cannes-screened "Love Lies Bleeding"
1999:
Portrayed "Hamlet" at the Young Vic in London; later toured Japan in the role
2000:
Had supporting role in the Channel 4 miniseries adaptation of "Anna Karenina"
2001:
Played leading role of a successful barrister accused of raping a colleague in the two-part British TV drama "The Innocent" (Yorkshire Television)
2001:
Had leading role in the BBC adaptation of "The Cazelet Chronicle"
2001:
Undertook villainous role in the feature film "From Hell"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art: London , England -

Notes

" . . . Rhys's gaunt Hamlet, first seen handsomely shuffling around the palace in a black coat and smiling through a haze of tears, is one of the most convincing and inventive portrayals of the melancholic prince I have ever seen." --From "The Perfect Prince of Despair" by Nicholas de Jongh in London's Evening Standard, April 9, 1999.

"Actually, I identify more with damaged creatures . . . " --Paul Rhys quoted in the London Times, January 4, 2001.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Arkie Whiteley. Actor. Co-starred together in "Gallowglass"; no longer together.

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