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Ewan McGregor

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Ewan McGregor
Ewan mcgregor cropped.jpg
McGregor at the Venice Film Festival, 7 September 2009
Born Ewan Gordon McGregor[1]
(1971-03-31) 31 March 1971 (age 44)[1]
Perth, Scotland, UK
Nationality British
Ethnicity Scottish
Occupation Actor
Years active 1993–present
Spouse(s) Eve Mavrakis (m. 1995)[1]
Children 4[1]
Relatives Denis Lawson (uncle)
Awards OBE (2013)[1]

Ewan Gordon McGregor, OBE (/ˌjuːən məˈɡrɛɡər/; born 31 March 1971)[1] is a Scottish actor who has had success in mainstream, indie, and art house films. His first professional role was in 1993, when he won a leading role in the Channel 4 series Lipstick on Your Collar.[2] He is best known for his roles as heroin addict Mark Renton in the drama Trainspotting (1996), the young Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999–2005), poet Christian in the musical film Moulin Rouge! (2001), and Dr. Alfred Jones in the romantic comedy-drama Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011). He received Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor – Musical or Comedy for both Moulin Rouge! and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

McGregor has also starred in theatre productions of Guys and Dolls (2005–07) and Othello (2007–08). McGregor was ranked No. 36 on Empire magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list in 1997.[3] In 2010 he won Best Actor for playing the title role in Roman Polanski's film The Ghost Writer at the 23rd European Film Awards.[4] McGregor has a tenor singing voice.[5]

Early life[edit]

Born in the Royal Infirmary in Perth, Scotland,[citation needed] McGregor was brought up in the nearby town of Crieff, where he attended the independent Morrison's Academy. His mother, Carole Diane (née Lawson), is a teacher and school administrator, and his father, James Charles Stewart "Jim" McGregor, is a physical education teacher.[6][7] He has an older brother, Colin, who is a former Tornado GR4 pilot in the Royal Air Force.[8] He is the nephew of actor Denis Lawson (who also appeared in films in the Star Wars franchise) and actress Sheila Gish, and the step-cousin of actress Lou Gish.[2] McGregor studied drama at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.[2]


Film and television[edit]

McGregor at the premiere of The Men Who Stare at Goats at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2009

In 1993, six months prior to his graduation from Guildhall, McGregor won a leading role in Dennis Potter's six-part Channel 4 series Lipstick on Your Collar.[2] The same year, he starred in the BBC adaptation of Scarlet and Black with a young Rachel Weisz, and made his film debut in Bill Forsyth's Being Human.[9] In 1994, McGregor performed in the thriller Shallow Grave, for which he won an Empire Award,[10] and which marked his first collaboration with director Danny Boyle.[2] His international breakthrough followed in 1996 with the role of heroin addict Mark Renton in Boyle's Trainspotting, an adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel of the same name.[2][9]

McGregor played the male romantic lead role in the 1998 British film Little Voice. In 1999, McGregor starred in the blockbuster Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi, a role originally made famous by Sir Alec Guinness in the original Star Wars trilogy.[2] His uncle, Denis Lawson, had played Wedge Antilles in the original trilogy.[11] In 2001, he starred in Moulin Rouge! as the young poet Christian, who falls in love with the terminally-ill courtesan Satine, played by Nicole Kidman. McGregor reprised his role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for the subsequent prequel Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in 2002. In 2003, he starred alongside Renée Zellweger in Down With Love.[2][12] He also portrayed the younger Edward Bloom in the critically acclaimed film Big Fish alongside Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Alison Lohman and Billy Crudup. During that year, he also received critical acclaim for his portrayal of an amoral drifter mixed up with murder in the drama Young Adam, which co-starred Tilda Swinton.[13][14]

In 2005, McGregor appeared for the final time as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He took very special care—especially in Revenge of the Sith—to ensure that his portrayal of Obi-Wan's mannerisms, speech timings, and accents closely resembled Alec Guinness' version.[15] That same year, McGregor voiced two successful animated features; he played the robot Rodney Copperbottom in Robots, which also featured the voices of Halle Berry and Robin Williams,[16] and he voiced the lead character in Gary Chapman's Valiant, alongside Jim Broadbent, John Cleese and Ricky Gervais.[17] Also in 2005, McGregor played two roles—one a clone of the other—opposite Scarlett Johansson in Michael Bay's science fiction action thriller film The Island, and he appeared in Marc Forster's Stay, a psychological thriller co-starring Naomi Watts and Ryan Gosling.[18][19]

McGregor at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

In 2006, he narrated the Fulldome production Astronaut, created for the National Space Centre.[20] That same year, he also narrated the STV show JetSet, a six-part series following the lives of student pilots and navigators at RAF Lossiemouth as they undergo a gruelling six-month course learning to fly the Tornado GR4, the RAF's primary attack aircraft.[21] In 2007, McGregor starred opposite Colin Farrell in the Woody Allen film Cassandra's Dream.[9][22] In 2009, he co-starred with Jim Carrey in I Love You Phillip Morris and appeared in Amelia alongside Hilary Swank. Also in 2009, he portrayed Camerlengo Patrick McKenna in Angels & Demons, the film adaptation of Dan Brown's novel of the same name. McGregor is scheduled to co-star with Daniel Craig in Dan Harris' upcoming film adaptation of Glen Duncan's novel I, Lucifer.[23] At the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival, he was awarded with the SIFF Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting.[24]

In 2012, he was named as a member of the Jury for the Main Competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[25] At the San Sebastián International Film Festival, he was awarded the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award and became the youngest recipient of the award.[26]

In 2015, he starred in the film Mortdecai,[27] alongside Johnny Depp, Olivia Munn, and Paul Bettany.

On April 21, 2015, it was announced that McGregor will play Lumiere in the live-action version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon. He joins a cast that includes Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Beast/Prince), Luke Evans (Gaston), Josh Gad (Lefou), Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Kevin Kline (Maurice) and Audra McDonald (Garderobe). Filming begins in May 2015 at Shepperton Studios in London, England. The film is scheduled to be released in March 2017.[28]


From November 1998 to March 1999, McGregor starred as Malcolm Scrawdyke in a production of David Halliwell's Little Malcolm and His Struggles Against the Eunuchs, directed by his uncle, Denis Lawson. The play was first staged at the Hampstead Theatre before transferring to the Comedy Theatre in London's West End.[29] In November 2001, McGregor made a cameo appearance in The Play What I Wrote.[30]

From June 2005 to April 2007, McGregor starred alongside Jane Krakowski, Douglas Hodge, and Jenna Russell in the original Donmar Warehouse production of Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.[31] He played the leading role of Sky Masterson, made famous by Marlon Brando in the film of the same name. McGregor received the award for Best Actor for his performance in 2005,[32] and he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 2007.[33]

From December 2007 to February 2008, McGregor starred as Iago in Othello at the Donmar Warehouse alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello and Kelly Reilly as Desdemona.[34][35] He reprised the role on BBC Radio 3 in May 2008.[34]

Motorcycle journeys[edit]

A motorcyclist since his youth, McGregor undertook a marathon international motorcycle trip with his best friend Charley Boorman and cameraman Claudio von Planta in 2004. From mid-April to the end of July, they travelled from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberian Russia, Canada and the United States on BMW R1150GS Adventure motorcycles, for a cumulative distance of 22,345 miles (35,960 km).[36] The trip included visits to several UNICEF programs along the route, and formed the basis of a television series and a best-selling book, both called Long Way Round.[37]

The Long Way Round team reunited in 2007 for another motorcycle trip from John o' Groats in Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.[37] The journey, entitled Long Way Down, lasted from 12 May until 5 August 2007.[37] McGregor's brother Colin joined the motorcycle team during the early stages of the Long Way Down journey,[37] and his father Jim also rode on sections of both Long Way Round and Long Way Down.[38][39]

McGregor appeared in a two-part BBC documentary in April 2012 entitled Ewan McGregor: Cold Chain Mission in which he travels by motorbike, boat, plane and foot to deliver vaccines to children in remote parts of India, Nepal and the Republic of Congo. The trip was part of his work as a UNICEF Ambassador.

Personal life[edit]

McGregor is married to Eve Mavrakis,[1] a French production designer.[2] They have four daughters,[1] Clara Mathilde McGregor (born February 1996), Esther Rose McGregor (born November 2001), Jamyan McGregor (born June 2001 in Mongolia; adopted April 2006),[40] and Anouk McGregor (born January 2011; adopted).[41][42] McGregor has a heart and dagger tattoo of the names of his wife and daughters on his right arm.[12][43] The family currently resides in Los Angeles, California after moving from London.[44]

McGregor is involved in charity work, including with UNICEF and GO Campaign. During the Long Way Round journey in 2004, McGregor and his travelling companions saw some of UNICEF's work in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia,[37] and during the Long Way Down trip in 2007, he and Charley Boorman did work for UNICEF in Africa. McGregor hosted the annual Hollywood gala for GO Campaign in 2009 and 2010. He has also worked with the Children's Hospice Association Scotland, as featured in Long Way Down. In 2012 McGregor travelled with UNICEF immunisation workers to remote parts of India, Nepal and the Republic of Congo for a BBC2 documentary entitled Ewan McGregor: Cold Chain Mission.

In 2007, on an episode of Parkinson, McGregor stated that he had given up alcohol after a period where he was arguably a functioning alcoholic, and that he had not had a drink in seven years.[45] In 2008, he had a cancerous mole removed from underneath his right eye.[46]



Title Year Role Notes
Being Human 1994 Alvarez
Shallow Grave 1994 Alex Law
Blue Juice 1995 Dean Raymond
Trainspotting 1996 Mark Renton
Pillow Book, TheThe Pillow Book 1996 Jerome
Emma 1996 Frank Churchill
Brassed Off 1996 Andy Barrow
Nightwatch 1997 Martin Bells
Serpent's Kiss, TheThe Serpent's Kiss 1997 Meneer Chrome
Life Less Ordinary, AA Life Less Ordinary 1997 Robert Lewis
Velvet Goldmine 1998 Curt Wild
Little Voice 1998 Billy
Desserts 1999 Stroller Short film
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 1999 Obi-Wan Kenobi
Rogue Trader 1999 Nick Leeson
Eye of the Beholder 1999 The Eye
The Mystery of the Third Planet 2000 Captain Buran Voice (British English dub)
Nora 2000 James Joyce
Moulin Rouge! 2001 Christian
Black Hawk Down 2001 SPC John Grimes
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones 2002 Obi-Wan Kenobi
Solid Geometry 2002 Phil
Down with Love 2003 Catcher Block
Young Adam 2003 Joe Taylor
Faster 2003 Narrator Voice
Big Fish 2003 Edward Bloom (young)
Robots 2005 Rodney Copperbottom Voice
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 2005 Obi-Wan Kenobi
Valiant 2005 Valiant Voice
Island, TheThe Island 2005 Lincoln Six Echo/Tom Lincoln
Stay 2005 Dr. Sam Foster
Stormbreaker 2006 Ian Rider
Scenes of a Sexual Nature 2006 Billy
Miss Potter 2006 Norman Warne
Cassandra's Dream 2007 Ian Blane
Incendiary 2008 Jasper Black
Deception 2008 Jonathan McQuarry
Angels & Demons 2009 Camerlengo Patrick McKenna
I Love You Phillip Morris 2009 Phillip Morris
Men Who Stare at Goats, TheThe Men Who Stare at Goats 2009 Bob Wilton
Amelia 2009 Gene Vidal
Ghost Writer, TheThe Ghost Writer 2010 The Ghost Writer
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang 2010 Rory Green Cameo
Jackboots on Whitehall 2010 Chris Voice
Beginners 2010 Oliver
Perfect Sense 2011 Michael
Fastest 2011 Narrator Voice
Haywire 2011 Kenneth
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen 2012 Dr. Alfred Jones
Impossible, TheThe Impossible 2012 Henry Bennett
Jack the Giant Slayer 2013 Elmont
August: Osage County 2013 Bill Fordham
A Million Ways to Die in the West 2014 Cowboy at Fair Cameo
Son of a Gun 2014 Brendan Lynch
Mortdecai 2015 Inspector Martland
Last Days in the Desert 2015 Jesus/Satan
Jane Got a Gun 2015 John Bishop Completed
Our Kind of Traitor 2015 Peregrine "Perry" Makepeace Post-production
Miles Ahead 2015 Dave Brill Post-production


Title Year Role Notes
Lipstick on Your Collar 1993 PTE Mick Hopper 6 episodes
Scarlet and Black 1993 Julien Sorel Mini-series
Kavanagh QC 1995 David Robert Armstrong Episode: "Nothing But the Truth"
Karaoke 1996 Young Man Episode: "Tuesday"
Tales from the Crypt 1996 Ford Episode: "Cold War"
ER 1997 Duncan Stewart Episode: "The Long Way Around"
Polar Bears of Churchill with Ewan McGregor, TheThe Polar Bears of Churchill with Ewan McGregor 2002 Himself Documentary series
Long Way Round 2004 Himself Documentary series
Long Way Down 2007 Himself Documentary series
Battle of Britain, TheThe Battle of Britain 2010 Himself Documentary
Ewan McGregor: Cold Chain Mission 2012 Himself Documentary
Bomber Boys 2012 Himself Documentary
Corrections, TheThe Corrections 2013 Chip Lambert Unaired pilot
Hebrides: Islands on the Edge 2013 Himself (voice) Documentary series


Title Year Role Notes Refs
The Real Thing 2014 Henry American Airlines Theatre [47]

Awards and nominations[edit]

McGregor was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to drama and charity.[1][48][49]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i McGREGOR, Ewan Gordon. Who's Who 2015 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
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  3. ^ "Empire Magazine's Top 100 Movie Stars 1997". Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
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  5. ^
  6. ^ "Ewan McGregor biography". Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
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  8. ^ Barratt, Nick (11 November 2006). "Family Detective". London: The Daily Telegraph. 
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  11. ^ Star Wars Trilogy (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2004. 
  12. ^ a b "Ewan McGregor Biography". Yahoo!. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  13. ^ Slater, Matthew (9 October 2003). "Young Adam's dark tale". BBC. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  14. ^ Dawtrey, Adam (21 September 2003). "Thomas' distrib misstep". Variety. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
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  16. ^ Hartlaub, Peter (11 March 2005). "It's a bucket of bolts that rattles agreeably. Robots mingles brass, laughs and, yes, Robin Williams". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  17. ^ Holden, Stephen (19 August 2005). "Thse Brave Pigeons Are Doing Their Part for the War". New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
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  26. ^ "2012 Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award". BBC News. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
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  31. ^ "Guys and Dolls musical". Guys and Dolls the Musical. Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  32. ^ Singh, Anita (25 October 2005). "McGregor wins theatre award". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). 
  33. ^ "The nominees and winners of the 2006 Laurence Olivier Awards". The Society of London Theatre. Archived from the original on 5 February 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2008. [dead link]
  34. ^ a b "Ewan McGregor returns to London stage for minimum wage". International Herald Tribune. 12 May 2007. [dead link]
  35. ^ "Ewan McGregor to Play Iago in Othello at London's Donmar". 11 May 2007. 
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  37. ^ a b c d e "Ewan McGregor gets back on his bike – this time for BBC Two". BBC. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2008. 
  38. ^ Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, David Alexanian, and Russ Malkin (18 October 2004). "Long Way Round". Long Way Round. 42 minutes in. Sky One. 
  39. ^ Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, David Alexanian, and Russ Malkin (28 October 2007). "Long Way Down". Long Way Down. BBC Two. 
  40. ^ Stephen M. Silverman and Pete Norman (12 April 2006). "Ewan McGregor Adopts a Daughter". People. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  41. ^ Adams, Cindy (25 May 2011). "Beginning of a new friendship". New York Post (News Corporation). ISSN 1090-3321. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  42. ^ White, Gemma (31 July 2012). "Celebrity adoptions: Love sees no colour". Scene magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  43. ^ "Ewan McGregor Tattoo Pictures". Ready2Beat. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  44. ^ Khokhar, Ahmer (1 August 2010). "'London eats liberty', says Ewan McGregor". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  45. ^ C Taylor (17 November 2007). "Ewan McGregor Admits To Drinking Problem". Entertainment Wise. Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
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  47. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (30 October 2014). "Broadway Review: ‘The Real Thing’ with Ewan McGregor". Variety. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  48. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 12. 29 December 2012.
  49. ^ "BBC News - New Year Honours 2013: At a glance". BBC Online. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 

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