David Jude Heyworth Law (born 29 December 1972) is an English actor. He has received multiple awards including a BAFTA Film Award as well as nominations for two Academy Awards and two Tony Awards. In 2007, he received an Honorary César and was named a knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government.
David Jude Heyworth Law
29 December 1972
|Partner(s)||Sienna Miller (2003–2006)|
|Relatives||Natasha Law (sister)|
Born and raised in London, Law started acting in theatre. After finding small roles in feature films, Law gained recognition for his role in Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and was nominated for an Academy Award. He found further critical and commercial success in Enemy at the Gates (2001), Steven Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) and Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition (2002). He continued to gain praise for starring in the war film Cold Mountain (2003), the drama Closer (2004), and the romantic comedy The Holiday (2006), gaining Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for the first.
Law played Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), a younger Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), and Yon-Rogg in Captain Marvel (2019); all of which rank among his highest-grossing releases. His other notable roles were in Contagion (2011), Hugo (2011), Side Effects (2013), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and Spy (2015); and the television series The Young Pope (2016) and The New Pope (2020).
Law has also had an accomplished career on stage, performing in several West End and Broadway productions such as Les Parents terribles in 1994, Hamlet in 2010, and Anna Christie in 2011. He received Tony Award nominations for the first and second.
Law was born on 29 December 1972 in Lewisham, South London, the second child of junior and later on, comprehensive school teachers Margaret Anne Heyworth and Peter Robert Law; his father later became, according to Law, "the youngest headmaster in London". His mother was adopted but was later reunited with her Welsh birth mother, Meinwen Parry. He has a sister, Natasha. Law was named David after one of his parents' best friends, but called by his middle name since birth. The name Jude was taken from "a bit of both" the book Jude the Obscure and the Beatles song "Hey Jude".
1987–1999: Early work and breakthrough
Law began acting in 1987 with the National Youth Music Theatre. He played various roles in the Edinburgh Fringe-awarded play The Ragged Child. One of his first major stage roles was Foxtrot Darling in Philip Ridley's The Fastest Clock in the Universe. Law went on to appear as Michael in the West End production of Jean Cocteau's tragicomedy Les Parents terribles, directed by Sean Mathias. For this play, he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Newcomer, and he received the Ian Charleson Award for Outstanding Newcomer. Following a title change to Indiscretions, the play was reworked and transferred to Broadway in 1995, where Law acted opposite Kathleen Turner, Roger Rees and Cynthia Nixon. This role earned him a Tony Award nomination and the Theatre World Award.
In 1989, Law received his first television role, in a film based on the Beatrix Potter children's book, The Tailor of Gloucester. Law would then go on to have minor roles in various British television series, including a two-year stint in the Granada TV produced ITV soap opera Families, and in the episode "Shoscombe Old Place" in ITV's Sherlock Holmes, as well as the leading role in the BFI /Channel 4 short The Crane.
In 1994, Law appeared in his first major leading film role with the British crime drama Shopping, which also featured his then future wife, Sadie Frost. In 1997, he rose to prominence with his role in the Oscar Wilde biopic Wilde. Law won the Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer for his portrayal of Lord Alfred Douglas, the glamorous young lover of Stephen Fry's Wilde. In Andrew Niccol's science fiction film Gattaca, Law played the role of a disabled former swimming star living in a eugenics-obsessed dystopia. In Clint Eastwood's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, he played the role of Billy Hanson, a male prostitute killed by an art dealer portrayed by Kevin Spacey. In 1998, Jude Law played Steven Grlscz, a vampire and an expert seducer, in The Wisdom of Crocodiles.
In 1999, Law starred alongside Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the psychological thriller film The Talented Mr. Ripley, directed by Anthony Minghella. For the film, Law learned to play the saxophone. For his performance, Law won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, as well as receiving nominations for the Golden Globe Award and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
2000–2008: Expansion and critical recognition
In 2001, Law starred as Russian sniper Vasily Zaytsev in the film Enemy at the Gates, and learned ballet dancing for the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001). In 2002, he played a mob hitman in Sam Mendes's 1930s period drama Road to Perdition.
In 2003, he once again collaborated with director Anthony Minghella for the period war film Cold Mountain opposite Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger, for which he received nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Law, an admirer of Sir Laurence Olivier, suggested the actor's image be included in the 2004 film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Using the science of computer graphics, footage of the young Olivier was merged into the film, playing Dr. Totenkopf, a mysterious scientific genius and supervillain. Also in 2004, Law portrayed the title character in Alfie, the remake of Bill Naughton's 1966 film, playing the role originated by Michael Caine; and later took on another of Caine's earlier roles in the 2007 film Sleuth, adapted by Nobel Laureate in Literature Harold Pinter, while Caine played the role originated by Olivier.
In 2006, he portrayed the role of Kate Winslet's character's single-parent brother in the film The Holiday, a modern-day American romantic comedy written, produced and directed by Nancy Meyers. After his appearances in a string of period dramas and science fiction films in the early to mid-2000s, Law said he found it tricky to approach the contemporary role in this film. Like Winslet, the actor stated, he felt more vulnerable about playing a character who fitted his own look and did not require an accent, a costume or a relocation. By the end of the year, Law was one of the Top Ten A-list of the most bankable film stars in Hollywood, according to the Ulmer Scale.
2009–present: Return to theatre and other projects
In May 2009, Law returned to the London stage to portray the title role in William Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Donmar Warehouse West End season at Wyndham's Theatre. The BBC reported "a fine and solid performance" but included other reviews of Law's interpretation that were mixed. There was a further run of the production at Elsinore Castle in Denmark from 25–30 August 2009. In September 2009, the production transferred to the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City. The Washington Post felt the much-anticipated performance was "highly disappointing". Nonetheless, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play and at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards ceremony, he was presented with the John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance. Also in 2009, Law became one of three actors who took over the role of actor Heath Ledger in Terry Gilliam's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Along with Law, actors Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell portray "three separate dimensions in the film".
In 2010, Law appeared opposite Forest Whitaker in the dark science fiction comedy Repo Men and as Dr. Watson in Guy Ritchie's adaption of Sherlock Holmes, alongside Robert Downey, Jr. and Rachel McAdams, as well as the 2011 sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Law starred as a celebrity supermodel in the film Rage. He portrayed blogger Alan Krumwiede in the 2011 medical thriller Contagion. The Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy called the character "excellent" and praised the "compelling ferociousness" of Law's portrayal.
In May 2015, it was announced that Law would portray Lenny Belardo/Pius XIII, an American cardinal who becomes the pope. A ten-episode series titled The Young Pope was jointly produced by Sky Atlantic and Canal+ with HBO, and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. The series began airing in various countries in October 2016. In their respective reviews for The Guardian and The New York Times, Rebecca Nicholson praised the "surprising charm" with which Law strikes a balance between the qualities of a "vindictive authoritarian and wounded man-child", while James Poniewozik described his role as "saddled with stiff dialogue". Law reprised in the role in the spin-off series The New Pope, which premiered on HBO on 13 January 2020. He also starred in the miniseries The Third Day, which premiered on HBO on 14 September 2020.
Law portrayed Albus Dumbledore, a wizard, in the fantasy film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. It was released on 16 November 2018 to mixed reviews. Law also portrayed Yon-Rogg in the 2019 Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Captain Marvel, which was a global box office success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide. Law will play Captain Hook in Peter Pan & Wendy, a live-action adaptation of the animated film Peter Pan. It is scheduled for a 2022 release. He is set to star in the limited series The Auteur.
In 2002, Law directed a Respect for Animals anti-fur cinema commercial, titled "Fur and Against". It used music composed by Gary Kemp, and included appearances by Law, Chrissie Hynde, Moby, George Michael, Danny Goffey, Rhys Ifans, Sadie Frost, Helena Christensen, Sir Paul McCartney, Melanie C, and Stella McCartney. In July 2007, he and Jeremy Gilley were in Afghanistan over a period of ten days to document peace commitments and activities there for an upcoming film and for marking the UN International Day of Peace. Accompanied by UNICEF Representative Catherine Mbengue, they travelled and filmed in dangerous areas of eastern Afghanistan with a film crew, interviewing children, government ministers, community leaders and UN officials. They also filmed at schools and visited various UNICEF-supported programmes inside and outside the capital Kabul. The efforts of Peace One Day are coordinated in celebration of the annual International Day of Peace, on 21 September. The film, named The Day After Peace, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. On 21 September 2008, the film was shown at a gala screening at the Royal Albert Hall.
On 30 August 2008, Law and Gilley returned to Afghanistan to help keep a momentum around Peace Day. They met President Hamid Karzai, top NATO and UN officials, and members of the aid community. They also screened the new documentary about the efforts in support of peace. The documentary features activities that took place throughout Afghanistan in 2007. It also highlights support from UNICEF and the WHO for the peaceful immunisation of 1.4 million children against polio in insecure areas. In 2011, Law joined street protests against Alexander Lukashenko and his brutal crackdown on the Belarusian democracy movement.
In 2004, Law launched a campaign to raise £2.5 million towards the Young Vic Theatre's £12.5 million redevelopment project. He is currently Chairman of the Young Vic committee and has said he is proud to help make the Young Vic "a nurturing bed" for young directors. In 2006, he joined Robbie Williams in the "Soccer Aid" celebrity football match to benefit UNICEF.
In 2006, he starred in an anthology of Samuel Beckett readings and performances directed by Anthony Minghella. With the Beckett Gala Evening at the Reading Town Hall, more than £22,000 was donated for the Macmillan Cancer Support. Also in 2006, Frost and Law directed a Shakespeare play in a South African orphanage. He travelled to Durban with Frost and their children to help children who have lost their parents to AIDS. In July 2007, as patron of the charity, he helped kick off the month-long tour of the AIDS-themed musical Thula Sizwe by the Young Zulu Warriors. Also in 2007, he encouraged the Friends of the Earth/the Big Ask campaign, asking British government to take action against climate change.
Law serves as an ambassador of the Prince of Wales' Children and the Arts Foundation. He supports Breast Cancer Care, and in December 2008 he supported the Willow Foundation with a small canvas for their campaign Stars on Canvas. In April 2009 he supported the charity Education Africa with the gift of a mask he had painted and signed himself. The campaign was launched on eBay by Education Africa.
Law, alongside Judi Dench, helped save St Stephen's Church in Hampstead. They supported the campaign, which raised £4.5 million to refurbish the Victorian church in North London. The building reopened in March 2009 as an arts and community centre.
In early 2007, Law shot the short film Realtime Movie Trailer at Borough Market, South London. Instead of promoting a film, this "trailer", which appeared among regular trailers in selected cinemas across London starting 19 November 2007, advertised a live event, Realtime Movie by Polish artist Paweł Althamer. Hundreds turned up for this unfilmed reenactment, in real time, of the sequence of events shown in Realtime Movie Trailer by the same actors, including Althamer as a Polish labourer, held on 30 November 2007. The performance was commissioned by Tate Modern as part of its "The World as a Stage" exhibition, which explored the boundaries between arts and reality.
Law met actress Sadie Frost while working on Shopping. The two married in September 1997 and divorced on 29 October 2003. They have three children: Rafferty (born 1996); Iris (born 2000), and Rudy (born 2002). While filming Alfie (2004) in late 2003, Law and co-star Sienna Miller began a relationship and became engaged in 2004. On 8 July 2005, Law issued a public apology to Miller for having an affair with his children's nanny. Miller and Law ended their relationship in November 2006.
Law was in a brief relationship with American model Samantha Burke in 2008; Burke gave birth to her and Law's daughter in September 2009. His fifth child, a girl, was born in 2015, to Catherine Harding. He married his girlfriend Phillipa Coan on 1 May 2019. In September 2020, Law announced the birth of the couple's first child together, who is also his sixth.
Since 2005, he has represented Dunhill as an "apparel ambassador" in Asia. In 2008, he became the international face of Dunhill and began appearing in the worldwide advertising campaigns. In 2008, Law became the face of the male perfume, Dior Homme Sport.
|1992||The Crane||Young Man||Short film|
|1996||I Love You, I Love You Not||Ethan|
|1997||Wilde||Lord Alfred Douglas|
|1997||Gattaca||Jerome Eugene Morrow|
|1997||Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil||Billy Hanson|
|1998||Music from Another Room||Danny|
|1998||The Wisdom of Crocodiles||Steven Grlscz|
|1999||Tube Tales||—||Director of segment "A Bird in the Hand"|
|1999||Presence of Mind||Secretary|
|1999||The Talented Mr. Ripley||Dickie Greenleaf|
|2000||Love, Honour and Obey||Jude|
|2000||Happy M'Gee||Tony M'Gee||Short film|
|2001||Enemy at the Gates||Vasily Zaytsev|
|2001||A.I. Artificial Intelligence||Gigolo Joe|
|2002||Road to Perdition||Harlen Maguire|
|2003||Cold Mountain||W.P. Inman|
|2004||I Heart Huckabees||Brad Stand|
|2004||The Aviator||Errol Flynn|
|2004||Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow||Sky Captain / Joseph Sullivan||Also producer|
|2004||Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events||Lemony Snicket||Voice|
|2006||All the King's Men||Jack Burden|
|2006||Breaking & Entering||Will Francis|
|2006||The Holiday||Graham Simpkins|
|2007||My Blueberry Nights||Jeremy|
|2009||The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus||Tony (2nd transformation)|
|2009||Sherlock Holmes||Dr. John Watson|
|2011||Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows||Dr. John Watson|
|2012||Anna Karenina||Count Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin|
|2012||Rise of the Guardians||Pitch Black / The Bogeyman||Voice|
|2013||Side Effects||Dr. Jonathan Banks|
|2013||Dom Hemingway||Dom Hemingway|
|2014||The Grand Budapest Hotel||Young Author|
|2014||Black Sea||Captain Robinson|
|2017||King Arthur: Legend of the Sword||Vortigern|
|2018||Vox Lux||The Manager||Also executive producer|
|2018||Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald||Albus Dumbledore|
|2019||A Rainy Day in New York||Ted Davidoff|
|2019||Skywatch||The Wiper||Short film|
|2020||The Rhythm Section||Iain Boyd|
|2020||The Nest||Rory O’Hara|
|2022||Untitled third Fantastic Beasts film||Albus Dumbledore||Post-Production|
|2022||Peter Pan & Wendy||Captain Hook||Filming|
|1989||The Tailor of Gloucester||Sam, Mayor's Stableboy||Television film|
|1991||The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes||Joe Barnes||Episode: "Shoscombe Old Place"|
|1993||The Marshal||Bruno||Television film|
|2004, 2010||Saturday Night Live||Himself (host)||2 episodes|
|2015||Toast of London||Himself||Episode: "Global Warming"|
|2016||The Young Pope||Lenny Belardo/Pope Pius XIII||10 episodes; also producer|
|2020||The New Pope||Lenny Belardo/Pope Pius XIII||9 episodes|
|2020||The Third Day||Sam||5 episodes|
|2020||The Third Day: Autumn||Sam||Live television special|
- "Ah, Leave Me Not to Pine", (The Pirates of Penzance), performed in Wilde, (1997)
- "Tu Vuo' Fa L'Americano", performed in The Talented Mr. Ripley, with Matt Damon, Fiorello and the Guy Barker International Quintet, (1999)
- "Avenues and Alleyways", the 1973 Tony Christie song, performed with other crew members in Love, Honour and Obey, (2000)
- "Rock On", the David Essex song, performed in Love, Honour and Obey, (2000)
- "Opening song", performed in NBC's Saturday Night Live, with Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Ashlee Simpson, (2004)
|1987||Bodywork||Adrenalin||Richard Stilgoe||National Youth Music Theatre production|
Northcott Theatre, Exeter (The Exeter Festival)
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
|1988||The Ragged Child||Various roles||Jeremy James Taylor
|National Youth Music Theatre production|
Sadler's Wells Theatre
Northcott Theatre, Exeter
Networked by BBC Television
|The Little Rats||Peter Allwood
Jeremy James Taylor
|National Youth Music Theatre production|
George Square Theatre (Edinburgh International Festival)
National Theatre of Northern Greece, Thessaloniki
The Opera House (The Municipal Theatre), Piraeus
|1989||Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat||Joseph||Andrew Lloyd Webber
|National Youth Music Theatre production|
Herriot Hall (Edinburgh Festival Fringe)
|The Caucasian Chalk Circle||Bertolt Brecht||National Youth Music Theatre production|
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
|1990||Captain Stirrick||Ned Stirrick||Eileen Chivers||Jeremy James Taylor
|National Youth Music Theatre production|
George Square Theatre (Edinburgh Festival Fringe)
|1992||The Fastest Clock in the Universe||Foxtrot Darling||Matthew Lloyd||Philip Ridley||Hampstead Theatre|
|Pygmalion||Freddie||George Bernard Shaw||Tour through Italy|
|1993||The Snow Orchid||Blaise||Tim Luscombe||Joe Pintauro||Gate Theatre|
|Live Like Pigs||Col||Kate Mitchell||John Arden||Royal Court Theatre, 1 October – 30 November 1993|
|Death of a Salesman||Happy||Matthew Warchus||Arthur Miller||West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds|
|1994||Les Parents terribles||Michael||Sean Mathias||Jean Cocteau||Lyttelton Theatre|
|1995||Indiscretions||Michael||Sean Mathias||Jean Cocteau||Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Broadway, 27 April – 4 November 1995|
|Ion||Ion||Nicholas Wright||Euripides||Royal Shakespeare Company production|
The Pit at Barbican Arts Centre
|1999||'Tis Pity She's a Whore||Giovanni||David Lan||John Ford||Young Vic Theatre|
|2002||Doctor Faustus||Doctor Faustus||David Lan||Christopher Marlowe||Young Vic Theatre|
|2006||Beckett at Reading, Gala Evening||Anthony Minghella||Samuel Beckett||Concert Hall, Reading, 2 April 2006|
|2009||Hamlet||Hamlet||Michael Grandage||William Shakespeare||Donmar at Wyndham's Theatre, 29 May – 22 August 2009|
Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, 25–30 August 2009
Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway, 6 October – 6 December 2009
|2011||Anna Christie||Mat Burke||Rob Ashford||Eugene O'Neill||Donmar Warehouse, 4 August – 8 October 2011|
|2013–2014||Henry V||Henry V||Michael Grandage||William Shakespeare||Noël Coward Theatre, 23 November 2013 – 15 February 2014|
|2015||The Vote||Josie Rourke||James Graham||Donmar Warehouse, May 2015|
|2017||Obsession||Gino||Ivo van Hove||Jan Peter Gerrits, based on the film by Luchino Visconti||Barbican Theatre, London, 19 April – 20 May|
Wiener Festwochen, Vienna, 31 May – 3 June
Koninklijk Theater Carre, Amsterdam, 8–18 June
Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, Luxembourg, 23–25 June
Awards and nominations
|Academy Award||1999||Nominated||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
for: The Talented Mr. Ripley
|2003||Nominated||Academy Award for Best Actor
for: Cold Mountain
|Golden Globe Award||1999||Nominated||Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
for: The Talented Mr. Ripley
|2001||Nominated||Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture|
|2003||Nominated||Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
for: Cold Mountain
|2017||Nominated||Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
for: The Young Pope
|BAFTA Awards||1999||Won||BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
for: The Talented Mr. Ripley
|2003||Nominated||BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
for: Cold Mountain
|MTV Movie Award||2003||Nominated||MTV Movie Award as Best Trans-Atlantic Breakthrough Performer|
|ShoWest Award||2004||Won||ShoWest Award as Male Star of the Year|
|People's Choice Award||2005||Nominated||People's Choice Award as Favorite Leading Man|
|César Awards||2007||Won||César Awards as Honorary César|
|Karlovy Vary International Film Festival||2010||Won||President's Prize|
|Annie Awards||2012||Nominated||Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production in Rise of the Guardians|
|Teen Choice Awards||2019||Nominated||Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain – Captain Marvel|
|Laurence Olivier Award||1994||Nominated||Laurence Olivier Award as Best Newcomer in a Play
for: Les Parents terribles (1994)
|2010||Nominated||Laurence Olivier Award as Best Leading Actor in a Play
for: Hamlet (2010)
|2012||Nominated||Laurence Olivier Award as Best Leading Actor in a Play
for: Anna Christie (2012)
|Ian Charleson Award||1994||Third prize||Ian Charleson Award
for: Ion (1995)
|1999||Commendation||Ian Charleson Award
for: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1999)
|Tony Award||1995||Nominated||Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play
for: Indiscretions (1995)
|2010||Nominated||Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Play
for: Hamlet (2010)
|Theatre World Award||1995||Won||Theatre World Award
for: Indiscretions (1995)
|Critics' Circle Theatre Award||2010||Won||The John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance
for: Hamlet (2010)
|South Bank Show Award||2010||Won||South Bank Show Award as Best Leading Actor
for: Hamlet (2010)
|Whatsonstage.com Award||2010||Won||Whatsonstage.com Award as Best Leading Actor
for: Hamlet (2010)
|2012||Nominated||Whatsonstage.com Award as Best Leading Actor
for: Anna Christie (2011)
|Falstaff Award||2010||Won||Falstaff Award as Best Leading Actor
for: Hamlet (2010)
|Outer Critics Circle Award||2010||Nominated||Outer Critics Circle Award as Best Leading Actor
for: Hamlet (2010)
|Drama League Award||2010||Nominated||Drama League Award for Best Performance
for: Hamlet (2010)
|Drama Desk Award||2010||Nominated||Drama Desk Award for Best Performance
for: Hamlet (2010)
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Jude Law – who turned 40 on Dec. 29 ...
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