Joseph Fiennes Biography

Joseph Fiennes is a well-known English film and stage actor. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about his life.

Quick Facts

Birthday: May 27, 1970

Nationality: British

Famous: Actors British Men

Age: 50 Years, 50 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Gemini

Also Known As: Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes

Born in: Salisbury, United Kingdom

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Maria Dolores Dieguez (m. 2009)

father: Mark Fiennes

mother: Jennifer Lash

siblings: Jacob Fiennes, Magnus Fiennes, Martha Fiennes, Michael Emery, Ralph Fiennes, Sophie Fiennes

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Joseph Fiennes is a well-known English film and stage actor. Born in Salisbury, England, he began his career on the stage with plays such as ‘The Woman in Black’. He gained prominence after his role in the romantic comedy drama film 'Shakespeare in Love' where he portrayed the famous English playwright William Shakespeare. At around the same time he also gained attention for his role in the British biographical film 'Elizabeth', which was loosely based on the early years of Queen Elizabeth's reign. His role won him a nomination for 'Screen Actors Guild Award' for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor. Over the years he appeared in several films, such as 'Enemy at the Gates', an American war film where he portrayed Commissar Danilov, one of the main characters, and 'Merchant of Venice' a film based on Shakespeare's play of the same name, where he portrayed the character Basanio. He has also made few appearances on TV. He played an important role in the second season of the popular horror anthology series 'American Horror Story'. His most recent work on television is 'The Handmaid's Tale' where he plays one of the main roles

Childhood & Early Life
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  • Joseph Fiennes’ first appearance in a professional role on stage was in the play ‘The Woman in Black’. He next appeared in the play ‘A Month in the Country’.
  • He made his film debut in the 1996 drama film ‘Stealing Beauty’ where he was cast in an important role. The film dealt with the life of a teenage girl who recently lost her mother. It received mixed reviews from critics.
  • He earned acclaim for his role in the 1998 film ‘Elizabeth’, which was based on the early years of Queen Elizabeth’s rule. The film was a huge success, and won several awards including an Oscar.
  • The same year, Fiennes also appeared in the romantic comedy-drama ‘Shakespeare in Love’, in a main role. The film was a monumental success, and can be regarded as the most significant work of his career till date. It was nominated for thirteen Oscars, out of which it won seven.
  • Along with earning him popularity, his role in ‘Shakespeare in Love’ also helped him gain important roles in several films over the ensuing years. In 2001, he played the lead role in the war film ‘Enemy at the Gates’. The film was a commercial success. The next year, he appeared in the film ‘Killing Me Softly’, where he played a main role.
  • Throughout the years, he played significant roles in films, such as ‘Merchant of Venice’ (2004), ‘The Darwin Awards’, (2006), ‘The Escapist’ (2008), and ‘Hercules’ (2014).
  • He has also appeared in a few TV shows. He played the lead role in the American TV series ‘Flashforward’ which aired on the ABC network from 2009. In 2012, he appeared in the second season of the popular horror anthology series ‘American Horror Story’.
  • His most recent work is the 2016 Biblical drama film ‘Risen’, where he played the lead role. The film did well commercially, and was met with mixed reviews.
Major Works
  • Joseph Fiennes played an important role in the 1998 film ‘Elizabeth’, which gained him a lot of popularity and appreciation. Directed by Shekhar Kapur, the film revolved around the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It was a commercial success and received two Oscar nominations out of which it won one. Along with Fiennes, the film starred Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Richard Attenborough, and Christopher Eccleston.
  • Fiennes portrayed the famous English playwright William Shakespeare in the 1998 romantic comedy drama ‘Shakespeare in Love’. Directed by John Madden, the film starred actors Gwenyth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth and Ben Affleck alongside Fiennes. The story revolved around an imaginary love story between Shakespeare and Viola de Lesseps. Not only was the film a huge commercial success, but it also won seven Oscars. It mostly received positive reviews from critics.
  • He is also known for his role in the 2004 romantic drama film ‘The Merchant of Venice’. Directed by Michael Radford, the film is based on a famous play by William Shakespeare of the same name. The film mostly received positive reviews. However, it was a commercial failure.
Awards & Achievements
  • Joseph Fiennes won the ‘Broadcast Film Critics Association Award’ for Breakthrough Artist for his role in the film ‘Elizabeth’ in 1998.
  • His role in the film ‘Shakespeare in Love’ also earned him multiple awards such as the ‘MTV Movie Award’ and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture in 1998.
Personal Life
  • In 2009, Joseph Fiennes married Swiss model María Dolores Diéguez. The couple has two daughters.

1. Enemy at the Gates (2001)

  (Drama, History, War)

2. Elizabeth (1998)

  (Biography, Drama, History)

3. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

  (Drama, Romance, History, Comedy)

4. The Merchant of Venice (2004)

  (Romance, Drama)

5. Goodbye Bafana (2007)

  (Drama, Biography, History)

6. The Escapist (2008)

  (Drama, Crime, Thriller)

7. The Great Raid (2005)

  (Action, Drama, War)

8. Stealing Beauty (1996)

  (Mystery, Drama, Romance)


MTV Movie & TV Awards
1999 Best Kiss Shakespeare in Love (1998)

See the events in life of Joseph Fiennes in Chronological Order

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