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Clive Owen (born 3 October 1964) is an Englishmarker actor and has been working for nearly two and a half decades. He won a Golden Globe, BAFTA Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for his appearance in the 2004 film, Closer.

Early life

The fourth of five brothers, Owen was born in Coventrymarker, West Midlands, Englandmarker, the son of Pamela and Jess Owen. His father, a country and western singer, left the family when Owen was three years old, and despite a brief reconciliation when Owen was nineteen, the two have remained estranged. Raised by his mother and stepfather, a railway ticket clerk, he has described his childhood as "rough." While initially opposed to drama school, he changed his mind in 1984, after a long and fruitless period of searching for work. Owen graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1987 with a class that included Rebecca Pidgeon, Serena Harragin, Mark Womack and Liza Tarbuck. After graduation, he won a position at the Young Vicmarker, performing in several William Shakespeare plays. In an incident he later described as "very schmaltzy", he met his future wife when the two performed the leads in Romeo and Juliet.


Initially, Owen carved out a career in television: in 1988 Owen starred as Gideon Sarn in a BBC production of Precious Bane and the Channel 4 film Vroom before the 1990s saw him become a regular on stage and television in the UK, notably his lead role in the ITV series Chancer, followed by an appearance in the Thames Television production of Lorna Doone.

He won critical acclaim for his performances in the 1991 Stephen Poliakoff film Close My Eyes, in which he has a full frontal nude scene, about a brother and sister who embark on an incestuous love affair; he subsequently appeared in The Magician, Class of '61, Century, Nobody's Children, An Evening with Gary Lineker, Doomsday Gun, Return of the Native, The Turnaround and then a Carlton production called Sharman, about a private detective. In 1996 he appeared in his first major Hollywoodmarker film The Rich Man's Wife alongside Halle Berry before finding international acclaim in a Channel 4 film directed by Mike Hodges called Croupier in 1998. He played the title role of a struggling writer who takes a job in a London casino as inspiration for his work, only to get caught up in a robbery scheme. In 1999 he appeared as an accident-prone driver in Split Second, his first BBC production for a decade.

He then starred in The Echo, a BBC1 drama. He starred in a film called Greenfingers about a criminal who goes to work in a garden, before appearing in the BBC1 mystery series Second Sight. In 2001 he provided the voice-over for a BBC2 documentary about popular music through the years called Walk On By, as well as starring in a highly-acclaimed theatre production called A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, about a couple with a severely handicapped daughter.

He became well known to North American audiences in the summer of 2001 after starring as The Driver in the The Hire, a series of short films sponsored by BMW and made by prominent directors. He then appeared in Robert Altman's Gosford Park, alongside an all-star cast including Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ryan Phillippe. He has appeared in The Bourne Identity with Matt Damon. In 2003, he teamed up with Hodges again to make I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. He starred in Beyond Borders and took on the title role in King Arthur, for which he took horse riding lessons.

Owen appeared in the West Endmarker and Broadwaymarker hit play Closer, by Patrick Marber, which was produced as a film, and was released in 2005. He played "Dan" in the play, but was "Larry" the dermatologist in the film version. His portrayal of Larry in the film version earned him a lot of recognition as well as the Golden Globe and BAFTA award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He noted that the expectations of him since the Oscar nomination have not changed the way he approaches film-making, stating "I try, every film I do, to be as good as I can and that's all I can do."

After Closer, he appeared in Derailed alongside Jennifer Aniston, the comic book thriller Sin City as the noir antihero Dwight McCarthy and as a mysterious bank robber in Inside Man. Despite public denials, Owen had long been rumored to be a possible successor to Pierce Brosnan in the role of James Bond. A public opinion poll in the United Kingdom in October 2005 (SkyNews) found that he was the public's number one choice to star in the next installment of the series. In that same month, however, it was announced that British actor Daniel Craig would become the next James Bond. In an interview in the September 2007 issue of Details, he claimed that he was never offered or even approached concerning the role. In 2006, Owen spoofed the Bond connection by making an appearance in the remake of The Pink Panther in which he plays a character named "Nigel Boswell, Agent 006" (when he introduces himself to Inspector Clouseau, he quips that Owen's character is "one short of the big time").

In 2006, Owen starred in the highly acclaimed Children of Men, for which he received widespread praise. The film was nominated for various awards, including an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; Owen worked on the screenplay, although he was uncredited. The next year he starred alongside Paul Giamatti in the film Shoot 'Em Up and appeared as Sir Walter Raleigh opposite Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth I of England in the film Elizabeth: The Golden Age. He appeared in the Christmas special of the Ricky Gervais show Extras, as revealed in the video podcast teaser.

Owen was also the lead in 2009's The International, a film which he described as a "paranoid political thriller". Owen and Denzel Washington will return for the sequel to Inside Man, which will be released in 2010.

Personal life

Owen lives in Highgatemarker, London and Wrabnessmarker, north Essex, with his wife Sarah-Jane Fenton (they married 6 March 1995) and their two daughters, Hannah and Eve.

In November 2006, he became patron of the Electric Palace Cinemamarker in Harwichmarker, Englandmarker and launched an appeal for funds to repair deteriorating elements of the fabric.

He enjoys the music of indie rock band Hard-Fi and has been seen at two of their concerts, Brixton Academymarker, May 15, 2006 and Wembley Arenamarker, December 18, 2007. Despite hailing from Coventry, Owen is a Liverpool F.C. supporter.


Year Film Role Notes
1988 Vroom Jake Film
Boon Geoff Boon - TV Series 3 - Episode 8 "Peacemaker"
1989 Precious Bane Gideon Sarn TV movie
1990 Chancer Stephen Crane/Derek Love TV series
Lorna Doone John Ridd TV movie
1991 Close My Eyes Richard Film
1993 Class of '61 Devin O'Neil TV movie
Century Paul Reisner Film
The Magician Det. Con. George Byrne TV movie
1994 The Return of the Native Damon Wildeve TV movie
Doomsday Gun Dov TV movie
An Evening with Gary Lineker Bill TV movie
Nobody's Children Bratu TV movie
The Turnaround Nick Sharman
1995 Bad Boy Blues Paul TV movie
1996 Privateer 2: The Darkening Ser Lev Aris Videogame
The Rich Man's Wife Jake Golden
Sharman Nick Sharman TV series
1997 Croupier Jack Manfred
Bent Max
1998 The Echo Michael Deacon TV movie
1999 Split Second Michael Anderson TV movie
Second Sight DCI Ross Tanner Television series
2000 Greenfingers Colin Briggs
Second Sight: Kingdom of the Blind DCI Ross Tanner Television series
Second Sight: Parasomnia DCI Ross Tanner Television series
Second Sight: Hide and Seek DCI Ross Tanner Television series
2001 The Hire The Driver
Gosford Park Robert Parks Film
Walk On By Narrator TV documentary
2002 The Bourne Identity The Professor Film
2003 Beyond Borders Nick Callahan
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Will
2004 Closer Larry Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor

Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture

BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
King Arthur Arthur Film
2005 Derailed Charles Schine Film
Sin City Dwight McCarthy Film
2006 Children of Men Theo Faron Film
Inside Man Dalton Russell Film
The Pink Panther Nigel Boswell/Agent 006 Film
2007 Elizabeth: The Golden Age Sir Walter Raleigh Film
Shoot 'Em Up Smith Film
2009 The International Louis Salinger Film
Duplicity Ray Koval Film
The Boys Are Back Joe Warr Film
2010 Sin City 2 Dwight McCarthy pre-production
Inside Man 2 Dalton Russell Announced
2011 Spider-Man 4 Kraven the Hunter rumored


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