Charles Dance Biography

(Best Known for His Roles in Films: ‘The Golden Child’, ‘Alien 3’ and ‘Last Action Hero’)

Birthday: October 10, 1946 (Libra)

Born In: Redditch, England, United Kingdom

Charles Dance is a famous English actor, screenwriter and movie director, with a spectacular career of over 50 years. He has built a reputation for his portrayal of sinister villains or assertive bureaucrats. Blessed with matinee idol looks, he has portrayed interesting yet different characters including a patrician figure D. W. Griffith in 'Good Morning, Babylon', a ruthless lawyer Tulkinghorn in 'Bleak House' or a calculating and controlling lord of Casterly Rock in HBO's 'Game of Thrones'. He gained notable success as a screenwriter and a director with 'Ladies in Lavender'. While he was set to make a career in graphic design, a serendipitous meeting with two retired RADA actors changed his course of life and he became an actor. They provided him with part-time, private acting and coaching class. As a result he developed an interest in acting. He worked upon his accent and changed it from regional to cultivated tones. Gifted with a charming personality, he is not fond of the 'suave and debonair' tag given to him, which he feels is more a part of his character roles and not of his natural persona.
Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In October

Also Known As: Walter Charles Dance

Age: 77 Years, 77 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Joanna Haythorn (m. 1970–2004)

father: Walter Dance (1874–1949)

mother: 1911-1984), Eleanor Marion (née Perks

children: Oliver Dance, Rebecca Dance, Rose Boorman

Actors British Men

Height: 6'3" (190 cm), 6'3" Males

Notable Alumni: De Montfort University, Plymouth College Of Art

More Facts

education: De Montfort University, Plymouth College Of Art

Childhood & Early Life
Walter Charles Dance was born on October 10, 1946 in Redditch, Worcestershire, England to Eleanor Marion Perks, a cook and Walter Dance, an electrical engineer. His father had served in the Boer War in South Africa. Thirty five years after his father's death, in 1949, he lost his mother.
During his early years in Plymouth, he went to Widey Technical School for Boys, Crownhill. He then studied Graphic Design and Photography at De Montfort University (previously known as The Leicester College of Arts).
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In 1974, he made his debut in the ITV series 'Father Brown'. He portrayed the character of Commandant Neil O'Brien in the episode 'The Secret Garden'. During the seventies, he worked for Royal Shakespeare Company's productions in London and Stratford-upon-Avon.
One of his major appearances was as an evil henchman Claus in James Bond's 'For Your Eyes Only' in 1981. After this major role, he went on to do small roles like that of a South African assassin in 'The Professionals' (1983).
In 1984, he got a big break in Christopher Morahan's 'The Jewel in the Crown' made for Granada Television, where he played the role of Guy Perron. The film was an adaptation of Paul Scott's monumental tetralogy, 'Raj Quartet'.
In 1989, he played another impactful role of Bond creator Ian Fleming in Dan Boyd's 'Goldeneye'.
In 1989-1990, he essayed the title role in 'Coriolanus' with Royal Shakespeare Company which opened at Stratford-upon-Avon, Newcastle and the Barbican Theatre. He also enacted the role of C. S. Lewis in the 2007 stage revival of William Nicholson's ‘Shadowlands‘.
In 2010, he portrayed Aleksandr Borinski in 'Paris Connections' and Havelock Vetinari in Terry Pratchett's ‘Going Postal'. His movie 'Your Highness' was released in the following year.
He continued gaining popularity with his roles of Tywin Lannister (2011-2015) in HBO's 'Game of Thrones', Guy Spencer in the second instalment of 'Foyle's War' (2002), Dr. Maltravers in the ITV drama 'Trinity' (2009), Witchfinder Aredian in the BBC drama series 'Merlin' (2009), self -representation in the third series of 'Jam & Jerusalem' (Series Three:3), Conrad Knox in 'Strike Back: Vengeance' and Lord Mountbatten in Netflix's 'The Crown'.
He has performed in many British small screen dramas like 'Edward the Seventh', 'Murder Rooms', 'The Phantom of the Opera', 'Rebecca', 'Fingersmith' and 'Bleak House'.
He appeared in an episode of the BBC's Top Gear showcasing the debut of the Vauxhall Astra in June 2013.
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He gave voice to the characters Emperor Emhyr var Emreis and the butler Godfrey in the video games 'The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt' (2015) and 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 4' (2018) respectively.
He also gave the narrations in 'Spitfire', a 2018 documentary on the efforts of the RAF pilots who flew the legendary Supermarine Spitfire during the Second World War, 'Words of the Titanic' a 2012 documentary about 1912 sinking of ship Titanic and Nat Geo Wild's global miniseries event 'Savage Kingdom' (2016-2017).
He also tried his hands at both writing and direction: in the movie 'Ladies in Lavender' (2004) and in direction in an adaptation of 'The Inn at the Edge of the World' (2009) authored by Alice Thomas Ellis.
He is scheduled to act in Dougherty's 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters' which will be released in mid 2019.
Another upcoming project of his is 'The Widow', an Amazon Prime Video's original series, starring Kate Beckinsale and will premiere in March 2019.
He will appear as a guest speaker on March 17, 2019 in 'Sunday Encounters at the Haymarket', an upcoming series of conversations, to be held at Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Awards & Achievements
Charles was appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on June 17, 2006 - Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Family & Personal Life
In 1970, Charles married Joanna Haythorn and got divorced after 34 years. They have two children: Oliver Matthew and Rebecca. He has a daughter, Rose Boorman (born in 2012), from Eleanor Boorman though they went separate ways, thereafter.
Family History
Charles got his family's past researched and revealed in UK series of 'Who Do You Think You Are?' He claimed to have known nothing about these facts before this programme.
His mother was the second wife of his father, Walter Dance. The latter was first married to Louie Rowley Morris in 1897, London and the couple had two daughters, Norah and Mary. While Mary died young in a tragic accident, Norah was married to a South African and she died in the nineteen nineties.
Louie died in 1932, Walter married Eleanor in 1938 and Charles was born. He was never told about his elder half sister. Eleven years after their marriage, Walter died and Eleanor married Harold Burfield. The couple have a son, David.
Charles has an elder brother, Michael, who is ten years older than him. They have different fathers and this was a secret kept by their mother for many years.
He has partial Belgian ancestry through his maternal line whose roots lay in Spa, Belgium. His maternal history traces back from his mother's and grandmother's domestic service in the East End to ancestors living in high society in Marylebone; thus, members of his family lived both above the stairs and below the stairs. His four times great grandfather, Matthieu Futvoye, worked with some members of the British royal family.
Charles claims that he is not fashionable in his personal life. He prefers a casual style, wearing a T-shirt and jeans at home.

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