Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes is a British film and stage actor best known for his performances in Schindler’s List, The English Patient and the Harry Potter franchise.


Born on December 22, 1962, British actor Ralph Fiennes is known for his stage and film career. He earned Academy Award nominations for his performances in Schindler's List (1993) and The English Patient (1996). Other films that have gained Fiennes fame include The Reader (2008), the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall and the Harry Potter franchise, in which he played the role of Lord Voldemort.

Early Life

Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born on December 22, 1962, in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. Fiennes was the first of seven children, all of whom were creatively encouraged by their novelist mother and photographer father. With dreams of being a painter, Fiennes studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design. Once he discovered acting, he transferred to and graduated from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He joined the Royal National Theatre in 1987 and the Royal Shakespeare Company a year later.

Breakthrough Performances

In 1991, Ralph Fiennes made his television debut in the British series A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia. His first film role followed in 1992 with Wuthering Heights, in which he starred opposite Juliette Binoche. Fiennes's big break came next: the role of Nazi commandant Amon Goeth in Schindler's List (1993). His performance in the film garnered him an Academy Award nomination (best supporting actor) and a British Academy Award.

Acting Success

Fiennes went on to star in The Baby of Macon (1993) and Robert Redford's Quiz Show (1994). He then returned to the stage, and earned a Tony Award in 1995 for a Broadway production of Hamlet.

In 1996, Fiennes received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations (best actor) after playing the title role in The English Patient (1996). This film, along with his role alongside Julianne Moore in The End of the Affair (1999), developed Fiennes's reputation as a heartthrob.

Fiennes played dark, disturbed characters in 2002's Spider and Red Dragon. That same year, he showed off his versatility as the romantic interest for Jennifer Lopez in Maid in Manhattan.

Around this time, Fiennes was notably cast as the wicked wizard Lord Voldemort in the wildly successful Harry Potter franchise. More recent films include The Constant Gardener and The White Countess, which were both released in 2005, and The Reader opposite Kate Winslet (2008). Fiennes then appeared in the 2009 Best Picture Oscar winner, The Hurt Locker, and the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall. Later, Fiennes was part of the ensemble cast of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), for which the actor earned a Golden Globe nomination.


Fiennes began directing in 2012 with a film version of Shakespeare's Coriolanus. Next came The Invisible Woman (2013), about Charles Dickens's affair with a young actress.

Personal Life

Fiennes admits that the film industry frustrates him; he is uncomfortable with fame, opting not to discuss his personal life in the press. He has, however, become fodder for the tabloids. He ended his marriage with actress Alex Kingston after an affair with actress Francesca Annis. Ten years later, he ended that relationship after a reported tryst with 31-year-old Romanian singer Cornelia Crisan. In 2007, Fiennes was allegedly seen leaving a plane bathroom with a flight attendant.

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