Hugh Richard Bonneville Williams, DL (born 10 November 1963) is an English film and television actor. He is best known for playing Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham in the ITV historical drama series Downton Abbey. His performance on the show earned him a nomination at the Golden Globes and two consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
Bonneville at the 2011 Minghella Film Festival
Hugh Richard Bonneville Williams
10 November 1963
|Residence||West Sussex, England|
|Alma mater||Corpus Christi College, Cambridge|
Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
|Known for||Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey|
Lucinda Evans (m. 1998)
Early life and education
Bonneville was born in Paddington, London, to a mother who was a nurse and a father who was a urological surgeon. He was educated at Dulwich College Preparatory School and at Sherborne School, an independent school in Dorset.
Following secondary education, Bonneville read theology at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and studied acting at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He left Cambridge with a 2:2 in theology and has since said that he tended to do more acting than academic work.
Bonneville is also an alumnus of the National Youth Theatre.
Bonneville's first professional stage appearance was at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park. In 1987, he joined the National Theatre where he appeared in several plays, then the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1991, where he played Laertes to Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1992–1993). He played Valentine in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Bergetto in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Kastril and later Surly in The Alchemist.
In 1991, Bonneville made his television debut, billed as Richard Bonneville. His debut film was 1994's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with Robert De Niro and Kenneth Branagh. His early roles were usually good-natured bumbling characters like Bernie in Notting Hill (1999) and Mr Rushworth in Mansfield Park (1999). In the BBC television series, Take A Girl Like You (2000) and Armadillo (2001), he played more villainous characters, leading up to the domineering Henleigh Grandcourt in Daniel Deronda (2002) and the psychopathic killer James Lampton in The Commander (2003) series. In Love Again, he played the poet Philip Larkin.
In Iris (2001), he played the young John Bayley opposite Kate Winslet, with his performance lauded by critics and receiving a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 2004, Bonneville played Sir Christopher Wren in the docudrama Wren – The Man Who Built Britain. Bonneville also works extensively in radio. He played the role of Jerry Westerby in the BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of the John le Carré novel The Honourable Schoolboy, first broadcast in January 2010. Earlier, he appeared in the surreal parallel universe comedy Married.
From 2010 until 2015, he appeared in the ITV period drama Downton Abbey, as Robert, Earl of Grantham.
In early 2010, he appeared in the comedy film Burke and Hare. In 2011 and 2012, he starred as Ian Fletcher in the award-winning BBC comedy series Twenty Twelve, and reprised the role in the 2014 BBC comedy series W1A. In December 2012, he appeared on BBC Two with co-star Jessica Hynes in World's Most Dangerous Roads, travelling through Georgia. He also appeared in the much-delayed film Hippie Hippie Shake with Cillian Murphy and Sienna Miller.
Bonneville played Mr. Brown in the 2014 film Paddington and its 2017 sequel Paddington 2. He has appeared in the singing comedic role of The Pirate King in the ABC fairy tale-themed musical comedy extravaganza series Galavant during its 2015 and 2016 seasons. He also narrated the ITV series The Cruise.
In 2017, Bonneville portrayed Lord Louis Mountbatten in director Gurinder Chadha's film Viceroy's House, which depicted the tumult and violence surrounding the Partition of India during the final days of British rule. Also in 2017, it was announced that Bonneville would play Roald Dahl in an upcoming biopic about the author.
In 2018, Bonneville began yearly appearances as the host and narrator of the annual "From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration" episode of Great Performances, broadcast on New Year's Day on PBS in the United States. He succeeded Julie Andrews.
In 2009, Bonneville was the voice of Justice Fosse in Joseph Crilly's British premiere of Kitty and Damnation for the Giant Olive Theatre Company at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town. Shortly thereafter he became Giant Olive's first patron. Bonneville is also a patron of the London children's charity Scene & Heard and an ambassador for WaterAid.
|1994||Mary Shelley's Frankenstein||Schiller|
|1997||Tomorrow Never Dies||Air Warfare Officer – HMS Bedford|
|1999||Mansfield Park||Mr. Rushworth|
|2001||High Heels and Low Lifes||Farmer|
|2001||The Emperor's New Clothes||Bertrand|
|2001||Iris||Young John Bayley||Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role|
Nominated—European Film Award for Best Actor
|2003||Conspiracy of Silence||Fr. Jack Dowling|
|2004||Piccadilly Jim||Lord Wisbeach|
|2004||Stage Beauty||Samuel Pepys|
|2005||The Commander: Virus||James Lampton||Uncredited|
|2005||The Commander: Blackout||James Lampton||Uncredited|
|2005||Man to Man||Fraser McBride|
|2005||Underclassman||Headmaster Felix Powers|
|2006||Scenes of a Sexual Nature||Gerry|
|2007||Four Last Songs||Sebastian Burrows|
|2007||Hola to the World||Painter||Short film|
|2008||One of Those Days||Mr. Burrell||Short film|
|2009||Knife Edge||Charles Pollock|
|2009||From Time to Time||Captain Oldknow|
|2010||Burke & Hare||Lord Harrington|
|2010||As Time Goes By||N/A|
|2010||Hippie Hippie Shake||John Mortimer||Unreleased|
|2014||The Monuments Men||Lieutenant Donald Jeffries|
|2014||Muppets Most Wanted||Irish Journalist|
|2014||Paddington||Mr. Henry Brown|
|2017||Viceroy's House||Lord Mountbatten|
|2017||Paddington 2||Mr. Henry Brown|
|2017||Journey Beyond Sodor||Merlin||Voice|
|2019||Downton Abbey||Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham|
|2020||An Unquiet Life||Roald Dahl||filming|
|1991||Dodgem||Rick Bayne||5 episodes|
|1993||Paul Merton: The Series||Captain||Episode: #2.6"|
|1993||Stalag Luft||Barton||Television movie|
|1994||The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes||Victor Savage||Episode: "The Dying Detective" (credited as Richard Bonneville)|
|1994||Peak Practice||Dominic Kent||Episode: "Perfect Love"|
|1994||Cadfael||Daniel Aurifaber||Episode: "The Sanctuary Sparrow"|
|1994||Between the Lines||Henry Oakes||Episode: "Close Protection"|
|1995||The Vet||Alan Sinclair||6 episodes|
|1995||EastEnders||Headmaster||Episode: "14 December 1995"|
|1996||Married for Life||Steve Hollingsworth||7 episodes|
|1996||Bugs||Nathan Pym||Episode: "Bugged Wheat"|
|1997||Breakout||Peter Schneider||Television movie|
|1997||See You Friday||Daniel||Episode: "#1.1"|
|1997||The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous||Ferdinand Fitzgerald||Episode: #1.1"|
|1997||Get Well Soon||Norman Tucker||4 episodes|
|1998||Heat of the Sun||Edward Herbert||Episode: "Hide in Plain Sight"|
|1998||Mosley||Bob Boothby||4 episodes|
|1998||Holding the Baby||Gordon Muir||Unknown episodes|
|1998||The Scold's Bridle||Tim Duggan||Television movie|
|1999||Murder Most Horrid||Inspector Dawson||Episode: "Confessions of a Murderer"|
|2000||Take a Girl Like You||Julian Ormerod||3 episodes|
|2000||Thursday the 12th||Brin Hopper||Television movie|
|2000||Madame Bovary||Charles Bovary||Television movie|
|2001||Hans Christian Andersen: My Life as a Fairytale||Publisher||Television movie|
|2001||The Cazalets||Hugh Cazalet||6 episodes|
|2001||Armadillo||Torquil Helvoir Jayne||TV film|
|2002||Midsomer Murders||Hugh Barton||Episode: "Ring Out Your Dead"|
|2002||Tipping the Velvet||Ralph Banner||Episode: "#1.3"|
|2002||Daniel Deronda||Henleigh Grandcourt||3 episodes|
|2002||Impact||Phil Epson||Television movie|
|2002||The Gathering Storm||Ivo Pettifer||Television movie|
|2002||Right Under My Eyes||James||Television movie|
|2002||The Biographer||Eric||Television movie|
|2002||Doctor Zhivago||Andrey Zhivago||Television movie|
|2003||The Commander||James Lampton||Television movie|
|2003||Love Again||Philip Larkin||Television movie|
|2003||Hear the Silence||Dr. Andrew Wakefield||Television movie|
|2004||Wren: The Man Who Built Britain||Christopher Wren||TV documentary|
|2005||The Rotter's Club||Voice of Adult Ben||2 episodes|
|2005||The Robinsons||George Robinson||6 episodes|
|2006||Courting Alex||Julian/Charles Carter||10 episodes|
|2006||Beau Brummell: This Charming Man||Prince Regent||Television movie|
|2006||Tsunami: The Aftermath||Tony Whittaker||Television movie|
Nominated—Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries
|2007||The Vicar of Dibley||Jeremy Ogilvy||Episode: "The Vicar in White"|
|2007||Five Days||DSI Iain Barclay||4 episodes|
|2007||The Replacements||Voice||Episode: "London Calling"|
|2007||The Diary of a Nobody||Charles Pooter||Television movie|
|2007||Miss Austen Regrets||Rev. Brook Bridges||Television movie|
|2008||Bonekickers||Gregory Parton||6 episodes|
|2008||Lost in Austen||Mr. Bennet||4 episodes|
|2008||Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story||Sir Hugh Carleton Greene||Television movie|
|2008–2011||Country House Rescue||Narrator||24 episodes|
|2009||Hunter||DSI Iain Barclay||2 episodes|
|2009||Ruth Watson's Hotel Rescue||Narrator||6 episodes|
|2010||Legally Mad||Gordon Hamm||Television movie|
|2010–2015||Downton Abbey||Robert Crawley,
Earl of Grantham
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013, 2015, 2016)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2011, 2013)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2011–13)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
|2010||Ben Hur||Pontius Pilate||2 episodes|
|2010||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Edward Masterman||Episode: "Murder on the Orient Express"|
|2010||The Silence||Chris||4 episodes|
|2010–2014||Rev.||Roland Wise||3 episodes|
|2011||Doctor Who||Captain Avery||Episodes: "The Curse of the Black Spot" and "A Good Man Goes To War"|
|2011||Marple: The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side||Inspector Hewitt||Television movie|
|2011–2012||Twenty Twelve||Ian Fletcher||13 episodes|
Nominated—BAFTA TV Award for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme (2012–13)
Nominated—British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor (2011–12)
|2011–2014||The Hotel||Narrator||33 episodes|
|2012||Turn Back Time: The Family||Narrator||5 episodes|
|2012||Getting On||Philip Moore||Episode: "#3.6"|
|2012||World's Most Dangerous Roads||N/A||Episode: "#3.2"|
|2012||Mr Stink||Mr Stink||Television movie|
|2013||Da Vinci's Demons||Duke of Milan||Episode: "The Hanged Man"|
|2014||Top Gear||Himself||Episode: "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car"|
|2014–2017||W1A||Ian Fletcher||8 episodes|
Nominated—British Academy Television Award for Best Male Comedy Performance (2015–16)
|2015||Galavant||Peter the Pillager||Episode: "Comedy Gold"|
|2015–present||Sofia the First||Book Narrator||5 episodes|
|2016–present||The Cruise||Narrator||ITV series|
|2016||The Hollow Crown||Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester||Episode: "Henry VI, Part I"|
|2016||Walliams & Friend||Various||Episode 7|
|2017||The Grand Tour||Himself||Series 2 Episode 3|
|2018||Great Performances||Host/Narrator||Episode "From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2018"|
|2018||Countdown to Calvary||Host/Narrator||Documentary|
|2018||Thomas & Friends||Merlin||Voice; Episode: "Seeing is Believing"|
|2019||Great Performances||Host/Narrator||Episode "From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2019"|
- "Deputy Lieutenant Commissions". Thegazette.co.uk. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
- Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins (5th ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7864-4373-4. OCLC 607613318. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- "Hugh Bonneville: "I want to grab him and say get real"". Big Issue. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- Greensteet, Rosanna (6 November 2004). "Q&A: Hugh Bonneville". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- "Corpus Playroom Renovations". Corpus Christi College. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- Franks, Alan (16 February 2008). "Hugh Bonneville and Tom Hollander on Freezing, fame and friendship". The Times. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- "Interview: Hugh Bonneville star of Downton Abbey". The Cambridge Student. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- Trowbridge, Simon (2010). The Company: a Biographical Dictionary of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Oxford, England: Editions Albert Creed. pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-0-9559830-2-3.
- "The Complete Smiley – The Karla Trilogy, Book 2: The Honourable Schoolboy". BBC. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- "Burke and Hare Teaser Art Debuts at Cannes". Dread Central. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- "Hugh Bonneville to play Roald Dahl in new film". BBC News. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
- pbs.org "Great Performances Toasts 2018 with New Host Hugh Bonneville for Annual Broadcast Tradition From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration".
- "Biography for Hugh Bonneville". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- "Off-West End Announcements – 3 July 2009". What's on Stage. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- "The History of Giant Olive Theatre Company". Giant Olive Theatre Company. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- "Scene & Heard – Who We Are". sceneandheard.org. 2010. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- Meacham, Steve; Maddox, Garry (14 February 2011). "Hippies tossed aside in corporate decision". The Sydney Morning Herald.
After a promised release failed to eventuate last year, the British production company, Working Title, has confirmed it will not reach cinemas. The managing director of the distributor Universal Pictures in Australia, Mike Baard, said: 'I suspect...it's going to land in the direct-to-video bin...it's off our release schedule.'
- Trowbridge, Simon. The Company: A Biographical Dictionary of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Oxford: Editions Albert Creed, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9559830-2-3.
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