Daniel Craig Biography ( 1968 – )

. Born Daniel Wroughton Craig on March 2, 1968, in Chester, England. Craig grew up near Liverpool, and enjoyed going to the theater with his mother and sisters. Many of his mother’s friends were actors, and he felt drawn to the profession. “I kind of fell in love with the idea of acting . . . I liked the idea of it—you know, shouting a lot and dressing up and all that,” Craig told Interview magazine.

Craig moved to London when he was 16 to join the National Youth Theatre, and then studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After graduating, Craig made his film debut in The Power of One (1992), a 1950s drama set in South Africa. His career then received a substantial boost with his role in the 1996 BBC miniseries Our Friends in the North. The serial drama experienced great critical reception, and won several major awards in the year following its broadcast, including two British Academy Television Awards, four Royal Television Society Awards and two Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.

Another important role came in 1998 with the film Love Is The Devil a biopic about the artist Francis Bacon (played by Derek Jacobi). Craig co-starred as Bacon’s lover George Dyer, a small-time thief. Craig later described the project as “the first film I did that ‘made me.'” That same year, Craig had a small role in the historical drama Elizabeth starring Cate Blanchett.

In 2001, Craig appeared as the romantic interest to Angelina Jolie’s character in the action film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider based on the popular video game. Although the film was panned by reviewers, the movie was a hit with viewers—Tomb Raider debuted at No.1 at the box office, and became the highest-grossing video game adaptation to date. Craig then gave an impressive performance in 2002’s Road to Perdition, a film adapted from the popular graphic novel of the same name. In the film, Craig played Connor Rooney, the murderous son of a mob boss (played by Paul Newman). The actor’s stand-out performance was lauded by critics and fans alike. He then demonstrated his range as an actor when he starred as poet Ted Hughes in the drama Sylvia (2003), which also starred Gwyneth Paltrow. The film explored the life of Hughes’s wife, poet Sylvia Plath, and the couple’s troubled relationship.

Craig’s made his debut as a leading man playing an unnamed character—called XXXX in the credits—in the 2005 crime drama Layer Cake. In the film, Craig played a sophisticated drug dealer who seeks to retire from his criminal enterprise. That same year, Craig got a chance to work with famed director Steven Spielberg in his epic film, Munich (2005). In the film, Craig played an Israeli agent working on a team charged with tracking down those responsible for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Around this time, rumors had begun to swirl about Craig becoming the next actor to play the role of legendary spy James Bond. Fans, who were used to previous Bonds played by actors such as Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan, objected to having Craig in the part. Many fans felt he was too blond or too old. Film critics believed that, for a serious stage-trained actor like Craig, playing Bond would be an ill-advised move. But Craig believed it was a great opportunity, agreeing to a five-film contract. “When I accepted the job to work on Bond, I genuinely did it to change my life. I knew that it would flip everything on its head . . . I’ve never made movies for money—I’ve always made them because I truly wanted to do them,” he explained to Interview magazine.

Proving the skeptics wrong, made Bond history with 2006’s Casino Royale. He helped reinvigorate the long-running film franchise with his modern take on Bond, described by one critic as “a noble thug.” Casino Royale became the highest-grossing Bond film to date, earning $594 million worldwide. The next installment, Quantum of Solace (2008), was another box-office hit.

Craig continued pursuing other film projects as well, including a co-starring role in the 2007 science-fiction thriller, The Invasion, which was loosely based on the 1978 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In the film, Craig played a research scientist who helps psychiatrist Carrol Bennell (played by Nicole Kidman) unearth an alien conspiracy. Craig appeared with Kidman again in the 2007 fantasy film The Golden Compass.

In 2008, Craig starred in the drama Flashbacks of a Fool, a small independent film directed by friend Baillie Walsh. Craig played a middle-aged actor at the decline of his career. That same year, Craig starred in the Holocaust drama Defiance with Liev Schrieber and Jamie Bell. The three played Jewish brothers who fight back against the Nazis.

Craig’s star continues to rise with roles in a number of upcoming films. In 2011, he is expected to reprise his role as James Bond in the 23rd film in the series. Craig will also appear in The Adventures of Tintin, based on the popular comic books.

Once romantically linked to Sienna Miller and Kate Moss, Craig has been dating producer Satsuki Mitchell for several years. He has a daughter from a previous relationship.

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