With a handsome visage, but also slightly gaunt and stark features that could suggest menace or intensity at the drop of a hat, raven-haired Englishman Mark Strong essayed a long and surprisingly diverse list of character roles throughout the 1990s and 2000s; many played perfectly off of these physical attributes. Early in his career, Strong remained almost exclusively in Britain, for such efforts as Captives (1994) , Sharpe's Mission (1996), Emma (1997), and Fever Pitch (1997). In time, however, the actor went transcontinental, turning up in fare as diverse as the István Szabó epic drama Sunshine (1999) and American indie helmer Mike Figgis' 2001 Hotel -- thus showcasing his own versatility. Strong's role choice during this period also suggested a strong predilection for cinematizations of classics, from Henry VIII (2003) to Tristan & Isolde (2005). He gained heightened recognition among U.S. audiences (particularly young viewers) in 2007, when he played Septimus, the one of the many heirs to the throne of Stormhold, in Matthew Vaughn's wondrous fantasy Stardust.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Has an Italian father and an Austrian mother.
- His mother changed his name when he was a child so that he would better fit in with his peers.
- Placed in a state-funded boarding school when he was 5.
- Sang in a punk band during his teen years.
- Fluent in German.
- Contemplated becoming an attorney in Germany, and studied at the University of Munich to that end, but left after a year to pursue acting in England.
- Daniel Craig, a good friend, is godfather to his son Gabriel.