Ben Daniels

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This article is about the British actor. For the American pop singer, see A Sunny Day in Glasgow.
Ben Daniels
Born (1964-06-10) 10 June 1964 (age 50)
Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1987–present

Ben Daniels (born 10 June 1964)[1] is an English actor. Initially a celebrated stage actor, Daniels was nominated for Best Actor at the Evening Standard Awards for Best Supporting Actor in the Laurence Olivier Awards for Never the Sinner (1991), 900 Oneonta (1994), Best Actor in the M.E.N. Theatre Awards for Martin Yesterday (1998), and won the Olivier award in 2001 for his performance in the Arthur Miller play All My Sons. In 2008, Daniels made his Broadway début in a revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play. In more recent years, Daniels has appeared on popular television series including Cutting It (2002–2005), The Virgin Queen (2005), "Law and Order: UK" (2009-2011) The Paradise (2013) and House of Cards (2013–14).

Early life[edit]

Daniels was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.[2] His father was an engineer at Rolls-Royce and later a grocer, while his mother owned a children's clothes shop. He has recalled: "I was quite a shy child, but quite disruptive as well. I was very sneaky and underhanded."[3] According to Daniels, drama lessons at O-levels gave him a voice, and when he attended sixth form studies at Stratford College between 1980 and 1982, doing A-levels in theatre studies and English literature, he attended Royal Shakespeare Company performances.[3] A fellow student recalled that Daniels, whom he knew as Dave, "was very serious about his work, and struck me as incredibly intelligent... you got the sense his mind was working; the cogs were ticking over".[1] Daniels subsequently trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) for three years.[2][4]

Career[edit]

One of Daniels' earliest roles was as Justin Hayward, the lead singer of the Moody Blues, as a teenager in two of the band's music videos, "Your Wildest Dreams" (1986) and "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" (1988). In 1992, he made an appearance in the infamous plane crash episode "Cascade" of the television show Casualty, playing the co-pilot of the doomed plane. He has taken on parts in many British television dramas, such as Robin in The Lost Language of Cranes (1991), the Biblical character Jonathan in the 1997 Emmy-nominated TV film David, the philandering Finn Bevan in Cutting It (2002–2005), and Nicholas Brocklehurst in the BBC television miniseries The State Within (2006). The latter role was notable for an unexpected same-sex kiss between Daniels' character and another person.[5] In 2008 he appeared in Lark Rise to Candleford, a BBC production based on three semi-autobiographical novels about the English countryside written by Flora Thompson.

Daniel has also played a number of real-life characters, such as German State Secretary Dr. Josef Bühler in Conspiracy, a 2001 dramatisation of the Wannsee Conference at which the Final Solution was endorsed. He also played the English author and journalist Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, in Ian Fleming: Bondmaker (2005), as well as Sir Francis Walsingham in The Virgin Queen (2005) and English writer Saki in Who Killed Mrs De Ropp? (2007).[6] In addition, he has made guest appearances in a number of British TV drama series, including Soldier Soldier (1992), A Touch of Frost (1992), Outside Edge (1994), and Spooks (2005).

Charlotte Emmerson and Ben Daniels as Thérèse and Laurent in Zola's Thérèse Raquin (2006).

Daniels may be most recognisable to American audiences for appearing in the 1996 gay film Beautiful Thing. Daniels portrayed Tony, boyfriend of Sandra, the protagonist Jamie's mother. In an independent film directed by Lavinia Currier titled Passion in the Desert (1997), Daniels played a French soldier named Augustin Robert.[7] The film was nominated for a Golden Seashell award. Other feature films that Daniels has starred in are The Bridge (1992), I Want You (1998), Madeline (1998), and Doom (2005). He was offered roles in the 2000 releases The Patriot and Vertical Limit, but turned them down and stated that "the money was good, but it wasn't for me".[8]

Daniels has said that he loves acting on stage because "it's tough and keeps you on your toes as an actor".[9] He appeared in All's Well That Ends Well and As You Like It (1999–2000), and played Mercutio in a 1994 TV adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Other theatre credits include Waiting for Godot (1994) and 900 Oneonta (1994), which earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the Evening Standard Awards.[2] He also acted in Martin Yesterday (1998), for which he was nominated as Best Actor in the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards,[2] Naked (1998), Tales From Hollywood (2001), Three Sisters (2003), Iphigenia at Aulis (2004), The God of Hell (2005), and The Wild Duck (2005–2006). In 2006, Daniels appeared in Thérèse Raquin as Laurent, for which a reviewer labelled his performance "riveting".[10]

Daniels won the Best Supporting Actor award at the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Theatre Awards[11] and the 25th Laurence Olivier Awards[12][13] in 2001 for his performance in the Arthur Miller play All My Sons. He was first nominated for the latter award earlier in his career, in 1991, for his performance as murderer Richard Loeb in the play Never the Sinner at the Playhouse Theatre.[12] In 2008, Daniels fulfilled a lifetime ambition[8][14] when he made his Broadway début, headlining as the Vicomte de Valmont in a revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.[15] The show opened on 1 May 2008.[16] Daniels was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his role.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Daniels is openly gay. He remarked: "Out? I've never been in."[3] He lives with actor Ian Gelder.[3] They began seeing each other during a 1993 production of Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane.[18] Daniels was already sure of his sexuality in his teens, although he did not discuss the matter with his parents because they did not have a very close emotional relationship. He was "cautious about mentioning it when I left drama school, because AIDS was terrifying everyone and there was a huge homophobic backlash". He decided to come out at the age of 24, while appearing in an all-star benefit performance of Martin Sherman's Bent.

Daniels said in an interview: "Homophobia is still shockingly prevalent in film and TV. I know I've lost work because of being gay, and it is always an issue. Even on a serious BBC Two drama, there will be some suit in some office going, "Hmmm, isn't he a poof?" I don't consider myself politically gay, but whenever I catch a whiff of that now, I'm on it like a ton of bricks."[3] In 2007, Daniels was ranked number 79 in the annual Pink List of 100 influential gay and lesbian people in Britain published by The Independent on Sunday,[19] down from number 47 in 2006.[20]

In his spare time, he is an amateur painter and practitioner of Ashtanga yoga.[8]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Wish You Were Here Policeman
1991 The Lost Language of Cranes Robin
1992 The Bridge Rogers
1993 Rwendo Unknown Short film
1995 Beautiful Thing Tony
1998 Passion in the Desert Augustin Robert
I Want You DJ Bob
Madeline Leopold
1999 Fanny and Elvis Andrew
2001 Married / Unmarried Danny
Conspiracy Dr. Josef Bühler
2002 Fogbound Leo
2005 Doom Goat
2013 Jack the Giant Slayer Fumm
2014 Locke Gareth

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Wall of Tyranny Streimer
1989 The Paradise Club DC Webster Episodes: "Family Favours" and "Unfrocked in Babylon"
1989–1990 Capital City Colin
1990 Drop the Dead Donkey Jack Davenport Episode: "Old Father Time"
1992 Casualty First Officer Graham Marda Episode: "Cascade"
Soldier Soldier Capt. Andy Wright Episode: "The Last Post"
A Touch of Frost Roger Massie Episode: "Conclusions"
1993 The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries Norman Cubitt Episode: "Death at the Bar"
1994 Romeo and Juliet Mercutio
Outside Edge Alex Harrington 5 episodes
1996 Truth or Dare Ben
1997 David Jonathan
1998 Silent Witness Owen Johnson Episode: "Brothers in Arms"
1999 Aristocrats Lord Kildare
2000 Britannic Townsend
2002–2005 Cutting It Finn Bevan[21]
2003 Real Men DI Matthew Fenton
2004 Agatha Christie's Marple Alfred Crackenthorpe
2005 Ian Fleming: Bondmaker Ian Fleming
Spooks Oleg Korsakov Episode: "The Russian"
The Virgin Queen Francis Walsingham
2006 The State Within Nicholas Brocklehurst[22]
2007 Who Killed Mrs De Ropp? Saki
2008 Lark Rise to Candleford Rushton 1 episode
The Passion Caiaphas
2009–2011 Law & Order: UK James Steel[23]
2011 Women in Love Will Brangwen
Merlin Tristan 2 episodes
2013–2014 House of Cards Adam Galloway 7 episodes
2013 The Paradise Tom Weston 8 episodes
2014 Jamaica Inn Francis Davey
2015 Flesh and Bone TBD TBD

Theatre[edit]

Year(s)
of appearance
Performance Role Awards and nominations
1991 Never the Sinner
by John Logan

Playhouse Theatre, London

Richard Loeb
1993 Entertaining Mr Sloane[11] (1964)
by Joe Orton

Greenwich Theatre, London

Sloane
1994 Waiting for Godot (1948–1949)
by Samuel Beckett

Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, London

Lucky
900 Oneonta
by David Beaird

Old Vic and Ambassadors Theatre, London

Tiger
1998 Martin Yesterday

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Matt
  • Best Actor, M.E.N. Theatre Awards (nominated) (1998)
Naked

Almeida Theatre and Playhouse Theatre, London

Franco
1999–2000 As You Like It[24] (1599 or 1600)
by William Shakespeare

Crucible Theatre, Sheffield; and Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, London

Orlando
2001 All My Sons[25] (1947)
by Arthur Miller

Cottesloe and Lyttelton Theatres, Royal National Theatre, London

Chris Keller
Tales from Hollywood[26] (1984)
by Christopher Hampton

Donmar Warehouse, London

Ödön von Horváth
2003 Three Sisters[27] (1900)
by Anton Chekhov

Lyttelton Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London

Lt. Col. Aleksandr Ignatyevich Vershinin
2004 Iphigenia at Aulis[28] (410 BC)
by Euripides, translated by Don Taylor (1990)

Lyttelton Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London

Agamemnon
2005 The God of Hell[29] (2004?)
by Sam Shepard

Donmar Warehouse, London

Welch
2005–2006 The Wild Duck[30] (1884)
by Henrik Ibsen

Donmar Warehouse, London

Gregers Werle
2006 Thérèse Raquin[10][31] (1873)
by Émile Zola, adapted by Nicholas Wright

Lyttelton Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London

Laurent
2008 Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons)[15][32] (first produced 1985)
by Christopher Hampton

American Airlines Theatre, New York City

Vicomte de Valmont
2011 Luise Miller[18][33]
(1782–1784)
by Friedrich Schiller

Donmar Warehouse

The Chancellor
Unknown All's Well That Ends Well (1601–1608)[11]
by William Shakespeare

Leicester

Bertram
The Brontës of Haworth[11]
by ?Alan Ayckbourn

Scarborough, North Yorkshire

James Feather
Cracks[11]

The King's Head Theatre, London

Gideon
Electra (probably after 413 BC)[11]
by Euripides

Leicester

Pylades
Family Circles[11] (1970)
by Alan Ayckbourn

Scarborough, North Yorkshire

James
The Hypochondriac[11]

Leicester

Cleante
Pride and Prejudice[11]
based on Jane Austen's 1813 book

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

George Wickham
The Tutor[11] (1774)
by Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz

Old Vic, London

Bollwerk

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Katie Shimmon (17 May 2005), "College days [Ben Daniels]", The Guardian (EducationGuardian) 
  2. ^ a b c d Ben Daniels at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e Nick Curtis (17 June 2004), "Cutting it on stage", Evening Standard, retrieved 28 December 2007 
  4. ^ Ben Daniels – Augustin, Fine Line Features, 2005, archived from the original on 7 November 2007, retrieved 28 December 2007 
  5. ^ Robert Urban (15 February 2007), Ben Daniels is our kind of gay actor, AfterElton.com, retrieved 28 December 2007 
  6. ^ "Who killed Mrs De Ropp?", TV & Satellite Week, retrieved 28 December 2007 
  7. ^ Passion in the Desert at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  8. ^ a b c Interview with Ben Daniels, Television New Zealand (TVNZ), [2003?], retrieved 28 December 2007  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Ben Daniels – Caiaphas, The Passion, BBC, 2008, retrieved 11 May 2008 
  10. ^ a b Heather Neill (15 November 2006), "Therese Raquin [review]", The Stage 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ben Daniels, Markham & Froggatt, retrieved 28 December 2007 
  12. ^ a b c Awards database: Ben Daniels, The Envelope: The Awards Insider, Los Angeles Times, retrieved 28 December 2007 
  13. ^ a b "Olivier award winners in full", BBC News, 23 February 2001 
  14. ^ Ben Daniels, Television New Zealand (TVNZ), retrieved 28 December 2007 
  15. ^ a b Laura Linney, Ben Daniels to headline Broadway revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Broadway.com, 27 November 2007, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Ben Daniels to star alongside Laura Linney in Roundabout's revival of Christopher Hampton's dark comedy, New York Theatre Guide, 27 November 2007, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Stars line up for 'Dangereuses' revival, United Press International (UPI), 17 December 2007, retrieved 28 December 2007 
  16. ^ Roundabout Theatre Company: Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Entertainment, Cabaret, Broadway, Opera, Ballet & Concerts NYC, 27 November 2007, archived from the original on 24 February 2008, retrieved 29 December 2007 
  17. ^ a b Meet the nominees: Who's nominated?, The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards, May 2008, retrieved 13 May 2008 
  18. ^ a b Mark Shenton (14 July 2011), Ben Daniels: An out and out success, The Stage, retrieved 26 July 2011 .
  19. ^ "The Pink List 2007: The IoS annual celebration of the great and the gay", The Independent on Sunday, 6 May 2007 
  20. ^ Marc Shoffman (3 July 2006), "Ian McKellen ranked most influential gay man", Pink News, retrieved 28 December 2007 
  21. ^ Cutting It is back on BBC ONE: Ben Daniels is Finn Bevan [interview], BBC Press Office, 16 April 2004, retrieved 29 December 2007 
  22. ^ The State Within: Ben Daniels plays Nicholas Brocklehurst [interview], BBC Press Office, 23 October 2006, retrieved 29 December 2007 
  23. ^ Law & Order gets UK makeover, BBC News, 23 February 2009 ; Ian Wylie (6 March 2009), "Law & Order UK: Ben Daniels", Manchester Evening News 
  24. ^ Charles Spencer (31 August 2002), "Top five theatrical sex scenes", The Daily Telegraph ; Lyn Gardner (4 March 2000), "Ravishing Rosalind: As You Like It, Lyric, Hammersmith", The Guardian 
  25. ^ Dominic Cavendish (9 August 2001), "Family at war thrives on a bigger stage", The Daily Telegraph ; Michael Billington (9 August 2001), "All My Sons, National Theatre, London", The Guardian 
  26. ^ Tales from Hollywood [archive page], Albemarle of London, 2001, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Lizzie Loveridge (2001), Tales From Hollywood, CurtainUp: The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Charles Spencer (3 May 2001), "Exodus to the Hollywood hills", The Daily Telegraph ; Michael Billington (3 May 2001), "Christopher Hampton's Hollywood horrors, Donmar Warehouse, London", The Guardian 
  27. ^ Philip Fisher (2003), Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, in the new version by Nicholas Wright, RNT Lyttelton, The British Theatre Guide, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Summer at the National: THREE SISTERS – Lyttelton Theatre, The British Theatre Guide, 1 June 2003, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Charles Spencer (14 August 2003), "Magnificent, moving masterpiece", The Daily Telegraph ; Liz Hoggard (17 August 2003), "Twisted sisters: A dead-end job in the post office? That's no way to treat a lady...", The Guardian 
  28. ^ NT: Archive: Iphigenia at Aulis [excerpts from reviews], National Theatre, 23–27 June 2004, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Michael Billington (23 June 2004), "Iphigenia at Aulis, National Theatre, London", The Guardian ; Gerald Berkowitz (24 June 2004), "Iphigenia at Aulis", The Stage, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Charles Spencer (24 June 2004), "At war with Euripides", The Daily Telegraph 
  29. ^ Charlotte Loveridge (2005), God of Hell [review], CurtainUp.com: The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Michael Billington (27 October 2005), "The God of Hell, Donmar, London", The Guardian ; Charles Spencer (27 October 2005), "Hell is right-on, Left-wing claptrap", The Daily Telegraph 
  30. ^ Casting update for The Wild Duck at The Donmar, London Theatre Guide, 19 October 2005, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Charles Spencer (13 December 2005), "A masterpiece of truth", The Daily Telegraph ; Michael Billington (14 December 2005), "The Wild Duck, Donmar Warehouse, London", The Guardian ; Ben Brantley (2 January 2006), "On London's stages, wrestling with belief and its discontents", The New York Times, retrieved 28 December 2007 
  31. ^ "CB" (21 August 2006), National makes Waves with two new productions, Official London Theatre Guide, archived from the original on 24 August 2006, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Philip Fisher (2006), Thérèse Raquin by Emile Zola, adapted by Nicholas Wright, RNT Lyttelton, The British Theatre Guide, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; The First Night Feature: Thérèse Raquin, Official London Theatre Guide, 14 November 2006, archived from the original on 18 November 2006, retrieved 28 December 2007 ; Nicholas De Jongh (14 November 2006), "Love sealed with a kill", Evening Standard ; Charles Spencer (15 November 2006), "Dim shadows of Zola's hellish vision", The Daily Telegraph ; Michael Billington (15 November 2006), "Thérèse Raquin, Lyttelton, London", The Guardian ; Ruth Scurr (22 November 2006), "Émile Zola's pool of filth", The Times Literary Supplement (London) 
  32. ^ Kimberley Kaye (24 April 2008), Ben Daniels, Broadway.com, retrieved 13 May 2008 ; Elysa Gardner (1 May 2008), "'Liaisons' revival is dangerously good, seductive", USA Today ; Clive Barnes (2 May 2008), "Hooking up with 'Liaisons' a safe bet", New York Post ; Ben Brantley (2 May 2005), "What lurks beneath the ruffles", The New York Times ; Linda Winer (2 May 2008), "Sexual humiliation is the best revenge", Newsday, archived from the original on 5 May 2008 
  33. ^ Ben Brantley (18 July 2011), "London Theater Journal: Amoral clarity", The New York Times, retrieved 26 July 2011 .

External links[edit]