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Sir Patrick Hewes Stewart, OBE (born 13 July 1940) is an English film, television and stage (theatre) actor. He has had a distinguished career in theatre and television for around half a century. He is most widely known for his television and film roles, as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men (film series).

Early life[]

Stewart was born in Mirfield near Dewsbury[1] in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, the son of Gladys (née Barrowclough), a weaver and textile worker, and Alfred Stewart, a Regimental Sergeant Major in the British Army who served with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) and previously worked as a general labourer and as a postman.[2] Throughout childhood, he endured poverty and disadvantage, an experience which influenced his later political and ideological beliefs.[3] In 2006, Stewart made a short video against domestic violence for Amnesty International, in which he recollected his father's physical attacks on his mother and the effect it had on him as a child, and he has given his name to a scholarship at the University of Huddersfield, where he is Chancellor, to fund post-graduate study into domestic violence.[4][5] His childhood experiences also led him to become the patron of Refuge, a UK charity for abused women.[6] He attended Crowlees C of E Junior and Infants School,[7] and in 1951, aged 11, he entered Mirfield Secondary Modern School,[8] where he continued to study drama. At age 15, Stewart dropped out of school and increased his participation in local theatre. He acquired a job as a newspaper reporter and obituary writer,[9] but after a year, his employer gave him an ultimatum to choose acting or journalism.[10] He quit the job. His brother tells the story that Stewart would attend rehearsals during work time and then invent the stories he reported. Stewart also trained as a boxer.[9]

Career[]

Early works[]

Following a period with the Manchester Library Theatre, he became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966, staying with them until 1982. He was as an Associate Artist of the company in 1968.[11] He appeared next to actors such as Ben Kingsley and Ian Richardson. In January 1967, he made his debut TV appearance on Coronation Street as a Fire Officer. In 1969, he had a brief TV cameo role as Horatio, opposite Ian Richardson's Hamlet, in a performance of the gravedigger scene as part of episode six of Sir Kenneth Clark's Civilisation television series.[12] He made his Broadway debut as Snout in Peter Brook's legendary[13] production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, then moved to the Royal National Theatre in the early 1980s. Over the years, Stewart took roles in many major television series without ever becoming a household name. He appeared as Lenin in Fall of Eagles; Sejanus in I, Claudius;[14] Karla in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People; Claudius in a 1980 BBC adaptation of Hamlet. He even took the romantic male lead in the BBC adaptation of Mrs Gaskell's North and South (wearing a hairpiece). He also appeared in Sir Kenneth Clark's Civilisation: A Personal View series (Episode 6), as Horatio.

He also had minor roles in several films such as King Leondegrance in John Boorman's Excalibur (1981),[14] the character Gurney Halleck in David Lynch's 1984 film version of Dune[14] and Dr. Armstrong in Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce.

Star Trek: The Next Generation[]

In 1987, after attending a Shakespeare Seminar at UCLA, Stewart went to Los Angeles to star as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994), for which he received a 1995 Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series". From 1994 to 2002, he also portrayed Picard in the movie spin-offs Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek Nemesis (2002); and in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's pilot episode "Emissary".

He has also said he is very proud of his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation, for its social message and educational impact on young viewers. On being questioned about the significance of his role compared to his distinguished Shakespearean career, Stewart has said:

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The accolades he has received include "Sexiest Man on Television" (TV Guide, 1992), which he considered an unusual distinction considering his age and his baldness.[15] In an interview with Michael Parkinson, he expressed gratitude for Gene Roddenberry's riposte to a reporter who said, "Surely they would have cured baldness by the 24th century," to which Roddenberry replied, "In the 24th century, they wouldn't care."[16][17]

Other works of note[]

In 1991, Stewart performed his adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol in which he portrayed all 40-plus characters himself, securing a nomination for that year's Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show.[18] He later starred as Scrooge in a TV movie version of A Christmas Carol, receiving a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for his performance. He was also the co-producer of the show, through the company he set up for the purpose: Camm Lane Productions, a reference to his birthplace in Camm Lane, Mirfield. He staged encore performances in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, and then again for the benefit of survivors and victims' families in the September 11 attacks. Stewart performed the play again for a 23-day run in London's West End in December 2005. For his performances in this play, he has received the Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance in 1992 and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment for Solo Performance in 1994. Shakespeare roles during this period included Prospero in William Shakespeare's The Tempest, on Broadway in 1995, a role he would reprise in Rupert Goold's 2006 production of The Tempest as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works Festival,[19] and the title role in Shakespeare's Othello in 1997. Originally a play about a black African entering a white society, Stewart had wanted to play the title role since the age of 14, so he (along with director Jude Kelly), inverted the play so Othello became a white man entering a black society.

He has played a great range of characters, from the flamboyantly gay Sterling in the 1995 film Jeffrey to King Henry II in The Lion in Winter, for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance and an Emmy Award nomination for executive-producing the film. He portrayed Captain Ahab in the 1998 made-for-TV movie version of Moby Dick, receiving Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for his performance. In late 2003, during the eleventh and final season of NBC's Frasier, Stewart appeared on the show as a gay Seattle socialite who mistakes Frasier for a potential lover.

In July 2003, he appeared as himself in Series 02 (Episode 09) of Top Gear in the Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car segment. He achieved 1:50 in the Liana.

Stewart has also starred in X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Charles Xavier, although he is not credited for Wolverine. The films' success has resulted in another lucrative regular genre film role in a major superhero film series. He has also since voiced the role in three video games, X-Men Legends, X-Men Legends II and X-Men: Next Dimension.

In 2005, he was cast as Professor Ian Hood in an ITV thriller 4-episode series Eleventh Hour, created by Stephen Gallagher. The first episode was broadcast on 19 January 2006. He also, in 2005, played Captain Nemo in a two part adaptation of The Mysterious Island. Stewart also appeared in Ricky Gervais's television series Extras, as a last-minute replacement for Jude Law. For playing himself, he was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2006 for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.[20]

In October/November 2006, Stewart accompanied the Royal Shakespeare Company as they performed The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar at the University of Michigan. He acted the role of Antony again playing opposite Harriet Walter's Cleopatra in an acclaimed performance of Antony and Cleopatra at the Novello Theatre in London in 2007. During this period, Stewart also addressed the Durham Union Society on his life in film and theatre.

He was named as the next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre based at St Catherine's College, University of Oxford in January 2007.[21] In 2008, Stewart played King Claudius in Hamlet alongside David Tennant. He won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor for the part. When collecting his award, he dedicated the award "in part" to Tennant and Tennant's understudy Edward Bennett, after Tennant's back injury and subsequent absence from four weeks of Hamlet disqualified him from an Olivier nomination.[22] Stewart has expressed interest in appearing in Doctor Who.[23]

In 2009, Stewart appeared alongside Ian McKellen as the lead duo of Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), in the play Waiting for Godot. Stewart had previously only appeared once alongside McKellen on stage, but the pair had developed a close friendship while waiting around on set filming the X-Men films.[24] Stewart stated that performing in this play was the fulfilment of a 50 year ambition, having seen Peter O'Toole appear in it at the Bristol Old Vic while Stewart was just 17.[24] His interpretation captured well the balance between humour and despair that characterizes the work.[25] At the end of the final performance Stewart broke down in tears off-camera in episode 6 of the Sky Arts documentary Theatreland as he expressed his simultaneous joy at performing at the Haymarket Theatre, and the fear that he may be too old to take another major part that will bring him back to the theatre.[26]

Voice acting[]

Stewart has lent his voice to a number of projects. He has narrated recordings of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle (conclusion of the series The Chronicles of Narnia), Rick Wakeman's Return to the Centre of the Earth; as well as numerous TV programs such as High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman. Stewart provided the narration for Nine Worlds, an astronomical tour of the solar system and The Secret of Life on Earth,[27] a nature documentary. He is also heard as the voice of the Magic Mirror in Disneyland's live show, Snow White - An Enchanting Musical. He also was the narrator for the American release of Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real

He also was a voice actor on several animated films, including The Prince of Egypt, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Chicken Little, The Pagemaster, as well as the English dubbings of the Japanese anime films Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki and Steamboy. He voiced the pig Napoleon in a TV adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm and guest starred in the Simpsons episode "Homer the Great" as Number One. Patrick also narrated the introduction narration for the Disney's "Nightmare Before Before Christmas" which also appears on the movie's soundtrack. More recently, he has played a recurring role as CIA Deputy Director Avery Bullock (lending his likeness as well as his voice) on the animated series American Dad! as well as making (as of 2009) four guest appearances on Family Guy in various roles: first in "Peter's Got Woods" as Captain Picard, second in "No Meals on Wheels" when Peter likens something to when he once swapped voices with him for a day, third in "Lois Kills Stewie" as his American Dad! character Bullock, and fourth in "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" as himself. In 2006, Stewart voiced Bambi's father, The Great Prince of the Forest in Disney's direct-to-video sequel, Bambi II.

He lent his voice to a number of Activision-produced Star Trek computer games, including Star Trek: Armada, Armada II, Star Trek: Starfleet Command III, Star Trek: Invasion, Bridge Commander, and Elite Force II, all reprising his role as Captain Picard. Stewart reprised his role as Picard in Star Trek: Legacy for both PC and Xbox 360, along with the four other 'major' Starfleet captains from the different Star Trek series.

In addition to voicing his characters from Star Trek and X-Men in several related computer and video games, Stewart also worked as a voice actor on games unrelated to both franchises, such as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in which in 2006 he won a Spike TV Video Game Award for his work as Emperor Uriel Septim. He also lent his voice to several editions of the Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia.

His voice talents also appeared in a couple of commercials including the UK TV Advert for Domestos 5x Longer Bleach, an advertisement for Shell fuel, and an American advertisement for the prescription drug Crestor. He also voiced the UK and Australian TV advertisements for the PAL version of Final Fantasy XII.[28]

Stewart also used his voice for Pontiac and Porsche automobiles and MasterCard Gold commercials in 1996, and Goodyear Assurance Tires and Crestor drugs in 2004. He also did voice-overs for RCA televisions. He provided the voice of Max Winters in TMNT in March 2007. In 2008, he is also the voice of television advertisements for Currys and Stella Artois beer.

Personal life[]

Stewart and his first wife, Sheila Falconer, have two children: Daniel Freedom and Sophie Alexandra. Stewart and Falconer divorced in 1990. In 1997, he became engaged to Wendy Neuss, one of the producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and they married on 25 August 2000, divorcing three years later. Four months prior to his divorce from Neuss, Stewart played opposite actress Lisa Dillon in a production of The Master Builder. The two dated for four years, but are no longer together.[29] He was 40 years her senior. He is now seeing Sunny Ozell; at 31, she is younger than his daughter.[30] "I just don't meet women of my age," he explains.[31]

Having lived in Los Angeles for many years, Stewart moved back to the UK in 2004. In an interview with the BBC's Gavin Esler, he said this was because he was homesick and because he wanted to return to work in the theatre.[3] He is the Chancellor[32] and Professor of Performing Arts of the University of Huddersfield and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2001 New Year Honours list. After receiving his OBE Stewart saidTemplate:Cquote He is a supporter of the British Labour Party.[33] His politics are rooted in his belief in fairness and equality[3] and he has been critical of the Iraq War and recent UK government legislation in the area of civil liberties, in particular plans to extend detention without charge to 42 days. He signed an open letter of objection to this proposal in March 2008.[34]

He was one of those interviewed for the "Red Dwarf" A–Z special (he also provided the introduction). In the documentary, he jokes that he caught a glimpse of what he thought was a 'rip-off' of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and was going to phone his lawyer to sue the makers of the show, until he saw something that made him laugh.

Stewart has been lifelong friends with fellow Shakespearean and sci-fi icon Brian Blessed, whom he first met at the Bristol Old Vic. They have since starred together both on stage and in TV productions, including I, Claudius for the BBC.

During the RSC's autumn 2006 residency in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Stewart made an appearance at the Ball State versus University of Michigan gridiron football game. He directed the Michigan Marching Band in the Star Trek theme song during their halftime show, and when asked if he had any advice for their upcoming game against Ohio State, told the Wolverines "to boldly go, and beat the Buckeyes!", and after a quieting of the crowd, "Make it so, Number One!" This was a reference to his Star Trek catchphrase. Stewart is a lifelong supporter of Huddersfield Town Football Club.[35][36] He is president of Huddersfield Town Academy, the local football club's project for identifying and developing young talent.[37]

Despite having a notable role in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Patrick Stewart has expressed discontent about real space travel and space tourism, believing that the money would be better spent on fixing problems on Earth first.[38]

Stewart's son Daniel is a guest television actor,[39] and has appeared alongside his father in the 1993 made for TV movie Death Train, and the 1992 Star Trek episode "The Inner Light" playing his son.[notes 1]

Stewart was made a Knight Bachelor in the 2010 New Year Honours for services to drama.[40][41]

Theatrical performances[]

File:Patrick Stewart signing autographs.jpg

Patrick Stewart signing autographs following a production of Hamlet at the RSC in July 2008.

The Royal Shakespeare Company[]

Stewart has been a prolific actor in performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in over 60 productions.[42] His first appearance was in 1966 in The Investigation and in the years that followed he became a core member of the company, taking on three or four major roles each season and rarely taking a break.[43] His most recent appearance for the company was as Claudius in Hamlet in 2008.

Other[]

  • 1995: Played Prospero in The Tempest for the New York Shakespeare Festival, with the production later transferring to Broadway.
  • 1997: The Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.), Stewart in a complicated and race-bending performance,[44] in a "photo negative" production of a white Othello with an otherwise all-black cast.[45][46]
  • 2000: On 9 April 2000, Stewart opened in Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan at Broadway's Ambassador Theatre. Lukewarm reviews and poor box office convinced the producers (including the Shubert Organization) to post a closing notice and, in memorably impassioned Saturday matinée and evening curtain speeches, Stewart accused them of not being supportive, stating "Arthur Miller and I no longer have confidence in our producers' commitment to promote and publicise this extraordinarily provocative and vastly entertaining play".[47] They subsequently took the matter to Actors Equity, which ruled that Stewart had to apologize publicly for his outburst.
  • 2001: Played George in Edward Albee's play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Guthrie Theatre Minneapolis.Also portrayed Robert Johnson in J. B. Priestley's play Johnson Over Jordon at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.
  • 2003: Played the lead role of Halvard Solness in Henrik Ibsen's play The Master Builder at the Albery Theatre, London. Portrayed Davies in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker in Broadway's American Airlines Theatre[48]
  • 2006: Portrayed Prospero in The Tempest at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and then the Novello Theatre, and Mark Antony in Antony and Cleopatra at the Swan Theatre, for the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the cycle performing all Shakespeare's works in a year.
  • 2007: He appeared at Chichester Festival Theatre[49] during the Summer 07 Festival playing the title role in Rupert Goold's acclaimed revival of Macbeth in the Minerva studio theatre,[50] and as a grizzled Malvolio with a Scottish accent and kilt in Philip Franks' inventive main house staging of Twelfth Night. The Chichester production of Macbeth transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in London's Shaftesbury Avenue,[51][52] where his performance won him the Best Actor Award in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2007. Goold also received the Best Director Award for the production.[53]
  • 2008: The title role in Macbeth at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York.
  • 2008: The title role in Macbeth at the Lyceum Theatre (New York). Stewart was nominated for the 2008 Tony award for Leading Actor in a Play, but lost out to fellow Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance.[54]
  • 2008: The roles of Claudius and the Ghost in Hamlet alongside David Tennant as the eponymous Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon.[55] This was later made into a television play and broadcast on BBC1 on 26 December 2009.[56]
  • 2009: Performed in Waiting for Godot in one of the two lead roles, Stewart as Vladimir (Didi) alongside Ian McKellen as Estragon (Gogo).[57]
  • 2010: Performed the part of William Shakespeare in Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death by Edward Bond at the Chichester Festival Theatre

Filmography[]

Year Film Role Notes
1974 Fall of Eagles Vladimir Lenin
1975 Hedda Ejlert Løvborg
Hennessy Tilney
1976 I, Claudius Sejanus
1979 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Karla
1980 Little Lord Fauntleroy Wilkins
1981 Excalibur Leondegrance
1982 The Plague Dogs Major (voice)
Smiley's People Karla
1984 Uindii Mr. Duffner
Dune Gurney Halleck
1985 Lifeforce Dr. Armstrong
Wild Geese II Russian General
Code Name: Emerald Colonel Peters
The Doctor and the Devils Professor Macklin
Walls of Glass
1986 Lady Jane Henry Grey/Duke of Suffolk
1987 The Devil's Disciple Anthony Anderson
1991 L.A. Story Mr. Perdue/ Maitre D' at L'Idiot
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights King Richard
Frasier Alastair Burke
1994 Gunmen Loomis
Star Trek Generations Captain Jean-Luc Picard
The Pagemaster Adventure (voice)
In Search of Dr. Seuss Sgt. Mulvaney Puppet-voice over
1995 Jeffrey Sterling
Let It Be Me John
1996 Star Trek: First Contact Captain Jean-Luc Picard
The Canterville Ghost Sir Simon de Canterville (TV)
1997 Conspiracy Theory Dr. Jonas
Masterminds Rafe Bentley
1998 Star Trek: The Experience: The Klingon Encounter Captain Jean-Luc Picard (voice)
Dad Savage Dad Savage
Moby Dick Captain Ahab (USA)
Safe House Mace Sowell
Star Trek: Insurrection Captain Jean-Luc Picard Also Associate Producer
The Prince of Egypt Pharaoh Seti I (voice)
1999 A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge
Animal Farm Napoleon (voice)
2000 X-Men Professor Charles Xavier
2001 Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius King Goobot (voice)
2002 Star Trek Nemesis Captain Jean-Luc Picard
X-Men: Next Dimension Professor Charles Xavier (voice)
2003 X2: X-Men United Professor Charles Xavier
The Lion in Winter King Henry II
2004 Boo, Zino & The Snurks Albert Drollinger
Steamboy Dr. Lloyd Steam (voice)
(English Dub)
2005 The Game of Their Lives Older Dent McSkimming X-Men
Chicken Little Mr. Woolensworth (voice)
Mysterious Island Nemo
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Lord Yupa (voice) (English dub)
The Snow Queen The Raven (voice)
American Dad Avery Bullock (voice)
2006 Bambi II The Great Prince/Stag (voice)
X-Men: The Last Stand Professor Charles Xavier
2007 TMNT Max Winters/Yaotl (voice)
Earth Narrator (voice)
2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine[58] Professor Charles Xavier Cameo
Hamlet Claudius/the Ghost (TV)
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  7. "Heartfelt hello from an old pal... Hollywood star Patrick calls after message", Jenny Parkin, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 19 December 2003
  8. Revealed in interview on the 'Parkinson' show, ITV-1, 12 May 2007
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  35. "Biography for Patrick Stewart", IMDb
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  39. Daniel Stewart at IMDB.com. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
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