Jonny Lee Miller

Active - 1993 - Present  |   Born - Nov 15, 1972 in Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, England  |   Genres - Comedy Drama, Thriller, Drama, Comedy, Romance

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Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx

The grandson of Bernard Lee (better known to the world as M in the James Bond movies), Jonny Lee Miller ironically became famous for his portrayal of the Sean Connery-obsessed Sick Boy in the 1996 film Trainspotting. Contrary to popular belief, the actor is English, not Scottish, and was born outside of London on November 15, 1972. Interested in the theater from an early age, Lee Miller participated in a number of school productions and made his television debut at the age of 11, in the miniseries Mansfield Park. Following appearances in a number of other productions, including 1993's Prime Suspect 3, Lee Miller made his film debut in Iain Softley's Hackers in 1995. His turn as a cyberpunk gave the actor both a wider audience and an introduction to co-star Angelina Jolie, whom he would marry in 1995 (they divorced in 1999).

Lee Miller's big break came with his casting as Sick Boy, in director Danny Boyle's film adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel Trainspotting. The film became an international hit, boosting the careers of Lee Miller and his co-stars, Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle. Lee Miller chose to remain on Scottish soil for his next project, Gillies MacKinnon's Regeneration (1997). Subsequently, Lee Miller headlined an all-star cast in the relationship drama Afterglow, in which he co-starred with Nick Nolte, Lara Flynn Boyle, and the formidable Julie Christie. In 1999, the actor reunited with Trainspotting co-star Robert Carlyle to star in Plunkett & Maclean, which also featured Liv Tyler. Though subsequent roles in lowbrow fare like Dracula 2000, Mindhunters, and Aeon Flux hinted that the talented actor's career was circling the drain, Lee Miller's memorable performances in the shortlived ABC series Eli Stone (in which he played the title character) and Dexter (as a malevolent motivational speaker) helped both to keep in in the public eye, and offer further proof of his versitilty. In 2011 Lee Miller shared an Oliver Award with actor Benedict Cumberbatch for their performances in Boyle's stage production of Frankenstein (the two actors alternated between playing Dr. Frankenstein and the Creature), and the following year he kept up the gothic vibe with his turn as the shady Roger Collins in Tim Burton's feature adaptation of the spooky soap opera Dark Shadows.

Movie Highlights

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  • Named after his grandfather, Bernard Lee, best known for playing M in the first 12 James Bond films.
  • Made his TV debut at 11 in Mansfield Park, a miniseries based on Jane Austen's novel, and appeared in the subsequent 1999 movie adaptation.
  • Worked as an usher at the Drury Lane Theatre in London after dropping out of school at age 16.
  • Cofounded the now-defunct independent film company Natural Nylon in 1997 with Sadie Frost, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor and others.
  • Trained in Norway to be the third member of a team racing to the South Pole in January 2009 but had to pull out because of filming commitments for Eli Stone.
  • Made his Broadway debut in 2009, starring in After Miss Julie with Sienna Miller.
  • Alternated playing both Dr. Frankenstein and the Creature with Benedict Cumerbatch in a 2011 West End production of Frankenstein directed by Danny Boyle; the pair shared an Olivier Award for Best Actor for their work.
  • Has completed the London Marathon and the New York Marathon.