In the acclaimed 2005 HBO series, "Rome," known for its raciness, grit and grime, it was English actor Kenneth Cranham who brought the series the requisite sense of sophistication and political intrigue.
Born in Scotland in 1944, Cranham has been a figure of film and stage nearly all his adult life. Early appearances included the British film "Oliver!" in 1968, and small roles on British television, including anthology series such as "Thirty-Minute Theater," where he filled out episodes with bit parts, and later shows such as "Softly Softly," and then "Z Cars" where he had a small recurring role.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, he appeared in a number of films and television series. It was with the rise of miniseries in the early 1980s that his small screen appearances picked up. He took roles in "The Merchant of Venice," in 1980 and "Brideshead Revisited" in 1981. He also appeared in an installment of the cult genre film series, "Hellbound: Hellraiser II" in 1988.
He later showed up in television series such as "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," and "El Cid," as well as "Midnight Man" and "On Dangerous Ground," as the recurring character Brig. Charles Feruson, in the adaptations of novelist Jack Higgins' bestselling military thrillers.
In recent years, Cranham has been recognized by audiences in compelling turns in two recent British crime dramas, "Gangster No. 1," in 2000 and "Layer Cake," in 2005 before becoming a familiar face on HBO's expolaration of the politics and passions of Ancient Rome. In the part of the beleaguered Pompey Magnus, Cranham was at the center of "Rome's" brutal political machinations, locked in a power struggle with the galvanized, but ultimately doomed Julius Caesar.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made early screen appearance in the British film "Oliver!"
Cast in the British anthology series"Thirty-Minute Theatre: Gangster"
Cast as the Wicked Squire in "Joseph Andrews" helmed by Tony Richardson
Portrayed Gratiano in Jack Gold's adaptation of William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"
Appeared in an installment of the cult genre film series, "Hellbound: Hellraiser II"
Co-starred with Liam Neeson in "Under Suspicion" written and directed by Simon Moore
Cast in Jim Sheridan's "The Boxer" Daniel Day-Lewis and Emily Watson
Gave a compelling performance in the British crime drama, "Gangster No. 1"
Portrayed crime boss Jimmy Price in the British crime drama "Layer Cake"
Cast as Pompey Magnus in the HBO series "Rome," an expolaration of the politics and passions of Ancient Rome
Cast in Ridley Scott's "A Good Year" opposite Russell Crowe