Tue . 18 Nov 2018

Gary Oldman

gary oldman, gary oldman movies
Gary Leonard Oldman1 born 21 March 19582 is an English actor, filmmaker, musician and author who has performed in theatre, film and television He is known for his "big" acting style and on-screen diversity

Oldman began acting on stage in 1979, and gained his first starring film role in Meantime 1983 He continued to lead an award-winning theatre career, during which he performed at London's Royal Court and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, with credits including The Massacre at Paris 1980, Entertaining Mr Sloane 1983, Saved 1983, The Country Wife 1987 and Hamlet 1987 Oldman's portrayals of Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy 1986, Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears 1987, a football firm leader in The Firm 1989 and the titular Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead 1990 established him as a screen actor, with his reading of Orton bringing a BAFTA Award nomination Identified in the late 1980s with the "Brit Pack", he was described by critic Roger Ebert as "the best young British actor around" Oldman increasingly starred as offshore characters, playing a gangster in State of Grace 1990, Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK 1991, and Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula 1992, which earned him the Saturn Award for Best Actor

Oldman went on to star as the antagonist of films such as True Romance 1993, The Fifth Element 1997, Air Force One 1997, and The Contender 2000, for which he garnered a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination; corrupt DEA agent Norman Stansfield, whom Oldman portrayed in Léon: The Professional 1994, has been ranked as one of cinema's greatest villains He meanwhile gave a critically acclaimed reading of Ludwig van Beethoven in Immortal Beloved 1994 In the 21st century, Oldman is known for his roles as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series; James Gordon in The Dark Knight Trilogy; Lord Shen in Kung Fu Panda 2 2011; George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 2011, which brought Academy and BAFTA Award nominations for Best Actor; and a human leader in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014 Motion pictures in which he has starred have grossed over $106 billion In 2011, Empire readers voted Oldman the recipient of the Empire Icon Award He will portray Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour 2017

Outside of acting in film, Oldman wrote and directed the double BAFTA Award-winning, Palme d'Or-nominated Nil by Mouth 1997; made an Emmy Award-nominated guest appearance in the Friends two-part episode "The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding" 2001; featured in music videos for David Bowie, Guns N' Roses and Annie Lennox; and provided the voice of Viktor Reznov in the Call of Duty video game series


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Acting career
    • 21 Theatre and early films 1979–1990
    • 22 Mainstream success 1991–2001
    • 23 Career slump 2002–2003
    • 24 Resurgence and franchise stardom 2004–2014
    • 25 Recent work 2015–present
  • 3 Other ventures
    • 31 Filmmaking
    • 32 Music
    • 33 Voice acting
    • 34 Writing
  • 4 Acting style
  • 5 Legacy
  • 6 Personal life
    • 61 Marriages and family
  • 7 Controversy
  • 8 Filmography
  • 9 Awards and nominations
    • 91 Criticism of Golden Globe Awards
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links

Early lifeedit

Oldman was born in New Cross, London, the son of Leonard Bertram Oldman 21 May 1921 – October 1985, a former sailor who also worked as a welder, and Kathleen Cheriton born 28 November 191934 He has stated that Leonard was an alcoholic who left the family when Oldman was seven years old5 Oldman attended West Greenwich School in Deptford, leaving school at the age of 16 to work in a sports shop6 He was a pianist as a child, and later a singer, but gave up his musical aspirations to pursue an acting career after seeing Malcolm McDowell's performance in the 1971 film The Raging Moon789 In a 1995 interview with Charlie Rose, Oldman said: "Something about Malcolm just arrested me, and I connected, and I said, 'I wanna do that'"10

Growing up in south London, Oldman supported his local football club Millwall, and also followed Manchester United so that he could watch his idol, George Best11 In 2011, Oldman would learn from his mother that his father represented Millwall after World War II, with Oldman stating: "Just after the war, she ran a boarding house, for football players, Millwall players And I knew that my dad was involved somehow with the reserve team But two weeks ago my mum said, 'Oh yeah, your dad played for Millwall When he was young he had a couple of first team games"11

Acting careeredit

Theatre and early films 1979–1990edit

Oldman studied with the Young People's Theatre in Greenwich during the mid-1970s,312 while working jobs on assembly lines, as a porter in an operating theatre, selling shoes and beheading pigs in an abattoir3 He later won a scholarship to attend the Rose Bruford College in Sidcup, Southeast London, from which he graduated with a BA in Acting in 1979312 Oldman describes himself as 'shy' although a diligent worker during his time at Rose Bruford, where he performed roles such as Puck in the performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream After leaving school, Oldman was the first in his class to receive professional work13 Oldman stated on The South Bank Show that it had nothing to do with being better than someone else, rather his diligence and application14

Before enrolling at Rose Bruford, Oldman had unsuccessfully applied to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art RADA, which welcomed him to try again the following year, but advised him to find something else to do for a living310 When asked by Charlie Rose if he had reminded RADA of this, Oldman joked that "the work speaks for itself"10 He made his professional stage debut in 1979 as Puss, alongside Michael Simkins and Peter Howitt, in Dick Whittington and His Cat, at York's Theatre Royal The play then ran in Colchester, then with Glasgow's Citizens Theatre;3 Oldman's work ethic and trademark intensity would make him a favourite with audiences in Glasgow during the 1980s12

From 1980 to 1981, he appeared in The Massacre at Paris Christopher Marlowe, Desperado Corner Shaun Lawton, and Robert David MacDonald's plays Chinchilla and A Waste of Time He performed in a 6-month West End run of MacDonald's Summit Conference, opposite Glenda Jackson, in 19823 Also that year, Oldman made his film debut in Colin Gregg's Remembrance, and would have starred in Don Boyd's Gossip if that film had not collapsed The following year, he landed a starring role as a skinhead in Mike Leigh's film Meantime, and moved on to Chesterfield to assume the lead role in Entertaining Mr Sloane Joe Orton Afterwards, he went to Westcliffe to star in Saved Edward Bond3

Saved proved to be a major breakthrough for Oldman Max Stafford-Clark, artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre, had seen Oldman's performance and cast him as Scopey, the lead role of Bond's The Pope's Wedding, in 19843 For his acclaimed performance, he won two of British theatre's top honours: the Time Out Fringe Award for Best Newcomer, and the Drama Theatre Award for Best Actor—the latter of which was shared with future film co-star Anthony Hopkins for his performance in Pravda31215 Oldman's turn in The Pope's Wedding led to a run of work with the Royal Court, and from 1984 to 1986 he appeared in Rat in the Skull Ron Hutchinson, The Desert Air Nicholas Wright, Cain and Abel, The Danton Affair Pam Gems, Women Beware Women Thomas Middleton, Real Dreams Trevor Griffiths and all three of Bond's The War Plays: Red Black and Ignorant, The Tin Can People and Great Peace3 Oldman was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1985 to 198616

The 1984 production of The Pope's Wedding had been seen by director Alex Cox, who offered Oldman the part of ill-fated rocker Sid Vicious in the 1986 film Sid and Nancy He twice turned down the role before accepting it, because, in his own words: "I wasn't really that interested in Sid Vicious and the punk movement I'd never followed it It wasn't something that interested me The script I felt was banal and 'who cares' and 'why bother' and all of that And I was a little bit sort-of with my nose in the air and sort-of thinking 'well the theatre – so much more superior' and all of that" He reconsidered based on the salary and the urging of his agent17 In 1987, Oldman gained his third starring film role as Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears, for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor That same year, he appeared in the plays The Country Wife William Wycherley and Serious Money Caryl Churchill3 Director Luc Besson told how, on the set of The Fifth Element 1997, Oldman could recite any scene from Hamlet William Shakespeare, in which he had starred a decade earlier18

Oldman's performances in Sid and Nancy and Prick Up Your Ears paved the way for work in Hollywood, garnering acclaim from prominent United States film critic Roger Ebert Ebert wrote: "There is no point of similarity between the two performances; like a few gifted actors, Oldman is able to re-invent himself for every role On the basis of these two movies, he is the best young British actor around"19 Vicious's bandmate John Lydon, despite criticising Sid and Nancy, described Oldman as a "bloody good actor"20 Oldman lost considerable weight for the role and was hospitalised21 His performance would go on to be ranked No 62 in Premiere magazine's "100 Greatest Performances of All Time"22 and No 8 in Uncut magazine's "10 Best actors in rockin' roles", the latter describing his portrayal as a "hugely sympathetic reading of the punk figurehead as a lost and bewildered manchild"23

In late 1988, he starred opposite long-time hero10 Alan Bates in We Think the World of You, and alongside Dennis Hopper and Frances McDormand in the 1989 film Chattahoochee In 1989, Oldman also starred as football hooligan Clive "Bex" Bissel in British drama The Firm, a performance which Total Film numbered as his best and called "stunning" and "fearless" in 201124 In 1990 he costarred with Tim Roth in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard's film adaptation of his own play of the same name Total Film also praised the movie, calling Oldman's character "a blitz of brilliant comedy timing and pitch perfect line delivery"24 Oldman starred opposite Sean Penn and Ed Harris in State of Grace 1990, his first prominent US film; Roger Ebert described Oldman's turn as the highlight25 Janet Maslin, another noted US film critic, referred to his work as "phenomenal"26 He was offered, but turned down, the lead role in that year's Edward Scissorhands27 Oldman moved to the United States in the early 1990s, where he has resided since28 Oldman and other young British actors of the 1980s who were becoming established Hollywood film actors, such as Tim Roth, Bruce Payne, Colin Firth, Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul McGann, were dubbed the "Brit Pack", of which Oldman was de facto leader2930

Mainstream success 1991–2001edit

Oldman in 2000

In 1991, Oldman starred in his first US blockbuster, playing Lee Harvey Oswald in Oliver Stone's JFK According to Oldman, very little was written about Oswald in the script Stone gave him several plane tickets, a list of contacts and told him to do his own research31 Oldman met with Oswald's wife, Marina, and her two daughters to prepare for the role32 The following year, he starred as Count Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola's romance-horror Bram Stoker's Dracula A commercially successful film adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel,33 it was a box office success worldwide Oldman's performance was recognised as the best male performance of 1992 by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, which awarded Oldman the Best Actor award34 Oldman would later become a popular portrayer of villains:15 he played violent pimp Drexl Spivey in the Tony Scott-directed, Quentin Tarantino-written True Romance 1993, a role which MSN Movies described as "one of cinema's most memorable villains";35 a sadistic prison warden in Murder in the First 1995, futuristic corporate tyrant Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in The Fifth Element 1997, and Dr Zachary Smith/Spider Smith in the commercially successful but critically panned Lost in Space 1998 Oldman was considered for two roles in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction 1994, but neither were realised: Tarantino contemplated Oldman as gangster Jules Winnfield played by Samuel L Jackson,36 while TriStar executives recommended him for drug dealer Lance portrayed by Eric Stoltz3738

In 1994's Léon: The Professional, he played corrupt DEA officer Norman Stansfield, which has since been named by multiple publications as one of the best villains in cinema39404142434445464748 Oldman also portrayed various accents; along with the Transylvanian Count Dracula, he gave a critically acclaimed reading of German-born Viennese composer Ludwig van Beethoven in Immortal Beloved,49 and played Russian terrorist Egor Korshunov in the 1997 blockbuster Air Force One He portrayed another "historical" figure, Pontius Pilate, in Jesus 1999 Oldman was considered for the role of Morpheus in The Matrix50 He also appeared as the Devil in the 1994 music video to Guns N' Roses' cover of the song "Since I Don't Have You",51 and served as a member of the Jury at the 1993 Cannes Film Festivalcitation needed In 1998, MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch aired a match between claymation representations of Oldman and Christopher Walken to determine the greatest cinematic villain52

Oldman appeared opposite Jeff Bridges as zealous Republican congressman Sheldon Runyon in The Contender 2000, in which he was also credited as a producer Oldman received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for his performance In 2001, he starred opposite Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal, as Mason Verger, the only surviving victim of Hannibal Lecter He reportedly spent six hours per day in the make-up room to achieve the character's hideously disfigured appearance53 It marked the second time that Oldman had appeared opposite Hopkins, a personal friend who was part of the supporting cast of Bram Stoker's Dracula Oldman is uncredited in the film, reportedly over a dispute regarding top billing, which was going to co-star Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore He received an Emmy Award nomination for two guest appearances in Friends in May 2001, appearing in the two-part episode "The One With Chandler and Monica's Wedding" as Richard Crosby, a pedantic actor who insists that "real" actors spit on one another when they enunciate, leading to tension, then later friendship, between Joey Tribbiani Matt LeBlanc and himself Oldman had previously worked with LeBlanc on Lost in Space

Career slump 2002–2003edit

Oldman at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International

Following his 2001 Friends appearance, Oldman did not appear in any major roles until 2004; it was suggested that he was blacklisted in Hollywood during this time, owing to a 2000 controversy In 2002, he starred in the generally well-received Interstate 60, and played the Devil in the BMW short film, The Hire: Beat the Devil Guardian writer Xan Brooks described the early 2000s as Oldman's "low point", recalling "barrel-scraping roles" in the critically maligned 2003 films Tiptoes and Sin54 Although the film failed to impress reviewers, Oldman did garner praise for his portrayal of a man with dwarfism in Tiptoes: Lisa Nesselson in Variety described his work as "astonishingly fine",55 and the performance was later mentioned in Mark Kermode's "Great Acting in Bad Films"56

Resurgence and franchise stardom 2004–2014edit

In 2004, Oldman returned to prominence when he landed a significant role in the Harry Potter film series, playing Harry Potter's godfather Sirius Black The following year, he starred as James Gordon in Christopher Nolan's commercially and critically successful Batman Begins, a role that he reprised in the even more successful sequel The Dark Knight 2008 and once more in the conclusion, The Dark Knight Rises 2012 Prominent film critic Mark Kermode, in reviewing The Dark Knight, downplayed claims that Heath Ledger's Joker was the highlight of the film, saying, "the best performance in the film, by a mile, is Gary Oldman's it would be lovely to see him get an Academy Award nomination because actually, he's the guy who gets kind of overlooked in all of this"57 Oldman co-starred with Jim Carrey in the 2009 version of A Christmas Carol in which Oldman played three roles585960 He had a starring role in David Goyer's supernatural thriller The Unborn, released in 20096162 In 2010, Oldman co-starred with Denzel Washington in The Book of Eli63 He also played a lead role in Catherine Hardwicke's Red Riding Hood64 Oldman voiced the role of villain Lord Shen and was nominated for an Annie Award for his performance in Kung Fu Panda 2

Oldman at the London premiere of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in October 2011

Oldman received strong reviews and earned his first Academy and second acting BAFTA Award nominations for his portrayal of British spy George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 2011, an adaptation of the John le Carré novel, directed by Tomas Alfredson65 In addition, he was chosen by Screened, and W Magazine for giving one of the best performances of 2011 To prepare for the role of George Smiley, Gary Oldman gained 15 pounds by eating a lot of treacle sponge and custard to "put on a bit of middle-aged tummy" Oldman also watched Alec Guinness' performance in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and paid a visit to Smiley's creator John le Carré: "The way he touched his shirt, spoke and so on, I took all that and used it I hope he won't mind, but Smiley is in his DNA"66

In 2012, Oldman played Floyd Banner, a big-hitting mobster, in John Hillcoat's Lawless, alongside Tom Hardy, Shia LeBouf, Guy Pearce and Jessica Chastain In 2013, Oldman portrayed Nicholas Wyatt, a ruthless CEO, in Robert Luketic's Paranoia, along with Harrison Ford and Liam Hemsworth In 2014, Oldman starred alongside Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L Jackson in the remake of RoboCop, as Norton, the scientist who creates RoboCop Also that year, Oldman starred in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as one of the leads alongside Jason Clarke and Keri Russell

Recent work 2015–presentedit

In 2015, Oldman played the head of police that investigates Tom Hardy's character in Child 44, alongside Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman, and had a supporting role in the post-apocalyptic American thriller Man Down, directed by Dito Montiel, and starring alongside Shia LaBeouf and Kate Mara In 2016, Oldman played a CIA chief in Criminal, directed by Ariel Vromen, and starring Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds, Alice Eve, and Gal Gadot He also starred in The Space Between Us with Asa Butterfield, which was released on February 3, 2017

Oldman will appear in The Hitman's Bodyguard with Samuel L Jackson, Ryan Reynolds, and Salma Hayek, which will be released on 18 August 2017 Also, Oldman is starring in Hunter Killer with Gerard Butler, Billy Bob Thornton, and Linda Cardellini, and is slated to direct a biopic about Eadweard Muybridge entitled Flying Horse67 Oldman will star in Darkest Hour as Winston Churchill, which will be directed by Joe Wright

Other venturesedit


In 1997, Oldman directed, produced, and wrote the award-winning Nil by Mouth, a film partially based on his own childhood Nil by Mouth went on to win the BAFTA Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film shared with Douglas Urbanski and also the BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay, the Channel 4 Director's Award, and an Empire Award In 1999, it was adjudged by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts as one of the hundred best British films of the 20th century68 Nil By Mouth was listed by Time Out as number twenty-one of the top 100 best British films ever69

Oldman and producing partner Douglas Urbanski formed the SE8 GROUP to produce Nil by Mouth The company also produced The Contender, which also starred Oldman He has finished his latest screenplay, Chang & Eng, co-written with Darin Strauss, based on the author's book of the same name; SE8 Group will produce In September 2006, Nokia Nseries Studio70 released the Oldman-directed short film Donut, with music by Tor Hyams The film was shot with an N93 to promote the phone Juliet Landau made a 25-minute documentary about the making of the video In 2011, he directed a music video for Alex Eden's first single, "Kiss Me Like the Woman You Loved"


Oldman has had a keen interest in music from an early age He is a proficient pianist and stated in a 1995 interview with Charlie Rose that he would rather be a musician than an actor10 Oldman sang several tracks on the Sid and Nancy soundtrack, on which he performed alongside original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, and sang and played live piano in the 1988 movie Track 29 He traced over Beethoven compositions in 1994's Immortal Beloved He also tutored Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe on bass guitar71 Oldman appeared on Reeves Gabrels' album The Sacred Squall of Now, performing a vocal duet with David Bowie on the track "You've Been Around"72 He produced a live performance by former White Stripes member Jack White in conjunction with Vevo and YouTube73 At the 2016 Brit Awards in London, Oldman paid tribute to Bowie, before receiving the Brits "Icon Award" on behalf of the singer and his family74

Voice actingedit

Oldman participated in the creation of The Legend of Spyro games, produced by Sierra Entertainment He provided the voice of the Fire Guardian, Ignitus He voices Sergeant Viktor Reznov and scientist Daniel Clarke in the Call of Duty games He also provides the narration of Sergeant Jack Barnes in the Spearhead expansion for Medal of Honor: Allied Assault In 2015 he voiced Lord Vortech, the evil mastermind who seeks to control the LEGO Multiverse, in the Lego Dimensions video game75 Oldman will also be portraying Admiral Ernst Bishop in the upcoming single-player campaign of the Chris Roberts-designed crowdfunded video game, Star Citizen76


In 2015, Oldman and his manager Douglas Urbanski signed a deal with the Simon & Schuster/Atria Publishing label Emily Bestler Books for 'Blood Riders', a vampire book series77

Acting styleedit

Oldman was almost immediately typecast as a criminal in his film career78 The necessity to express villainous characters in an overtly physical manner led to the cultivation of his 'big' acting style,79 which hearkened back to his classical theatre training and would become his trademark; this encompassed "playing everything" via layered performances that vividly express each character's emotions and internal conflicts37 Oldman has conceded that he often overacts on screen, and said: "It's my influence on those roles that probably they feel bigger than life and a little over-the-top I mean, I do go for it a bit as an actor, I must admit"17

The Guardian and Salon published articles about positive overacting in which they fondly recalled Oldman's work8081 Salon spoke of his "super-sized performances" in latter 20th century cinema, saying that "there was an approximately 15-year stretch during which any time you paid to see Oldman in a movie, you could expect a lot of trembling, freaking out, reflexive weeping and snarling and other signifiers of emotional decay"81 Oldman has portrayed various accents26 and a wide range of characters1215 His in-depth research of roles has been noted,82 as well as his devotion to them: he was hospitalised after losing significant weight for Sid and Nancy21


Oldman has long established a cult following among film fans2883 He is known for playing the primary antagonist in a number of popular motion pictures,1584 which has seen him referenced in popular culture At the peak of his popularity in the 1990s, Oldman was dubbed by Empire magazine as Hollywood's "psycho deluxe",85 and was spoofed on popular television shows such as Fox comedy series In Living Color86 and MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch,52 as well as drafted in to appear on the first ever cover of Loaded magazine87 In 1993, he appeared prominently in the music video for Annie Lennox's international hit "Love Song for a Vampire", written for the soundtrack to Bram Stoker's Dracula, and had a cameo role as the Devil in the video for Guns N' Roses single "Since I Don't Have You"51—Oldman also played the Devil in the 2002 BMW short Beat The Devil, alongside Clive Owen, James Brown and Marilyn Manson88 He starred as a sleazy priest in the controversial religious-themed video for David Bowie's 2013 single "The Next Day"8990 In contrast to his often dark on-screen roles, Oldman's affable real-life demeanour has been noted,28 and he was named as one of Empire magazine's "100 Sexiest Stars in Film History" in 200791 In 2011, Oldman was voted as a film icon by Empire readers, with the award presented by Colin Firth92

Oldman signing autographs at the Harry Potter premiere, 2007

Independent critic Demetrios Matheou wrote that Oldman "is rightly cited as the best British actor of his generation"11 Of his diversity, Yahoo! Movies noted that Oldman had "gained a well-earned reputation as a brilliant chameleon";12 the Houston Chronicle dubbed him "the face of versatility"93 Oldman is noted for his avoidance of the Hollywood celebrity scene,94 often being referred to as an "actor's actor"3 His work has been acclaimed by many Hollywood figures: Tom Hardy has described Oldman as his "absolute complete and utter hero"95 and "hands down, the greatest actor that's ever lived";29 Brad Pitt,96 Daniel Radcliffe97 and Ryan Gosling have also cited Oldman as their favourite actor98 Hardy recalled Oldman's influence on students at drama school, stating that "everybody used to quote him in all of his films"99 Other actors such as Christian Bale,100101 Benedict Cumberbatch,102103 Shia LaBeouf,104 Joseph Gordon-Levitt,105 Johnny Depp,100102103 Chris Pine,106 Jason Isaacs,107 Michael Fassbender29102 and Mark Strong108 have cited Oldman as an influence Peers have praised his talents: Anthony Hopkins,14 Ralph Fiennes,109 Keanu Reeves110 and Ray Winstone11 have used the term "genius" in reference to Oldman John Hurt called him "the best of the bunch";54 Colin Firth hailed him as "a very strong candidate for the world's best living actor"111 and a "hero" of his;112 and Alec Baldwin described him as "preternaturally gifted" and "the greatest film actor of his generation"113 Oldman's collaborating directors Luc Besson18 and Christopher Nolan114 have lauded his work; the former in 1997 called him "one of the top five actors in the world"18 David Cronenberg said that Oldman "really is a fabulous actor" who gave "the best version" of James Gordon in Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy115

Prominent film critics have also been outspoken in their appreciation of Oldman Roger Ebert hailed him as "one of the great actors, able to play high, low, crass, noble";116 while Gene Siskel called him "wonderful"117 and one of his favourite actors118 Peter Travers described Oldman as "one of the best actors on the planet"119 Prior to his first Academy Award nomination for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Oldman was widely regarded as one of the greatest actors never nominated for such an award;6120121 Leigh Singer of The Guardian called him "arguably the best actor never Oscar-nominated"122 He carries the label of the greatest actor never to win the Oscar123124 In December 2011, the Palm Springs International Film Festival announced that Oldman would be receiving its International Star Award, which honours "an actor or actress who has achieved both critical and commercial international recognition throughout their body of work" The PSIFF chairman called Oldman "a performer whose ability to portray the most extreme of characters is a testament to the enormity of his talent"125 In 2012, The Hollywood Reporter named Oldman the highest-grossing actor in history, based on lead and supporting roles126 To date, films in which he has starred have grossed over $4 billion in the United States, and over $106 billion worldwide127

In 2012, Oldman was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork – the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life that he most admires to mark his 80th birthday128

Personal lifeedit

After establishing himself as an actor, Oldman moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s28 Despite numerous lead and supporting roles in major Hollywood films, he is intensely private about his personal life and is known for his stance on celebrity and the ideals of Hollywood, stating: "Being famous, that's a whole other career And I haven't got any energy for it"28

Oldman's problems with alcohol were well known during the early 1990s After a string of alcohol-fuelled debacles he checked himself into Marworth treatment facility in Waverly Township, Pennsylvania, for alcoholism treatment in 1993129 In subsequent interviews Oldman acknowledged his problems with alcohol, and called himself a recovering alcoholic on a 2001 interview with Charlie Rose130 Today, Oldman lives a teetotal lifestyle and attributes his success in beating his addiction to attending meetings with Alcoholics Anonymous, and has since publicly praised the organisation131 Oldman is a self-described libertarian132

Oldman's personal friends have included musician David Bowie100 and fellow Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe133

Marriages and familyedit

Oldman has been married four times He married English actress Lesley Manville in 1987 but left her in 1989, three months after their son, Alfie, was born134 He met American actress Uma Thurman on the set of State of Grace, and they were married in 1990, but the marriage ended two years later135 Oldman then settled into a relationship with Italian actress and model Isabella Rossellini The couple were rumoured to be engaged in July 1994, but separated two years later136 Oldman was married to Donya Fiorentino from 1997 to 2001 and had two sons with her After a lengthy state investigation and trial, Oldman was granted sole legal and physical custody of the sons, and Fiorentino was only allowed occasional state-monitored visits134

On 31 December 2008, Oldman married English singer and actress Alexandra Edenborough in Santa Barbara, California137 Edenborough filed for divorce on 9 January 2015138

His sister Maureen known professionally as Laila Morse is an actress: she had a role in Oldman's directorial debut, Nil by Mouth 1997,11 before going on to play Mo Harris in the long-running BBC series EastEnders


Oldman was charged with drunk driving in 1991 after a night out in Los Angeles with actor Kiefer Sutherland A deputy city attorney stated that Oldman's blood alcohol content was found to be more than twice California's limit for legal intoxication139

Some media outlets reported that Oldman was unhappy with the finished product of The Contender 2000 because DreamWorks had edited the film to reflect pro-Democratic leanings, stirring controversy The claims were declared sloppy sensationalism by Oldman's manager, Urbanski, who summarized that Oldman was "the least political person he knew", that "neither he nor Oldman had made the statements attributed to them," that they had "produced the film every last cut and frame," and that "DreamWorks did not influence the final cut or have anything to do with it"140 It has been suggested that Oldman was blacklisted in Hollywood for several years as a result141

Oldman's former wife Donya Fiorentino, as part of a child custody battle in 2001, claimed he had a drug habit and abused her Oldman vehemently denied both the abuse and drug allegations, and described her as a "hopeless addict and liar" who, he claimed, had also been cheating on him He subsequently claimed to partly be £27million in debt because his ex-wife had been constantly harassing him for money and subjecting him to "psychological and emotional" abuse during their three-year marriage She had also previously overdosed on cocaine, to which she was addicted, traumatising her young daughter who found her on the floor and presumed she was dead142

In an interview in the July/August 2014 issue of Playboy magazine while promoting Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Oldman criticized what he saw as excessive political correctness in American media and the entertainment industry's own discriminating hypocrisy, while arguing in support of former controversial celebrities Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin He stressed that he did not relate with most of their viewpoints but regarding the former agreed, "Gibson is in a town that's run by Jews"143 referring to Hollywood After criticism from the Anti-Defamation League ADL, Oldman apologised to them in an open letter144 ADL director Abraham Foxman acknowledged that Oldman was remorseful, but felt his letter was insufficient and asked for "a little more introspection, a little more understanding and a little more education"144 Oldman then made a public apology on the 25 June edition of late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where he stressed that he was "profoundly sorry" for his "insensitive, pernicious and ill-informed" remarks145


Main article: Gary Oldman filmography

Awards and nominationsedit

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Gary Oldman

Criticism of Golden Globe Awardsedit

Oldman has been a vocal critic of the Golden Globes over the years In 2009, he spoke of an earlier row with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at a press conference, in which he lambasted the awards for being a television ratings vehicle, rather than a celebration of art; Oldman believes he is disqualified from Globes contention due to his comments146 In a 2012 interview, he described the ceremony as "bent", while unfavourably comparing the integrity of its voting process to that of the Academy and BAFTA awards147 Two years later, Oldman called the Globes "meaningless", called for a boycott, and labelled members of the HFPA as self-indulgent "nobodies", while reinforcing his position on the Academy Awards being more credible148


  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005
  2. ^ OLDMAN, Gary ukwhoswhocom Who's Who 2015 online Oxford University Press ed A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc  subscription required
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Gary Oldman – Biography TalkTalk Wayback Machine Retrieved 20 September 2015
  4. ^ "Gary Oldman Biography 1958–" Filmreferencecom Retrieved 11 January 2010 
  5. ^ "EuroScreenwriters – Interviews with European Film Directors – Gary Oldman" Zakkadk Retrieved 11 January 2010 
  6. ^ a b Fulton, Rick "Gary Oldman: My career has been good but my kids are my biggest accomplishment" Daily Record 18 March 2011 Retrieved 18 March 2011
  7. ^ "Halle's Gary Oldman Biography and Odds & Ends" Cshritedu Retrieved 11 January 2010 
  8. ^ "Malcolm McDowell Honoured With Walk of Fame Star, Gary Oldman Pays Tribute" Huffington Post AOL UK Limited 17 March 2012 
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External linksedit

  • Gary Oldman at the Internet Movie Database
  • Gary Oldman at AllMovie
  • Gary Oldman at Box Office Mojo
  • Interview with Gary Oldman on his directorial debut – Nil by Mouth
  • Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Strange Career of Gary Oldman

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