Stuart Townsend Biography

Stuart Townsend is an Irish actor and director. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life, career, and achievements.

Quick Facts

Birthday: December 15, 1972

Nationality: Irish

Famous: Actors Directors

Age: 47 Years, 47 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Sagittarius

Also Known As: Stuart Peter Townsend

Born Country: Ireland

Born in: Howth, County Dublin, Ireland

Famous as: Actor, Director

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Stuart Townsend is an Irish actor and director, known for his roles as vampire ‘Lestat de Lioncourt’ in ‘Queen of the Damned’ and as ‘Dorian Gray’ in ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.’ Born and raised in Ireland, he studied acting at the ‘Gaiety School of Acting,’ Dublin. Starting with stage performances and short films, he was soon noticed in his first feature film, ‘Trojan Eddie.’ He appeared in many films, including ‘Shooting Fish,’ ‘Under the Skin,’ ‘Wonderland.’ He won ‘Fantafestival Best Actor Award’ for his performance in ‘Resurrection Man.’ Townsend’s performances in films ‘About Adam’ and ‘Queen of the Damned’ earned him accolades. He also worked in several TV series, including ‘Night Stalker,’ ‘XIII: The Series,’ ‘Betrayal’; and TV movies such as ‘The Venice Project,’ ‘Chaos Theory,’ ‘Trapped.’ He turned director with the political thriller ‘Battle in Seattle,’ for which he received the ‘best script’ nomination.

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Childhood & Early Life
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  • He made his professional stage debut in 1994, in John Crowley’s ‘True Lines.’ After this, he appeared in Irish short films ‘Summertime’ (1995) and ‘Godsuit’ (1993).
  • These performances got him the role of ‘Dermot’ in his first feature film, ‘Trojan Eddie’ (1996). In this film he played a conman’s young assistant who seduces a bride away from her groom on the wedding day. He got an opportunity to work alongside Richard Harris. This role brought him attention, and he got offers to act in stage and film projects in England and Ireland.
  • Stuart got a starring role as ‘Jez,’ a good-hearted conman, in the 1997 successful romantic-comedy ‘Shooting Fish.’ The same year he played a complex, supporting role as ‘Tom’ in Carine Adler’s acclaimed British film ‘Under the Skin.’
  • In the 1998 British crime-thriller ‘Resurrection Man,’ he played a psychotic killer, ‘Victor Kelly.’ He won the 1998 ‘Fantafestival Award for Best Actor.’ He appeared as ‘Tim’ in Michael Winterbottom’s drama film ‘Wonderland’ (1999), which was premiered at the ‘1999 Cannes Film Festival.’
  • In the 1999 period mystery film ‘Simon Magus,’ he played the role of an underprivileged Jew. He played dual roles of ‘Lark and Gippo the Fool’ in the film ‘The Venice Project’ (1999), which was set in the 16th and 20th centuries.
  • In 2000, Stuart played the title role of seducer ‘Adam’ in ‘About Adam,’ which was his first notable Hollywood performance and fetched him a lot of acclaim. This film was featured at the ‘2000 Sundance Film Festival’ as well.
  • Townsend was the original choice of director Peter Jackson for the role of ‘Aragorn’ in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. However, just before the filming started, he was replaced with Viggo Mortensen, as the makers felt that the role needed an older actor.
  • Stuart appeared as vampire ‘Lestat de Lioncourt’ in the 2002 vampire film ‘Queen of the Damned,’ a film adaptation of Anne Rice’s book of the same name. The role of ‘Lestat’ was earlier played by Tom Cruise in Neil Jordan’s ‘Interview with the Vampire’ (1994). Townsend received appreciation for his performance.
  • In 2002, he played ‘William Jennings’ and worked alongside Charlize Theron in the American-German crime-thriller ‘Trapped,’ which was based on the best-seller ‘24 Hours.’ He worked with Charlize Theron in two more films - a Canadian-British romantic-drama ‘Head in the Clouds’ (2004), and his own directorial debut, ‘Battle in Seattle.’
  • In 2003, Stuart essayed ‘Dorian Gray’ in the comic book-based superhero film ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.’ In mid-2000, he appeared as ‘Val Xavier,’ alongside Helen Mirren, in Tennessee Williams play ‘Orpheus Descending.’
  • In 2005, he appeared as an investigative reporter ‘Carl Kolchak,’ in quest of his wife’s murderer, on ‘Night Stalker,’ the remake of the 1974 cult series, ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker.’ The series, however, received poor ratings and got cancelled after 6 episodes. In 2007, he co-starred with Ryan Reynolds and Emily Mortimer in the comedy film ‘Chaos Theory.’
  • In 2007, Stuart made his directorial debut with the political-action-thriller ‘Battle in Seattle’ (2008), a film about the protest riots at the 1999 World Trade Organization’s ministerial conference. He received nomination for the 2008 ‘Irish Films and TV Award for Best Script for a Film’ for the film.
  • In 2010, Townsend was signed for the role of ‘Fandral’ in Kenneth Branagh’s superhero film ‘Thor,’ but later he left due to creative differences. He played the main role of ‘XIII’ on the Franco-Canadian TV series ‘XIII: The Series’ (2011-2012).
  • In 2015, he appeared as ‘Dr. Wainwright’ on the supernatural series ‘Salem.’
  • He took a hiatus from acting and returned in 2017 with a guest role on ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.’ Townsend has signed a film, ‘Grace and Grit,’ in a lead role opposite Mena Suvari.
Family & Personal Life
  • Townsend was in a long-term relation with Hollywood actor Charlize Theron; though not married, they called themselves husband and wife. The couple, however, broke off in 2010.
  • In 2015, it was reported that he was living in Costa Rica with Agatha Araya; he is father of two children, Desmond and Ezra Townsend. The couple reportedly separated in January 2019.

See the events in life of Stuart Townsend in Chronological Order

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