James Purefoy

Biography

James Purefoy was born and brought up in Somerset. After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he took a succession of different jobs, including working on a pig farm and as a porter at Yeovil District Hospital, before travelling and working extensively throughout Europe. At eighteen, James returned to college to take his A-Levels, one of which was Drama. It was there that he realised that this was something he felt inspired by and so applied for and was accepted onto the acting course at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Whilst playing the title role in "Henry V" in the first term of his final year at Central, he was seen by a casting director from the RSC and invited to join the company, immediately, in Stratford. Although initially asked only to play "Ferdinand" in Nicholas Hytner's production of "The Tempest", he left the RSC two years later having performed in eight productions and been directed by the likes of Adrian Noble, Roger Michell and Gene Saks playing, amongst other, "Edgar" in "King Lear" and "Malcolm" in "Macbeth". Over the next six years, he divided his time between theatre and television. In the theatre, he worked with Katie Mitchell on "Women of Troy" at the Gate; Matthew Warchus, Ken Stott and Jude Law on "Death of a Salesman" at the West Yorkshire Playhouse; Iain Glen on "Hamlet" at Bristol Old Vic; Bill Alexander in a critically-acclaimed season at Birmingham Rep, playing leading parts in "The Servant", "The Way of the World" and "Macbeth"; and with Simon Callow, Joseph Fiennes, Rupert Graves, and Helen McCrory, on "Les Enfants du Paradis", again for the RSC. As well as appearing in the BBC's landmark period drama, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996), he has always chosen to do a wide variety of parts on television, to avoid being typecast. From the psychopathic rapist in BBC1's Calling the Shots (1993) with Lynn Redgrave to the fraudster "Darius Guppy" in LWT's "The Prince"; from the urbane observer "Nick Jenkins" in Channel 4's A Dance to the Music of Time (1997) to the sad stalker in Granada's series, Metropolis (2000), James has always managed to confound people's expectations of him. Over the last few years, he has been busy making feature films, on average at the rate of three a year. Early credits include "Jedd Wainwright" in Feast of July (1995) for "Merchant Ivory", and as the bisexual Irish baker, "Brendan" in Rose Troche's Bedrooms and Hallways (1998). From the alcoholic roustabout "Tom Bertram" in Mansfield Park (1999) to the wannabee "Bond" actor "Carl Phipps" in Maybe Baby (2000); the gambling, womanising "Daniel" in Women Talking Dirty (1999) with Helena Bonham Carter to the noble, enigmatic "Prince Edward" in Brian Helgeland's A Knight's Tale (2001). He has continued to surprise those who seek to pidgeon-hole him in his film career - always choosing to play parts that juxtapose strongly with the one he has just completed. Last year, he returned to the theatre to play the rake "Ned Loveless" in Trevor Nunn's acclaimed production of "The Relapse" at the National Theatre in London, before embarking on the biggest challenge he has yet faced - playing "George" in the big budget George and the Dragon (2004), with, among others, Michael Clarke Duncan, Val Kilmer, Piper Perabo and Patrick Swayze. This movie will be released in the summer of 2003. He lives alone in London.

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Birth Name

James Brian Mark Purefoy

Birth Place

Taunton, Somerset, Angleterre, Royaume-Uni

Birth Date

6/3/1964
Known For
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Ironclad

Thomas Marshal

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Momentum

Mr. Washington

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George and the Dragon

George

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Wicked Blood

Bill Owens

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Fisherman's Friends

Jim

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Blessed

Craig Howard

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Equity

Michael Connor

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Dead of Night

Richard Spader

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Frankenstein

Dr. Henry Clerval

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Fisherman's Friends: One and All

Jim

Starring In
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Fisherman's Friends: One and All

Jim

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Limbo

Lucifer

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Fisherman's Friends

Jim

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Hold Your Breath

Mr. Black

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Churchill

King George VI

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Interlude in Prague

Baron Saloka

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Spence (archive footage)

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Equity

Michael Connor

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High-Rise

Pangbourne

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Momentum

Mr. Washington

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Wicked Blood

Bill Owens

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Resident Evil: Retribution

Spence Parks (archive footage)

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John Carter

Kantos Kan

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Ironclad

Thomas Marshal

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Solomon Kane

Solomon Kane

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The Summit - Todesvirus beim Gipfeltreffen

Thom Lightstone (2 episodes, 2008)

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Diamonds - mini serie

Lucas Denmont

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Beau Brummell - This Charming Man

Beau Brummell

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Frankenstein

Dr. Henry Clerval

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Blackbeard: Terror at Sea

Edward 'Blackbeard' Teach

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Goose on the Loose

Kenneth Donnelly

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Blessed

Craig Howard

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Vanity Fair

Rawdon Crawley

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George and the Dragon

George

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Resident Evil

Spence

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A Knight's Tale

Sir Thomas Colville / Edward, the Black Prince of Wales

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Women Talking Dirty

Daniel

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Maybe Baby

Carl Phipps

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Don Quixote

Sanson Carrasco

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Bedrooms & Hallways

Brendan

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Mansfield Park

Tom Bertram

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Dead of Night

Richard Spader

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Bright Hair

David Miles

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A Dance To The Music Of Time

Nicholas Jenkins (3 episodes, 1997)

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Sharpe's Sword

Lord Jack Spears

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Feast of July

Jedd Wainwright

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Sharpe's Battle

Lord Jack Spears

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