Dominic West

Active - 1995 - 2018  |   Born - Oct 15, 1969 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England  |   Genres - Drama, Action, Comedy

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His role as Sandra Bullock's egotistical, self-absorbed fiancé offering audiences a hilarious glimpse of the handsome actor's notable comic talents, actor Dominic West has since gone on to display his versatility in such notably diverse projects as the acclaimed HBO series The Wire and director Rob Marshall's Best Picture-winning musical Chicago (2000). Born into a family of seven children in Sheffield, England, West's father was the owner of a plastics manufacturing plant and his mother a homemaker with a taste for the theater. At first employed in such unglamorous positions as that of a cattle herder in Argentina, it wasn't long before West enrolled in Dublin's Trinity College and graduated with a B.A. in English Literature. His love of acting propelled him next to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and West graduated from the prestigious school in 1995. Though he had previous acting experience in a few minor film roles, it was the late '90s that found West's career truly beginning to bloom. A small role in Spice World was followed by a notable performance in the British miniseries Out of Hours (1998), and after minor roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace (both 1999), he got his big feature break with 28 Days Later. As the millennium turned, so did West's career; in 2001, he took to the screen with Mark Wahlberg in the musical drama Rock Star. Cast in the lead of HBO's The Wire shortly thereafter, the show debuted in 2002 to glowing critical reviews. On that program, West played Detective Jimmy McNulty, a gifted yet defiantly individualistic Irish-American detective with the Baltimore Police Department whose penchant for subverting the traditional methods of police investigations consistently threatened to get him in hot water. The program's five seasons (all of which featured McNulty in a significant capacity) found the character (among other subplots) attempting to bring down the elusive Barksdale drug ring, aggressively attempting to solve an enigmatic series of murders, and struggling with alcoholism, as he juggled a romantic relationship with Port Authority officer Beattie Russell (Amy Ryan).

Following a pair of memorable performances in Chicago and Mona Lisa Smile (2003), West appeared in director Joseph Ruben's supernatural thriller The Forgotten in 2004.

He subsequently played a police inspector in the gory thriller Hannibal Rising (2007) and a devious political leader in the period epic 300 (2007). His big-screen career continued with Punisher: War Zone,Arthur Christmas, Johnny English Reborn, and John Carter, while he continued his well-respected television career by starring in The Hour.

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Factsheet

  • Best known for his role as gruff Baltimore cop Jimmy McNulty on HBO's The Wire.
  • Once worked as a cattle herder in Argentina.
  • Ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, twice.
  • Began his acting career on stage at the Old Vic in London; returned to the theater in 2005 to play Orlando in As You Like It.
  • Awarded an honorary patronage of the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College, his alma mater, in 2011.
  • An ambassador for Prince Charles' youth charity Prince's Trust.