Stephen Graham Biography

(English Actor Best Known for His Performance in the 2006 film 'This Is England')

Birthday: August 3, 1973 (Leo)

Born In: Kirkby, United Kingdom

English actor Stephen Graham is best known for his performance as Andrew "Combo" Gascoigne in the 2006 film This Is England and its series sequels, This Is England '86 (2010), This Is England '88 (2011), and This Is England '90 (2015). While he began his career with minor roles in films and series, he got his breakthrough role in the 2000 Guy Ritchie film Snatch. He has also appeared in films such as Gangs of New York, The Irishman, and Boiling Point. One of his most notable roles is the award-winning portrayal of American gangster Al Capone in the crime drama series Boardwalk Empire, which won him 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards. He has also portrayed Scrum in 2 Pirates of the Caribbean films and has received prestigious awards and honors, including an OBE. The father of 2 is married to English actor and producer Hannah Walters.

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Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In August

Also Known As: Stephen Joseph Graham

Age: 50 Years, 50 Year Old Males

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Hannah Walters (m. 2008)

father: Stephen Kelly

siblings: Aston Kelly

Born Country: England

Actors British Men

Height: 5'5" (165 cm), 5'5" Males

Notable Alumni: Rose Bruford College

Diseases & Disabilities: Dyslexia

More Facts

education: Rose Bruford College

Childhood, Early Life & Education

Stephen Joseph Graham was born on August 3, 1973, in Kirkby, Lancashire, UK. His father, Stephen Kelly, was of half-Swedish and half-Jamaican origin. Thus, Graham is of mixed descent and has Swedish, African-Jamaican, English, and Irish roots. He is also the brother of actor Aston Kelly.

Graham’s parents split when he was a child, but Graham maintained a good relationship with his biological father. He was subsequently raised by his mother and his stepfather. While his mother was a social worker, his stepfather was a mechanic who later worked as a pediatric nurse.

Graham initially attended the Overdale Primary School in Kirkby. At 8, his performance in a school production of Treasure Island caught the eye of local actor Andrew Schofield, who encouraged him to pursue acting as a profession.

Graham then joined the Ruffwood Comprehensive. At 14, Graham was introduced to the Everyman Theatre of Liverpool. He then trained at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance, a drama school in Sidcup, a South London suburb.

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Career

Stephen Graham started his career playing small parts in films such as Dancin' Thru the Dark (1990) and Downtime (1997) and in series such as Children's Ward (1990), Where the Heart Is (1998), and Coronation Street (1999).

He eventually got his breakthrough role as Tommy in the 2000 Guy Ritchie film Snatch. Interestingly, Graham did not audition for the role of Tommy. He had accompanied a friend who had an audition for Ritchie. When he was asked if he was the next candidate, Graham said he was not there for an audition, but Ritchie apparently liked his face and asked him to join the film.

Graham was also seen in the critically acclaimed 2002 Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York. He portrayed Sgt. Myron “Mike” Ranney in the 2001 HBO mini-series Band of Brothers (2001).

He also appeared in movies such as the spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011); the 5-part series Parade's End, based on a 1920s’ tetralogy of novels by Ford Madox Ford (2012); and the BBC drama series Taboo (2017).

His notable works also include the portrayals of gangsters Baby Face Nelson in the 2009 film Public Enemies, Al Capone in the 2010 film Boardwalk Empire, and Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano in the 2019 film The Irishman.

Impressed by Jodie Comer’s talent while filming for an episode of Good Cop (2012), Graham called his agent Jane Epstein and recommended Comer to her. This not only boosted Comer's acting career but also strengthened her bond with Graham.

Stephen Graham has appeared in 5 Shane Meadows productions: the 2006 British drama film This Is England; its series spin-offs, This Is England '86 (2010), This Is England '88 (2011), and This Is England '90 (2015); and the British drama series The Virtues (2019). He is also known for his frequent appearances with actor Vicky McClure, with whom he has been seen in This Is England (2006) and its sequels, Filth and Wisdom (2008), Line of Duty (2012), and The Secret Agent (2016).

On December 31, 2022, Graham received the OMB (Order of the British Empire). He also received the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2023 King's New Years Honours List.

His portrayal of Andrew “Combo” Gascoigne in This Is England earned him a nomination for a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) for Best Supporting Actor. His role as American gangster Al Capone in the period crime drama series Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014) won him 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2010 and 2011).

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His portrayal of Detective Dave Kelly in the 2017 ITV drama series Little Boy Blue won him an RTS Award for Best Actor (2018), while his portrayal of Jay in the 2017 short film Being Keegan earned him the Best Actor award at the International Film Festival of Wales (2018).

Stephen Graham won another RTS Award for Best Actor (2018), along with a BAFTA TV Award nomination (2020), for the drama series The Virtues. He has also delivered award-winning performances in the 2021 TV film Help and the 2021 TV drama Time.

Similarly, his performances in the 2010 British drama The Street, the anthology series Accused (episode: Tracie’s Story, 2012), This Is England '90, the British drama series Save Me (2018-2020), and The Irishman have earned him notable nominations. The 2021 drama film Boiling Point helped him bag a nomination for the BAFTA Film Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and another for the BIFA for Best Actor.

Some of his other notable movies include the 2019 superhero film Hellboy, the 2021 superhero film Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and the 2022 fantasy comedy drama Matilda the Musical. He has played Scrum in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. He also portrayed Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler in the 2017 biographical action thriller The Man with the Iron Heart and British singer and music publisher Dick James in the 2019 biographical fantasy musical Rocketman.

Stephen Graham has also been seen as Jacob Marley in the dark fantasy miniseries A Christmas Carol (2019), as DI Roy Carver in the police-procedural series Code 404 (2020-present), as Hayden Stagg in the crime drama series Peaky Blinders (2022), and as Matthew Collins in the true crime series The Walk-In (2022). He has appeared in several music videos, too, such as Fluorescent Adolescent by Arctic Monkeys and I Remember by Deadmau5 and Kaskade.

Personal Life

Stephen Graham married actor and producer Hannah Walters on June 6, 2008. The two met at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance, where they were both students.

The couple stays in Ibstock, Leicestershire, and has previously stayed in Beckenham, London. They have a son, Alfie, and a daughter, Grace.

Graham is a teetotaller. He has suffered from depression in the past and tried to hang himself to death in his early 20s. The suicide attempt failed because the rope gave way.

Graham is also dyslexic. He once revealed that his wife reads scripts for him, helping him decide whether to accept or decline a project. A football lover, Graham supports Liverpool FC and has also appeared on the football show Soccer AM on Sky Sports several times.

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