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Rupert James Hector Everett was born on May 29, 1959 in Norfolk, England. He is a three-time Olivier Award and two-time Golden Globe-nominated actor, who is perhaps best known for his appearances in period films such as The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, and The Madness of King George, as well as his role as George Downes opposite Julia Roberts in romantic comedy My Best Friend’s Wedding.
Everett attended Farleigh School in Hampshire and Ampleforth College in Yorkshire, before enrolling at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London to train as an actor. However, he would never complete the course and would instead begin his career on stage at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland.
His first big break in theatre came in 1981, landing a role opposite Kenneth Branagh in Another Country at the Greenwich Theatre. Following a West End transfer, Everett received two Olivier Award nominations for his portrayal of gay school pupil Guy. Fast forward and Everett would not make his Broadway debut until February 2009, starring as Charles opposite Angela Lansbury in an acclaimed revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit at the Shubert Theatre. He returned to the UK stage as Professor Henry Higgins in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion at the Chichester Festival Theatre in the summer of 2010. He would reprise the role, opposite Diana Rigg, in a West End transfer to the Garrick Theatre from May 2011. His next major stage role was to play Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss by David Hare. The production began its life in September 2012 at the Hampstead Theatre in London, before touring the UK and Ireland and transferring to the West End for a limited run at the Duke of York’s Theatre from January through April 2013. Everett was honored with his third Olivier Award nomination for his efforts. He would also reprise the role at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City in 2016.
On screen, the 1984 film adaptation of Another Country (his first big break on stage) also proved to be his breakthrough in film, receiving critical acclaim and a BAFTA nomination in 1985 for most outstanding newcomer to film. He would appear in a string of films in the 80s and early 90s, including Dance with a Stranger (1985), The Comfort of Strangers (1990), Dellamorte Dellamore (1994), and as the Prince of Wales in The Madness of King George (1994).
His career leapt to new heights after starring opposite Julia Roberts in the 1997 romantic comedy My Best Friend’s Wedding, earning a BAFTA nomination and his first Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of George Downes. He followed this with roles in Shakespeare in Love (1998), a Golden Globe-nominated performance as Lord Goring in An Ideal Husband (1999), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999), and Inspector Gadget (1999).
Since the 2000s, Everett’s most notable screen credits have included The Next Best Thing (2000) opposite Madonna, the role of Algy in The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), the voice of Prince Charming in Shrek 2 (2004) and Shrek the Third (2007), the titular role in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), Stardust (2007), St. Trinian’s (2007) and St. Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold (2009), Wild Target (2010), A Royal Night Out (2015), The Three Musketeers (2016), and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016). He would once again play Oscar Wilde in 2018’s The Happy Prince, which he also wrote and directed.
Everett returned to Broadway to star opposite Laurie Metcalf in a revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Booth Theatre from March 3, 2020. However, the production was forced to shut down (after just 9 previews) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.