Kenneth is the son of William and Frances Branagh. His father was an Ulster carpenter. Educated in Northern Ireland, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1984 (after other stage and screen work) and was soon taking on leading roles. Next, he formed his own 'Renaissance Theatre Company',…more
Kenneth was nominated for SAG Awards in 1996 and 2006. In 1996, he was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role" for the movie Othello. In 2006, he was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries" for Warm Springs.
Ken is a patron of The Paul Bevan Cancer Foundation. In 2004, aspiring thespians were encouraged to bid in a charity auction for a two hour acting masterclass with Ken in aid of the charity. The winning bidder also received a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare, autographed by Branagh.
In 2006, Kenneth was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for his performance as Franklin Roosevelt in Warm Springs. Unforunately, he lost out to Jonathan Rhys Meyers who won for his performance in Elvis.
In 2002, Kenneth appeared in the world wide smash hit, 'Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets' as Gilderoy Lockhart. In 2004, ex wife Emma Thompson appeared in next film in the series, 'Harrry Potter and the Prisioner of Azkaban.'
'The Play What I Wrote,' directed by Kenneth, received a Tony Award nomination for its American production in the category of Best Theatrical Event. The British production received two Olivier Awards in 2002. It won Best New Comedy and performer Toby Jones won Best Actor in A Supporting Role.
Kenneth directed 'The Play What I Wrote,' a homage to cult British comedians Morcombe and Wise. The play was performed in London and New York.
Kenneth took the lead role in an audio book version of Shakespeare's 'Richard The Third.' He also played Richard on stage in 2002.
Kenneth studied 'A Level' English, History and Sociology.
Kenneth has recently completed directing a film version of 'The Magic Flute'. It is due for release in 2006.
In 2003, Kenneth was nominated for a BAFTA twice in the category of Best Actor for 'Conspiracy' and 'Shackleton.'
Kenneth has directed six film adaptations of Shakespeare plays: 'Henry the Fifth,' 'Twelfth Night,' ' Much Ado About Nothing,' 'Hamlet,' 'Love's Labours Lost' and 'As You LIke It.'
When Kenneth's first wife Emma Thompson was awarded an Oscar in 1992, he was not able to attend the ceremony as he was contracted to play Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon
Kenneth's first television role was a Robert Moffat in the 1981 mini-series 'Maybury.'
In his biography 'Beginning', Kenneth admits that he claimed to be an excellent horse rider in order to get a part in the Australian film 'Boy in the Bush.' In truth, he was terrified of horses.
At RADA, Kenneth won the Bancroft Gold Medal for being such an outstanding student.
Kenneth was offered a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
When Kenneth formed the Renaissance Theatre Company, he managed to persuade Dame Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi and Geraldine McEwan to direct stage productions for the newly formed theatrical group.
In 1993, Kenneth received the Michael Balcon Award from BAFTA for his outstanding contribution to television and film.
In his biography 'Beginning', Kenneth explains that he once wrote to Lord Laurence Olivier asking his advice on how to play the character Chebutykin in a production of Chokov's 'The Cherry Orchard.' He was astounded when he received a reply.
Kenneth won a Golden Osella at the Venice Film Festival in 1995 in the category of Best Director for the film 'In The Bleak Midwinter.'
Kenneth studied at RADA. (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.)
In 1990, Kenneth won a Best Direction BAFTA award for the film 'Henry The Fifth.'
While at secondary school, Kenneth appeared in a production of 'Oh! What A Lovely War.'
In 2001, Kenneth won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie playing Reinhard Heydrich in Conspiracy.
In 2003, Kenneth married art director Lindsay Brunnock.
Kenneth has been nominated for four Ocars: In 1997 in the category of Best Writing, Screenplay based on Another Medium for 'Hamlet,' in 1993 for Best Short Live Action Film for 'Swan Song,' and twice for his 1989 film adaptaion of 'Henry the Fifth' in the categories of Best Actor and Best Director.
Kenneth Branagh: When you make a film of a subject that existed in another medium - particularly in the theatre, where it's worked as a play for four hundred years - I think one is obliged to consider what the cinema can do to reveal the story of the play that the theatre can't do in the same way.
Kenneth: (on the chance of directing a Harry Potter movie) The thing that really drew my interest was working with those kids. I liked them very much. I thought perhaps that their potential hadn't yet been realized, or at least I felt they were hungry and were about make huge strides as actors.
Kenneth Branagh: I've gotten more and more interested in directing because it's a way of looking at the acting process which I find very interesting. I like talking to actors, I like to actually see how different people arrive at trying to be truthful.
Kenneth Branagh: Not to be too martyrish, but directing is an agonising thing. Somebody said it's like being pecked apart by a thousand pigeons.
Kenneth Branagh: (on his decision to make Love's Labour's Lost (2000) similar to a 1930s musical) [They] shared many characteristics -- so vibrant and escapist and glamorous and full of these graceful people who were always involved doing silly things. Those films are mainly about romance, and Love's Labour's Lost is also. Very silly, very thin plots where the plot actually is secondary to the main pleasure -- if it works -- which is the execution, the flourish. It seemed to me like it could be a good marriage.
Kenneth Branagh: (laughing, on how Love's Labour's Lost (2000) was received at Cannes) People were genuinely surprised the moment the first number began. People would look around and you'd have this little, "My God, they're starting to sing!" Well, we told you it was a ... musical!