Charles Dance

Active - 1981 - 2021  |   Born - Oct 10, 1946 in Redditch, Worshestershire, England  |   Genres - Drama, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Tall, sandy-haired British actor Charles Dance trained for a career in graphic design at Plymouth College of Art and Leicester College of Art. Dance developed a taste for the theatre by listening to the reminiscences of two elderly actors who ran a pub in his Dover neighborhood. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at the age of 29, and made his first film, the James Bond picture For Your Eyes Only, six years later. Dance's widest professional exposure came in 1984 when he appeared in "The Jewel in the Crown," a 14-part British TV production seen in the U.S. on Masterpiece Theatre. Charles Dance's best-remembered performances have been as D.W. Griffith in Good Morning Babylon (1987); the role of Meryl Streep's husband in Plenty (1985); the title part in the 1990 TV adaptation of Phantom of the Opera; and the displaced "imaginary" villain in Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Last Action Hero (1993).

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  • Studied graphic design in college, but gained an interest in theater by spending time with two actors who ran a pub in his English neighborhood.
  • Started his career by joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, and made his debut film appearance in the James Bond picture For Your Eyes Only (1980).
  • Gained international notice for playing the lead role in the TV mini-series The Jewel in the Crown (1984).
  • Typically takes on film and television roles as assertive bureaucrats or villains.
  • Was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on June 17, 2006.