Mark Rylance Biography


Birthday: January 18, 1960 (Capricorn)

Born In: Ashford, United Kingdom

Mark Rylance is an Academy Award-winning English actor and also a theatre director and playwright. He began his career as a theatre actor and is known for his portrayal of roles in the works of William Shakespeare. After making his stage debut in the early 1980s, he appeared in several plays over the next few years such as 'Macbeth' and 'Much Ado about Nothing'. He made his big screen debut with a role in the film 'Hearts of Fire'. His significant works include his lead roles in films such as 'Angels & Insects' and 'Intimacy'. He won the Oscar for his role in the film 'Bridge of Spies'. One of the most important works of his career, his performance in the film also won him a BAFTA Award. Apart from his work in theatre and cinema, he is also a patron of several organizations such as 'London International Festival of Theatre' and the charity 'Peace Direct'. He was named as one of most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2016. His most recent work is his role in the film 'Dunkirk' which was directed by the renowned filmmaker Christopher Nolan.
Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In January

Also Known As: Sir David Mark Rylance Waters

Age: 64 Years, 64 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Claire van Kampen (m. 1989)

father: David Waters

mother: Anne Waters

siblings: Jonathan Waters, Susannah Waters

children: Juliet Rylance, Nataasha Van Kampen

Playwrights British Men

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males

More Facts

education: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

awards: Laurence Olivier Award
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Theatre World Award

British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play
Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play
Knight Bachelor

Childhood & Early Life
David Mark Rylance Waters was born in Ashford, Kent, England on 18th January 1960. His parents Anne and David Waters were both English teachers. He has a sister named Susannah, who is an opera singer and author, and a brother, Jonathan, who is a wine professional.
His family moved to the US in 1962. Rylance attended the University School of Milawaukee, where his father taught as well.
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After completing his training from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as well as the Chrysalis Theatre School, Mark Rylance first worked with the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre in 1980.
Soon he started performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. The plays he appeared in during his early career include 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (1986), 'Hamlet' (1989) and 'Romeo and Juliet' (1989).
He made his big screen debut in the 1987 film 'Hearts of Fire'. In 1991, he played the lead role in the film 'The Grass Arena'. Rylance won the Radio Times Award for Best Newcomer for his performance. The following year, he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role in a production of Shakespeare's 'Much Ado about Nothing'.
In 1995, he played the lead role in the Oscar nominated film 'Angels and Insects'. Directed by Philip Haas, the film revolved around the life of a skilled naturalist. He was next seen in the film 'Intimacy' which released in 2001.
Though he didn't appear in many films during the 2000s, he won the British Academy Television Award for his lead role in 'The Government Inspector' a 2005 Television film based on the life of Welsh scientist David Kelly.
Rylance won the Tony award in 2008 for his performance in the play 'Boeing Boeing'. His role of Johnny Byron in the play 'Jerusalem' won him a Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Actor. He won his second Tony Award and Olivier award for the same role in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, he also appeared in the films 'Anonymous' and 'Blitz' in supporting roles.
In 2015, he earned a nomination for the Emmy award for his lead role in the TV miniseries 'Wolf Hall'. It was adapted from two historical novels 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring Up the Bodies'. The same year, he was seen in the films 'Bridge of Spies' and 'The Gunman' in significant roles.
He also played a supporting role in Steven Spielberg's film 'Bridge of Spies'. The film received critical acclaim. Rylance won several awards for his performance including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
He was next seen in Steven Spielberg's 'The BFG' (2016) and Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk' (2017).
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Major Works
Mark Rylance won the Oscar for his role in the 2015 historical drama film ‘Bridge of Spies’. The film was directed by the renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg. With Rylance in a supporting role, the film also starred Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch and Alan Alda. It was a huge success critically and commercially. The film was nominated for six Oscars, out of which it won one.
He played the lead role in Steven Spielberg’s 2016 fantasy film ‘The BFG’. The film also starred Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement and Rebecca Hall. The film was an average commercial success, grossing $183 million on a budget of $140 million. It received average reviews from critics. The film was nominated for several awards including the ‘British Academy Film and Television Award’.
His most recent work is his supporting role in the 2017 film ‘Dunkirk’. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film also stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D'Arcy and Barry Keoghan. It was a commercial success, grossing more than five times its budget. Some critics have called it the greatest war film in the history of cinema.
Awards & Achievements
Mark Rylance’s biggest achievement was wining the Academy Award in 2016 for his performance in the historical drama film ‘Bridge of Spies’. His work in the film also won him a ‘British Academy Film Award’.
He has won a total of three Tony Awards, for his performance in the plays ‘Boeing Boeing’, ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ in 2009, 2012, and 2014 respectively.
He earned nominations for the Golden Globe Award as well, for his work in ‘Bridge of Spies’ and the TV miniseries ‘Wolf Hall’. His work in ‘Wolf Hall’ also got him nominated for the Emmy Award.
He is also a recipient of several other awards such as the ‘Laurence Oliver Award’ and the ‘Boston Society of Film Critics Award’.
Personal Life
Mark Rylance is married to English director Claire van Kampen since 1989. Through this marriage, he became a stepfather to two daughters. One of them passed away in 2012.
Rylance is a patron of several organizations such as the 'London International Festival of Theatre' as well as 'Peace Direct,’ a charity organization. He also supports several organizations such as ‘Survival International’, which stands for indigenous rights.
Mark Rylance was the first artistic director of the Shakespeare’s Globe.
He planned to take part in the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. However, he cancelled it because of his daughter’s unfortunate death.

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