Known for his on-screen versatility and intense roles, Gary Oldman is an English film and theater actor, director, and musician. A former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Oldman rose to prominence with films like Sid and Nancy
(1986), State of Grace (1990), JFK
(1991), Bram Stoker`s Dracula
(1992), Air Force One (1997), Lawless (2012), the `Harry Potter` series and the `Batman` trilogy. Over the years, the actor has carved a niche for himself, building a cult following amongst the cine-goers. In 2011, Oldman starred in the Cold War intelligence movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
, for which he received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
Born Leonardo Gary Oldman to Leonard Bertram Oldman and Kathleen in New Cross, London, the actor was brought up in a middle-class environment, which involved a lot of struggle. His father, a former sailor, was an alcoholic and abandoned his family when Oldman was just seven.
Never interested in academics, Oldman left his studies, at 16, to work at a sports shop. A trained singer and pianist, he decided to become an actor, after watching Malcolm McDowell`s performance in The Raging Moon in 1970. To hone his acting skills, Oldman joined Young People`s Theatre in Greenwich, England, after which, he attended Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in London, graduating in 1979.
Constantly battling alcoholism, Oldman`s personal life has been exactly the opposite of his professional one. With four failed marriages, the actor has been unsuccessful in finding stability personally. Oldman married actress Leslie Manville in 1987, but the couple called it quits in 1989. He then tied the knot with actress Uma Thurman
, in 1990, after the duo met on the sets of State of Grace. Unfortunately for him, this nuptial didn`t work out either, leading to a divorce in 1992. Following two heartbreaks, he secretly got together with model and actress Isabella Rossellini, only to separate two years later. Love came knocking on the door once again, as he tied the knot with Donya Fiorentino, with whom he has two sons- Gulliver and Charlie. The marriage (1997 to 2001) ended on an ugly note, with Oldman winning the custody of his kids. Giving the institution of marriage another try, the actor, on 31st December 2008, married English singer and actress Alexandra Edenborough. However, due to irreconcilable reasons, the couple filed for divorce on 9 January 2015.
As an Actor
After making his first silver screen appearance in Colin Gregg`s drama film Remembrance (1982), Oldman went on to star in Meantime as Coxy. He then earned praises by starring as Sid Vicious, bassist of the band the Sex Pistols, in Alex Cox`s biopic Sid and Nancy
, in 1986. Oldman further portrayed the gay playwright Joe Orton in Prick up Your Ears (1987), a role for which he received his first BAFTA nomination.
Throughout the 90`s, his career continued to roll forward, as he worked with a number of top Hollywood filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola
, Ridley Scott
and Quentin Tarantino
. From his palette of acting, Oldman was seen playing characters of various shades, which included portraying anti-heroes and negative roles as well. He essayed Lee Harvey Oswald in the conspiracy thriller JFK
, a Dracula in the romantic horror film Bram Stoker`s Dracula
, corrupt DEA officer Norman Stansfield in the thriller Leon: The Professional
, and a Russian terrorist Egor Korshunov in the 1997 blockbuster Air Force One.
Continuing to his rise to stardom, Oldman in 2004 appeared as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
, which starred Daniel Radcliffe
in the titular role. Being an integral part of one of the highest-grossing franchise ever, he played the role again in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
(2007). He was also a part of Christopher Nolan
`s superhero film Batman Begins
(2005) and reprised his role in the sequels- The Dark Knight
(2008) and The Dark Knight Rises
In 2011, Oldman starred alongside Colin Firth
, Tom Hardy
, John Hurt
, Toby Jones
, Mark Strong
, Benedict Cumberbatch
, and Ciaran Hinds
, in Tomas Alfredson
`s war film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
. For portraying George Smiley, the actor received his first Oscar nomination, after almost two decades of being in the industry. Many critics who regarded him as "one of the best actors on the planet", thought this nomination was long due. He has also been a voice actor in films like Planet 51
(2009), A Christmas Carol
(2009), and Kung Fu Panda 2
His 2017 release includes the romantic sci-fi movie The Space Between Us
, The Hitman`s Bodyguard and Darkest Hour. His other releases include Hunter Killer (2018), Killers Anonymous (2019), Mary (2019), The Laundromat (2019), A Place Among the Dead (2020) and Mank (2020). His 2021 releases include Crisis and The Woman In The Window
As a Director
Gary Oldman made his directorial debut with the 1997 British-French drama film Nil By Mouth. Starring Ray Winstone
and Kathy Burke
, the movie was a huge critical success, with Oldman bagging the Empire Award for Best Debut.
He received an Emmy Award nomination for making a guest appearance on the cult sitcom Friends, in 2011. Portraying an actor, who insists that spitting is an important part of acting, Oldman featured as Richard Crosby in the two-part episode "The One With Chandler and Monica`s Wedding."
As a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he has been a part of productions like The Massacre at Paris (1980), Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1983), Saved (1983), The Country Wife (1987) and Hamlet (1987). In 1984, he played Scopey in the play The Pope`s Wedding, a role for which, he took home the Time Out Fringe Award for Best Newcomer, and the London Critics Circle Theatre Award.