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Richard E Grant

Richard E Grant

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Also Known As: Richard Grant Esterhusyen Died:
Born: May 5, 1957 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Swaziland Profession: actor, waiter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Lanky, British player who has had some success in mainstream Hollywood features. Grant began acting in his native South Africa, where he founded the multi-ethnic Troupe Theater Company. In 1982, he moved to London to stomp the boards in fringe and repertory productions. Grant made his English TV-film debut in Les Blair's improvisational satire, "Honest, Decent and True" (1985). The next year, he entered films as the star of "Withnail & I" (1986), writer-director Bruce Robinson's brilliant observation of the eccentricities of English actors in the 1960s. As the acerbic Withnail, Grant conveyed the great likability of a mostly vile character. He reteamed with Robinson for "How to Get Ahead in Advertising" (1988), a scathing comic indictment of the industry's morals or lack thereof. Here he was Dennis Dimbleby Bagley, an ad exec whose head is taken over by an evil boil. Grant's American film credits in the early 90s include some of Hollywood's more notorious productions. He co-starred as the husband of Anais Nin in "Henry & June" (1990), the first film to receive the NC-17 rating. He also played the mad English villain opposite Bruce Willis in the much-maligned "Hudson Hawk" (1991). Grant had supporting...

Lanky, British player who has had some success in mainstream Hollywood features. Grant began acting in his native South Africa, where he founded the multi-ethnic Troupe Theater Company. In 1982, he moved to London to stomp the boards in fringe and repertory productions. Grant made his English TV-film debut in Les Blair's improvisational satire, "Honest, Decent and True" (1985). The next year, he entered films as the star of "Withnail & I" (1986), writer-director Bruce Robinson's brilliant observation of the eccentricities of English actors in the 1960s. As the acerbic Withnail, Grant conveyed the great likability of a mostly vile character. He reteamed with Robinson for "How to Get Ahead in Advertising" (1988), a scathing comic indictment of the industry's morals or lack thereof. Here he was Dennis Dimbleby Bagley, an ad exec whose head is taken over by an evil boil.

Grant's American film credits in the early 90s include some of Hollywood's more notorious productions. He co-starred as the husband of Anais Nin in "Henry & June" (1990), the first film to receive the NC-17 rating. He also played the mad English villain opposite Bruce Willis in the much-maligned "Hudson Hawk" (1991). Grant had supporting roles in Robert Altman's "The Player", as the English filmmaker who initially refuses to compromise his "artistic integrity", and Francis Ford Coppola's florid "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (both 1992), as Dr. Seward. He worked with another one of cinema's titans, Martin Scorsese, in the opulent adaptation of Edith Wharton's "The Age of Innocence" (1993), as a smug member of turn-of-the-century New York's high society. He reteamed with Altman for "Ready-to-Wear (Pret-a-Porter)" (1994) as an eccentric homosexual and portrayed a grieving widower coping with a newborn in "Jack and Sarah" (1995). The following year, he played a wealthy suitor to Nicole Kidman's Isabel Archer in Jane Campion's "Portrait of a Lady" and appeared as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Trevor Nunn's film adaptation of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night". Also in 1996, Grant published "With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E Grant" in England.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Wah-Wah (2005)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Dom Hemingway (2014)
2.
 Zambezia (2013)
3.
4.
 UFO (2013)
5.
6.
8.
 Love Hurts (2009)
9.
 St. Trinian's (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Mbabane, Swaziland
:
While an undergraduate at Univeristy of Cape Town, dropped surname
1979:
Formed touring Troupe Theatre Company with actors from Cape Town University and Cape Town's Space Theatre
1980:
Appeared in David Hare's "Fanshen" in Cape Town
1982:
Moved to London from Swaziland
:
Worked as a "dogsbody" on Jonathan Miller's production of "Hamlet" at the Donmar Warehouse
:
Worked as a waiter at Covent Garden
1984:
Began appearing at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park
:
British TV series debut, "Sweet Sixteen"
1985:
British TV-movie debut, "Honest, Decent and True"
1986:
Feature acting debut, "Withnail and I"; directed by Bruce Robinson
1988:
American TV debut, "Codename: Kyril" (Showtime)
1988:
Reteamed with Bruce Robinson for "How to Get Ahead in Advertising"
1989:
American feature debut, "Warlock"
1991:
Offered a comically villainous turn in "Hudson Hawk"
1992:
Had supporting role in Robert Altman's superb Hollywood satire "The Player"
1993:
Returned to the stage as Algernon Moncrieff in a revival of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest"
1994:
Had small role in Altman's "Ready to Wear (Pret-a-Porter)"
1995:
Starred as a widower raising a baby in "Jack and Sarah"
1996:
Published memoir "With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E Grant"
1997:
Starred opposite Helen Bonham Carter in "A Merry War/Keep the Aspidistra Flying"
1998:
Co-starred as the manager of the Spice Girls in "Spiceworld"
1998:
Published first novel "By Design"
1999:
Played title role in three TV-movies (aired on A&E in the USA) based on "The Scarlet Pimpernel"
1999:
Cast as Bob Cratchit in the TNT remake of "A Christmas Carol"
2001:
Portrayed a lecherous footman in Robert Altman's "Gosford Park"
2003:
Cast in Stephen Fry's "Bright Young Things"
2004:
Cast in the final two episodes of "Frasier" (NBC)
2005:
Voiced Barkis Bittern in Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride"
2006:
Feature writing and directing debut with "Wah-Wah" an autobiographical piece about growing up in Swaziland at the time of independence
2008:
Co-starred in "Penelope"; produced by and co-starred Reese Witherspoon
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Waterford Kamhlaba: -
University of Cape Town: - 1979

Notes

"He is enormously talented (don't let that fey, shrivelled little wallflower of an ego fool you). He is enormously talented and he knows it. He can act, he can write, he can play the fucking flute. And he costs less than Burt Reynolds!" --director Bruce Robinson to THE GUARDIAN, August 22, 1998

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Fiona Ramsey. Actor. First met in 1975 at university; later lived together for seven years.
wife:
Joan Washington. Dialogue coach. Married on November 1, 1986; born c. 1949; was married previously with a son Tom from that marriage; first met Grant in 1982.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Henrik Esterhuysen. Was Minister of Education for the British Ministry in South Africa; died in 1981 at age 51 from lung and brain cancer.
brother:
Stuart Esterhuysen. Accountant. Younger; estranged from Grant.
step-son:
Tom. From Joan Washington's previous marriage.
daughter:
Tiffany Grant. Died within half-hour of her birth.
daughter:
Olivia Grant. Born c. 1988.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E Grant" Picador
"By Design" Picador

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