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Tom Courtenay

In 1962, Tom Courtenay won his first BAFTA for Most Promising Newcomer in a Leading Film Role for THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER, directed by Tony Richardson, in which he starred alongside Michael Redgrave. He received BAFTA nominations for roles in John Schlesinger's adaptation of BILLY LIAR; KING AND COUNTRY alongside Dirk Bogarde; and THE DRESSER, directed by Peter Yates from a screenplay by Ronald Harwood, for which he won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award. Courtenay had earlier received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the film DOCTOR ZHIVAGO directed by David Lean.

On film, Courtenay will soon be seen in the Joel and Ethan Coen-scripted GAMBIT, from director Michael Hoffman, in which he will star alongside Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci. His other credits include PRIVATE POTTER - written by Ronald Harwood - KING RAT, OPERATION CROSSBOW, THE NIGHT OF THE GENERALS, OTLEY, Courtenay's personal favourite ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVITCH, THE LAST BUTTERFLY, LET HIM HAVE IT, LAST ORDERS, NICHOLAS NICKELBY and THE GOLDEN COMPASS.

His work on television includes recent roles in the adaptation of Dickens' LITTLE DORRIT, in which he played Mr. Dorrit, and in THE ROYLE FAMILY, in which he played David Best Sr.. Other television includes THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP, REDEMPTION, READY WHEN YOU ARE MR MCGILL and A RATHER ENGLISH MARRIAGE, for which he won a BAFTA.

Courtenay is perhaps best known for his work in the theatre, having made his stage debut in 1960 with the Old Vic Theatre Company. Recent roles on stage have included the one-man show PRETENDING TO BE ME, based on the poems and writings of Philip Larkin, and Brian Friel's THE HOME PLACE. His long association with the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester includes early roles in SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER, CHARLEY'S AUNT and THE RIVALS, and more recently THE MISER, UNCLE VANYA and KING LEAR. Other roles on Broadway or in the West End include OTHERWISE ENGAGED; THE DRESSER; MOSCOW STATIONS; Ayckbourn's TIME AND TIME AGAIN and THE NORMAN CONQUESTS; Michael Frayn's CLOUDS and Yasmina Reza's ART.

Courtenay's book, based on the letters that his mother wrote to him whilst he was a student in London, and therefore entitled DEAR TOM, was published by Doubleday in 2000. In 2001 he received a knighthood for his forty years' service to cinema and theatre. Some years ago, Courtenay suggested to Ronald Harwood that he write a screenplay of his play QUARTET.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2013.
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Tom Courtenay Facts

Birth NameThomas Daniel Courtenay
BirthdayFebruary 25, 1937 (85)
BirthplaceHull, Humberside, England, United Kingdom
Height5' 8" (1m73)  How tall is Tom Courtenay compared to you?
Awards1984 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama (for The Dresser)

Selected Filmography

The Golden Compass
Catch Me A Spy
Doctor Zhivago
Dad's Army
Nicholas Nickleby
45 Years
Little Dorrit
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