The son of a publisher and a philosophy professor, handsome young British actor Hugh Dancy studied English Language and Literature at Oxford and speaks fluent French. He got his start performing in theater productions under the direction of Sam Mendes before he made his first few television guest-star appearances on Dangerfield, Cold Feet, and the miniseries Trial & Retribution II. He got his first starring role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of David Copperfield, which aired in the States on TNT, and he continued doing costume dramas adapted from literature with the BBC productions of Madame Bovary and Daniel Deronda. In 2000, he experimented with fantasy adventures, starring in the Three Musketeers-inspired Young Blades and appearing in an episode of Relic Hunter. He had a small role in the war drama Black Hawk Down before making the move toward romance with the straight-to-video titles The Sleeping Dictionary (opposite Jessica Alba) and Tempo (opposite Melanie Griffith). Dancy stuck with romance for his next feature, the fantasy comedy Ella Enchanted, opposite Princess Diaries star Anne Hathaway. He worked steadily in projects such as King Arthur, Basic Instinct 2, and The Jane Austen Book Club. In 2007 he began a lengthy relationship with fellow actress Claire Danes. He landed a big part in 2009's Confessions of a Shopaholic. He enjoyed a fantastic 2011 with roles in the superb comedy Our Idiot Brother, the well-reviewed indie thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene, and the period comedy Hysteria.
Biography by Andrea LeVasseur
- Stumbled into acting at age 13 after being sent to the theater as punishment for misbehaving at school.
- Modeled opposite Kate Moss for a 2004 Burberry fashion campaign.
- In 2007, he was nominated for a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance for his Broadway debut in Journey's End.
- Met his future wife, Claire Danes, on the set of their 2007 film Evening.
- Speaks fluent French.