Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman


3/21/1958, New Cross, London, England, UK

Birth Name

Gary Leonard Oldman



Also Known As

Maurice Escargot, Gary von Oldman, Gaz
out of 10
User Rating
116 votes



Gary hails from London, England. His father left the family when Gary was only seven. Gary was raised by his mother and his two sisters. He dropped out of school at the age of sixteen and started working at a sports-equipment store.

After being rejected for admission into…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Gary is uncle to Gerry Bromfield and Tracy Bromfield.

    • Gary Oldman's trade marks are:
      Characters who usually borderline psychotics.
      Known for playing a wide variety of roles that often requires a variety of different accents.
      His ability to change his appearance and voice to make every character unique.
      Often plays reluctant Heroes who assist the main character.
      Often plays real-life individuals or iconic fictional characters.

    • Upon meeting Daniel Radcliffe for the first time, Gary gave him a bass guitar as a gift.

    • Gary Oldman has modelled for Prada Fall/Winter 2012 Menswear Show in Milan.

    • Gary Oldman is referred as 'The Chameleon' or 'The Actors Actor'.

    • Leonard Oldman (otherwise known as Len) is Gary Oldman's father.  He was an abusive alcoholic who left his family when Gary was seven.  He passed away due to alcohol in 1984.

    • Gary listens to Sinatra, plays piano and paints a bit.  He's done some casual things with Julian Schnabel.

    • His mother recently moved to L.A. to be near him, and he's thinking about resuming a documentary on her that he began filming some years back.  Despite her age, she continues to catch the bus.

    • Gary was in rehab twice and is now clean and sober. In the beginning he drank socially. It was the thing to do in his harsh environment.  It was also a theatrical tradition.  Eventually, he'd have private benders, checking into hotels and drinking his way through the minibar. He developed a reputation.

    • Gary once had a crush on the actress Susan George and collected film soundtracks.

    • Gary Oldman wanted to be an astronaut, but first realised the power of performing when he did impression of the Beatles at family gatherings.

    • Gary Oldman enjoys watching Spongebob with his children.

    • As of 2008 Gary Oldman married Alexandra Edenborough.  She is nineteen years his junior.

    • It took Gary twelve days to film his scenes for The Unborn. It took him one morning to voice over his part in Planet 51. It took him four days to film his scenes for Christmas Carol. It took him ten days to film his scenes for Rainfall.

    • Gary received a free SUV BMW for doing The Hire - Beat the Devil which is a short film / commercial. The car officially belongs to BMW.

    • Gary's Award and Nominations:
      2012 Won International Star Award for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2012 Won COFCA Best Ensemble for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2012 Won Empire Award Best Actor for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2012 Nominated BAFTA Film Award Best Leading Actor for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2012 Nominated ALFS Award Actor of the Year & British Actor of the Year for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2012 Nominated Oscar Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2012 Nominated Annie Voice Acting in a Feature Production for: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011).
      2012 Nominated European Film Award Best Actor for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2012 Nominated ESBFA Best Actor for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2011 Won Tribute Award at Gotham Awards.
      2011 Won Icon Award at Empire Awards, UK.
      2011 Nominated CFCA Best Actor for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2011 Nominated PFCS Best Actor in a Leading Role for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2011 Nominated Satellite Award Best Actor in a Motion Picture for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2011 Nominated BIFA Best Actor for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2011 Won SFFCC Best Actor for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
      2009 Won People's Choice Award Favourite Cast for: The Dark Knight (2008).
      2009 Won COFCA Best Ensemble for: The Dark Knight (2008).
      2009 Nominated Critics Choice Award Best Acting Ensemble for: The Dark Knight (2008).
      2005 Nominated Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor for: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).
      2003 Nominated DVDX Award Best Supporting Actor in a DVD Premiere Movie for: Interstate 60 (2002).
      2001 Nominated Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Male for: The Contender (2000).
      2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Nominated Actor Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for: The Contender (2000).
      2001 Nominated Emmy Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for: Friends (1994) For playing Richard Crosby.
      2001 Won Alan J. Pakula Award for: The Contender (2000). Shared with: Rod Lurie (screenwriter), Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater, Sam Elliott, William Petersen, Saul Rubinek, Philip Baker Hall, Mike Binder, Robin Thomas and Mariel Hemingway. For artistic excellence by illuminating issues of great social and political importance.
      1999 Nominated Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor for: Lost in Space (1998).
      1998 Nominated MTV Movie Award Best Fight for: Air Force One (1997). Shared with Harrison Ford.
      1998 Nominated Best Villain for: Air Force One (1997).
      1998 Won Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film for: Nil by Mouth (1997). Shared with: Luc Besson, Douglas Urbanski.
      1998 Won BAFTA Film Award for Best Screenplay – Original for: Nil by Mouth (1997).
      1998 Nominated British Independent Film Award Best British Director of an Independent Film for: Nil by Mouth (1997).
      1998 Nominated Best Original Screenplay by a British Writer of a Produced Independent Film for: Nil by Mouth (1997).
      1998 Nominated Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Supporting Actor - Action/Adventure for: Air Force One (1997).
      1998 Won Empire Award Best Debut for: Nil by Mouth (1997).
      1997 Nominated Golden Palm for: Nil by Mouth (1997).
      1997 Won Channel 4 Director's Award for: Nil by Mouth (1997).
      1996 Nominated Razzie Award Worst Screen Couple for: The Scarlet Letter (1995). Shared with: Demi Moore and Robert Duvall.
      1993 Won Saturn Award Best Actor for: Dracula (1992).
      1993 Nominated MTV Movie Award Best Kiss for: Dracula (1992). Shared with Winona Ryder .
      1992 Nominated Independent Spirit Award Best Male Lead for: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990).
      1988 Best Actor nomination from the British Academy of Film and TV Arts for his portrayal of 60s play-wright Joe Orton.
      1988 Won ALFS Award Actor of the Year for: Prick Up Your Ears (1987). Tied with Sean Connery for The Untouchables (1987).
      1988 Nominated BAFTA Film Award Best Actor for: Prick Up Your Ears (1987).
      1987 Won Evening Standard British Film Award Most Promising Newcomer for: Sid and Nancy (1986).
      1985 Won the London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre Award) for Best Actor for his performance in The Pope's Wedding.

    • Gary had to lose weight to play Sid Vicious in the movie Sid and Nancy (1986), but he lost too much weight and ended up in a hospital.

    • In the movie Dracula (1992) in which Prince Vlad is portrayed by Gary Oldman, Prince Vlad's scream after he drives his sword into the cross is not Gary's voice. Lux Interior, lead singer of punk band The Cramps, recorded the scream and it was dubbed in.

    • In the movie Air Force One (1997) when Gary gives his thumbprint for a background check near the beginning of the movie, the date of birth that comes up among his info (3/21/58) is his real birthday.

    • Initially Gary was supposed to play the Prison Warden in Adam Sandlers movie The Longest Yard. However, the negotiations were unsuccessful and the role went to James Cromwell.

    • Gary and Timothy Spall from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban both portrayed the character of Rosencrantz. Timothy portrayed him in Kenneth Branagh's movie Hamlet and Gary portrayed him in the movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

    • Gary's portrayal of Norman Stansfield in Léon is considered one of the best villains in movie history, ranking 43rd on the Online Film Critics Society's list of the Greatest Screen Villains of All Times.

    • Gary appears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with Ralph Fiennes. Both of them played villains in the Hannibal Lecter films. Gary played Mason Verger in Hannibal, and Ralph Fiennes played Francis Dolarhyde in Red Dragon.

    • Gary and his ex-wife, Uma Thurman, have both appeared in Batman movies. Uma Thurman played Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin (1997), and Gary played James Gordon in Batman Begins (2005).

    • Gary's nickname "Crazy Gary Oldman" is believed to have originated in a 2004 parody of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on the Livejournal site Movies in 15 Minutes, where Oldman's character Sirius Black is on a wanted poster, screaming: "I'M SO CRAZY! LOOK AT ME! I'M CRAZY GARY OLDMAN!". The scene was later repeated in a few parodies, causing the name to catch on. Gary is not very happy with the nickname.

    • Gary has played Lee Harvey Oswald twice: In the feature film JFK (1991) and in the miniseries Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? (1992).

    • Gary is the only other actor since Lon Chaney Sr. to be named "Man of a Thousand Faces" as he is truly able to become whatever character he plays.

    • Gary played the Devil in the Guns N' Roses music video "Since I Don't Have You" and in the BMW short film Beat the Devil.

    • Gary's talent for portraying a range of unusual personas of varying backgrounds has earned him nicknames such as "The Chameleon" and "The Lord of the Accents."

    • Gary does not have a publicist. He once hired one, at his agent's request, but after doing a few talk shows couldn't take it anymore and stopped working with the publicist. He has admitted that not having a publicist has cost him a few roles.

    • Gary signed with ICM in November 2005. He was previously represented by Creative Artists Agency.

    • Gary's film Nil By Mouth (1997), which is loosely based upon his own life growing up in London, won the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film, a BAFTA Award, the Channel 4 Director's Award, and the Empire Award, and was declared by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts as one of the one hundred best films of all time despite containing the word 'f**k' 410 times, a record for any film.

    • Gary's commercial appearances:

      Gary appeared in the TV commercial for Barclays Bank with Donald Sutherland.
      Gary appeared in the TV commercial for One 2 One in 2001.
      Gary appeared in the print ad for DKNY in 2000.
      Gary appeared in the 1998 print commercial for H&M Clothing.

    • Songs sung by Gary:

      Gary sang I Wanna Be Your Dog and My Way on the Sid and Nancy soundtrack.
      Gary sang You've Been Around with David Bowie, a duet from The Sacred Squall of Now.
      Artist Julian Schnabel (the director of Basquiat) had put out a CD entitled Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud. Gary sings on this album. In addition to that there's a track called Gary's Song on the album.

    • On August 8, 1991, Gary was arrested for drunk driving in L.A. and released on bail the next morning. His passenger in the car was his friend and fellow actor Kiefer Sutherland.

    • Gary was a member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993.

    • Henry & June (1990) is the only film in which Gary has been credited as "Maurice Escargot."

    • Gary was offered the role of General Grievous in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. At first Gary accepted the role, however, as the movie was made outside the Screen Actor's Guild rules, Gary changed his mind and decided not to participate in the movie.

    • Gary dated model-actress Ailsa Marshall from 2002 till 2005.

    • Gary dated Isabella Rossellini, whom he met while filming Immortal Beloved (1994).

    • Gary once considered a career in music.

    • Gary is 5' 9" (1.75 m) tall.

    • Gary's library includes essays on Bertold Brecht, poetry by Roger McGough, a biography of Montgomery Clift, The Elizabethan World Picture, all things Shakespeare, and Jane Austen.

    • Gary is the brother of actress Laila Morse.

    • Gary's voice contribution to video games:

      Gary contributes two voices in the video game True Crime: Streets of LA, Rocky and Agent Masterson.

      Gary contributes a voice in the video game Medal of Honor: Allied assault-Spearhead as Sgt. Jack Barnes.

  • Quotes

    • Gary: (on his son Gulliver) He's certainly living up to his name. He's a giant of a baby and it's fitting that it's a boy. It's like I can put an emotional Band-Aid on someone. I can right some of the wrongs.

    • Gary: I'm learning that you can say something or do something and your partner can say, "I don't like that," instead of running for the divorce court.

    • Gary: (about the commonality between him and his father) Looking back at the stuff I did, it was like walking in my father's shoes. Here's someone who hadn't really influenced me. We spoke on the phone a couple of times when I was a teenager, yet it was like I had a blueprint I was following. Then I'd get into therapy and realised I've just gotta' stop this cycle.

    • Gary: (about his charge on drink driving) It was like a wake-up call. I could have killed somebody. So, I stopped driving. I couldn't let it get in the way of my drinking.

    • Gary: (about the sucess of rehab)I believe AA is the greatest spiritual movement of the 20th century. It's a program of rigorous self-honesty, because, you see, you're only as sick as your secrets

    • Gary: (when asked if he wished it was him playing the Joker in Batman Begins) I did have a knack for playing weirdos. There's still sort of this perception of me out there as being this crazy guy. But it's been good to get away from that doing roles like Beethoven and Sirius Black in Harry Potter. I was happy to leave it to Heath.

    • Gary: (on working on Batman Begins) He (Nolan) finishes so I can get home for dinner and put my kids to bed, and he's not a lunatic who wants to work 17 hours a day. I don't want to work with anyone like that. I want my weekends off and I want to put my kids to bed. Those are good reasons to want to be in Batman 2.

    • Gary: People who know me , they know I have a sense of humor, I'm a bit of a joker, a bit of a clown really, and I would love someone to exploit that side of me and send me a romantic comedy.

    • Gary: (on his movie Nil By Mouth) I drank for about 25 years getting over the loss of my father and I took the anger out on myself. I did a good job at beating myself up at sometimes. I don't drink anymore but my alcoholic head occasionally say's different. Nil by mouth was a love letter to my father because I needed to resolve some issues in order to be able to forgive him.

    • Gary: (on alcoholism) I never thought of going to the off-license and getting 2 litres of vodka. I'd always check into a hotel even if I lived 2 blocks from it. I'd get a suite,but because I couldn't have people downstairs thinking I was an alcoholic, I would take all the glasses and leave little bits in them. I would get ashtrays and puff all the cushions up and turn the TV up. I'd order a bottle of wine, vodka and tonics and beer for all these imaginary people at this fake party, sign for it and proceed to drink it all. I once drank 18 grand in 3 days. Then I would wake up in my clothes on the bed, not remember anything and check myself out.

    • Gary: (on his hair in movies) I can never seem to have my own hair. In Romeo Is Bleeding, I have longish hair. Then I do Murder in the First and have my hair cut. And then they want me to play Beethoven, and I have short hair, so I have to wear a wig. I don't know how Dan Day-Lewis always seems to have his own hair, but that's a huge talent in itself. I hate makeup and wigs. With Beethoven, I said I wanted to play a role where I didn't have to do anything stupid with my hair, and my agent said, `Read it again.'

    • Gary: (on getting sober) Getting sober was one of the three pivotal events in my life, along with becoming an actor and having a child. Of the three, finding my sobriety was the hardest thing.

    • Gary: (on acting) When I cry in a movie, they're my tears... If you're stirring up emotions inside of you all day, it affects your mood. You come home and it's not easy to have a beer, put your feet up and watch TV. It can wear you out. It's a nightmare on relationships.

    • Gary: (on the tabloid perception of his persona) There's this perception of me, this thing the tabloids have got a hold of. This wild man. There is not one paparazzi picture of me coming out of a nightclub, not one picture of me punching someone while drunk. I got nicked once for drunken driving, but I've never done drugs and yet the reputation.

    • Gary: (on his childhood) When I was a kid, if you gave me a couple sheets of paper and some crayons, you wouldn't hear from me. I could do that for 10 hours straight. I was always drawing race cars and planes and rockets. And doing my own little bit of armchair Freudian analysis now, I realise I was always thinking of things that had speed and were going to take me somewhere.

    • Gary: (on raising his children) My main focus has been the kids. And I didn't do it in an ideal way with Alfie; I did it as best I could. And I've had a wonderful gift to be able to do it again. Under unusual circumstances.

    • Gary: (on a saying he picked up from Anthony Hopkins and how it affects him) What other people think of me is none of my business. I don't give a f***. You just have to be practical. And your responsibilities change. And when you have kids it all changes. I just don't want to be away. So I have been lucky, extremely lucky, to have sort of landed on the franchise thing.

    • Gary: (on things he doesn't want or do) I don't have a publicist. Never had one. I don't go to premieres. I don't go to parties. I don't covet the Oscar. I don't want any of that. I don't go out. I just have dinner at home every night with my kids. Being famous, that's a whole other career. And I haven't got any energy for it.

    • Gary: ( on the decision to go unbilled in the movie Hannibal) I'm playing the man with no face. So we just had a bit of fun with it. We thought it would be great. The man with no face and no name, and sort of do it anonymously. It's no secret that I'm in the film. We just had fun with it, really.

    • Gary: My passion and energy get mistaken for anger.

    • Gary: (on his drinking problem) There's an uncanny thing that chemically happens to you when you're in the chronic stages of alcoholic drinking. I have been able, on occasions, to have two bottles of vodka and still be up talking to people. That got very frightening. By nature I'm an isolationalist, so my boozing was at home, thank you. I was not a goer-outer. I mean, I didn't drink for the taste and I didn't want to be social. Someone once described alcoholics as egomaniacs with low self-esteem. Perfect definition.

    • Gary: (on his reason for deciding to become an actor) Malcolm McDowell. I saw him on the T.V. one night and I just went "that's what I want to do. I want to be doing that." And that's it.

    • Gary: (regarding his son, Gulliver, telling his school mate that his dad received the role of Sirius Black) He went into his school and he ran up to his mate Omar and he just said, "Guess what." "Guess who's in Harry Potter." And Omar went, "Harry Potter?"

    • Gary: (On playing Sirius Black in the "Harry Potter" movies) I like the character because he is unpredictable, and very volatile, but he isn't a bad guy. But I also liked the dynamic that he was set up to be a bad guy, and was actually something quite different. And of course I've got kids of my own now, and they love me being in the Harry Potter films. I'm now part of a phenomenon. You become incredibly cool to your kids, and you get a young fan base. So you became the cool dad at school. You're suddenly hip.

    • Gary: I wasn't ever a huge fan of comics. Just not one of those kids, you know?

    • Gary: I had a guitar when I was 6 or 7, a plastic guitar with the Beatles' faces on it. It would be a collector's item now. It would fetch a hefty sum, I imagine.

    • Gary: I applaud anything that can take a kid away from a PlayStation or a Gameboy--that is a miracle in itself.

    • Gary: We're given a code to live our lives by. We don't always follow it but it's still there.

    • Gary: (On portraying famous people) I was getting a little tired of it. It was like if someone was famous and did something and died, call Gary.