Rupert James Hector Everett (//; born 29 May 1959) is an English actor, writer and singer. He first came to public attention in 1981, when he was cast in Julian Mitchell's play and subsequent film Another Country (1984) as a gay pupil at an English public school in the 1930s; the role earned him his first BAFTA Award nomination. He went on to receive a second BAFTA Award nomination and his first Golden Globe Award nomination for his role in My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), followed by a second Golden Globe nomination for An Ideal Husband (1999).
Everett at Sofia International Film Festival, March 2017
Rupert James Hector Everett
29 May 1959
|Residence||Belgravia, London, England|
Central School of Speech and Drama
|Occupation||Actor, writer, singer|
Everett has performed in many other prominent films, including The Madness of King George (1994), Shakespeare in Love (1998), Inspector Gadget (1999), The Next Best Thing (2000), Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004), Shrek 2 (2004), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), Stardust (2007), Shrek the Third (2007), Wild Target (2010) and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016).
Everett was born in Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk, to Major Anthony Michael Everett (1921–2009), who worked in business and served in the British Army, and Sara (née Maclean; b. 1934). He has an older brother, Simon Anthony Cunningham Everett (born 1956). His maternal grandfather, Vice Admiral Sir Hector Charles Donald MacLean, was a nephew of Scottish military man Hector Lachlan Stewart MacLean, who received the Victoria Cross.
His maternal grandmother, Opre Vyvyan, was a descendant of the baronets Vyvyan of Trelowarren and the German Freiherr (Baron) von Schmiedern. He is of English, Irish, Scottish, and more distant German and Dutch, ancestry. Everett was brought up as a Roman Catholic.
From the age of seven, Everett was educated at Farleigh School in Andover, Hampshire, and later was educated by Benedictine monks at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire; he left school at 16 and ran away to London to become an actor. To support himself during this time, he worked as a prostitute for drugs and money—he disclosed this information in an interview for US magazine in 1997.
Everett's break came in 1981 at the Greenwich Theatre and later West End production of Another Country, playing a gay schoolboy opposite Kenneth Branagh. His first film was the Academy Award-winning short A Shocking Accident (1982), directed by James Scott and based on a Graham Greene story. This was followed by a film version of Another Country in 1984 with Cary Elwes and Colin Firth. Following on with Dance With a Stranger (1985), Everett began to develop a promising film career until he co-starred with Bob Dylan in the huge flop Hearts of Fire (1987). Around the same time, Everett recorded and released an album of pop songs entitled Generation of Loneliness.
Despite being managed by Simon Napier-Bell (who had steered Wham! to prominence), the public didn't take to his change in direction. The shift was short-lived, and he only returned to pop indirectly by providing backing vocals for his best friend Madonna many years later, on her cover of "American Pie" and on the track "They Can't Take That Away from Me" on Robbie Williams' Swing When You're Winning in 2001.
In 1989, Everett moved to Paris, writing a novel, Hello, Darling, Are You Working?, and coming out as gay, a disclosure which he has said may well have damaged his career. Returning to the public eye in The Comfort of Strangers (1990), several films of variable success followed. The Italian comics character Dylan Dog, created by Tiziano Sclavi in 1986, is graphically inspired by him. Everett, in turn, appeared in an adaptation based on Sclavi's novel, Dellamorte Dellamore (1994). In 1995 he released a second novel, The Hairdressers of St. Tropez.
His career was revitalised by his award-winning performance in My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), playing Julia Roberts's character's gay friend, followed by Madonna's character's best friend in The Next Best Thing (2000). (Everett was a backup vocalist on her cover of "American Pie", which is on the film's soundtrack). Around the same time, he starred as the sadistic Sanford Scolex/Dr. Claw in Disney's Inspector Gadget (also 1999) with Matthew Broderick.
For the 21st century, Everett has decided to write again. He has been a Vanity Fair contributing editor, has written for The Guardian and wrote a film screenplay on playwright Oscar Wilde's final years, for which he sought funding.
In 2006 Everett published a memoir, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, in which he reveals his six-year affair with British television presenter Paula Yates. Although he is sometimes described as bisexual, as opposed to homosexual, he described his heterosexual affairs during a radio show with Jonathan Ross as the result of adventurousness: "I was basically adventurous, I think I wanted to try everything".
Since the revelation of his sexuality, Everett has participated in public activities (leading the 2007 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras), played a double role in the film St. Trinian's, and has appeared on TV several times (as a contestant in the special Comic Relief Does The Apprentice; as a presenter for Live Earth; and as a guest host on the Channel 4 show The Friday Night Project, among others). He has also garnered media attention for his vitriolic quips and forthright opinions during interviews that have caused public outrage.
In May 2007, he delivered one of the eulogies at the funeral of fashion director Isabella Blow, his friend since they were teenagers, who had committed suicide. He asked as part of his speech: "Have you gotten what you wanted, Issie? Life was a relationship that you rejected." During this time he also voiced the nefarious, but handsome villain Prince Charming in the first two Shrek sequels.
Everett's documentary on Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821–1890) in which he retraces the travels of Burton through countries such as India and Egypt, aired on the BBC in 2008. In the documentary, titled The Victorian Sex Explorer, Everett explores the life of a man who investigated a male brothel frequented by British soldiers in Bombay in disguise; who introduced The Koran, One Thousand And One Nights and the Kama Sutra in their first English translations; who travelled to the city of Mecca, and kissed the Holy Stone of Kaaba in disguise as an Arab; and was able to converse in more than twenty languages. Everett explained in 2008: "I've been interested in him for years. So many contradictions. Such a riveting, show business character. The godfather of the sexual revolution."
In 2009, Everett told British newspaper The Observer that he wished he had never revealed his sexuality, as he feels that it hurt his career and advised younger actors against such candour:
Everett then returned to his acting roots, appearing in several theatre productions: his Broadway debut in 2009 at the Shubert Theatre received positive critical reviews; he performed in a Noël Coward play, Blithe Spirit, starring alongside Angela Lansbury, Christine Ebersole and Jayne Atkinson, under the direction of Michael Blakemore. and he was expected to tour several Italian cities during the 2008–09 winter season in another Coward play, Private Lives (performed in Italian, which he speaks fluently)—playing Elyot to Italian actress Asia Argento's Amanda—but the production was cancelled.
During the summer of 2010, Everett performed as Professor Henry Higgins, with English actress Honeysuckle Weeks and Stephanie Cole, in a revival of Pygmalion at the Chichester Festival Theatre. He reprised the role in May 2011 at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End, starring alongside Diana Rigg and Kara Tointon.
In July 2010, Everett was featured in the popular family history programme Who Do You Think You Are? Released in late 2010, the comedy film Wild Target featured Everett as an art-loving gangster, and also starred Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt.
In 2012 Everett starred in the television adaptation of Parade's End with Benedict Cumberbatch. The five-part drama was adapted by Sir Tom Stoppard from the novels of Ford Madox Ford, and Everett appears as the brother of protagonist Christopher Tietjens.
Everett then starred as Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss, a stage play which was revived at London's Hampstead Theatre beginning 6 September 2012, co-starring Freddie Fox as Bosie, and directed by Neil Armfield. The play ran at the Hampstead through 13 October 2012, toured the UK and Dublin, and then transferred to the West End at the Duke of York's Theatre on 9 January 2013 in a limited run through 6 April 2013.
Everett won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actor in a Play, and was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actor. In 2016 the production, still starring Everett and with Charlie Rowe as Bosie, ran in North America for seven weeks in Toronto and five weeks at BAM in New York City.
In early 2013, Everett began working on a film portraying the final period of Wilde's life, stating in the media that he has had a fascination with the playwright since he was a child, as his mother read him Wilde's children's story The Happy Prince before he slept. Everett explained in November 2013:
The book made me feel mystical at a very early age, there's a line in it which I didn't really understand and I still don't when the happy prince says to the swallow, "there is no mystery as great as suffering", I certainly didn't understand what it meant and I'm sure my mother reading it to me hadn't got a clue what it meant, but that was interesting and mysterious and a deep thought.
The subsequent film, The Happy Prince, written and directed by Everett, was released in 2018.
In 2015 it was announced that he would play the part of Philippe Achille, Marquis de Feron, the corrupt Governor of Paris, Head of the Red Guard and illegitimate brother to Louis XIII in the third series of the BBC One drama The Musketeers.
In addition to his two memoirs and the screenplay for the Wilde biographical film, Everett has written several books, such as The Hairdressers of St. Tropez. In November 2010, Everett stated: "... I'm busy writing a TV series called 'Boy Band,' about a boy band, and the second part of my autobiography, titled 'Goodwood, Pinewood, Hollywood and Bollywood' ..."
Everett is openly gay. Between 2006 and 2010, he lived in New York City, but returned to London, because of his father's poor health. In 2008, Everett purchased a home in the Central London district of Belgravia.
In 2006, as a homeowner in the Central London area of Bloomsbury, Everett supported a campaign to prevent the establishment of a local Starbucks branch and referred to the global chain as a "cancer". Everett protested alongside 1000 other residents and the group compiled a signed petition.
In 2013, Everett worked on the production of a documentary on sex work for Channel 4 that includes the issue of criminalisation. Both during and after the filming of the documentary, Everett contributed to the discourse on prostitution legislation in the UK. In October 2013, Everett signed an open letter by the English Collective of Prostitutes and Queer Strike—alongside groups and organisations such as the Association of Trade Union Councils, Sex Worker Open University, Left Front Art – Radical Progressive Queers, Queer Resistance and Queers Against the Cuts—to oppose the adoption of the "Swedish model", whereby only the clients of sex workers, but not the sex workers themselves, are criminalised.
Everett continued his participation in the sex work legislation debate in 2014, writing a long form piece for The Guardian and appearing on the BBC One programme This Week. Everett's January Guardian article was published in the wake of human trafficking raids in the Soho area of London and he wrote:
There is a land grab going on in Soho under the banner of morality. That night ... 200 of our boys in blue raided more than 20 models' flats, arresting 30 girls and confiscating their earnings ... They broke down doors, intimidated girls into accepting cautions (i.e. criminal records) and served civil-eviction papers that, unless you were a lawyer, you would not know had hidden in their depths (20-odd pages) the time and date you were to appear in court if you wanted to appeal. All this in the name of human trafficking ... But while even the police say that more than 90% of prostitutes work of their own accord, trafficking has become one of the new "it" words in the bankrupt moral vernacular, craftily used by puritans, property developers and rogue feminists to combat the sex trade in general. Sections 52 and 53 of the Sexual Offences Act ... shelter under the anti-trafficking umbrella. These laws are created to protect women. In reality, they are putting working girls on to the street and into great danger.
Everett also joined protesters in a demonstration outside the offices of Soho Estates, a major property company that owns properties on Soho's Walkers Court, where many sex workers are based. Everett informs the reader that Soho Estates received approval to demolish properties on Walkers Court to create space for the construction of "two hideous towers replete with heliports". Everett concludes the article by declaring that Soho is "being reduced to a giant waxwork in a museum, nothing more than the set for a foreign film."
In his appearance on BBC One's This Week, Everett engaged in a debate with regular panellists Michael Portillo and Diane Abbott. Portillo agreed with Everett, while Abbott supported the Swedish model.
Everett has been an outspoken critic of the introduction of same-sex marriage, stating: "I loathe heterosexual weddings. The wedding cake, the party, the champagne, the inevitable divorce two years later. It's just a waste of time in the heterosexual world, and in the homosexual world I find it personally beyond tragic that we want to ape this institution that is so clearly a disaster."
Selected television roles
- The Manhood of Edward Robinson (1981) – guy
- Soft Targets (1982) – Actor
- Princess Daisy (1983) – Ram Valenski
- The Far Pavilions (1984) – George Garforth
- Arthur the King (1985) – Lancelot
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (2001) – Host
- Les Liaisons dangereuses (2003) – Vicomte Sébastien de Valmont (in French)
- Mr. Ambassador (2003) – Ambassador Ronnie Childers
- To Kill a King (2003) – King Charles I
- Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004) – Sherlock Holmes
- Boston Legal (2005) – Malcolm Holmes
- The Friday Night Project (2006) – Guest host, himself
- Comic Relief Does The Apprentice (2007) – Celebrity contestant (walked out during first episode)
- The Friday Night Project (2007) – Guest host
- Katie & Peter: Unleashed (2007) – Celebrity guest
- 'The Victorian Sex Explorer' (2008) – Presenter
- The Paul O'Grady Show (2009) – Guest
- Who Do You Think You Are? (2010) – the subject, himself
- The Chris Moyles Show (2010) – Guest
- Black Mirror: Fifteen Million Merits (2011) – Judge Hope
- Parade's End (2012)
- Loose Women (2013)
- The Musketeers – Philippe Achille, Marquis de Feron (2016)
- 50 Shades of Gay (2017) – Himself
- Quacks (2017) – Doctor Hendricks
- Unikitty! (2018–2019) – Toast
- The Name of the Rose (2019) – Bernardo Gui
- 1992: Hello, Darling, Are You Working? (novel)
- 1995: The Hairdressers of St. Tropez (novel)
- 2006: Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins (memoir)
- 2012: Vanished Years (memoir)
- The New York Times review Canby, Vincent, 29 June 1984.
- "Rupert Everett's father dies". Newkerala.com. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Vice Admiral Sir Hector MacLean obituary The Telegraph, 24 February 2003.
- "Rupert Everett – Who Do You Think You Are – A broad heritage with ancestors in the south and north of England, Wales and Scotland..." thegenealogist.com. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- "Rupert Everett". IMDb. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- Moir, Jan (2 October 2006). "Rupert – unleashed and unloved". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
- Farndale, Nigel (22 May 2002). "The ascent of Everett". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- Guardian article. 29 November 2009. I wouldn't advise any actor thinking of his career to come out. Retrieved 27 July 2010
- "Everett needs funds for Wilde movie". Digital Spy. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Cannes 2012: Rupert Everett to Make Directorial Debut With Oscar Wilde Biopic". The Hollywood Reporter. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- Jan Moir (2 October 2006). "Rupert unleashed and unloved". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Ross apologises for swearing star." BBC News.
- "Listeners shocked by Everett interview". Daily Mail. UK. 16 September 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- Horoscopes. "Actor Everett shuns 'blobby, whiny' USA". Herald.ie. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Farndale, Nigel (7 June 2008). "Actor Rupert Everett shows his nasty side". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Adams, Stephen (9 June 2008). "Rupert Everett apologises for calling soldiers 'wimps'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Amy Larocca (15 July 2007). "The Sad Hatter". New York. New York Media LLC. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Nigel Farndale (7 June 2008). "Actor Rupert Everett shows his nasty side". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "ABC cancels another Adam Lambert performance". CNN. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Everett plays Byron in documentary". Times-series.co.uk. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Lord Byron by Rupert Everett – Turkish Daily News". Hürriyet. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "The Victorian Sex Explorer". Channel 4. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Rupert Everett: 'If I'd been straight? I'd be doing what Hugh Grant and Colin Firth do, I suppose' The Guardian, Brocke, Emma, Monday 20 July 2009.
- ""High spirits as Rupert Everett becomes the ghostly toast of Broadway." Teodorczuk, Tom Evening Standard 16 March 2009". London Evening Standard. London. 16 March 2009. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- ""Applause for Lansbury in 'Blithe Spirit' on Broadway." Newyorkology.com. 16 March 2009". Newyorkology.com. 16 March 2009. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Rupert Everett interviewed by Fabio Fazio for 'Che tempo che fa', a RAI tv programme". 18 March 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2011 – via YouTube.
- "Annullato lo spettacolo 'Vite private' – La Riccitelli News". Primoriccitelli.it. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Chichester Festival Theatre webpage, announcing the production of Pygmalion". Cft.org.uk. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Philip Fisher (2011). "Pygmalion". British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- TV review: The Hospital & Who do you think you are? The Guardian, Mangan, Lucy, Tuesday 27 July 2010.
- IAIN BLAIR (11 November 2010). "A Minute With: Rupert Everett talking "Wild Target"". Reuters. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Rebecca Hardy (24 August 2012). "He's known for his debauched past and outrageous comments but Rupert Everett says he's finally mellowing and embracing life in his fifties". Daily Mail. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Thorpe, Vanessa (10 June 2018). "The importance of being Oscar: how Rupert Everett found a cause". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- The Judas Kiss. HampsteadTheatre.com. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Maxwell, Barbara. "The Judas Kiss (Bath – tour)". WhatsOnStage.com. 22 October 2012.
- The Judas Kiss To Tour The UK: Dates For Your Diary. HampsteadTheatre.com. 13 September 2012.
- The Judas Kiss: 15 October 2012 – 20 October 2012. GaietyTheatre.ie.
- Gilbert, Ryan. "Rupert Everett to Star as Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss at the West End's Duke of York Theatre". Theatre.com. 12 October 2012.
- The Judas Kiss. OfficialLondonTheatre.co.uk. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- The Judas Kiss by David Hare. CheapTheatreTickets.com. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- 2013 Results. Awards.WhatsOnStage.com.
- Szalai, Georg. "Helen Mirren, Rupert Everett, James McAvoy Among Olivier Awards Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. 26 March 2013.
- The Judas Kiss in Toronto. Toronto.Eventful.com. 22 March 2016 – 1 May 2016.
- The Judas Kiss (theatre program). Brooklyn Academy of Music. 11 May – 12 June 2016.
- Luisa Metcalfe (1 November 2013). "The bedtime story that gave Rupert Everett a lifelong fascination with Oscar Wilde". Express. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "BBC – Rupert Everett and Matthew McNulty to join The Musketeers series three – Media Centre". BBC. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- "TV review, Quacks (BBC2): Rupert Everett's animated hernia". The Independent. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- Walker, Tim (27 May 2008). "Rupert Everett ain't got no body". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Patrons | British Monarchist Society and Foundation". bmsf.org.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Actor Everett labels Starbucks a 'cancer'". Daily Mail. UK. 18 August 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- "Rupert Everett: 'Starbucks Is Spreading Like a Cancer'". Starpulse. Starpulse.com. 18 August 2006. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Scott Roberts (11 October 2013). "Rupert Everett backs campaign against criminalising prostitution". Pink News. PinkNews.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Rupert Everett's call to legalise prostitution" (Video upload). BBC One. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Rupert Everett (19 January 2014). "Rupert Everett in defence of prostitutes: 'There is a land grab going on'". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "The people who oppose the gay marriage law". BBC News. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- Long, Camilla (21 April 2019). "Steady, Charlize, even Tinseltown needs to stop and think when a boy says he's a girl". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "Victorian Passions Season – Channel 4 (UK)". Channel 4. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Martin Poll Papers 1967–1984 (40.0 linear feet) are housed at the New York University Libraries. Includes materials on Rupert Everett.
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