Daniel Craig (1968-) b. Chester, Cheshire, England.
Born in Chester, Daniel Craig grew up in nearby Liverpool before moving to London aged 16. He trained at the National Youth Theatre and from there won a place at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Dance. He made his film debut in the coming-of-age drama The Power of One (1992), directed by John G. Avildsen. A few made-for-TV movies followed before his role of commoner Master Kane in the Disney adventure A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995). In the U.K., he starred in the BBC’s ambitious nine-part miniseries Our Friends in the North, four-part series Moll Flanders, and the TV mystery The Ice House. In 1997 he worked with German director Peter Sehr on the romantic thriller Obsession (1997).
His first leading role came in 1998 with his portrayal of George Dyer, the intimate friend of painter Francis Bacon in John Maybury’s Love Is the Devil (1998). Other leading roles followed in the World War I drama The Trench (1999), schizophrenic man in Some Voices (2000), and Hotel Splendide (2000). In Hollywood, he had smaller roles in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) alongside Angelina Jolie, and the angry son of an Irish mobster in Road to Perdition (2002). In 2002, he played the German physicist Werner Heisenberg in the BBC historical drama Copenhagen (2002).
His first mainstream leading role came in 2003 as Ted Hughes, the partner of Sylvia Plath in Christine Jeffs’ biopic Sylvia (2003). In 2004 came to greater prominence as the enigmatic XXXX in the gritty thriller Layer Cake (2004) and a university professor stalked by Rhys Ifans in the Hitchcockian Enduring Love (2004). In 2005, Craig became the sixth actor to take on the role of James Bond since 1962, after Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. He has recently finished filming with Steven Spielberg on his film Munich (2005), about the aftermath of the terrorist attacks at the 1972 Olympics, and his latest role is as real-life killer Perry Smith, who was immortalised in Truman Capote’s book In Cold Blood in Douglas McGrath’s Have You Heard? (2006).
In 2008, Craig returned to the Bond franchise in the awkwardly titled Quantum of Solace (2008), whilst in was as successful as its predecessor at the box-office, the critical response was lukewarm. Later that year he appeared in Edward Zwick’s WWII Belarussian resistance drama, Defiance (2008), which proved to be flawed and full of Hollywood’s worst clichés.