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Gerard James Butler (born 13 November 1969) is a Scottishmarker actor known for his portrayal of King Leonidas in 300, The Phantom in the 2004 film version of The Phantom of the Opera, Gerry Kennedy in P.S. I Love You, One Two in RocknRolla, Mike Chadway in The Ugly Truth and Clyde Shelton in Law Abiding Citizen. He is now filming The Bounty Hunter, a romantic comedy with Jennifer Aniston.

Early life

Butler was born in Scotlandmarker, the son of Margaret and Edward Butler, a bookie. Butler was raised in a Roman Catholic working-class family and for the first two years of his life, lived in Montrealmarker, Quebecmarker. When his parents divorced, he returned to Scotland with his mother and siblings. Butler had no further contact with his father until he was 16 years old. Butler attended the Scottish Youth Theatre.


Butler graduated from the School of Lawmarker at Glasgow Universitymarker with an Honours degree in Law. While at University he became President of the University Law Society. After graduating he briefly worked as a trainee at a legal firm in Edinburgh but was sacked a week before he would have qualified.

Butler then embarked a career in acting with his early work being on the stage in Scotland. His first roles were in Coriolanus and in the stage version of Trainspotting. Butler landed his first film role as Archie Brown in 1997's Mrs. Brown alongside Judi Dench and Billy Connolly. That same year, he appeared in a minor role in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (though his appearance was cut). He followed this with several appearances in various independent films and several television series in the UK, including a role in the series Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married and the films The Cherry Orchard, One More Kiss, and Harrison's Flowers.

In 1999, he began filming his first lead role as Attila the Hun in the American TV miniseries Attila. During filming of Attila, the production actually stopped in order for him to film his second lead role as Dracula in Wes Craven’s Dracula 2000. Both films were released in 2000. In this early part of his career his most notable work was in The Jury, a critically acclaimed UK TV miniseries. In Timeline which was released in 2003, Butler once again starred alongside Billy Connolly. Based on the Michael Crichton book of the same name, Butler played archaeologist Andre Marek. Also in 2003, he starred as Terry Sheridan opposite Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. The following year he was cast in the title role of Joel Schumacher's film rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, co-starring Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, and Ciaran Hinds. Prior to filming The Phantom of the Opera, Butler had completed the independent film Dear Frankie, which co-starred Emily Mortimer.

In 2005, he starred in The Game of Their Lives, a film based on a true story of the 1950 U.S. association football team who beat England 1 - 0 in Belo Horizonte, Brazilmarker. The same year he was cast as Beowulf in the Sturla Gunnarsson film production of Beowulf & Grendel. Filmed entirely in Icelandmarker, Beowulf & Grendel was widely released in Canada to moderate success. During filming, Butler also participated in and co-produced the documentary Wrath of Gods. Directed by Jon Gustafsson, the film documents the dramatic circumstances the cast and crew faced while making the film Beowulf & Grendel. Later this same year Butler began production of 300. The film, directed by Zack Snyder and co-starring Lena Headey, was released in March 2007. The film was an adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name based on events surrounding the Battle of Thermopylaemarker in Greece circa 480 BC. 300 currently holds the record for the highest opening weekend box office gross in U.S. for the month of March, with takings of over $70 million. By the end of its theatrical run, 300 had a worldwide box office gross of $456 million. Butler received various awards for this role including "Action Star of the Year" at the Taurus World Stunt Awards and "Biggest Ass Kicker" at the 2007 Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards.

In 2006, Butler filmed Butterfly on a Wheel (renamed Shattered in the U.S.) and began work on PS, I Love You with Hilary Swank, based on Cecilia Ahern's novel. The film was released in December 2007.

Nim's Island, which also stars Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin, opened in cinemas on 4 April 2008. Butler was cast in the role of Nim's father, Jack, and as Nim's imaginary hero, Alex Rover. The dual role allowed Butler to use his natural Scottish accent when playing Alex, while he adopted an American accent as Jack.

He next appeared in RocknRolla, a gangster film directed by Guy Ritchie, playing a street-smart gangster involved in a lucrative real-estate scheme. This film had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2008 and was released in major North American cities in October 2008.

Butler also performed the voice of The Captain in the Watchmen movie extra, "Tales from the Black Freighter" that was made alongside Zack Snyder's adaptation of Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore's Watchmen. The special was released on both Blu-Ray and DVD on 24 March 2009.

In 2009, Butler co-starred in the battle of the sexes comedy The Ugly Truth with Katherine Heigl. The film was released on 24 July 2009. The film made $27.6 million in its opening weekend and, as of 31 October, has grossed $170,523,885 worldwide. Butler was next seen in Lionsgate's Gamer, a futuristic thriller, co-produced by Paramount Pictures and Relativity Media, which began filming in November 2007 in Albuquerque, New Mexicomarker and was released on 4 September 2009. In the film, Butler played Kable, the No. 1-ranked warrior in the highest-rated game, which is called "Slayers".

Subsequently, Butler co-starred in Law Abiding Citizen with Jamie Foxx, the first project of his production company, Evil Twins. Originally slated for a 26 March 2010 release by Overture Films, the movie was instead released on 16 October 2009 in the United States. The film was directed by F. Gary Gray; shooting began on 21 January 2009 on location in Philadelphia, PA, and wrapped in April 2009. As of 31 October, the film has grossed $44,081,650.

Gerard has joined the cast of Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes directorial debut, as Tullus Aufidius. Shakespeare's Coriolanus is being adapted by Fiennes in a contemporary setting. Gerard's first professional acting role was in a stage production of Coriolanus at London's Mermaid Theater in 1996. Coriolanus - GerardButler.Net Filming is scheduled to begin in March 2010 in Serbia.

Personal life

Butler currently splits his time between Los Angeles and New York City. Butler's patron charity is Kids Kicking Cancer. Kids Kicking Cancer He is currently donating his time, set visits, movie premiere tickets and autographed personal items and photographs in an effort to support the charity. Win a Date with Gerard Butler


Year Film Role Notes
1997 Mrs. Brown Archie Brown
Tomorrow Never Dies Leading Seaman Scene
1998 Tale of the Mummy Burke
Fast Food Jacko
Little White Lies Peter TV movie (UK)
The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star Marty Claymore TV series (UK)
1999 The Cherry Orchard Yasha
Please! Peter Short film
One More Kiss Sam TV movie (UK)
Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married Gus TV series (UK)
2000 Dracula 2000 Count Dracula/Judas Iscariot
Harrison's Flowers Chris Kumac
2001 An Unsuitable Job for a Woman Tim Bolton TV series (UK)
Attila Attila the Hun TV miniseries
Jewel of the Sahara Captain Charles Belamy Short film
The Jury Johnnie Donne TV miniseries (UK)
2002 Shooters Jackie Junior
Reign of Fire Creedy
2003 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life Terry Sheridan
Timeline André Marek
2004 The Phantom of the Opera The Phantom
2005 Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula Prefect Cassius Chaerea Short film
Dear Frankie The Stranger
Beowulf & Grendel Beowulf
The Game of Their Lives Frank Borghi
2006 Shadow Company James Ashcroft (voice)
2007 300 King Leonidas
Butterfly On A Wheel Neil Randall
PS, I Love You Gerry Kennedy
2008 Nim's Island Jack Rusoe / Alex Rover
RocknRolla One Two
2009 Tales of the Black Freighter The Captain (voice)
The Ugly Truth Mike Chadway
Gamer Kable
Law Abiding Citizen Clyde Shelton
2010 How to Train Your Dragon Stoick the Vast (voice) post-production
The Bounty Hunter Milo post-production


  2. TIFF Press Release, 10 October 2008
  3. The Ugly Truth, 13 January 2009
  4. The Ugly Truth Gets a Summer Release, 13 January 2009
  5., 7 August 2007
  6. Law Abiding Citizen Adds to Cast, 1 June 2009
  7. [1], 3 November 2009

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