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Clive Owen
Clive Owen (Children of men) cropped.jpg
Owen in 2011
Born (1964-10-03) 3 October 1964 (age 58)
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1987–present
Sarah-Jane Fenton
(m. 1995)

Clive Owen (born 3 October 1964) is an English actor. He first gained recognition in the United Kingdom for playing the lead role in the ITV series Chancer from 1990 to 1991. He received critical acclaim for his work in the film Close My Eyes (1991) before earning international attention for his performance as a struggling writer in Croupier (1998). In 2005, he won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the drama Closer (2004).

Owen has played leading roles in films such as Sin City (2005), Derailed (2005), Inside Man (2006), Children of Men (2006), and The International (2009). In 2012, he earned his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his role in Hemingway & Gellhorn. He played Dr. John W. Thackery on the Cinemax medical drama series The Knick, for which he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama nomination. In 2021, he starred in a psychological romance horror miniseries Lisey's Story and also portrayed President Bill Clinton in the third season of American Crime Story.

Early life

Clive Owen was born on 3 October 1964 in Keresley, Coventry (then in Warwickshire),[1] the fourth of five sons born to Pamela (née Cotton) and Jess Owen. His father, a country and western singer, left the family when Owen was three years old, and despite a brief reconciliation when Owen was 19, the two have remained estranged.[2][3] He has described his childhood as "rough".[2]

While initially opposed to drama school, he changed his mind in 1984, after a long and fruitless period of searching for work. Owen graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[4] After graduation, he worked at the Young Vic, performing in several Shakespearean plays.[5]


Early career

Initially, Owen's career was in television. In 1988, he starred as Gideon Sarn in a BBC production of Precious Bane and the Channel 4 film Vroom before the 1990s saw him become a regular on stage and television in the UK, notably his lead role in the ITV series Chancer, followed by an appearance in the Thames Television production of Lorna Doone.

He won critical acclaim for his performances in the Stephen Poliakoff film Close My Eyes (1991) about a brother and sister who embark on an incestuous love affair. He subsequently appeared in The Magician, Class of '61, Century, Nobody's Children, An Evening with Gary Lineker, Doomsday Gun, Return of the Native and a Carlton production called Sharman, about a private detective. In 1996, he appeared in his first major Hollywood film The Rich Man's Wife alongside Halle Berry before finding international acclaim in a Channel 4 film directed by Mike Hodges called Croupier (1998). In Croupier, he played the title role of a struggling writer who takes a job in a London casino as inspiration for his work, only to get caught up in a robbery scheme. In 1999, he appeared as an accident-prone driver in Split Second, his first BBC production in about a decade.

Owen starred in The Echo, a BBC1 drama, before starring in the film Greenfingers, about a criminal who goes to work in a garden. He appeared in the BBC1 mystery series Second Sight. In 2001, he provided the voice-over for Walk On By, a BBC2 documentary about popular music, as well as starring in a highly acclaimed theatre revival of Peter Nichols' play A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, about a couple with a severely handicapped daughter.

Subsequent work

Owen at the Children of Men premiere in Mexico City, 2006
Owen at the Children of Men premiere in Mexico City, 2006

Owen became known to North American audiences in the summer of 2001 after starring as "The Driver" in The Hire, a series of short films sponsored by BMW and made by prominent directors.[6] He appeared in Robert Altman's Gosford Park. He appeared in the 2002 film The Bourne Identity. In 2003, he reteamed with director Mike Hodges in I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. He starred in Beyond Borders as well as King Arthur in King Arthur, for which he learned to ride a horse.

He appeared in the Royal National Theatre debut of the hit play Closer, by Patrick Marber, which was produced as a film in 2004. He played Dan in the play, and played Larry in the film version. His portrayal of Larry in the film received very favourable reviews, as well as the Golden Globe and BAFTA awards, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He noted that the expectations of him since the Oscar nomination have not changed the way he approaches film-making, stating "I try, every film I do, to be as good as I can and that's all I can do."[7]

After Closer, he appeared in Derailed alongside Jennifer Aniston, the comic book thriller Sin City as the noir antihero Dwight McCarthy and as a mysterious bank robber in Inside Man. Despite public denials, Owen had been rumoured to be a possible successor to Pierce Brosnan in the role of James Bond. A public opinion poll in the United Kingdom in October 2005 by SkyNews found that he was the public's number one choice to star in the next instalment of the series. In that same month, however, it was announced that fellow British actor Daniel Craig would become the next James Bond. In an interview in the September 2007 issue of Details, he claimed that he was not offered or approached concerning the role.[8]

In 2006, Owen spoofed the Bond connection by making an appearance in the remake of The Pink Panther in which he plays a character named "Nigel Boswell, Agent 006" (when he introduces himself to Inspector Clouseau, he quips that Owen's character is "one short of the big time").[citation needed]

In 2006, Owen starred in Children of Men.[9] The film was nominated for various awards, including an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; Owen worked on the screenplay, although he was uncredited.[10] The next year he starred alongside Paul Giamatti in the film Shoot 'Em Up and appeared as Sir Walter Raleigh opposite Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth I of England in the film Elizabeth: The Golden Age. He appeared in the Christmas special of the Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant show Extras.

Owen starred in The International (2009), a film which he described as a "paranoid political thriller".[11] He played the lead in The Boys Are Back,[12] an Australian adaptation of the book The Boys Are Back in Town by Simon Carr.

In June 2010 it was announced that Owen and Nicole Kidman would star in an HBO film about Ernest Hemingway and his relationship with Martha Gellhorn entitled Hemingway & Gellhorn. James Gandolfini served as executive producer to the film, written by Barbara Turner and Jerry Stahl. The film was directed by Philip Kaufman[13] and released in 2012. Owen played the lead in Shadow Dancer,[14] a joint UK/Ireland production about a young mother who is involved with Irish republicanism. It co-starred Andrea Riseborough, Gillian Anderson, and Aidan Gillen, and was directed by James Marsh. In April 2010, he was cast as the lead in Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's horror-thriller Intruders.[15]

Owen starred in the film Blood Ties, directed by Guillaume Canet, alongside French actress Marion Cotillard. It was released in June 2013 at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. In 2015, Owen made his Broadway debut in a revival of Harold Pinter's Old Times at the American Airlines Theatre.[16] He was selected to be on the jury for the main competition section of the 2016 Berlin Film Festival.

In October 2017, Owen returned to Broadway as Rene Gallimard in a revival of David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly at the Cort Theatre in New York City.[17]

In 2019, Owen played the role of the defrocked Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon in the West End theatre production of Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana at the Noël Coward Theatre.[18] Also in 2019, he played Dovidl Rapaport in The Song of Names.[19] He is playing Bill Clinton in the miniseries Impeachment: American Crime Story.

Personal life

Owen met his wife, Sarah-Jane Fenton, in 1988, when they were both taking part in a production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet  at the Young Vic Theatre in London. They began dating shortly after and married in March 1995. The couple have two daughters together.[citation needed]

Owen became patron of the Electric Palace Cinema in Harwich, Essex, and launched an appeal for funds to repair deteriorating elements of the historic building.[20][21][22]

Owen is a supporter of Liverpool FC[23] and narrated the fly on the wall documentary series Being: Liverpool.[24]



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Vroom Jake film debut
1991 Close My Eyes Richard
1993 Century Paul Reisner
1995 The Turnaround Nick Sharman
1996 The Rich Man's Wife Jake Golden
1997 Bent Max
1998 Croupier Jack Manfred
2000 Greenfingers Colin Briggs
2001 Ambush The Driver 1st season of The Hire short film series for BMW
The Follow
Powder Keg
Gosford Park Robert Parks
2002 The Bourne Identity The Professor
Hostage The Driver 2nd season of The Hire short film series for BMW
Beat the Devil
2003 I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Will
Beyond Borders Nick Callahan
2004 King Arthur Arthur
Closer Larry Gray
2005 Sin City Dwight McCarthy
Derailed Charles Schine
2006 The Pink Panther Nigel Boswell/Agent 006 uncredited
Inside Man Dalton Russell
Children of Men Theo Faron
2007 Shoot 'Em Up Smith
Elizabeth: The Golden Age Sir Walter Raleigh
2009 The International Louis Salinger
Duplicity Ray Koval
The Boys Are Back Joe Warr
2010 Trust Will
2011 Killer Elite Spike
Intruders John Farrow
2012 Shadow Dancer Mac
2013 Blood Ties Chris
Words and Pictures Jack Marcus
2015 Last Knights Raiden
2016 The Confirmation Walt
The Escape The Driver 3rd season of The Hire short film series for BMW
2017 Killer in Red Floyd Short film
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Commander Arun Filitt
2018 Ophelia Claudius
Anon Sal Frieland
2019 Gemini Man Clay Varris
The Song of Names Dovidl
The Informer Keith Montgomery
2020 Guida romantica a posti perduti Benno Owen is dubbed in Italian by Fabio Boccanera
In the trailer he is dubbed by Andrea Lavagnino


Year Title Role Notes
1987 Rockliffe's Babies PC Parslew Television debut
Episode: "Up the Down Escalator"
1988 Boon Geoff Episode: "Peacemaker"
1989 Precious Bane Gideon Sarn Television movie
1990 Lorna Doone John Ridd Television movie
1990–1991 Chancer Derek Love/Stephen Crane Series regular; 20 episodes
1993 Class of '61 Devin O'Neil Television movie
The Magician Detective Conservative George Byrne Television movie
1994 Nobody's Children Corneliu Bratu Television movie
An Evening with Gary Lineker Bill Television movie
Doomsday Gun Dov Television movie
The Return of the Native Damon Wildeve Television movie
1995–1996 Screen Two Paul/Diggory Venn 2 episodes
1996 Sharman Nick Sharman Series regular; 4 episodes
1998 The Echo Deacon Television miniseries; 2 episodes
1999 Split Second Michael Anderson Television movie
Second Sight DCI Ross Tanner Television movie
2000 Second Sight: Parasomnia Television movie
Second Sight: Kingdom of the Blind Television movie
Second Sight: Hide and Seek Television movie
2007 Extras Himself Episode: "The Extra Special Series Finale"
Hypnose homee Television short
2012 Hemingway & Gellhorn Ernest Hemingway Television movie
Being: Liverpool Narrator Episode: "Silver Shovel"
2014–2015 The Knick Dr. John W. Thackery Series regular; 20 episodes
2020 Curb Your Enthusiasm Himself Episode: "Insufficient Praise"
2021 Lisey's Story Scott Landon Series regular; 8 episodes
Impeachment: American Crime Story Bill Clinton Series regular; 10 episodes


Year Title Role Director Notes
1989 Precious Bane Gideon Sarn Christopher Menaul play
1991 The Philanderer Mr Joseph Cuthbertson Brian Cox play; Hampstead Theatre
The Doctor's Dilemma Unknown James Maxwell play; Royal Exchange Theatre
1994 Design for Living Alfred Lunt Sean Mathias play; Donmar Warehouse Theatre
1997 Closer Dan Patrick Marber play; Royal National Theatre
2001 A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Bri Laurence Boswell play; New Ambassadors Theatre
2015 Old Times Deeley Douglas Hodge play; American Airlines Theatre
2017 M. Butterfly Rene Gallimard Julie Taymor play; Cort Theatre
2019 The Night of the Iguana[25] Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon James Macdonald play; Noël Coward Theatre

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Privateer 2: The Darkening Lev Arris Live-action cutscenes


Year Title Notes
2009 The Boys Are Back Feature film; executive producer
2014 The Knick Television series; 10 episodes/executive producer
Episode: "Method and Madness" (2014)
Episode: "Mr. Paris Shoes" (2014)
Episode: "The Busy Flea" (2014)
Episode: "Where the Dignity" (2014)
Episode: "The Captured the Heat" (2014)
Episode: "Start Calling Me Dad" (2014)
Episode: "Get the Rope: (2014)
Episode: "Working Late a Lot" (2014)
Episode: "The Golden Lotus" (2014)
Episode: "Crutchfield" (2014)


Year Title Notes Song
2012 Hemingway & Gellhorn Television movie "Tutti Mi Chiamano Bionda"

Awards and nominations

Owen has received multiple nominations for his work in both film and television. He has one Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Larry in Closer (2004), three Golden Globe Award nominations, winning one in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in Closer; his other two nominations are for his roles in television including made-for-television film Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012) for Best Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television, and drama series The Knick (2014) for Best Lead Actor in a Television Series – Drama, one Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie nomination for his performance in Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012), and two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations – winning one in 2002 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture for his performance in Gosford Park (2002).[citation needed]

Year Title Accolade Results
2001 Gosford Park Award Circuit Community Award, Best Cast Ensemble Nominated
2002 Critics' Choice Award, Best Acting Ensemble Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award, Best Ensemble Cast Won
Online Film Critics Society Award, Best Ensemble Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award, Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
Satellite Award, Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture Won
Screen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture Won
2004 Closer Award Circuit Community Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Award Circuit Community Award, Best Cast Enemble Nominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Golden Schmoes Award, Best Supporting Actor of the Year Nominated
National Board of Review Award, Best Acting by an Ensemble Won
New York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Seattle Film Critics Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
2005 Academy Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
British Academy Film Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Critics' Choice Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Critics' Choice Award, Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Gold Derby Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Gold Derby Award, Best Ensemble Cast Won
Golden Globe Award, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Won
International Cinephile Society Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
International Online Cinema Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Italian Online Movie Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
London Critics' Circle Film Award, British Actor of the Year Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award, Best Supporting Actor Won
Online Film Critics Society Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Satellite Award, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama Nominated
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award, Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2006 Children of Men Award Circuit Community Award, Best Cast Ensemble Nominated
Sin City Critics' Choice Award, Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
Gold Derby Award, Best Ensemble Cast Nominated
Children of Men Golden Schmoes Award, Best Actor of the Year Nominated
Sin City MTV Movie + TV Award, Best Kiss (shared with Rosario Dawson) Nominated
2007 Inside Man

Children of Men

Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award, Actor of the Year Won
Children of Men Italian Online Movie Award, Best Lead Actor Nominated
Russian National Movie Award, Best Foreign Actor of the Year Nominated
Shoot 'Em Up Satellite Award, Best Lead Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical Nominated
Children of Men Saturn Award, Best Lead Actor Nominated
2008 Elizabeth: The Golden Age Russian National Movie Award, Best Foreign Actor of the Year Nominated
2010 The Boys Are Back Australian Film Institute Award, Best Lead Actor Nominated
2012 Hemingway & Gellhorn Award Circuit Community Award, Best Lead Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Nominated
Gold Derby Award, Best Lead Actor in a Television Movie/Miniseries Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
Satellite Award, Best Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television Nominated
2013 Golden Camera Award, Best International Actor Won
Hemingway & Gellhorn Golden Globe Award, Best Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Nominated
2014 The Knick IGN Summer Movie Award, Best Television Actor Nominated
Russian National Movie Award, Best Foreign Actor of the Decade Nominated
The Knick Satellite Award, Best Lead Actor in a Series – Drama Won
2015 Golden Globe Award, Best Lead Actor in a Television Series – Drama Nominated
2016 Critics' Choice Television Award, Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award, Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2022 Impeachment: American Crime Story Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film Nominated


  1. ^ "A History of Keresley". 14 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b Maher, Kevin (8 September 2007). "Clive Owen's orgy of violence". Times Online. London. Retrieved 19 September 2007.
  3. ^ Wood, Gaby (11 July 2004). "The player". The Observer. London. Retrieved 19 September 2007.
  4. ^ "conservatoirefor dance and drama". Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  5. ^ "The Biography Channel". Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Watch The Hire: 8 Short Films Shot for BMW by John Woo, Ang Lee & Other Popular Filmmakers (2002) | Open Culture".
  7. ^ Topel, Fred (4 September 2007). "Clive Owen: A totally original badass". Crave Online. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2007.
  8. ^ "Clive Owen: Details". September 2007. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2007.
  9. ^ "Children of Men interview". Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  10. ^ "Quint chats up Alfonso Cuaron about the CHILDREN OF MEN DVD!!!". Ain't it Cool News. 23 March 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2007.
  11. ^ "Clive Owen: The International". 11 February 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2009.
  12. ^ "The Boys Are Back: interviews". BBC Film Network. 14 January 2010. Archived from the original on 19 January 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  13. ^ "HBO Orders Hemingway Film With Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen".
  14. ^ "Shadow Dancer Begins Filming in Ireland". IFTN. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  15. ^ "Clive Owen Stars in Horror-Thriller Intruders". Bloody Disgusting. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  16. ^ Charles McNulty (8 October 2015). "Clive Owen and Sam Rockwell hit Broadway in Old Times and Fool for Love with different results". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  17. ^ "M. Butterfly". Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  18. ^ Meyer, Dan (17 July 2019). "See What London Critics Thought of The Night of the Iguana, Starring Clive Owen and Anna Gunn". Playbill.
  19. ^ Schleier, Curt. "Clive Owen plays a Hasidic violin virtuoso in new film 'The Song of Names'". Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  20. ^ Cinema staff. "Patron of the Electric Palace". Electric Palace Cinema, Harwich website. Archived from the original on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  21. ^ Cinema staff. "Clive Owen Launches £85,000 Appeal". Electric Palace Cinema press release. Archived from the original on 23 September 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  22. ^ Kevin Maher (19 July 2008). "The Electric Palace cinema in Harwich: the first picture show". The Times. London. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  23. ^ " – Q&A: Clive Owen – Nov 10, 2005". CNN. 10 November 2005.
  24. ^ Pearce, James (8 September 2012). "Blood Red: Liverpool FC fan Clive Owen to narrate Fox documentary". Liverpool Echo. Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales Limitedc. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  25. ^ Orlova-Alvarez, Tamara; Alvarez, Joe (2 February 2019). "The Night Of The Iguana: Clive Owen Returns to The West End". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved 2 February 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 February 2023, at 07:12
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