Real name: Leonard Gary Oldman
Birthdate: March 21, 1958
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Leonard Gary Oldman (born March 21, 1958 in London, England) is an award-winning English actor, writer and director who is perhaps best known to film audiences as Count Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola's romance-horror blockbuster Dracula. Oldman initially came to prominence for his portrayal of the Sex Pistols' ill-fated bassist Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy, and has since garnered critical acclaim for his diversity of roles and mastery of world accents. As well as Sid Vicious, Oldman has portrayed a number of significant historical figures including composer Ludwig Van Beethoven in Immortal Beloved and Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK. In recent years Oldman is perhaps most recognised for playing Hannibal Lecter's equally malevolent nemesis, Mason Verger, in Hannibal, Sirius Black in the Harry Potter film series and Commissioner James Gordon in Christopher Nolan's Batman film series. Oldman collected the Saturn Award for Best Actor for his performance in the title role of Dracula, and received an Emmy Award nomination for his guest appearance in a 2001 episode of Friends. His 1997 foray into writing and directing, Nil By Mouth, won the 1997 BAFTA Award for Best British Film.
Oldman won a scholarship to the Rose Bruford College, where he received a BA in Drama in 1979. He had initially applied for enrollment into Britain's prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, but was refused entry and told to "find something else to do for a living. Often quizzed about it in retrospect, his highly successful career considered, he has stated that "the work speaks for itself." Following his graduation from Rose Bruford College, he later studied with the Greenwich Young People's Theatre and went on to appear in a number of stage plays including The Pope's Wedding, for which he received Time Out's Fringe Award for Best Newcomer of 1985 - 1986 and the British Theatre Association's Drama Magazine Award as Best Actor of 1985.
Oldman first appeared on screen in the film Remembrance in 1982, going on to win his first starring role in Sid and Nancy (1986), in which he played the Sex Pistols' ill-fated bassist Sid Vicious. He has played a variety of famous characters including Count Dracula, Ludwig van Beethoven, Joe Orton, Lee Harvey Oswald, James Gordon, Dr. Zachary Smith, Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz, Pontius Pilate, and the Devil. He has played many villains, including a vampire (Bram Stoker's Dracula), a pimp (True Romance), a disfigured pedophile (Hannibal), a futuristic tyrant (The Fifth Element), a corrupt DEA officer (Léon), a sadistic prison warden (Murder in the First), a terrorist (Air Force One), a presidential assassin (JFK), and a violent football hooligan (The Firm). He was cast as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
In 1997, he directed, produced, and wrote Nil by Mouth, reportedly based on his life. Nil By Mouth went on to win the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film, a BAFTA Award (shared with Douglas Urbanski) and also the British Academy Award for Best Screenplay, the Channel 4 Director's Award, and the Empire Award, and was declared by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts as one of the one hundred best films of all time. Recently Nil By Mouth was listed by Time Out as number two of the top 50 best British films ever.