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Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes ( "fines"; born 27 May 1970) is an English film and stage actor. He is perhaps best known for his portrayals of William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love, Sir Robert Dudley in Elizabeth, Commisar Danilov in Enemy at the Gates, Martin Luther in Luther, and Mark Benford in the 2009 TV series FlashForward.


Fiennes was born in Salisburymarker, Wiltshiremarker, England. He was briefly educated in the Irish Republic and then at Bishop Wordsworth's Schoolmarker, a voluntary-aided state day grammar school, in the centre of Salisbury. He then attended art school in Suffolk for a year, before joining the Young Vicmarker Youth Theatre. He subsequently trained for three years at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 1993.


Fiennes is the son of novelist Jennifer Lash and photographer Mark Fiennes. The youngest of six siblings, he was brought up in West Cork, Ireland. He is the brother of actor Ralph Fiennes, filmmakers Sophie Fiennes and Martha Fiennes, composer Magnus Fiennes and his twin brother Jacob Fiennes, a conservationist. His foster brother, Michael Emery, is an archaeologist. He is a cousin of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Bt. and eighth cousin of HRH The Prince of Wales.


His first professional stage appearance was in the West Endmarker in The Woman in Black, followed by A Month in the Country opposite Helen Mirren. Fiennes then became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for two seasons.

He made his television debut as Willy in The Vacillations of Poppy Carew. His first feature film was 1996's Stealing Beauty, co-starring Liv Tyler. In 1998, Fiennes appeared in two films that were nominated at the Academy Awards: he played Robert Dudley opposite Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth and he portrayed William Shakespeare opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in his most popular film to date Shakespeare in Love, which won the award for Best Picture. Following the success of Shakespeare in Love, Fiennes turned down a 5 picture deal from a major studio and withdrew from mainstream cinema. Instead he chose to return to the theatre. He remains highly selective of his work and has famously turned down major film productions in order to appear on stage.

Fiennes has also worked in other media. In 2003 he lent his voice as Proteus in the DreamWorks animated film Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas opposite Brad Pitt. The same year he starred in the limited-release film Luther, playing Martin Luther, and he also appeared in The Merchant of Venice, in which he portrayed Bassanio.

In 2006, he appeared in The Darwin Awards opposite Winona Ryder, and in Running with Scissors, once again teaming him up with Gwyneth Paltrow. Fiennes returned to the theatre in Spring 2006 to perform in the one-man play Unicorns, Almost about World War II poet Keith Douglas at the Old Vicmarker .

In Spring 2006, he filmed Goodbye Bafana with director Bille August in South Africa. The film was released in 2007. Fiennes portrayed James Gregory, author of the book Goodbye Bafana: Nelson Mandela, My Prisoner, My Friend.

Debuting on 24 September 2009, he stars in the ABC science fiction series FlashForward, where he has signed up to play the character, Mark Benford.


Fiennes married Swissmarker model Maria Dolores Dieguez, 27, in a religious ceremony in Tuscany in August, 2009. They are expecting a child in early 2010.




Other projects, contributions




  2. Joseph Fiennes Flashforward Interview
  3. [1]

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