Elwes in September 2015
Ivan Simon Cary Elwes
26 October 1962
|Alma mater||Sarah Lawrence College|
Lisa Marie Kurbikoff
|Relatives||Cassian Elwes (brother)|
Damian Elwes (brother)
Ivan Simon Cary Elwes (//; born 26 October 1962) is an English actor and writer. He is best known for his leading film roles as Westley in The Princess Bride (1987), Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), and Dr. Lawrence Gordon in the Saw film series. He is also known for leading roles in films like Glory (1989), Hot Shots! (1991), and The Jungle Book (1994), as well as supporting roles in films including Days of Thunder (1990), Twister (1996), Kiss the Girls (1997), Liar Liar (1997), Michael Collins in From the Earth to the Moon (1998), Cradle Will Rock (1999), Shadow of the Vampire (2000), The Cat's Meow (2001), Ella Enchanted (2004), A Christmas Carol (2009), and No Strings Attached (2011). He has had recurring roles in television series including The X-Files, Seinfeld, Psych, and Stranger Things. He joined the third season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as Gavin Hawk, a famed Broadway actor.
Ivan Simon Cary Elwes was born on 26 October 1962 in Westminster, London, the youngest of three sons of portrait painter Dominic Elwes and interior designer and socialite Tessa Kennedy. He is the brother of artist Damian Elwes and film producer Cassian Elwes. His stepfather, Elliott Kastner, was an American film producer. His paternal grandfather was painter Simon Elwes, whose own father was the diplomat and tenor Gervase Elwes (1866–1921). His other great-grandfathers include the diplomat Rennell Rodd, 1st Baron Rennell and industrialist Ivan Rikard Ivanović. Elwes has English, Irish, Scottish, Croatian Jewish, and Serbian ancestry, the latter two from his maternal grandmother, Daška McLean, whose second husband, Billy McLean, was an operative for Special Operations Executive during World War II.
One of Elwes's relatives is John Elwes, who was believed to be the inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (1843), having been referenced by Charles Dickens himself in chapter six of his last completed novel, Our Mutual Friend. Elwes himself played five roles in the 2009 film adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Through his maternal grandfather, Elwes is also related to Sir Alexander William "Blackie" Kennedy, one of the first photographers to document the archaeological site of Petra following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
Elwes was brought up as a Roman Catholic and was an altar boy at Westminster Cathedral, although he did not attend denominational schools as most of the men on his father's side of the family had, including his father. His paternal relatives include such clerics as Dudley Charles Cary-Elwes (1868–1932), the Roman Catholic Bishop of Northampton, Abbott Columba Cary-Elwes (Ampleforth Abbey, Saint Louis Abbey), and Father Luke Cary-Elwes (Fort Augustus Abbey). He discussed this in an interview while he was filming the 2005 CBS television film Pope John Paul II, in which he played the young priest Karol Wojtyła.
Elwes's parents divorced when he was four years old. In 1975, when Elwes was 13, his father died by suicide. He was educated at Harrow School, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In 1981, he moved to the United States to study acting at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. While living there, Elwes studied acting at both the Actors Studio and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute under the tutelage of Al Pacino's mentor, Charlie Laughton (not to be confused with English actor Charles Laughton). As a teenager, he also worked as a production assistant on the films Absolution, Octopussy, and Superman, where he was assigned to Marlon Brando. When Elwes introduced himself to the famous actor, Brando insisted on calling him "Rocky" after Rocky Marciano.
Elwes made his acting debut in 1984 with Marek Kanievska's film Another Country, which was loosely based on the English boarding school exploits of British spies, Burgess, Philby and MacLean. He played James Harcourt, a gay student. He went on to play Guilford Dudley in the British historical drama film Lady Jane, opposite Helena Bonham Carter. He was then cast as a stable-boy-turned-swashbuckler Westley in Rob Reiner's fantasy-comedy The Princess Bride, which was based on the novel of the same name by William Goldman. It was a modest box office success, but received critical acclaim, earning a score of 97% on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Since being released on home video and television, the film has become a cult classic.
Initially the studio didn't know how to market it. Was it an adventure? A fantasy? A comedy? A romance? A kid's movie? In the end they sold it as a kid's movie and it largely had to rely on word of mouth ... people tell me they still have their VHS copy that has been passed down from one generation to the next.— Interview from the film's DVD release in 2001
Elwes continued to work steadily, varying between dramatic roles, such as in the Oscar-winning Glory (1989), and comedic roles, as in Hot Shots! (1991). In 1993, he starred as Robin Hood in Mel Brooks's comedy, Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Elwes then appeared in supporting roles in such films as Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Crush, The Jungle Book (1994), Twister, Liar Liar, and Kiss the Girls. In 1999, he portrayed famed theatre and film producer John Houseman for Tim Robbins in his ensemble film based on Orson Welles's musical, Cradle Will Rock. Following that, he travelled to Luxembourg to work with John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe in Shadow of the Vampire. In 2001, he co-starred in Peter Bogdanovich's ensemble film The Cat's Meow portraying movie mogul Thomas Ince, who died mysteriously while vacationing with William Randolph Hearst on his yacht.
In 2004, Elwes starred in the horror–thriller Saw which, at a budget of a little over $1 million, grossed over $100 million worldwide. The same year he appeared in Ella Enchanted, this time as the villain, not the hero. He made an uncredited appearance as Sam Green, the man who introduced Andy Warhol to Edie Sedgwick, in the 2006 film Factory Girl. In 2007, he appeared in Garry Marshall's Georgia Rule opposite Jane Fonda.
In 2010, he returned to the Saw franchise in Saw 3D (2010), the seventh film in the series, as Dr. Lawrence Gordon. In 2011, he was selected by Ivan Reitman to star alongside Natalie Portman in No Strings Attached. That same year, Elwes and Garry Marshall teamed up again in the ensemble romantic comedy New Year's Eve opposite Robert de Niro and Halle Berry.
In 2012, Elwes starred in the independent drama The Citizen. and the following year Elwes joined Selena Gomez for the comedy ensemble, Behaving Badly directed by Tim Garrick. In 2014, he starred in John Herzfeld's ensemble comedy Reach Me. In 2015, he completed four movies: the ensemble drama Sugar Mountain directed by Richard Gray; and the dramas H8RZ, directed by Derrick Borte, We Don't Belong Here, opposite Anton Yelchin and Catherine Keener directed by Peer Pedersen, and Being Charlie which reunited Elwes with director Rob Reiner after 28 years and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Elwes made his first television appearance in 1996 as David Lookner on Seinfeld. Two years later he played astronaut Michael Collins in the Golden Globe Award-winning HBO miniseries From the Earth To the Moon. The following year Elwes was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for his portrayal of Colonel James Burton in The Pentagon Wars directed by Richard Benjamin. In 1999, he guest starred as Dr. John York in an episode of the television series The Outer Limits. Shortly afterward he received another Golden Satellite Award nomination for his work on the ensemble NBC Television movie Uprising opposite Jon Voight directed by Jon Avnet. Elwes had a recurring role in the final season (from 2001 to 2002) of Chris Carter's hit series The X-Files as FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer.
In 2004, he portrayed serial killer Ted Bundy in the A&E Network film The Riverman, which became one of the highest rated original movies in the network's history and garnered a prestigious BANFF Rockie Award nomination. The following year, Elwes played the young Karol Wojtyła in the CBS television film Pope John Paul II, his second time working with Jon Voight. The TV film was highly successful not only in North America but also in Europe, where it broke box office records in the late Pope's native Poland and became the first film ever to break $1 million (GBP 739,075.00 current) in three days.
In 2007, he made a guest appearance on the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Dependent" as a Mafia lawyer. In 2009, he played the role of Pierre Despereaux, an international art thief, in the fourth-season premiere of Psych. In 2010, he returned to Psych, reprising his role in the second half of the fifth season, again in the show's sixth season, and again in the show's eighth season premiere. In 2014 Elwes played Hugh Ashmeade, Director of the CIA, in the second season of the BYUtv series Granite Flats.
In May 2015, Elwes was cast as a series regular in Crackle's first streaming network series drama, The Art of More, which explores the cutthroat world of premium auction houses. He played Arthur Davenport, a shrewd and eccentric world-class collector of illegal art and antiquities. The series debuted on 19 November and was picked up for a second season.
In April 2018 Elwes was cast as Larry Kline, Mayor of Hawkins, for the third season of the Netflix series Stranger Things, which premiered in July 2019. In May 2019, it was announced that he would be joining the third season of the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as Gavin Hawk.
Elwes's voice-over work includes the narrator in James Patterson's audiobook The Jester, as well as characters in film and television animations such as Quest for Camelot, Pinky and The Brain, Batman Beyond, and the English versions of the Studio Ghibli films, Porco Rosso, Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns. For the 2004 video game The Bard's Tale, he served as screenwriter, improviser, and voice actor of the main character The Bard. In 2009, Elwes reunited with Jason Alexander for the Indian film, Delhi Safari. The following year Elwes portrayed the part of Gremlin Gus in Disney's video game, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. In 2014, he appeared in Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey as the voice of scientists Edmond Halley and Robert Hooke.
Motion capture work
In 2009 Elwes joined the cast of Robert Zemeckis's motion capture adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol portraying five roles. That same year he was chosen by Steven Spielberg to appear in his motion capture adaptation of Belgian artist Hergé's popular comic strip The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.
In October 2014 Touchstone (Simon & Schuster) published Elwes's memoir of the making of The Princess Bride, entitled As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, which Elwes co-wrote with Joe Layden. The book featured never-before-told stories, exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs, and interviews with co-stars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, Fred Savage and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner. The book debuted on The New York Times Best Seller list.
In 2014, Elwes co-wrote the screenplay for a film entitled Elvis & Nixon, about the pair's famous meeting at the White House in 1970. The film, which starred Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey, was bought by Amazon as their first theatrical feature and was released on 22 April 2016.
In August 2005, Elwes filed a lawsuit against Evolution Entertainment, his management firm and producer of Saw. Elwes said he was promised a minimum of one percent of the producers' net profits of the film and did not receive the full amount. The case was settled out of court. In 2010, he reprised his role in Saw 3D.
|1979||Yesterday's Hero||Disco Dancer|
|1984||Another Country||James Harcourt|
|1985||The Bride||Capt. Josef Schoden|
|1986||Lady Jane||Guilford Dudley|
|1987||Maschenka||Lev Glebovich Ganin|
|The Princess Bride||Westley / Dread Pirate Roberts|
|1988||Never on Tuesday||Tow Truck Driver||Uncredited|
|1989||Glory||Maj. Cabot Forbes|
|1990||Days of Thunder||Russ Wheeler|
|1991||Hot Shots!||Lt. Kent Gregory|
|1992||Bram Stoker's Dracula||Lord Arthur Holmwood|
|Leather Jackets||Dobbs||Also associate producer|
|Porco Rosso||Donald Curtis (voice)|
|1993||Robin Hood: Men in Tights||Robin Hood|
|The Crush||Nick Eliot|
|1994||The Jungle Book||Capt. William Boone|
|The Chase||Steve Horsegroovy|
|1996||Twister||Dr. Jonas Miller|
|1997||Kiss the Girls||Det. Nick Ruskin||Nominated – Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Best Supporting ActoDet|
|The Informant||Lt. David Ferris|
|1998||Quest for Camelot||Garrett||Voice|
|1998||The Pentagon Wars||Col. James G. Burton|
|1999||Cradle Will Rock||John Houseman|
|2000||Shadow of the Vampire||Fritz Arno "Fritzy" Wagner|
|2001||The Cat's Meow||Thomas H. Ince|
|2002||Wish You Were Dead||Mac "Macbeth" Wilson|
|Comic Book Villains||Carter||Also co-producer|
|2003||Porco Rosso||Donald Curtis||Voice; English dub|
|2004||Saw||Dr. Lawrence Gordon||Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Frightened Performance|
|Ella Enchanted||Sir Edgar|
|The Riverman||Ted Bundy|
|American Crime||Albert Bodine|
|2005||Edison Force||District Attorney Jack Reigert|
|Neo Ned||Dr. Magnuson|
|National Lampoon's Pucked||Norman|
|The Cat Returns||Baron Humbert von Gikkingen||Voice; English dub|
|2006||Factory Girl||Sam Green||Uncredited|
|Whisper of the Heart||Baron Humbert von Gikkingen||Voice; English dub|
|2007||Walk the Talk||Erik||Also executive producer|
|2008||The Alphabet Killer||Capt. Kenneth Shine|
|2009||A Christmas Carol||Various characters||Voice and motion-capture|
|2010||Psych 9||Dr. Clement|
|Flying Lessons||Steven Jennings|
|As Good as Dead||Ethan Belfrage|
|Little Murder||Barry Fitzgerald|
|Saw 3D||Dr. Lawrence Gordon|
|2011||No Strings Attached||Dr. Steven Metzner|
|Delhi Safari||Bee Commander / Sultan||Voice|
|The Adventures of Tintin||Seaplane Pilot|
|New Year's Eve||Stan's Doctor||Nominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Ensemble (shared with the entire cast)|
|The Story of Luke||Uncle Paul|
|Camilla Dickinson||Rafferty Dickinson|
|2012||The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure||Bobby Wobbly||Nominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Ensemble (shared with the entire cast)|
|The Citizen||Earl Miller|
|2013||Hansel & Gretel Get Baked||Meter Man|
|Behaving Badly||Joseph Stevens|
|Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox||Orin / Arthur Curry / Aquaman / Emperor Aquaman||Voice|
|2014||A Bit of Bad Luck||Brooks|
|2015||A Mouse Tale||Sir Thaddeus||Voice|
|Being Charlie||David Mills|
|A Haunting in Cawdor||Lawrence O'Neil|
|2016||Lost & Found||John Broman|
|Sugar Mountain||Jim Huxley|
|Elvis & Nixon||N/A||Writer and producer|
|The Elephant Kingdom||Rock||Voice|
|The Queen of Spain||Gary Jones|
|2017||We Don't Belong Here||Frank Harper|
|Don't Sleep||Dr. Richard Sommers|
|2018||Billionaire Boys Club||Andy Warhol|
|Ghost Light||Alex Pankhurst|
|2019||Black Christmas||Professor Gelson|
|TBA||Best Sellers||Halpren Nolan||Post-production|
|TBA||The Gettysburg Address||Capt. John P. Jones||Voice; Post-production|
|1996||Seinfeld||David Lookner||Episode: "The Wait Out"|
|1998||The Pentagon Wars||Lt. Col. James Burton||Television film|
|From the Earth to the Moon||Michael Collins||3 episodes|
|Pinky and the Brain||Director / Hamlet||Voices; Episodes: "Melancholy Brain" and "Whatever Happened to Baby Brain"|
|Hercules||Paris of Troy||Voice; Episode: "Hercules and the Trojan War"|
|1999||The Outer Limits||Dr. John York||Episode: "Ripper"|
|Batman Beyond||Paxton Powers||Voice; Episode: "Ascension"|
|2000||Race Against Time||Burke||Television film|
|2001||Night Visions||Gerald||Episode: "Quiet Please"|
|Uprising||Dr. Fritz Hippler||Television film|
|2001–2002||The X-Files||FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer||6 episodes|
|2004||The Riverman||Ted Bundy||Television film|
|2005||Pope John Paul II||Young Karol Wojtyla||Television film|
|2006||Haskett's Chance||Mark Haskett / Chris Dalness||Television film|
|2007||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sidney Truex||Episode: "Dependent"|
|2009–2014||Psych||Pierre Despereaux||4 episodes|
|2011||Wonder Woman||Henry Detmer||Unsold pilot|
|2012||Leverage||Scott Roemer||Episode: "The (Very) Big Bird Job"|
|Perception||British Intelligence Officer||Episode: "Cipher"|
|2013||The Anna Nicole Story||E. Pierce Marshall||Television film|
|2014||Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey||Edmond Halley / Robert Hooke||Voices; Episode: "When Knowledge Conquered Fear"|
|Granite Flats||Hugh Ashmead||4 episodes|
|2014–2016||Family Guy||Himself / Dr. Watson / Various voices||6 episodes|
|2015–2016||The Art of More||Arthur Davenport||20 episodes|
|Sofia the First||Prince Roderick / Basil||Voices; Episodes: "The Secret Library" and "The Tale of the Noble Knight"|
|2016–2017||Life in Pieces||Professor Sinclair Wilde||4 episodes|
|2017||Workaholics||Fox||Episode: "The Most Dangerless Game"|
|2018||Youth & Consequences||Joel Cutney||3 episodes|
|André the Giant||Himself||HBO documentary|
|2019||Stranger Things||Mayor Larry Kline||5 episodes|
|The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel||Gavin Hawk||4 episodes|
|2020||Katy Keene||Leo Lacy||Episode: "Chapter Thirteen: Come Together"|
|Home Movie: The Princess Bride||Westley / Humperdinck||Episode: "To the Pain"|
|2004||The Bard's Tale||The Bard||Voice||inXile Entertainment|
|2012||Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two||Gremlin Gus||Voice||Disney Interactive Studios|
- Elwes, Cary; Layden, Joe (2014). As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. New York: Touchstone. ISBN 9781476764023. OCLC 878812649.
- "The Almanac". UPI. 26 October 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "World Almanac". Kent County Daily Times. 26 October 2010.
Today's Birthdays: Cary Elwes
- Reilly, Travis (16 January 2015). "Colin Hanks, Johnny Knoxville, Alex Pettyfer Added to 'Elvis & Nixon'". TheWrap. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
- "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers". The New York Times. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
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- Tallerico, Brian (2 July 2019). "'Stranger Things': Cary Elwes Lives It Up As a Shady Mayor". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
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- Thompson, Damian (22 June 2004). Loose Canon: A Portrait of Brian Brindley. Continuum. p. 134. ISBN 0-8264-7418-7.
- 90265 Malibu Life & Style Magazine Issue No. 2; Fall 2013
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Elwes, who grew up a Catholic...
- "Dr Gordon is back in Saw – Cary Elwes's character from the first Saw film is back by popular demand". The Straits Times. 5 January 2011.
- Tam Jr, Henry (13 August 1993). "The 'Robin' Who Has Sherwood Forest Chuckling". San Francisco Chronicle: C6.
- "Mark & Brian w/Cary Elwes on Marlon Brando". YouTube. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- Gray Streeter, Leslie (9 December 2007). "'The Princess Bride' Turns 20". The Palm Beach Post: 6J.
[w]as a modest hit. But it became a raging cult classic after being released on video and shown on cable.
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- Westbrook, Bruce (6 September 2001). "'Bride' basks in glow of video". Houston Chronicle.
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- "These Upcoming Kevin Spacey Projects May Be in Trouble Now". The Cheat Sheet. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
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- "First Two Teaser Clips Psych: 9". DreadCentral. CraveOnline. 2 January 2010. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
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- "Stranger Things S3 Casting Announcement". Netflix. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
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- Paterson, James; Gross, Andrew (1 March 2003). The Jester (Abridged ed.). Hachette Audio. ISBN 1-58621-535-3.
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- "'The Adventures of Tintin' premieres in London – Pictures". Digital Spy.
- Hernandez, Ernio (18 March 2003). "Cary Elwes and Brooke Shields Join Off-Broadway's Exonerated, 18–23 March". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
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Elwes and Lisa Marie (née Kurbikoff) met in 1991 at a Malibu chili cook-off. They were engaged in 1997 and tied the knot three years later.
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