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James Broadbent

James "Jim" Broadbent (born 24 May 1949) is an English theatre, film and television actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles in Iris, Moulin Rouge!, Topsy-Turvy, and Bridget Jones' Diary. His most recent appearance was in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince .



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Broadbent was born in Lincoln, the son of Doreen "Dee" (née Findlay), a sculptor, and Roy Laverick Broadbent, an artist, sculptor, interior designer, and furniture maker who turned a former church into a theatre named after him. Broadbent's parents were both amateur actors who co-founded the Holton Players acting troupe at Holton cum Beckering; the two were described by the BBC as conscientious objectors who "worked the land" rather than participate in World War II. He had a twin sister who died at birth. Broadbent was educated at Leighton Park School, a Quaker school in Reading, and briefly attended art college before transferring to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art from which he graduated in 1972.

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Broadbent's early stagework included a number of productions for The National Theatre of Brent as the downtrodden assistant Wallace to Patrick Barlow's self important actor/manager character Desmond Olivier Dingle. Broadbent and Barlow played many male and female character roles in comically less than epic tellings of historical and religious stories such as The Messiah, The Complete Guide to Sex, The Greatest Story Ever Told (the story of Jesus), Revolution!!, All The World's A Globe (Shakespeare). These were hits at the Edinburgh Fringe, in London and on tour. Later stage work included the original productions of Kafka's Dick (1986) and Our Country's Good (1988) at the Royal Court Theatre and work for the Royal National Theatre including "The Government Inspector”. Work on the stage with Mike Leigh includes Goosepimples and Ecstasy.

Broadbent made his film debut in 1978 with a tiny role in Jerzy Skolimowski's The Shout, and made his television debut the following year. He went on to work with Stephen Frears (for television), and in The Hit (1984)) and Terry Gilliam (in Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985)) before establishing himself in Mike Leigh's Life Is Sweet (1990). He proved his ability as a character actor in films including The Crying Game (1992), Enchanted April (1992), Bullets Over Broadway (1994), The Borrowers (1997) and Little Voice (1998) before taking a leading role in another Mike Leigh film, Topsy-Turvy (1999). He played "The Shy Doctor" in the 1999 Comic Relief parody Doctor Who sketch, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death. In 2001, Broadbent starred in three of the year's most successful films: Bridget Jones's Diary, Moulin Rouge!, for which he won a BAFTA and Iris, for which he won an Oscar for his portrayal of John Bayley. He is regarded as one of cinema's most reliable character actors and has a reputation of being very easy to work with.

Broadbent also appeared as DCI Roy The Slag Slater, an associate character in the enormously popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses. The character appeared in three episodes over an eight-year period. He had originally been offered the lead role of Del Trotter in the series, but he turned it down due to other commitments. He has also played a role in the Inspector Morse series. Other comic roles include the lead role in the sitcom The Peter Principle and occasional guest appearances in Not The Nine O'Clock News and Victoria Wood As Seen On TV. He played Don Speekingleesh in The Queen of Spain's Beard in the first series of The Black Adder in 1983. He also played the role of Prince Albert in Blackadder's Christmas Carol, first broadcast in 1988. He joined Rowan Atkinson again in his Spider-Man spoof Spider-Plant Man, as a disgruntled Batman, jealous of Spider-Plant Man's success.

Broadbent played the title role in Channel 4 drama, Longford in October 2006, earning a BAFTA TV Award, a Golden Globe and a 2007 Emmy nomination for his performance. Broadbent appeared as Inspector Frank Butterman in Hot Fuzz in 2007, the film received very high appraise.

He appeared in the original radio production of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, playing the character Vroomfondel. He was also a regular in Stephen Fry's radio comedy show Saturday Night Fry, which aired on BBC Radio 4 in 1988.

Broadbent plays Dean Charles Stanforth in the fourth film in the Indiana Jones series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Horace Slughorn in the sixth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In 2008, he starred as pro-Newtonian physicist Sir Oliver Lodge in the fact-based single drama Einstein and Eddington, for the BBC.

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Broadbent is married to painter and former theatre designer, Anastasia Lewis.

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Year Film Role Notes
1980 Breaking Glass Station Porter
1981 The Dogs of War Film Crew
Time Bandits Compere
1982 Birth of a Nation Geoff Fig
1983 Blackadder Don Speekingleesh "The Queen of Spain's Beard"
1985 Brazil Dr. Jaffe
The Good Father Roger Miles
Happy Families Dalcroix TV role
1987 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Jean Pierre Dubois
1988 Blackadder's Christmas Carol Prince Albert TV role
1989 Erik the Viking Ernest the Viking
1990 Life Is Sweet Andy
1992 Enchanted April Frederick Arbuthnot
The Crying Game Col
1993 Prince Cinders Ugly Brother
1994 Bullets Over Broadway Warner Purcell
Princess Caraboo Mr. Worrall
Widow's Peak Con Clancy
1995 Richard III Duke of Buckingham
The Last Englishman Col. Alfred D. Wintle
1997 The Borrowers Pod Clock
1998 The Avengers Mother
Little Voice Mr. Boo Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1999 Topsy-Turvy W.S. Gilbert Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Volpi Cup
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Doctor Who: Curse of Fatal Death Unnofficial Eleventh Doctor
2001 Bridget Jones's Diary Bridget's father
Moulin Rouge! Harold Zidler BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActorNational Board of Review Award for Best Supporting ActorSatellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Iris John Bayley Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActorNational Board of Review Award for Best Supporting ActorNominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — European Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
2002 The Gathering Storm Desmond Morton Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Gangs of New York Boss Tweed
Nicholas Nickleby Mr. Wackford Sqeers National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
2003 Bright Young Things Drunk Major
2004 Around the World in 80 Days Lord Kelvin
Pride Eddie (voice) TV role
Vanity Fair Mr. Osborne
Vera Drake Judge
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Bridget's father
2005 Robots Madame Gasket (voice)
Valiant Sergeant (voice)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Professor Kirke
2006 Free Jimmy Igor Stromowskij Voice actor in 2008 English version
Longford Lord Longford British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Art School Confidential Jimmy
2007 Hot Fuzz Inspector Frank Butterman
And When Did You Last See Your Father? Arthur Morrison Nominated — British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated — London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Dean Charles Stanforth
Einstein and Eddington Sir Oliver Lodge TV role
Inkheart Fenoglio
2009 The Young Victoria King William IV
The Damned United Sam Longson
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Horace Slughorn
Perrier's Bounty Jim McCrea post-production
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Horace Slughorn

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