Kenneth Branagh

(* 1960)

Kenneth Branagh (Rome Fiction Fest July 2009)Biographical Sketch

Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh (born Belfast, Northern Ireland, December 10, 1960) is an award-winning British actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. Branagh trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He has directed and starred in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare’s plays, including Henry V (1989) (for which he was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Director), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Othello (1995), Hamlet (1996) (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000), and As You Like It (2006).

He has also starred in numerous other films and television series including Fortunes of War (1987), Woody Allen’s Celebrity (1998), Wild Wild West (1999), The Road to El Dorado (2000), Conspiracy (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Warm Springs (2005), Valkyrie (2008), The Boat That Rocked (2009), Wallander (2008–present), and My Week with Marilyn (2011) as Sir Laurence Olivier (Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor). He has directed such notable films as Dead Again (1991) in which he also starred, Swan Song (1992) (Academy Award nominated for Best Live Action Short Film), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994) in which he also starred, The Magic Flute (2006), Sleuth (2007), the blockbuster superhero film Thor (2011), the action thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) in which he also co-stars, and Cinderella (2015).

Branagh narrated the BBC documentary miniseries’ Walking with Dinosaurs (starred in 1999), as well as The Ballad of Big Al, Walking with Beasts (2001) and Walking with Monsters (2005). He has been nominated for five Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, and has won three BAFTAs, and an Emmy. He was appointed a knight bachelor in the 2012 Birthday Honours and was knighted on 9 November 2012.

Read more about Kenneth Branagh on Wikipedia.


Major Awards and Honors

Titles of the British Empire
  • 1994: Commander of the Order of the British Empire – declined.
  • 2012: Knight Bachelor
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
  • 2015: President
Queen’s University, Belfast (Northern Ireland)
  • 1990: Honorary Doctorate in Literature
Olivier Awards (Great Britain)
  • 1982: Best Newcomer – “Another Country”
Critics Circle Awards (Great Britain)
  • 2008: Best Actor – “Ivanov”
BAFTA Awards (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
  • 1989: BAFTA Film Awards: Best Direction – “Henry V”
  • 2008: BAFTA Television Awards: Best Drama Series – “Wallander”
  • 2009: BAFTA Television Awards: Best Actor – “Wallander”
London Film Critics Circle Awards
  • 1993: British Producer of the Year – “Much Ado About Nothing”
  • 2002: British Supporting Actor of the Year – “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
  • 2002: Supporting Actor of the Year – “My Week With Marilyn”
Broadcasting press Guild (Great Britain)
  • 2008: Best Actor – “Wallander”
Emmy Awards (USA)
  • 2001: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie – “Conspiracy”
San Diego Film Critics Society Award (USA)
  • 1996: Best Actor – “Hamlet”
European Film Awards
  • 1990: Best Director – “Henry V”
  • 1990: European Actor of the Year – “Henry V”
  • 1990: Young European Film of the Year – “Henry V”
Sant Jordi Awards (Spain)

1989: Best Foreign Actor – “Henry V”

Capri Film Festival (Italy)
  • 2011: Capri Award, Best Ensemble Cast – “My Week With Marilyn”



  • Chariots of Fire (1981)
    Role: Cambridge student (uncredited)
  • A Month in the Country (1987)
    Role: James Moon
  • High Season (1987)
    Role: Rick
  • Henry V (1989)
    Role: King Henry V
    Also director and screenwriter.
  • Dead Again (1991)
    Role: Mike Church/Roman Strauss
    Also director.
  • Peter’s Friends (1992)
    Role: Andrew Benson
    Also director and producer.
  • Swan Song (1992)
    – Short film; director.
  • Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
    Role: Benedick
    Also director, producer and screenwriter.
  • Swing Kids (1993)
    Role: Herr Knopp, Gestapo Uncredited
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
    Role: Dr. Victor Frankenstein
    Also director.
  • In the Bleak Midwinter (1995)
    Director and screenwriter.
  • Othello (1995)
    Role: Iago
  • Hamlet (1996)
    Role: Prince Hamlet
    Also director and screenwriter.
  • The Gingerbread Man (1998)
    Role: Rick Magruder
  • The Theory of Flight (1998)
    Role: Richard
  • Celebrity (1998)
    Role: Lee Simon
  • The Proposition (1998)
    Role: Father Michael McKinnon
  • The Dance of Shiva (1998)
    Role: Colonel Evans
    Short film.
  • Alien Love Triangle (1999)
    Role: Steven Chesterman
    Short film.
  • Wild Wild West (1999)
    Role: Dr. Arliss Loveless
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000)
    Role: Berowne
    Also director, producer and screenwriter.
  • The Road to El Dorado (2000)
    Role: Miguel (voice)
  • How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog (2000)
    Role: Peter McGowen
  • Periwig Maker (2000)
    Role: The Periwig-Maker (voice)
    Short film.
  • Schneider’s 2nd Stage (2001)
    Role: Joseph Barnett
    Short film.
  • Rabbit Proof Fence (2002)
    Role: A.O. Neville
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
    Role: Professor Gilderoy Lockhart
  • Listening (2003)
    Short film; director and screenwriter.
  • Five Children & It (2004)
    Role: Uncle Albert
  • The Magic Flute (2006)
    Director and screenwriter.
  • As You Like It (2006)
    Director and screenwriter.
  • Sleuth (2007)
    Role: Man on TV (uncredited cameo)
    Director and producer.
  • Valkyrie (2008)
    Role: Generalmajor Henning von Tresckow
  • The Boat That Rocked (2009)
    Role: Sir Alistair Dormandy
  • Thor (2011)
  • Prodigal (2011)
    Role: Mark Snow
    Short film.
  • My Week with Marilyn (2011)
    Role: Laurence Olivier
  • Stars in Shorts (2012)
    Role: Mark Snow
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
    Role: Viktor Cherevin
    Also director.
  • Cinderella (2015)
  • Play for Tomorrow (1982)
    Role: Student; TV series, episode Easter 2016.
  • Play for Today: The Billy Plays (1982-1984)
    Role: Billy Martin; TV series, 3 episodes.
  • To the Lighthouse (1983)
    Role: Charles Tansley; TV movie.
  • Maybury (1983)
    Role: Robert Clyde Moffat; TV series, 2 episodes.
  • Boy in the Bush (1984)
    Role: Jack Grant; TV miniseries.
  • Coming Through (1985)
    Role: D.H. Lawrence; TV movie.
  • The Lady’s Not for Burning (1987)
    Role: Thomas Mendip; TV movie.
  • Lorna (1987)
    Role: Billy; TV movie.
  • Theatre Night (1987)
    Role: Oswald; TV series, episode Ghosts
  • Fortunes of War (1987)
    Role: Guy Pringle; TV series, 7 episodes.
  • Thompson (1988)
    Roles: various; TV series, 6 episodes.
  • American Playhouse (1988)
    Role: Gordan Evans; TV series, episode Strange Interlude
  • Look Back in Anger (1989)
    Role: Jimmy Porter; videotaped TV drama.
  • Performance (1995)
    Role: Donal Davoren; TV series, episode Shadow of a Gunman
  • Conspiracy (2001)
    Role: Reinhard Heydrich; TV movie.
  • Shackleton (2002)
    Role: Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton; TV movie.
  • Warm Springs (2005)
    Role: Franklin D. Roosevelt; TV movie.
  • 10 Days to War (2008)
    Role: Colonel Tim Collins; TV series, episode Our Business Is North
  •  Wallander (2008–2015)
    Role: Kurt Wallander; TV series, 12 episodes.

Notable Stage Appearances

  • Another Country (Queen’s Theatre, London, 1982)
    Role: Judd
  • Henry V (Royal Shakespeare Company / Barbican, London, 1984)
    Role: King Henry V
  • Romeo and Juliet (Renaissance Theatre Company / Lyric Studio in Hammersmith, London, 1986)
    Role: Romeo
  • Public Enemy (Renaissance Theatre Company / Lyric Studio in Hammersmith, London, 1987)
    Role: Tommy
  • Hamlet (Renaissance Theatre Company / Birmingham Rep, Renaissance Shakespeare on the Road Tour &  Phoenix Theatre, London, 1988)
    Role: Prince Hamlet
  • Look Back in Anger (Renaissance Theatre Company / Grand Opera House, Belfast / London Coliseum & Lyric Theatre, London, 1989)
    Role: Jimmy Porter
  • Coriolanus (Chichester Festival Theatre, 1992)
    Role: Caius Martius Coriolanus
  • Richard III ( Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 2002)
    Role: Richard III
  • Edmond( Royal National Theatre, London, 2002)
    Role: Edmond
  • Ivanov (Wyndham’s Theatre / Donmar West End, 2008)
    Role: Nikolai Ivanov
  • Macbeth (Manchester International Festival, 2013 & Park Avenue Armory, New York, 2014)
    Role: Macbeth
  • The Winter’s Tale (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company / Garrick Theatre, London, 2015)
    Role: Leontes
  • Harlequinade (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company / Garrick Theatre, London, 2015)
    Role: Arthur Gosport
  • The Painkiller (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company / Garrick Theatre, London, 2016)
    Role: Ralph
  • The Entertainer (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company / Garrick Theatre, London, 2016)
    Role: Archie Rice


Movies and Television
  • Anne Frank Remembered (1995)
  • Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (1996)
    Six-part TV special.
  • Great Composers (1997)
    TV miniseries.
  • Cold War (1998)
    TV series.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs (1999)
    TV series.
  • Walking with Beasts (2001)
    TV series.
  • The Science of Walking with Beasts (2001)
    Two-part TV special.
  • The Ballad of Big Al (2001)
    TV special.
  • The Tramp and the Dictator (2002)
  • Walking with Monsters: Life Before Dinosaurs (2005)
    TV series.
  • The Goebbels Experiment (2005)
  • IMAX: Galapagos (2005)
  • World War I in Colour (2005)
  • The American Experience (2006)
    TV documentary; episode The Man Behind Hitler
  • A Poem is … (2011)
    TV series.
  • William Shakespeare: Hamlet (BBC / Renaissance Theatre Company full cast recording)
    Role: Prince Hamlet
  • William Shakespeare: Richard III (Naxos Audiobooks full cast recording)
    Role: Richard III
  • William Shakespeare (Naxos Audiobooks full cast recording)
    Role: Lear’s Fool.
  • William Shakespeare: Sonnet 30 (When Love Speaks, EMI Classics, 2002)
  • Anton Chekhov: In the Ravine & Other Short Stories (Naxos Audiobooks)
  • Felix Mendelssohn: Incidental Music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sony Classical)
    Speaker; live recording conducted by Claudio Abbado.
  • The Diary of Samuel Pepys 1660–1669 (abridged, Hodder Headline)
  • C.S. Lewis: The Magician’s Nephew (Harper Books)
  • Mary Shelley: Frankenstein [Abridged]
  • Graham Greene: The Captain and the Enemy (BBC Audiobooks)
  • Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness (