Home > Categories > Art and Entertainment > Actors > Sir Kenneth Branagh's Biography

Sir Kenneth Branagh's Biography

Browse biogs A-Z

Who is Sir Kenneth Branagh?

Actor and director Sir Kenneth Branagh was born on 10 December 1960 in Belfast.

His father was a joiner. The family moved to Reading when Kenneth Branagh was nine years old.

Branagh received a grant from Berkshire County Council and went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (Rada).

At Rada, Kenneth Branagh played Hamlet and won the Bancroft Gold medal for Rada's most promising student.

Shortly after leaving Rada in 1982, Kenneth Branagh was cast in Another Country in London's West End.

At 23, Kenneth Branagh then became the youngest Henry V the Royal Shakespeare Company has ever cast and two years later, with David Parfitt, he formed the Renaissance Theatre Company.

Among those, whom Branagh and his company collaborated with were Judi Dench, Richard Briers, Geraldine McEwan and Derek Jacobi.

n 1988, Kenneth Branagh was still setting new standards as he extended his range and his appeal with his debut as a film director: Shakespeare's Henry V, in which he starred, saw him nominated for Oscars for both acting and directing.

Since then, Kenneth Branagh has amassed numerous theatrical, TV and film credits as an actor and a director. According to the critics they have been a mixed bag.

Many of his films had popular appeal. In 1991, Dead Again, which he directed and acted in (as did his wife at the time Emma Thompson) became a box office topper in the USA.

His other directing credits included Peter's Friends, Much Ado About Nothing, Frankenstein, The Magic Flute and Sleuth, whilst he acted in films such as The Gingerbread Man, Woody Allen's Celebrity and as Gilderoy Lockhart in the second Harry Potter film.

Kenneth Branagh won an Emmy for Conspiracy, where he played the SS General Reinhard Heydrich.

He also achieved acclaim for his performance as Shackleton in Channel Four's account of the life of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Kenneth Branagh's second wife is the art director Lindsey Brunnock.

Branagh told The Guardian how he supports Tottenham, Linfield and Rangers.

In September 2008, the BBC reported how Kenneth Branagh received rave reviews for his performance in Anton Chekhov's play Ivanov.

In November 2008, Branagh was shortlisted for an Evening Standard Theatre Award for his performance in Chekhov's Ivanov.

In winter 2008, Kenneth Branagh starred as Kurt Wallander in the BBC series, Wallander.

He continued in the part and in 2010 Branagh won the Bafta for best actor for his role as Wallander.

In June 2012, Kenneth Branagh was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

In July 2013, Branagh's Hamlet received critical acclaim when it opened in Manchester.

In 2017, Branagh directed and starred as Hercule Poirot in a film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.

In October 2017, he was the 82nd person to be awarded the Freedom of Belfast.

In 2019, he directed and played the starring role as William Shakespeare in the film All is True.

In 2020, following on from Murder on the Orient Express, Branagh directed another Agatha Christie book featuring Poirot, Death on the Nile.

In the same year Branagh played Andrei Sator in Christopher Nolan's film Tenet. His co-stars included, Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson.

Back to Top

Latest User CommentsAdd your comment
Add your comment
To ensure you are a real person and not a computer please enter the following characters shown below: