Jim Broadbent filmography and biography
Date of birth: 24 May 1949, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England, UK
Jim Broadbent biography
One of England's most versatile character actors, Jim Broadbent was born on May 24, 1949, in Lincolnshire, the youngest son of furniture maker Roy Broadbent and sculptress Dee Broadbent. Jim attended a Quaker boarding school in Reading before successfully applying for a place at an art school. His heart was in acting, though, and he would later transfer to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Following his 1972 graduation, he began his professional career on the stage, performing with the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and as part of the National Theatre of Brent, a two-man troupe which he co-founded. In addition to his theatrical work, Broadbent did steady work on television, working for such directors as Mike Newell (I) and Stephen Frears. Broadbent made his film debut in 1978 with a small part in Jerzy Skolimowski's The Shout. He went on to work with Frears again in The Hit and with Terry Gilliam in Time Bandits and Brazil, but it was through his collaboration with Mike Leigh that Broadbent first became known to an international film audience. In 1990 he starred in Leigh's Life Is Sweet, a domestic comedy that cast him as a good-natured cook who dreams of running his own business. Broadbent gained further visibility the following year with substantial roles in Neil Jordan (I)'s The Crying Game and Mike Newell (I)'s Enchanted April, and he could subsequently be seen in such diverse fare as Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway, Widows Peak, Richard Loncraine's highly acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard III and Little Voice, the last of which cast him as a seedy nightclub owner. Appearing primarily as a character actor in these films, Broadbent took center stage for Leigh's Topsy-Turvy, imbuing the mercurial W.S. Gilbert with emotional complexity and comic poignancy. Jim's breakthrough year was 2001, as he starred in three critically and commercially successful films. Many would consider him the definitive supporting actor of that year. First he starred as Bridget's dad (Colin Jones) in Bridget Joness Diary, which propelled RenÃ©e Zellweger to an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Next came the multiple Oscar-nominated film (including Best Picture) Moulin Rouge!, for which he won a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA award for his scene-stealing performance as Harold Zidler. Lastly, came the small biopic Iris (2001/I), for which he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as devoted husband John Bayley to Judi Dench's Iris Murdoch, the British novelist who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. The film hit home with Jim, since his own mother had passed away from Alzheimer's in 1995.
Jim Broadbent trivia
- Graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in 1972.
- He is the son of Roy Broadbent, who was involved in converting a Methodist Church into a theater. It was later renamed the Broadbent Theater after his death in 1971.
- Honorary President of the Lindsey Rural Players
- Voice of Vroomfondel in the BBC radio series version of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
- Shortly after winning his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Iris (2001/I), he was interviewed by Joan Rivers, who apparently didn't even know what nationality he was. On live TV, Rivers said, "Here we have Jim Broadbent, all the way from Australia. You're Australian aren't you?" But there were to be no tantrums from the star - the mild-mannered actor replied, "No, I'm British."
- At The Orange British Academy Film Awards on Monday January 28th 2002, he was nominated for the best Performance by an Actor in a leading role Award for his role in the film Iris.
- His mother, who died in 1995, suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.
- Nominated for a 2004 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for Winnie-the-Pooh.
- In 2001, appeared in Moulin Rouge! with Nicole Kidman, Bridget Joness Diary with RenÃ©e Zellweger and Iris (2001/I) with Judi Dench. All three of these women were nominated for Best Actress for their roles.
- Is the only Oscar-winning actor in the Superman films who has only won a single Oscar. Marlon Brando won for On the Waterfront and The Godfather; Gene Hackman for The French Connection and Unforgiven; and Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects and American Beauty. Broadbent only won for Iris.
- Was offered the part of Del Boy in BBC's Sitcom "Only Fools and Horses", but declined the role. But he did guest-star in three episodes of the show.
- He allegedly declined the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to drama in 2002.
- Plays former President Richard Nixon in Dirty Tricks (2000) (TV). Nixon was previously played by Anthony Hopkins in Nixon. Hopkins also appeared in Shadowlands as C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which Broadbent appeared.
- He won an Oscar for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001/I), making him one of 12 actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2007). The other ten actors and their respective performances are: Spencer Tracy (I) for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town, Gary Cooper (I) for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York, Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, Jason Robards for playing Benjamin Bradlee in All the Presidents Men, Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull, Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miners Daughter, 'Jeremy Irons' for playing Claus Von Bullow in _Reversal of Fortune_ (1990), Susan Sarandon for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine, Julia Roberts (I) for playing Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich and most recently Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.
- Considered for the role of Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray.
Jim Broadbent quotes
- "I love French films, and European films. They're not any bigger, but there's just a sort of definition, and a confidence, and strength to them. I'd always, given the option, go and see a French drama. Obviously, we probably get the better ones. But they're just sophisticated on many levels, and grown up, and quite profound - and we don't make films like that."
- "I always think you should be totally frivolous as much as you can, and then take the work seriously when it has to be taken seriously. As long as you can keep that balance going, it's good fun. If it's only frivolous it's not fun - it would drive me potty. On Iris, I'd never worked with Judi Dench before, but it was wonderful to realize that we worked in exactly the same way. Foolish for most of the time, then focusing on the work, clicking into it very quickly and naturally. There were a lot of laughs. Otherwise it could have been torture. Two months of being grueled."