Moved from Coventry, England to Cape Town, South Africa
Professional stage debut, playing Archie Fellows in a Cape Town production of "The Shop at Sly Corner"
Moved to London to pursue career
London stage debut, Donald in "You Can't Take It With You"
Returned to South Africa where he enjoyed success as a stage actor
West End debut as Fancy Dan in "Talking to You"
Feature acting debut in Richard Attenborough's "Young Winston"
Broadway debut played Touchstone in "As You Like It"
Performed onstage in London production of Simon Gray's "Otherwise Engaged"
Won much critical praise as star of the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "Privates on Parade"
Portrayed Pierre Curie in "Marie Curie" (BBC-2)
Voiced the part of Campion for the animated feature "Watership Down"
Starred opposite Sian Phillips in the Thames Television series "Warrior Queen", playing Roman Procurator Catus Decianus
US TV debut, "Holocaust", an NBC miniseries
Portrayed Permanent Under Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby in the BBC-2 comedy series "Yes, Minister" (aired in USA on The Entertainment Channel and PBS from 1982); earned first two BAFTA Awards in the comedy performance category
Played Stryver in CBS miniseries presentation of "A Tale of Two Cities"
Reteamed with Attenborough for the director's highly acclaimed "Gandhi", starring Ben Kingsley
Reunited with Kingsley in "Turtle Diary", also starring Glenda Jackson
Starred opposite Glenda Jackson in London stage production of "Across From the Garden of Allah"
Reprised role of Sir Humphrey (now a Cabinet Secretary) in the sequel comedy "Yes, Prime Minister" (BBC-2); garnered and additional two BAFTA Awards
Acted in London stage production of Tom Stoppard's "Hapgood"
Portrayed author C S Lewis in British stage version of "Shadowlands"
Reprised "Shadowlands" role on Broadway, earning a Tony Award as Best Actor in a Play
Played the title role in London production of "The Madness of George III", staged by Nicholas Hytner; also toured US cities in 1993
Made Hollywood debut playing the amorally ambiguous potentate in "Demolition Man"
Garnered international acclaim and a Best Actor Oscar nomination reprising his stage role in "The Madness of King George", Hytner's feature directorial debut; also won BAFTA Award
Directed and starred in London stage production of "The Clandestine Marriage"; later starred opposite Joan Collins in feature version (filmed in 1998) directed by Christopher Miles
Appeared as Clarence in film "Richard III", executive produced and co-adapted by Ian McKellen
Associate produced and co-starred in "Murder in Mind"
Acted the part of Colonel Kruger in Showtime movie "Inside", directed by Arthur Penn; also starred Eric Stoltz and Louis Gossett Jr
Essayed the role of Malvolio in Trevor Nunn's film adaptation of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"
Earned sixth BAFTA Award for the TV production "The Fragile Heart"
Portrayed President Martin Van Buren in Steven Spielberg's "Amistad"
Reteamed with Hytner for "The Object of My Affection", playing a gay theater critic
Executive produced and gave another modulated tour de force as a maddening, aphorism-spouting uncle residing "At Satchem Farm", a bit of New Age malarkey out of step with both indie and commercial themes
Acted in David Mamet's "The Winslow Boy", adapted by the director from the Terrence Rattigan play
Had a grand old time as a dirty old man in George Hickenlooper's "The Big Brass Ring", based on a screenplay by Orson Welles (published after his death); the original script was interesting as a companion piece to "Citizen Kane" for its preoccupation with self-destructive prominent men as well as its explicit political themes; shown at various film festivals before debuting on Showtime in the fall
Voiced the character of Professor Porter in Disney's animated "Tarzan"
Returned to the stage to play the title role in RSC production of "King Lear", staged by Yukio Ninagawa; opened in Japan in August before moving to London's West End in October
Appeared as Lord Melbourne in the biographical miniseries "Victoria and Albert" (aired in USA on A&E)
Portrayed Santa Claus in the TNT original "Call Me Claus", co-starring Whoppi Goldberg