Ioan Gruffudd (Welsh: [ˈjɔan ˈɡrɪfɪð] (listen); born 6 October 1973) is a Welsh actor. He first came to public attention as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in Titanic (1997), and then for his portrayal of Horatio Hornblower in the Hornblower series of television films (1998–2003). Subsequent roles have included Lancelot in King Arthur (2004), Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic in Fantastic 4 (2005) and its sequel (2007), William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace (2006), and Tony Blair in W. (2008).
Gruffudd at 2011 Comic-Con International
|Education||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
Alice Evans (m. 2007)
His other film credits include 102 Dalmatians (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), The Gathering (2003), Fireflies in the Garden, The Secret of Moonacre (both 2008), Sanctum, Horrible Bosses, Angel in the House (all 2011), The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (2014), and San Andreas (2015).
On television, Gruffudd has starred in the CW series Ringer (2011–12), the ABC drama Forever (2014–15), the Lifetime series UnReal (2016), Sundance/ITV's Liar (2017–present), and the Australian series Harrow (2018–present).
Family, early life and educationEdit
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 Rhydfelin). He has a 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.
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 North).
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 to 1994. 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 his 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 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 US President George W Bush, in which Gruffudd played Tony Blair. In 2011, he played the financier of a cave dive in Sanctum.
Gruffudd débuted his new male lead of Dr Andrew Earlham, a respected surgeon and widowed father of a teenage son, on 11 September 2017, in ITV's new 6-part thriller miniseries, Liar. Dr Earlham's world—personally and professionally—is torn asunder when his son's schoolteacher, Laura Neilson (Joanne Froggatt) accuses him of raping her after their first date, the details of which she cannot remember. Liar also began airing in the US on SundanceTV on 25 September 2017.
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. The couple met during the production of 102 Dalmatians, while she was engaged to and living with Olivier Picasso (a grandson of Pablo Picasso), 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.
On 20 April 2009, Gruffudd and Evans announced that they were expecting their first child together. The couple have two daughters, Ella Betsi Janet (born on 6 September 2009) and Elsie Marigold (born on 13 September 2013).
|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|
|The 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)|
|The 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||N/A||Agent Crush||Voice role, never released|
|The Meant to Be's||2008||The Man||Television film|
|Fireflies in the Garden||2008||Addison|
|The Secret of Moonacre||2008||Sir Benjamin Merryweather|
|Horrible Bosses||2011||Wetwork Expert||Cameo|
|Foster||2011||Alec||Also titled Angel in the House|
|The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box||2013||Charles Mundi|
|Playing It Cool||2014||Stuffy|
|San Andreas||2015||Daniel Riddick|
|Keep Watching||2017||Carl Mitchell|
|The Professor and the Madman||2019||Henry Bradley|
|Charizard the Dragon||2020||Major Harrington||Post-production|
|Fantastic Four||2005||Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic||Based on the film of the same name|
|Diablo III||2012||Necromancer (male)|
|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|
|The 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|
|Monday Mornings||2013||Dr. Stewart Delaney||Guest role|
|Castle||2013||Erik Vaughn||Season 5, Episode 21: "The Squab and the Quail"|
|Necessary Roughness||2013||Nolan Powers||Guest role|
|Glee||2013||Paolo San Pablo||2 episodes ("Love, Love, Love"; "The End of Twerk")|
|Under Milk Wood||2014||Mog Edwards||TV movie|
|Forever||2014–15||Dr. Henry Morgan||Lead, 22 episodes|
|Liar||2017–||Andrew Earlham||Lead, 6 episodes|
|Harrow||2018–||Dr. Daniel Harrow||Lead role|
|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 What I Wrote||2001||Wyndham's Theatre, London||Mystery Guest|
|"Uptown Girl"||2001||Westlife||World of Our Own|||
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 November 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Ioan received into the Gorsedd" (in Welsh). BBC Wales. 4 August 2003. Retrieved 2 August 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. Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
- "The Gruffudd saga". GMTV. 16 January 2004.[permanent dead link]
- "Ioan Gruffudd trivia". Filmspot.com. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. 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.
- Malone, Sam (2 February 2010). "S4C drama tribute".
- Gina Petonito (1999–2007). "Biography". Ioancentral [fan site]. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
- "Ioan Gruffudd is Tony Blair". Total Film. GamesRadar. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- "London Live Earth line-up revealed". NME. 5 July 2007.
- "Gruffudd made honorary druid". BBC News. 20 June 2003.
- "Eisteddfod hapus!". The Guardian. 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. 26 October 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- Alexis Chiu (20 April 2009). "Fantastic Four's Ioan Gruffudd and wife are expecting". People.
- 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. Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. 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.
- "Ioan Gruffudd - Biography". Imdb. 21 February 2018.
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