Timothy Dalton

Active - 1968 - 2012  |   Born - Mar 21, 1946 in Colwyn Bay, Wales  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Action, Adventure

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British actor Timothy Dalton has excelled in roles calling for both panache and psychological complexity. His stage training has included stints at the National Youth Theatre, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and the star-making Birmingham Repertory. Dalton's extensive work in the classics with the Royal Shakespeare Company led to his being cast as King Philip of France in the film The Lion in Winter (1968). In 1971, Dalton appeared in Mary, Queen of Scots, simultaneously launching a lengthy romantic involvement with that film's star, Vanessa Redgrave. When Roger Moore quit the James Bond film series in 1986, it looked for a while as though his successor would be television star Pierce Brosnan; instead, the Bond producers made the eleventh-hour decision to cast Dalton as secret agent 007 in The Living Daylights. Though dashing in a tuxedo and more than willing to perform his own stunts, Dalton was more effectively felt in the role of the dastardly movie swashbuckler-cum-Nazi spy in the breezy sci-fi film The Rocketeer (1991).

Dalton would find his niche in the 90's and 2000's appearing in several made-for-TV productions, like 1992's Framed, and 1994's Scarlett, a mini-series based on Gone with the Wind in which Dalton played Rhett Butler. He would go on to appear in several more TV movies, like Hercules and Marple: The Sittaford Mystery. Dalton's also taken on numerous stage roles, notably playing Lord Asriel in the theater production of His Dark Materials in 2004.

In 2007 he spoofed his own persona ever so lovingly in the action comedy Hot Fuzz. He became part of the Pixar family by voicing one of the dramatically inclined plaything in Toy Story 3. That same year he had a major part in the infamous bomb The Tourist.

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Factsheet

  • Father was a Captain in the Special Operations Executive, a British secret-service unit during World War II; mother was an American of Italian and Irish descent.
  • Joined the Royal Air Force Air Cadets as a teenager, only to switch career paths after seeing a theatrical production of Macbeth
  • Was approached on three occasions (as early as 1968) to play James Bond before finally assuming the role in The Living Daylights (1987), although Sam Neill and Pierce Brosnan were also considered for the film.
  • Bracketed his two Bond films with an extensive career in Shakespearean theatre and various American film and TV work (Scarlett miniseries; The Rocketeer, voice of Mr. Pricklepants in Toy Story 3; the villainous Alexei Volkoff in the TV series Chuck).  
  • Was the last James Bond to smoke cigarettes on screen.
  • Supports the English soccer club Manchester City FC, often attending matches.