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Timothy Spall

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Also Known As: Tim Spall, Timothy Leonard Spall Died:
Born: February 27, 1957 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A slightly paunched British actor of stage, television, and films, Timothy Spall has played a wide array of character parts, but his career has been most enhanced through his work with writer-director Mike Leigh. He first teamed with Leigh on the television drama "Home Sweet Home" (BBC, 1981), playing one of a trio of postmen, then on-stage in "Smelling a Rat" (1988). Feature collaborations between the two include "Life Is Sweet" (1991), in which Spall played an inept restaurateur, and the acclaimed "Secrets & Lies" (1996), where he played Maurice, a gentle photographer who possesses secret knowledge about his family.Spall studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), where he earned the school's prestigious Bancroft Gold Medal, then headed for the stage. Among his many successes were his performances as Bottom in the controversial Royal National Theatre production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", directed by Robert Lepage, and as Wackford Squeers in Trevor Nunn's production of "Nicholas Nickleby" at the Royal Shakespeare Company. But British audiences know him best from his television work, which included the early-80's sitcom "Auf Wiedersehen Pet", and mid-90's sitcom "Outside Edge",...

A slightly paunched British actor of stage, television, and films, Timothy Spall has played a wide array of character parts, but his career has been most enhanced through his work with writer-director Mike Leigh. He first teamed with Leigh on the television drama "Home Sweet Home" (BBC, 1981), playing one of a trio of postmen, then on-stage in "Smelling a Rat" (1988). Feature collaborations between the two include "Life Is Sweet" (1991), in which Spall played an inept restaurateur, and the acclaimed "Secrets & Lies" (1996), where he played Maurice, a gentle photographer who possesses secret knowledge about his family.

Spall studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), where he earned the school's prestigious Bancroft Gold Medal, then headed for the stage. Among his many successes were his performances as Bottom in the controversial Royal National Theatre production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", directed by Robert Lepage, and as Wackford Squeers in Trevor Nunn's production of "Nicholas Nickleby" at the Royal Shakespeare Company. But British audiences know him best from his television work, which included the early-80's sitcom "Auf Wiedersehen Pet", and mid-90's sitcom "Outside Edge", opposite Brenda Blethyn, who played his sister in "Secrets & Lies". American audiences saw him on the 1993 HBO special "Tracey Ullman: A Class Act", and as guest a star on "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" (ABC, 1992).

Spall's feature film appearances have consisted of supporting roles, but he has worked with some of the most important directors of the past two decades. One of his earliest film appearances was in the little-seen "The Life Story of Baal" (1978). Another early role was as a projectionist in Franc Roddam's "Quadrophenia" (1979), the rock-n-roll opera written by The Who's Pete Townshend. Roles became larger in the mid-80s after Spall's exposure on television. Ken Russell cast him in "Gothic" (1986) as Dr John Polidori, while Agnieszka Holland put him in "To Kill a Priest" (1988). In 1990, Spall was among the cast-within-a-cast of Clint Eastwood's "White Hunter, Black Heart". Also that year, Spall had the meaty film role of Eric Lyle, the sinister chap who steals John Malkovich's passport in Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Sheltering Sky".

Spall was also seen as the foppish yet evil Rosencrantz in Kenneth Branagh's all-star "Hamlet" (1996). He reunited with Branagh in 2000, playing a comical Don Armado in "Love's Labour's Lost". Spall enjoyed a career as an character actor who would always bring something fresh and surprising to his roles, both in British productions-including the winning rock group reuniting comedy "Still Crazy" (1998) as David 'Beano' Baggot, in Leigh's much-heralded Gilbert & Sullivan biopic "Topsy-Turvy" (1999) as 'Dickie' Temple, as a voice in the UK-animated, DreamWorks-produced "Chicken Run" and in Peter Cattaneo's prisonbreak comedy "Lucky Break" (2001)-as well as in American films such as "Rock Star" (2001) and "Vanilla Sky" (2001).

In 2002 Spall enjoyed another outing with Leigh in the bleak but affecting "All or Nothing", playing part of a couple who must experience tragedy in order to rekindle their fading love. Spall shined as Charles Cheeryble for a production of "Nicholas Nickleby", and was part of the ensemble of HBO's much-honored telepic "My House In Umbria" (2003) opposite Maggie Smith and Chris Cooper. His highest-profile role in a major American release came with "The Last Samurai" (2003), in which Spall played the British diplomatic interpreter Simon Graham, who befriends an alcoholic Army captain (Tom Cruise) on his way to Japan to teach Western warfare. Children and booklovers embraced the actor when he took on the role of Peter Pettigrew for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2003), the third sequel in the beloved film franchise, directed by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron. Continuing the trend, Spall appeared as Mr. P in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (2004), an adaptation of the popular children's book series, starring Jim Carrey as the dastardly Count Olaf.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Love Punch (2014)
2.
 Wasteland (2013)
3.
4.
5.
 Love Bite (2012)
6.
 Ginger & Rosa (2012)
8.
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1978:
Made early film appearance in "The Life of Baal"
1979:
Joined Royal Shakespeare Company; appeared in "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "Cymbeline," "The Three Sisters," and "Nicholas Nickleby"
1979:
Appeared in rock opera "Quadrophenia"
1981:
First collaboration with director Mike Leigh, BBC film "Home Sweet Home"
1983:
Was part of ensemble cast of hit British sitcom "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet" (ITV) as awkward and bashful Barry
1988:
Had featured role in stage play "Smelling a Rat," directed by Leigh
1990:
Appeared in Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Sheltering Sky"
1991:
First feature collaboration with Leigh, "Life Is Sweet"
1992:
Made U.S. debut as guest star on episode of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" (ABC)
1993:
Played title role on British sitcom "Frank Stubbs Promotes" (ITV)
1993:
Appeared as comedy player on HBO Special "Tracey Ullman: A Class Act"
1994:
Co-starred with Brenda Blethyn on ITV comedy series "Outside Edge"
1996:
Received international recognition for starring role in Leigh's "Secrets & Lies"
1996:
Briefly retired from acting while undergoing treatment for leukemia
1999:
Cast in featured role as D'Oyly-Carte performer Richard Temple in Mike Leigh's "Topsy-Turvy"
2000:
Co-starred as Kerry Fox's cab driver husband in "Intimacy"
2001:
Cast as the road manager of a heavy metal band in "Rock Star"
2001:
Appeared in "Vanilla Sky," starring Tom Cruise
2001:
Co-starred in Peter Cattaneo's film "Lucky Break"
2002:
Reunited with Mike Leigh as co-star of "All or Nothing"
2003:
Portrayed Simon Graham, Tom Cruise's British Interpreter in "The Last Samurai"
2004:
Cast as Death Eater Peter 'Wormtail' Pettigrew in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," the third installment of hit series
2004:
Starred as Mr. Poe in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," an adaptation of Daniel Handler's beloved children's book series
2005:
Again portrayed Wormtail in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," directed by Mike Newell
2007:
Portrayed British executioner Albert Pierrepoint in "Pierrepoint," directed by Adrian Shergold
2007:
Played Beadle Bamford in Tim Burton's production of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
2009:
Reprised role in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," directed by David Yates
2010:
Voiced Bayard the Bloodhound in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland"
2010:
Cast as Winston Churchill in "The King's Speech"; later reprised Churchill in Summer Olympic Games Closing Ceremony (2012)
2010:
Reprised Wormtail for two-part finale of series "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" and " Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
2012:
Helped Jim Sturgess find his soulmate Kirsten Dunst in futuristic love story "Upside Down"
2012:
Cast opposite Elle Fanning and Alice Englert in 1960s drama "Ginger & Rosa"
2013:
Starred as Lord Emsworth on BBC comedy series "Blandings"
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Education

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art: London , England -

Notes

Created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in December 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Shane Spall.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Pascale Spall.
daughter:
Mercedes Spall.
son:
Rafe Spall. Actor. Born c. 1983; appeared in revival of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby".

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