Michael Sheen Biography

Michael Sheen is a famous Welsh actor. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about his life.

Michael Sheen
Quick Facts

Birthday: February 5, 1969

Nationality: British

Famous: Actors Voice Actors

Age: 50 Years, 50 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: Michael, Christopher

Born in: Newport

Famous as: Actor

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Kate Beckinsale

father: Meyrick Sheen

mother: Irene Sheen

siblings: Joanne Sheen

children: Lily Mo Sheen

More Facts

education: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

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Michael Christopher Sheen is a famous Welsh actor renowned for his works in both stage productions and films. During the early years of his career, he worked mainly in theatres as he felt "slightly more at home" on the stage than on film sets. He is well known for his brilliant performances in plays like ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Don't Fool With Love’, ‘Peer Gynt’, ‘The Seagull’, ‘The Homecoming’, and ‘Henry V’. For one year, he played the title role in Hamlet. Theatre critic Michael Coveney described him as "the most exciting actor of his generation...a volatile, electrifying and technically fearless performer". He was nominated for Olivier Awards for his performances in ‘Amadeus’, ‘Caligula’, ‘Look Back in Anger’, and ‘Frost/Nixon’. Director Sam Mendes has described him as "a stage creature", and attributed it to his Welsh roots. He become well known as a screen actor from 2000, and did a number of biopics. He played British politician Tony Blair in the television film ‘The Deal’, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award and an Emmy. He was also nominated for a BAFTA for his performance in ‘Fantabulosa!’ Besides acting, he directed the play ‘The Passion’, and co-founded the Thin Language Theatre Company. He also formed ‘The Foundry’, a production company to promote the work of emerging playwrights.

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Michael Sheen
Childhood & Early Life
  • Michael Sheen was born on February 5, 1969 in Newport, Wales, to Irene Thomas and Meyrick. His mother was a secretary and father, a British Steel Corporation manager. He has a younger sister called Joanne. When he was five, the family moved to Wallasey, and after three years, moved to Port Talbot, and settled there.
  • He attended Blaenbaglan Primary School and Glan Afan Comprehensive School. At Neath Port Talbot College, he studied English, sociology and drama.
  • He was a good footballer, and was offered a place on Arsenal's youth team when he was 12. He could not accept the offer as his family refused to relocate to London. He soon lost interest in playing football.
  • He inherited his acting talent from his parents, who were both involved in local amateur operas and musicals. His father also worked as a part-time professional Jack Nicholson look-alike.
  • During his teenage, he started performing with West Glamorgan Youth Theatre and National Youth Theatre of Wales. These youth theatres taught him about acting, as well as work ethics.
  • In 1988, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). He worked in a fast food restaurant to earn money to fund his studies. In his second year at RADA, The Society of London Theatre granted the Laurence Olivier Bursary to him. In 1991, he graduated with a BA in Acting.
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  • Michael Sheen mainly worked in theatres during the initial years of his career. In 1991, while he was still in his final year at RADA, he performed his first professional role in ‘When She Danced’ at the Globe Theatre.
  • In 1992, he did the play ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ and ‘Don't Fool With Love’ the following year. In 1993, he appeared in Harold Pinter's ‘Moonlight’, and also made his television debut in BBC mini-series ‘Gallowglass’.
  • In 1994, he bagged the title role in the play ‘Peer Gynt’. In the same year, he performed in ‘Le Livre de Spencer’ at a Paris theatre, and appeared in ‘Charley's Aunt’ at the Royal Exchange.
  • He acted in the play ‘The Seagull’ in 1995, and also directed and starred in ‘The Dresser’. The same year, he made his film debut in ‘Othello’ opposite Kenneth Branagh.
  • In 1996, he appeared in ‘The Ends of the Earth’. His most significant stage performance so far came in 1997 with the title role in ‘Henry V’. In the same year, he appeared in Harold Pinter's ‘The Homecoming’. In 1997, he also did the biographical film ‘Wilde’, where he played Robbie Ross.
  • In 1998, he co-founded a production company ‘The Foundry’, to promote the works of new playwrights, and produced ‘A Little World of Our Own’ at the Donmar Warehouse. From 1998 to 1999, he portrayed Mozart in ‘Amadeus’. In 1999, he played Jimmy Porter in ‘Look Back in Anger’.
  • From 2002, Michael Sheen began devoting more time to films. His portrayal of Colin in ‘Heartlands’ in 2002 was his first leading film role. In the same year, he did a minor role in ‘The Four Feathers’, an action-adventure film. In 2003, he appeared in ‘Bright Young Things’, in which he played a gay aristocrat.
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  • He then portrayed the werewolf leader Lucian in ‘Underworld’, and played a brief role in the sci-fi film ‘Timeline’. In 2003, he did the title role in the play ‘Caligula’ at the Donmar Warehouse as well.
  • In 2004, he starred in ITV's ‘Dirty Filthy Love’, a comic film. He was internationally recognized in 2006 for his portrayal of Tony Blair in ‘The Queen’. The same year, he played the role of an unscrupulous diamond dealer in ‘Blood Diamond’, and starred as the comic actor Kenneth Williams in BBC Four's ‘Fantabulosa!’ He also starred in ‘Nero in Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire and ‘HG Wells: War with the World.’
  • From 2006 to 2007, he was featured in the play ‘Frost/Nixon’, as the television broadcaster David Frost. In the same year, he appeared in the film ‘Music Within’, as a political activist.
  • In 2008, he reprised the role of David Frost in the film ‘Frost/Nixon’. In 2009, he portrayed football manager Brian Clough in ‘The Damned United’. The same year, he also appeared in ‘Underworld: Rise of the Lycans’.
  • In 2010, he played a supporting role in the science fiction film ‘Tron: Legacy’. In the same year, he appeared as a terrorist in ‘Unthinkable’. He also performed in Peter Morgan's Blair trilogy, ‘The Special Relationship’.
  • In 2011, he served as the creative director, and also starred in the stage production ‘The Passion.’ Besides the professional cast, about 1000 local amateurs performed in the play!
Major Works
  • Michael Sheen’s performance as Tony Blair in the film ‘The Deal’ was highly appreciated. ‘The Daily Telegraph’ wrote it was his "earnest, yet steely, portrayal." ‘The Guardian’ said he was "excellent”. The film was nominated for an International Emmy for Best TV Movie/Miniseries.
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  • His performance in ‘Fantabulosa!’ was stated as "mesmerizing" by ‘The Times.’ He was described by ‘Wall Street Journal’ as a "brilliant actor" in ‘Frost/Nixon’.
Awards & Achievements
  • In 1992, Michael Sheen’s role in the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ earned him a MEN Theatre Award nomination. In 1993, he received a nomination for Ian Charleson Award for ‘Don't Fool With Love’.
  • In 1997, his performance in the play ‘Henry V’ earned him an Ian Charleson Award nomination. *In 1999, he was nominated for Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance for ‘Amadeus’.
  • In 2003, his role in the play ‘Caligula’ earned him an Evening Standard Award for Best Actor and a Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Actor.
  • In 2004, he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Television Actor and a RTS Best Actor Award for ‘Dirty Filthy Love’.
  • In 2006, his portrayal of comic actor Kenneth Williams in the TV play ‘Fantabulosa!’ won him an RTS Award for Best Actor.
  • In 2007, he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for the play ‘Frost/Nixon’. His role in the same won him the Variety Award at the British Independent Film Awards 2008.
  • In 2010, he received BAFTA Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year.
Personal Life
  • From 1995 to 2003, Michael Sheen was in a relationship with actress Kate Beckinsale. Their daughter, Lily Mo Beckinsale-Sheen, was born in 1999.
  • He had a long-distance relationship with ballet dancer Lorraine Stewart from 2004 till 2010. He also once dated Canadian actress Rachel McAdams. In 2014, he dated American actress Sarah Silverman.
  • He is the honorary President of Wales Council for Voluntary Action, and the ambassador for TREAT Trust Wales. He is also the ambassador of Keep Wales Tidy. He is a patron of the charities Scene & Heard, Child's Voice Appeal, and Healing the Wounds.

1. Blood Diamond (2006)

  (Drama, Thriller, Adventure)

2. The Damned United (2009)

  (Biography, Drama, Sport)

3. Frost/Nixon (2008)

  (Drama, Biography, History)

4. Midnight in Paris (2011)

  (Romance, Comedy, Fantasy)

5. Nocturnal Animals (2016)

  (Drama, Romance, Thriller, Crime)

6. Music Within (2007)

  (Comedy, Biography, Drama, Music, War, Romance)

7. The Queen (2006)

  (Biography, Drama)

8. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

  (War, History, Action, Adventure, Drama)

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How To Cite

Article Title
- Michael Sheen Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- October 16, 2017

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