The boy who won one of the most coveted roles in film history, young Daniel Radcliffe beat out legions of aspiring bespectacled mini-wizards to fill the shoes of author J.K. Rowling's junior sorcerer Harry Potter in the much-anticipated film adaptation of Rowling's wildly popular book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001).
Born July 23, 1989, in England, Radcliffe began to realize his love for acting at the age of five. Although his parents voiced objections, youthful enthusiasm soon won out and Radcliffe was on his way to stardom. Convincing his mother to send a picture to the BBC for consideration in an upcoming adaptation of David Copperfield, the precocious youth was quickly cast in the role of the young Copperfield, shortly thereafter turning up alongside Pierce Brosnan in John Boorman's The Tailor of Panama. It was his next role in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), however, that would launch the young actor directly into the heart of the public eye. Based on the first book in J.K. Rowling's enormously popular fantasy series that followed the adventures of young Potter as he attends Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the film faithfully captured the essence of the book in bringing the otherworldly exploits of the magical youngster to the screen. Radcliffe turned out one Harry Potter film after another; all were blockbusters, and all well received by the public and press. By the time the final film in the series was released to theaters -- 2011's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 -- Radcliffe had graduated to the ranks of adult actors, and was appearing in the gostly thriller The Woman in Black the next year.
During his breaks from playing Harry, Radcliffe starred in the stage revival of Peter Shaffer's Equus, and had a lead performance in Rod Hardy's gentle 2006 coming-of-ager December Boys (set in rural Australia during the '60s).
Radcliffe took on the starring role of barrister Arthur Kipps, a widower who discovers a supernatural presence after taking a job as caretaker to a crumbling estate in 2012's gothic horror The Woman in Black. Fresh off the 2011 conclusion of the Harry Potter films, many critics praised Radcliffe for readily handling the drastically different tone of The Woman in Black. He next played beat poet Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings (2013), followed by quirkier roles in the dark fantasy film Horns and the romantic comedy What If.