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Jason Isaacs

Jason Isaacs

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Maryland ... Walter Brennan, Fay Bainter, Brenda Joyce. The widow of a man killed while... more info $16.95was $19.98 Buy Now

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 6, 1963 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Lancashire, England, GB Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Having emerged from his native Liverpool an established and respected performer, actor Jason Isaacs became casting directorsâ¿¿ ideal choice for playing imperious screen villains in the early 2000s. Possessing a steely gaze and stentorian tones, he lent an elegant evil to such onscreen bad guys as Mel Gibson's British nemesis in "The Patriot" (2000), the theatrical Lucius Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" series, and Captain Hook in "Peter Pan" (2003). He showed more complex sides to his talent in films like "The End of the Affair" (1999) and "Black Hawk Down" (2001), though his finest showcases came on television series like "Brotherhood" (Showtime, 2006-08) and "The State Within" (BBC, 2006), which earned him widespread acclaim and propelled the actor to stardom in America. By the time he reprised Death Eater Lucius Malfoy for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows" (2010), Isaacs had established himself as one of Englandâ¿¿s most versatile talents who managed to also become a star in America.Born June 6, 1963, Isaacs was one of four brothers born to a Jewish family in Liverpool, England. The family relocated to London in the mid-1970s, and Isaacs found himself flexing his first acting muscles by...

Having emerged from his native Liverpool an established and respected performer, actor Jason Isaacs became casting directorsâ¿¿ ideal choice for playing imperious screen villains in the early 2000s. Possessing a steely gaze and stentorian tones, he lent an elegant evil to such onscreen bad guys as Mel Gibson's British nemesis in "The Patriot" (2000), the theatrical Lucius Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" series, and Captain Hook in "Peter Pan" (2003). He showed more complex sides to his talent in films like "The End of the Affair" (1999) and "Black Hawk Down" (2001), though his finest showcases came on television series like "Brotherhood" (Showtime, 2006-08) and "The State Within" (BBC, 2006), which earned him widespread acclaim and propelled the actor to stardom in America. By the time he reprised Death Eater Lucius Malfoy for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows" (2010), Isaacs had established himself as one of Englandâ¿¿s most versatile talents who managed to also become a star in America.

Born June 6, 1963, Isaacs was one of four brothers born to a Jewish family in Liverpool, England. The family relocated to London in the mid-1970s, and Isaacs found himself flexing his first acting muscles by utilizing a heavy Cockney accent to avoid criticism by classmates. The performing bug bit hard when he visited the United States at age 18 to work as a camp counselor. By the time he was attending Bristol University for a law degree, he was spending more time in the drama department, where he directed and acted in some 20 plays. A transfer to the esteemed Central School of Drama and Speech in London soon followed, as did performances at the Edinburgh Festival. Following graduation, he landed an agent and a bit part in the comedy "The Tall Guy" (1989). During this period, Isaacs met his longtime partner, BBC documentary filmmaker Emma Hewitt, with whom he had two children in 2002 and 2005.

Hungry for work, Isaacs began making the rounds on television dramas and stage. "Capital City" (ITV, 1989-1990), about the cutthroat side of the banking industry, marked his first time as a series regular, but there were notable guest shots on "Inspector Morse" (ITV, 1987-2000) and "Taggart" (ITV, 1983- ) as well, both of which helped to establish Isaacs as a watchable and hissable villain â¿¿ for the former, he played a man who murdered his identical twin, while in the latter he was an unscrupulous doctor. By 1993, he was earning notices for his turn as the sexually conflicted Louis Ironside in a production of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America." The following year marked his first sizable role in "Shopping" (1994), a much publicized drama about wayward London youth from his Central School classmate Paul Anderson.

Hollywood took notice of Isaacs in the mid-1990s after a string of supporting turns in U.K.-made productions like "Dragonheart" (1996) and "Event Horizon" (1997). He was slated for a larger role in the doomsday blockbuster "Armageddon" (1998), but stepped down into a smaller part in order to accommodate his turn as a feared IRA terrorist in the indie comedy, "Divorcing Jack" (1998). A turn as Julianne Moore's priestly confidante in Neil Jordan's "The End of the Affair" preceded his most attention-garnering role â¿¿ that of British Colonel William Tavington, whose murder of farmer Mel Gibson's teenage son sets off the Revolutionary War action of "The Patriot" (2000). Isaacs' performance as Tavington made an impact on viewers and critics alike, who nominated him for British Supporting Actor of the Year (London Film Critics Circle) and Favorite Villain of the Year (Blockbuster Awards).

Isaacs wisely followed this notable role with a spate of more likable characters to show his versatility. He was a priest who carried on an affair with a gangster's daughter in "The Last Don II" (1998) for American television, a drag queen in the syrupy romance "Sweet November" (2001) with Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron, and an American officer in Ridley Scott's harrowing "Black Hawk Down" (2001). Isaacs also returned to the stage in his native England to play a detective who matches wits with an alleged terrorist in "Force of Change" (2000).

But by 2002, Isaacs was back in the black hat, this time as the imperious Lucius Malfoy in the hit film adaptation of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002). His association with the Potter franchise â¿¿ which extended for two more pictures: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005) and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007) â¿¿ gave Isaacs unprecedented recognition in households around the world, making him an in demand performer for Hollywood and independent projects, as well as eye candy for grownups. In fact, a San Francisco Chronicle article listed him as one of the "13 Sexiest Men Alive," while his Malfoy was listed among the "13 Sexiest Men Who Were Never Alive." Meanwhile, he was a Bond-style superspy who unintentionally lends Jackie Chan the title device in the comedy "The Tuxedo" (2002), another military man in John Woo's World War II drama "Windtalkers" (2002) and showed considerable versatility as both the operatically evil Captain Hook and the meek Mr. Darling in "Peter Pan" (2003). American television also afforded him a kinder, gentler role, that of photojournalist Colin Ayres, who serves briefly as love interest to Donatella Moss (Janel Moloney) on "The West Wing" (NBC, 1996-2004).

The years 2006 and 2007 saw Isaacs busier than ever with two television series on either side of the Atlantic. For Showtime's "Brotherhood," he played Irish mobster Michael Caffee who returns to his hometown of Providence, RI in the hopes of kick-starting his life of crime, much to the consternation of his brother (Jason Clarke), who was serving as a member of the state's House of Representatives. For "The State Within," he was the British Ambassador to the United States who finds himself embroiled in a global conspiracy to bring down Western governments. Despite the nonstop work, Isaacs also found time to participate in the independent drama, "Friends with Money" (2006), the "Order of the Phoenix" entry of the "Harry Potter" franchise, and even turned up in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo for Edgar Wright's amusing "Don't!," a trailer for a faux English horror film which turned up in "Grindhouse" (2007).

In 2007, Isaacs returned to the British stage for a production of Harold Pinter's "The Dumb Waiter." That same year, he found himself a Golden Globe nominee for "The State Within." Not one to let a moment go by without another project, he signed on to the television feature "The Curse of Steptoe" (2008), in which he played acclaimed British actor Harry H. Corbett, whose career was somewhat derailed by his participation in the popular British sitcom, "Steptoe and Son" (BBC One, 1962-1974). After co-starring opposite Viggo Mortensen in the British-made political drama, "Good" (2008), Isaacs was featured in director Paul Greengrass' political action thriller, "Green Zone" (2010), which focused on a rogue U.S. Army officer (Matt Damon) tracking down weapons of mass destruction while the war in Iraq worsens all around him. He next reprised Death Eater Lucius Malfoy for the highly anticipated finale to the "Harry Potter" series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1" (2010).

Cast as the villain so often, Isaacs even found himself playing the bad guy while merely providing voice work. In the first of two direct-to-DVD animated features based on DC Comics properties, he voiced the immortal Machiavellian mastermind Raâ¿¿s al Ghul in "Batman: Under the Red Hood" (2010), as well as the tragic hero-turned-villain character of Sinestro in "Green Lantern: Emerald Knights" (2011). Isaacs was on the side of right for a change when he lent his vocals to the role of Siddeley, the high-tech spy jet, in Pixarâ¿¿s "Cars 2" (2011). After completing his tour as the disgraced Death Eater Lucius Malfoy in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" (2011) and making a brief appearance in the action-thriller "Abduction" (2011), Isaacs took a starring role on a major U.S. network television series. On the sci-fi crime-drama "Awake" (NBC, 2012) he played Michael Britten, a Los Angeles police detective who begins switching back and forth between two alternate realities after surviving a deadly car accident. Despite an initially strong showing, uniformly positive critical reviews â¿¿ especially for Isaacsâ¿¿ performance â¿¿ and a passionate core fan base, a rapid decline in the ratings quickly doomed the inventive program to cancellation by the end of its first season.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 London Fields (2015)
4.
5.
 Rosemary's Baby (2014)
6.
 Cars 2 (2011)
7.
 Abduction (2011)
10.
 Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) Ra's al Ghul
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Earned Equity card performing as a children's entertainer
1988:
Early TV credit, a guest appearance on the series "This Is David Lander"
1989:
Had regular role of Chas Ewell on the British series "Capital City"
1989:
Feature acting debut in small role of a doctor in "The Tall Guy"
1991:
Acted in the British miniseries "Ashenden" (aired in the US on A&E in 1992)
1992:
Delivered memorable role as a man who murders his twin in the three-part "Taggart: Double Exposure"
1992:
Again played a nefarious character, a doctor who has developed an anti-aging drug in "Inspector Morse: Cherubim & Seraphim"
1993:
Won acclaim for originating the role of Louis in Declan Donnellan's staging of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" at the Royal National Theatre
1994:
Co-starred with Jude Law and Sadie Frost in "Shopping"; first film with director Paul Anderson
1995:
Played a drug dealer in "Loved Up"
1996:
Starred as Vittorio Mussolini in Patrick Marber's play "1953" at the Almeida Theater
1997:
Re-teamed with Anderson for "Event Horizon"
1998:
Had featured role as an IRA terrorist in the comedy thriller "Divorcing Jack"
1998:
Third collaboration with Anderson, playing the despotic Colonel Mekum in "Soldier"
1998:
Played a priest who has an affair with a gangster's daughter in the CBS miniseries "Mario Puzo's The Last Don II"
1999:
Portrayed Father Smythe, the confidante of Julianne Moore's Sarah in Neil Jordan's remake of "The End of the Affair"
2000:
Returned to the London stage as a British detective interrogating a suspected terrorist in "The Force of Change" at the Royal Court Theatre
2000:
Delivered villainous role as British Colonel Tavington in the Revolutionary War epic "The Patriot"
2001:
Co-starred with Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves in the remake of "Sweet November"; played a drag queen
2001:
Had featured role as American Ranger Captain Mike Steele in "Black Hawk Down"
2002:
Cast as Major Mellitz in John Woo's "Windtalkers"
2002:
Played villainous Lucius Malfoy in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"
2003:
Cast as the villainous Captain Hook in "Peter Pan"
2005:
Starred in Paul Haggis' directorial debut "Crash"
2005:
Cast in the Rodrigo García ensemble "Nine Lives"
2005:
Again played Lucius Malfoy in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
2006:
Cast in Nicole Holofcener's "Friends with Money"
2006:
Played Michael Caffee on the Showtime series "Brotherhood"
2007:
Reprised the role of Lucius Malfoy in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," adapted from the fifth book in the fantasy series
2007:
Played Sir Mark Brydon, a British Ambassador to Washington in The State Within (aired on the BBC in Britain and BBC America); earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Mini-series or TV Movie
2008:
Co-starred with Viggo Mortensen in "Good"
2010:
Reprised the role of Lucius Malfoy for the seventh and final installment of the series directed by David Yates, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"; film released in two parts, Part 1 in November 2010 and Part 2 in July 2011
2011:
Starred in BBC crime drama "Case Histories"
2012:
Played a police detective living parallel lives on NBC's "Awake"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School: Elstree , Hertfordshire -
Bristol University: - 1982 - 1985
Central School of Speech and Drama: London , England - 1985 - 1988

Notes

"A few times I've played these unbelievably tough, scary, nasty men, probably because I'm such a wimp in my life. I don't confront people, ever, or stand up to them. I get to be the bully that I never was, I was always the bullied. It's pretty good therapy!" --Jason Issacs to Michelle Erica Green at AnotherUniverse.com, October 23, 1998

Since he has played several drug dealers, Isaacs was asked about his own use of illegal substances. He reportedly replied: "I'm paranoid enough as it is," he said. "I don't need any pharmaceutical assistance. Chinese food is my drug." --From Rush & Malloy's gossip column in Daily News, August 4, 2000.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Emma Hewitt. Documentarian. Together since c. 1988.

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