Timothy Spall

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Timothy Spall
Timothy Spall Cannes 2014.jpg
Born Timothy Leonard Spall
(1957-02-27) 27 February 1957 (age 57)
Battersea,[1] London, England
Occupation Actor, presenter
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Shane Spall (m. 1981)
Children Pascale, Rafe, and Mercedes Spall

Timothy Leonard Spall, OBE (born 27 February 1957) is an English actor and occasional presenter. Some of his notable supporting roles include Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter film series, Winston Churchill in the The King's Speech (2010), Peter Taylor in The Damned United (2009), Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). Spall has also starred in the television documentary Timothy Spall: Back at Sea (2010–2012). He had a lead role in Mike Leigh's drama film, Secrets & Lies (1996), a supporting role in the war film The Last Samurai (2003), and played Albert Pierrepoint in Pierrepoint (2005). In 2014, Spall won the Best Actor award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for portraying J. M. W. Turner in Leigh's biographical film Mr. Turner.[2]

Early life[edit]

Spall, the third of four sons,[3] was born in Battersea, South London. His mother, Sylvia R. (née Leonard), was a hairdresser, and his father, Joseph L. Spall, was a postal worker.[4][5][6][7] He trained at the National Youth Theatre and RADA, where he was awarded the Bancroft Gold Medal as the most promising actor in his year. His brother, Matthew, is a long term computer game professional, now running a new startup; Invisiplay Ltd. Another brother, Richard, is still alive, and was the landlord of the Astolat public house in Guildford.

Career[edit]

Spall initially made his mark in theatre performing in productions for Birmingham Rep and, later, the Royal Shakespeare Company including The Merry Wives of Windsor, Three Sisters, Nicholas Nickleby and The Knight of the Burning Pestle.

Following a film debut in Quadrophenia and wider TV exposure playing the awkward Barry Taylor in all four series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Kevin in Outside Edge and as Aubrey the appalling chef in Mike Leigh's Life is Sweet, Spall has since appeared in films such as Crusoe, Secrets & Lies, Shooting the Past, Topsy-Turvy, Vanilla Sky, Rock Star, All or Nothing, The Last Samurai, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and The King's Speech. He gained international recognition as Peter Pettigrew ("Wormtail") in the Harry Potter film series. In 1991 he guest-starred in the series 5 Red Dwarf episode Back to Reality. In 1993, Spall was in Rab C. Nesbitt.

On 31 December 1999, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).[8]

Spall performed lead vocals on the song The Devil is an Englishman[9] from the Ken Russell film Gothic (1986), in which Spall portrayed John William Polidori.

Spall filming Enchanted in New York City, March 2007

Spall played the starring role of Albert Pierrepoint in the 2005 film Pierrepoint, which was released as The Last Hangman in the United States. In the 2006 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Spall voiced Phil Collins' manager, Barry Mickelthwaite. In 2007, he starred as Nathaniel in Disney's Enchanted and Beadle Bamford in Tim Burton's production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He also starred as Georgie Godwin in a one-off television drama The Fattest Man in Britain on ITV 1 which aired on 20 December 2009. The drama also featured Bobby Ball, Frances Barber, Aisling Loftus and Jeremy Kyle.

In 2010, he portrayed Winston Churchill in critically acclaimed film The King's Speech for which as a member of the ensemble he was jointly awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Spall reprised the role at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.

In 2012, Spall filmed Wasteland, with actors Matthew Lewis and Vanessa Kirby. The Newport Beach Film Festival in Newport Beach, California, will screen Wasteland on Sunday, 28 April 2013 and Monday 29 April 2013.[10] Also in 2012 Spall played Charlie Morgan in the edgy Comes a Bright Day.

In 2014 he won the Best Actor Award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for Mr.Turner, a biographical film on J. M. W. Turner directed by Mike Leigh.

Personal life[edit]

Spall is married to Shane and has three children: Pascale (born 1976), Rafe (born 1983), who is also an actor, and Mercedes (born 1985). He lives in Forest Hill,[11] south-east London.[12][13]

In 1996, Spall was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, but has since been in remission.[14] He has said of his illness: "I didn't know what made me ill but stress had something to do with it and the point is now to head off stress at the pass. It made me aware of things and become more selective. I am less worried about employment. I really do my homework so I am not getting stressed on the set because I don't know what I'm doing."

He is the owner of a Dutch barge that he and his wife have been sailing around the British Isles as part of a BBC Four TV series Timothy Spall: Back at Sea.[15]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Find my past". Findmypast.co.uk. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Awards 2014 : Competition". Cannes. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Smith, Julian Llewellyn. "Timothy Spall: A bloke for all seasons." The Independent. 20 August 2001.[dead link]
  4. ^ Deborah Ross (12 January 2008). "Timothy Spall: Lucky Tim – Features – Films". London: The Independent. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Timothy Spall: Victim of his own success – Profiles – People – The Independent". London: News.independent.co.uk. 30 March 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "You'll know the face". www.smh.com.au. 17 January 2004. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "timedetectives.co.uk" (PDF). Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "ENTERTAINMENT | Spall and Steadman collect OBEs". BBC News. 13 June 2000. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  9. ^ liner notes from the 2009 reissue of the Thomas Dolby album The Flat Earth. Dolby composed the score for Gothic.
  10. ^ ”Wasteland Newport Beach Film Festival 2013 Screenings”
  11. ^ Lynn Barber (30 September 2002). "Timothy Spall: Cruise, characters and chemotherapy | Film | The Observer". London: Film.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Stuart Jeffries (5 November 2007). "Stuart Jeffries talks to Timothy Spall | Film | The Guardian". London: Film.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Timothy Spall goes down to the sea". London: Telegraph. 24 April 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "/ Arts / Film & Television – Nothing to lose, everything to enjoy". Ft.com. 8 April 2006. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "BBC News – Actor Timothy Spall rescued by Sheerness lifeboat". bbc.co.uk. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 

External links[edit]