If you’ve ever heard the famous actor, director and Academy award winner
Kenneth Branagh being interviewed, you may not have detected a Belfast
accent. Branagh was actually born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on
December 10th, 1960.
He had a humble, working-class upbringing. His dad was a plumber and
carpenter, and as a boy, Branagh experienced the violent troubles in
Northern Ireland between the British forces and the IRA.
When he was nine, his family escaped The Troubles by moving to England.
Branagh joined the Royal Shakespeare Company when he was 23 years old
and stared in Shakespeare plays like "Henry V" and "Romeo and Juliet".
He formed his own acting company; the Renaissance Theatre Company and
Prince Charles later became one of its royal patrons.
When he was 29, he directed Henry V in 1989, where he also co-starred
with his wife at the time, Emma Thompson. This film won him Best Actor
and Best Director Oscar nominations.
In 1993, he brought Shakespeare to mainstream audiences with his hit
screen adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing in 1993. The cast included
such famous actors as Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton and Keanu
When he was 34, he directed and starred as "Victor Frankenstein" in the
big-budget adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel, Mary Shelley’s
Frankenstein in 1994, with Robert De Niro starring as the monster.
In 1996, Branagh wrote, directed and starred in a lavish adaptation of
Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet.
His superb film acting work also includes a wide range of roles such as
in Celebrity (1998), Wild Wild West (1999), Road to El Dorado in 2000,
and Valkyrie in 2008 and his stunning portrayal of Laurence Olivier in
My Week with Marilyn in 2011, where once again he offered a great
performance that was also nominated for an Academy Award.
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