Gruffudd in May 2005
6 October 1973 |
Llwydcoed, Aberdare, Cynon Valley, Wales
|Spouse(s)||Alice Evans (m. 2007)|
Having trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he started off in Welsh language film productions, then came to international attention as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in the film Titanic (1997), and as Lt John Beales in Black Hawk Down (2001). He is also known in the UK for playing the title role in Horatio Hornblower (1998–2003).
In June 2012, he filmed Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box throughout the south-west of England, playing the role of "Charles Mundi"; the film was released in 2014. Other film roles include Lancelot in King Arthur (2004), Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) in Fantastic Four (2005) and the sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and British anti-slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace (2006). He played Tony Blair in W. (2008). On television he played Andrew Martin in Ringer. Starting in 2014, he plays Dr. Henry Morgan in Forever.
Family, early life and education
Gruffudd was born on 6 October 1973 in Llwydcoed, near Aberdare, Cynon Valley, in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, the eldest of three siblings. Gruffudd's parents, Peter and Gillian (née James) Gruffudd, were both teachers.
His father was headmaster at two Welsh comprehensive schools in South Wales, first at Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari (in Llanharry, Rhondda Cynon Taf) then later at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen (in Church Village, Llantwit Fardre, Rhondda Cynon Taf). He has a younger brother, Alun, two years younger, and a sister, Siwan, who is seven years his junior. The Gruffudd siblings were raised in a Protestant non-conformist household.
The Welsh name "Ioan", like "Ian", is an equivalent of "John", and "Gruffudd" corresponds to the anglicised "Griffith". He has been quoted as saying, "I'm determined not to lose my name. It's who I am. It has neither aided my progress nor hampered it. It's just who I am. My character... my make-up. My culture and heritage is a very rich one. So what if it's difficult for people to pronounce? We all learned how to say 'Schwarzenegger'".
During his childhood, his family moved to Cardiff. Gruffudd attended Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdar (Ynyslwyd; now located in Cwmdare), Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd (in Whitchurch, Cardiff), and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf (in Llandaff).
He was an accomplished oboist in his teens, achieving a Grade 8 level in the ABRSM music examinations and playing in the South Glamorgan Youth Orchestra for several years, but gave it up once acting took up most of his time. He won prizes for his high baritone singing while at school, including one at the National Eisteddfod. He has said, "As a Welshman, I grew up in a culture of singing and performing with music, and I think it was through this performing that I got my confidence as an actor."
Gruffudd's parents are committed Christians, and in his early 20s, he was a member of the London Church of Christ, but his mother later came to London to "sort [his] head out". In June 2007, he said that he "wouldn't describe myself as a deeply religious man".
Gruffudd started his acting career at the age of 13 in a Welsh television film, Austin (1986), and later moved on to the Welsh language soap opera Pobol y Cwm (People of the Valley) from 1987-94. He also played football with the Pobol y Cwm football team Cwmderi FC alongside co-stars Hywel Emrys, Gwyn Elfyn and Ieuan Rhys. During this time, he was also active on stage, in school performances, and in the 1991 Urdd Eisteddfod production of Cwlwm.
In 1992, aged 18, he began attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. However, he was only given small parts in the Academy's productions, and feeling isolated and directionless, almost dropped out several times. However, in 1995 in his final year, he was cast in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler as George (Jörgen) Tesman, the husband of Hedda, the lead character. This performance led to him being offered the lead role in the 1996 TV remake of Poldark.
After playing Oscar Wilde's lover John Gray in 1997's Wilde he took his first international role as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in the blockbuster film Titanic. He later landed the role of Horatio Hornblower in Hornblower, the Meridian production of the C. S. Forester novels (1998–2003), shown on ITV1 and A&E. He has said: "It was quite something for an unknown actor to get the lead. So I will always be grateful to Hornblower. ... I would love to play this character through every stage of his life. I think it would be unique to have an actor playing him from the very early days as a midshipman, through till he's an Admiral. So, I would love to play this character till he perishes."
His television work includes playing the character Pip in the BBC TV production of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1999), Lt. John Feeley in BBC One's Warriors (1999) and architect Philip Bosinney in ITV's adaptation of The Forsyte Saga (2002). He has starred in the films 102 Dalmatians (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001) and King Arthur (2004).
In 2007, he starred in the historical drama Amazing Grace as William Wilberforce, the British abolitionist, receiving critical acclaim for the role. Gruffudd has also portrayed characters of both Marvel Comics and DC Comics, having appeared as Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) in Marvel's Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and provided the voice of Mister Miracle in DC's Justice League Unlimited (2004–06).
In 2008, he appeared in the Julia Roberts-Ryan Reynolds film, Fireflies in the Garden. In 2008, he also appeared in The Secret of Moonacre. In 2009, he starred alongside Josh Brolin in W., a biopic about the life of U.S. President George W Bush, in which Gruffudd played Tony Blair. In 2011, he played the financier of a cave dive in Sanctum.
Apart from television and film work, he starred in the music video of Westlife's version of "Uptown Girl" (2001) alongside Claudia Schiffer. On 7 July 2007 he was a presenter at the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium, London.
Gruffudd is a native Welsh speaker. He was inducted into the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain (the Bardic Order of Great Britain) at the highest rank of druid in the National Eisteddfod at Meifod, mid-Wales, on 4 August 2003, with the bardic name "Ioan".
In July 2008 he featured in a promotional trailer in Welsh for BBC Wales, alongside fellow Welshmen Matthew Rhys and Gethin Jones, publicising BBC coverage of the 2008 National Eisteddfod of Wales in Cardiff. In early 2014, Gruffudd was among the stars of Wales in a short film from the BBC to mark the centenary of the birth of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
Gruffudd lives with his wife, actress Alice Evans, in Los Angeles, California. The couple met during the production of 102 Dalmatians, and married on 14 September 2007 in Mexico. One of Gruffudd's best men and speechmakers at the wedding was fellow Welsh actor Matthew Rhys, his long-time friend and former flatmate of eight years. Both are patrons of Trust PA, a UK spinal injuries charity.
There's a physicality and confidence to Americans; they're very present. That's something I enjoy being around because it rubs off on you. Although an actor friend of mine visited recently and said, 'It's no wonder they write such terrible scripts these days, there's no pain! Everything's so nice you can't be bothered.'
|Titanic||1997||Harold Godfrey Lowe, Fifth Officer of the RMS Titanic|
|Solomon & Gaenor||1999||Solomon Levinsky|
|102 Dalmatians||2000||Kevin Shepherd|
|Another Life||2001||Freddy Bywaters|
|Very Annie Mary||2001||Hob|
|Happy Now||2001||Sgt. Max Bracchi|
|Black Hawk Down||2001||Lt. John Beales|
|Gathering, TheThe Gathering||2002||Dan Blakeley|
|This Girl's Life||2003||Daniel|
|Fantastic Four||2005||Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic||Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team (with Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis)|
|TV Set, TheThe TV Set||2006||Richard McAllister|
|Amazing Grace||2006||William Wilberforce|
|Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer||2007||Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic||Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Dance
Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (with Jessica Alba)
|Agent Crush||2008||Agent Crush||Voice role|
|The Meant to Be's||2008||The Man|
|Fireflies in the Garden||2008||Addison|
|Secret of Moonacre, TheThe Secret of Moonacre||2008||Sir Benjamin|
|Horrible Bosses||2011||Wetwork Expert||Cameo|
|Foster||2011||Alec||Also titled as Angel in the House|
|Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box||2013||Charles Mundi|
|Playing It Cool||2014||Stuffy|
|San Andreas||2015||Daniel Reddick|
|Pobol y Cwm||1987–94||Gareth Wyn Harries|
|Hornblower: The Even Chance||1998||Midshipman Horatio Hornblower|
|Hornblower: The Examination for Lieutenant||1998||Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower|
|Warriors||1999||Lt. John Feeley|
|Hornblower: The Duchess and the Devil||1999||Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower|
|Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters||1999||Lt. Horatio Hornblower|
|Hornblower: Mutiny||2002||3rd Lt. Horatio Hornblower|
|Hornblower: Retribution||2002||3rd Lt. Horatio Hornblower|
|Man and Boy||2002||Harry Silver||TV Movie|
|Forsyte Saga, TheThe Forsyte Saga||2002||Phillip Bosinney|
|Hornblower: Loyalty||2003||Commander Horatio Hornblower|
|Hornblower: Duty||2003||Commander Horatio Hornblower|
|Century City||2004||Lukas Gold|
|Justice League Unlimited||2005||Mister Miracle||Voice Role|
|Ben 10: Alien Force||2010||Devin Levin||Voice Role|
|Batman: The Brave and the Bold||2010||Armor/Red Ryan||Voice Role|
|Night of the Hurricane||2011||Narrator|
|Monday Mornings||2013||Dr. Stewart Delaney||Guest Role|
|Castle||2013||Erik Vaughn||Season 5, Episode 22: "The Squab and the Quail"|
|Necessary Roughness||2013||Nolan Powers||Guest Role|
|Glee||2013||Paolo San Pablo||Guest Role|
|Under Milk Wood||2014||Mog Edwards||TV Movie|
|Hedda Gabler||1995||London (RADA)||George (Jörgen) Tesman|
|Trouble Sleeping||1995||National Theatre Studio, London||Unknown|
|The Decameron||1995||Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, London||Unknown|
|The Play Wot I Wrote||2001||Wyndham's Theatre, London||Mystery Guest|
Some information in this table was obtained from "Ioan Gruffudd CV". Hamilton Hodell Talent Management. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
- Ioan Gruffudd at the Internet Movie Database
- Adam Dawtrey (11 April 2012). http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118052510. Variety Article; retrieved 30 July 2012.
- "Ioan received into the Gorsedd" (in Welsh). BBC Wales. 4 August 2003. Retrieved 2 August 2008. "Biography for Ioan Gruffudd". IMDb.com. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
- Karen Price (18 September 2007). "Ioan's wedding pictures published". Western Mail (reproduced on icWales.co.uk).
- "Ioan Gruffudd biography". BBC Wales. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
- Moring, Mark (20 February 2007). "A Fantastic Role". Christianity Today. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- Liz Hoggard (2 July 2005). "Ioan Gruffudd: Enter the dragon". The Independent (London, UK).
- "Ioan Gruffudd CV". Hamilton Hodell Talent Management. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
- "The Gruffudd saga". GMTV. 16 January 2004.
- "Ioan Gruffudd trivia". Filmspot.com. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
- In a July 2005 newspaper interview, Gruffudd said: "I hadn't been going to chapel. A guy stopped me in the street and asked if I would like to go to church. I thought it was a sign... I knew it wasn't right but I didn't feel that it was so wrong, so other-worldly – that's how convincing the whole thing was. In the end, my mum had to come up to London to sort my head out."Liz Hoggard (2 July 2005). "Ioan Gruffudd: Enter the dragon". The Independent (London).
- James Collard (2 June 2007). "Famed for standout roles in period dramas, actor Ioan Gruffudd has a similar taste for timeless classics in his own wardrobe department". The Times (London, UK).
- Gina Petonito (1999–2007). "Biography". Ioancentral [fan site]. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
- "London Live Earth line-up revealed". NME. 5 July 2007.
- "Gruffudd made honorary druid". BBC News. 20 June 2003.
- "Eisteddfod hapus!". MediaMonkey, Mediaguardian.co.uk (London). 30 July 2008.
- Higgs, David (28 February 2014). "Watch this amazing video of Welsh stars reading Dylan Thomas' most famous poem". Wales Online. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
- Mary Margaret (15 September 2007). "Fantastic Four Star Ioan Gruffudd gets married". People.
- "Welsh actors help spinal charity". bbc.co.uk. 26 October 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- Alexis Chiu (20 April 2009). "Fantastic Four's Ioan Gruffudd and wife are expecting". People.
- "Fantastic! Ioan Gruffudd and Alice Evans's joy at birth of 'unbelievably beautiful' daughter". Daily Mail (London). 10 September 2009.
- "'Fantastic Four' actor Ioan Gruffudd and Alice become parents to 'beautiful' Ella". Hello!. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- According to the Hamilton Hodell Talent Management website, Gruffudd was involved in an "untitled Nick Ward play" written and directed by Nick Ward and performed at the Royal National Studios (see "Ioan Gruffudd CV". Hamilton Hodell Talent Management. Retrieved 15 May 2008.) The website Doollee.com indicates that Nick Ward developed his play Trouble Sleeping at the National Theatre Studio in London, and that it was staged in 1995 in Croydons' Warehouse Theatre
- "Nick Ward". Doollee.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
- Ian Shuttleworth (July 1996). "The Decameron. Gate Theatre, London. Opened 23 July 1996". Financial Times (reproduced on Ian Shuttleworth's homepage). "Nick Ward". Doollee.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
- Hoggard, Liz (2 July 2005). "Ioan Gruffudd: Enter the dragon". The Independent (London, UK).
- "Ioan Gruffudd biography". BBC Wales. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
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