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Charles Dance

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Title: Charles Dance  
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Subject: Justin and the Knights of Valour, Gosford Park, Dracula Untold, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (2001 film), Victor Frankenstein (film)
Collection: 1946 Births, 20Th-Century English Male Actors, 21St-Century English Male Actors, Alumni of De Montfort University, Critics' Circle Theatre Award Winners, English Film Directors, English Male Film Actors, English Male Stage Actors, English Male Television Actors, English Screenwriters, Living People, Male Actors from Worcestershire, Officers of the Order of the British Empire, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Screen Actors Guild Award Winners, People from Redditch, Royal Shakespeare Company Members
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Charles Dance

Charles Dance
Dance at the London Film and Comic Con, July 2012.
Born Walter Charles Dance
(1946-10-10) 10 October 1946
Redditch, Worcestershire, England
Nationality British
Education Plymouth College of Art
Occupation Actor
Years active 1974–present
Spouse(s) Joanna Haythorn (1970–2004)
Children 3

Walter Charles Dance, OBE (born 10 October 1946) is an English actor, screenwriter, and film director. Dance typically plays assertive bureaucrats or villains. Some of his most high-profile roles are Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Dr. Jonathan Clemens in Alien 3 (1992), Sardo Numspa in The Golden Child (1986), the Master Vampire in Dracula Untold (2014), Benedict in Last Action Hero (1993), and Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) 2.1
    • Television and film 2.2
    • Screenwriting and directing 2.3
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
    • Film 4.1
    • Television 4.2
    • Stage 4.3
    • Video Games 4.4
  • Further reading 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Dance was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, the son of Eleanor (née Perks), a cook, and Walter Dance, an engineer.[1][2] Growing up in Plymouth, he attended Widey Technical School for Boys (it closed when known as Widey High School in 1988) in Crownhill. He was set for a career in graphic design after graduating from the De Montfort University before turning to acting.[3]


The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)

Dance was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company during the mid- to late-1970s and was in many of their productions in London and Stratford-upon-Avon. Later he returned to the RSC to take the title role in Coriolanus at Stratford-upon-Avon and Newcastle in 1989, and at the Barbican Theatre in 1990. He received rave reviews and a Critics' Circle Best Actor award for his performance as the Oxford don C. S. Lewis in William Nicholson's Shadowlands, in the 2007 stage revival.[4]

Television and film

Dance made his screen debut in 1974, in a BBC mystery series Father Brown as Commandant Neil O'Brien in "The Secret Garden", but his big break came ten years later when he played the major role of Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (Granada Television, Christopher Morahan 1984), an adaptation of Paul Scott's novels that also made stars of Geraldine James and Art Malik. He has also starred in many other British television dramas such as Murder Rooms, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), Rebecca, The Phantom of the Opera, Fingersmith and Bleak House (for which he received an Emmy nomination). He was name-checked in the British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, as being slated to play the title character in The Life of Jesus Christ 2, which was filming in Morocco at the same time as the main characters of the series were there for a photo shoot. He also played Guy Spencer, the pro-Hitler propagandist, in the second installment of Foyle's War, and had an ongoing role as Dr. Maltravers in the ITV drama Trinity.[5]

Dance made a guest appearance on the BBC drama series Your Highness in Belfast.[8] Dance appeared in the first four seasons of the show, and stated that he would reprise the role in Season 5, despite his character's death in the previous season.[9] Dance also played Conrad Knox on the British television series Strike Back: Vengeance as the primary villain in the series.[10] He appeared in Paris Connections (2010) as the Russian oligarch Aleksandr Borinski. Dance made one of his earliest big screen appearances in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only as evil henchman Claus, and in 1989 he played Bond creator Ian Fleming in Anglia Television's dramatised biography, Goldeneye (the name of Fleming's estate in Jamaica and a title later used for a James Bond film).

On 30 June 2013, Dance appeared amongst other celebrities in an episode of BBC's Top Gear as a "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" for the debut of the Vauxhall Astra.[11]

Screenwriting and directing

Dance's debut film as a writer and director was Ladies in Lavender (2004), which starred Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. In 2009, he directed his own adaptation of Alice Thomas Ellis's The Inn at the Edge of the World.

Personal life

Dance married Joanna Haythorn in 1970. They had two children.[12][13] After his marriage ended in 2004,[12] he had a brief relationship with actress Sophia Myles who was 34 years his junior.[13][14] Dance was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on 17 June 2006.[15] He became engaged to sculptor Eleanor Boorman in September 2010. They had a daughter, Rose, in March 2012, though the two subsequently separated.[16]





Video Games

Further reading


  1. ^ "Charles Dance Biography (1946-)". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  2. ^ "Charles Dance Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  3. ^ Herald, Plymouth (2014-01-27). "Winter is coming - Plymouth Game of Thrones actor Charles Dance voices official trailer for BBC coverage of Winter Olympics 2014". Plymouth Herald. Retrieved 2014-06-18. 
  4. ^ Nicholas de Jongh (9 October 2007). "Dance is poignant perfection - Theatre & Dance - Arts - London Evening Standard". Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  5. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (15 July 2008). "ITV2 plans 'sex, drugs and murder' drama to follow Billie Piper hit series".  
  6. ^ 25 May 2009, 15:07 BST (25 May 2009). "Guest stars confirmed for 'Merlin' - Merlin News - Cult". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  7. ^ Gibson, Linda (2010-05-25). "Interview Extra". TV Choice Magazine. 
  8. ^ "Game of Thrones: News - Charles Dance Cast as Tywin Lannister". 29 July 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  9. ^ "Game of Thrones filming in Šibenik rolls on, and more". Watchers On The Wall. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Strike Back: Vengeance on Sky 1 HD". 15 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  11. ^ "Top Gear returns to BBC Two at 8pm, featuring Warwick Davis, Charles Dance and Joss Stone". TV Newsroom. 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  12. ^ a b Riggs, Thomas (2006). Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, Volume 67. Gale / Cengage Learning. pp. 66–67.  
  13. ^ a b Walker, Tim (24 September 2010). "Charles Dance is to marry his artist girlfriend".  
  14. ^ Husband, Stuart (6 August 2007). "Curtain call for Miss Myles". The Guardian (London). 
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 58014. p. 10. 17 June 2006.
  16. ^ Glennie, Alasdair (20 October 2012). "Dance splits from mother of his baby girl: Game of Thrones star ends relationship just months after daughter's birth". Daily Mail (London). 
  17. ^ 'Game of Thrones' actor to star in major Syfy miniseries
  18. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-06-18. 

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