Childhood & Early Life
Raymond Andrew Winstone was born on 19 February 1957, in London, England. His father, Raymond J. Winstone, an amateur boxer, ran a fruit and vegetable business. His mother, Margaret née Richardson’s job was to empty fruit machines. Ray Winstone was his parents’ only child.
Ray began his education at Portway Infants School in London. When he was seven years old he moved with his parents to Enfield, where he continued his education at Brimsdown Primary School. Later he was shifted to Edmonton County School.
At the age of 12, he was enrolled at the Repton Amateur Boxing Club. Shortly, he became three-time London school boy champion, eventually winning eighty bouts out of eighty-eight over a period of ten years.
Possibly in 1975, he entered Corona Stage Academy to pursue a course in acting. But for some reason, he was not popular with the establishment, eventually being expelled in 1976 for “vandalising the headmistress's tyres”.
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In 1976, soon after being expelled from the Academy, Winstone began his career with television, appearing in the role of an unnamed young thug in the ‘Loving Arms’ episode of the popular police series ‘The Sweeney’. In this production, he was credited as Raymond Winstone.
In 1979, he debuted in films, starring as Steve Brodie in the drama film, ‘That Summer’. Also In 1977, he went for an audition of Alan Clarke's television play, ‘Scum’, eventually starring in it in the role of Carlin. But judged unsuitable, the production was not telecast until 1991.
In 1979, ‘Scum’ was entirely re-filmed, with Winstone appearing in the same role of Carlin and released as a cinema. Also in the same year, he starred as Kevin Herriot in 'Quadrophenia', a drama film, loosely based on the 1973 rock opera of the same name.
1980 to 1983 was a lean period for him, he appeared in three television productions and one film during this entire period. Eventually in 1984, he got his next big break, when he was selected to play Will Scarlet in twenty-four episodes of ‘Robin of Sherwood’. He became very popular for his role.
In spite of his popularity as Will Scarlet, he continued to receive very few roles for almost a decade and was declared bankrupt on 4 October 1988. Undeterred, he continued to appear in whatever roles he got.
In 1989, he coproduced 'Tank Malling', a thriller film in which he also starred as John Tank Malling. Although critically acclaimed, it failed to improve his prospects. He was once again declared bankrupt on 19 March 1993.
In 1997, he got his biggest break, when he was cast in the movie ‘Nil by Mouth’. His performance in it led to star roles in films like ‘Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence' and ‘Final Cut’ in 1998; ‘Fanny and Elvis’, ‘Darkness Falls’, ‘The War Zone’ and ‘Tube Tales’ in 1999.
In 2000s, he appeared in 27 films, more significant among them being ‘Sexy Beast’ (2000), ‘Last Orders’ (2001), ‘Ripley's Game' (2002), ‘Cold Mountain’ (2003), ‘King Arthur’ (2004), ‘The Proposition’ (2005) etc. Concurrently, he continued to appear on television, starring in the title role of Vincent Gallagher in ‘Vincent’ in 2005.
From 2010 to 2018, he appeared in around 20 movies, more noteworthy among them being ‘Edge of Darkness’ (2010), ‘Hugo’ (2011), 'Snow White and the Huntsman' (2012), ‘The Sweeney’ (2012) and Noah (2014). Concurrently, he also continued to appear in number of television series including ‘Ben Hur’ (2010), ‘Ice’ (2016-2018) etc.
As of 2019, he has two films at hand; ‘Cats’ and ‘Black Widow’. While the former is in post-production stage and is scheduled to be released in December, the preproduction work for the latter has started in February with Winstone joining the cast in June.