Rupert Everett Biography

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Birth Name: Rupert Everett
Born: 05/29/1959
Birth Place: Norfolk, England, GB

Born May 29, 1959, in Norfolk, England, Everett was the younger son of a former British army officer-turned-businessman and his Scottish wife. Educated at boarding schools, Everett attended the Catholic all-male institution, Ampleforth. There, Everett met his classmate, the future playwright Julian Wadham. Active in drama, the two were notable for often being cast in female roles during school play auditions. At age 15, Everett dropped out and enrolled at London's Central School of Speech and Drama but was expelled in his second year. Drifting through London's club scene, the good-looking Everett soon landed work as a model in Milan. Returning to Great Britain, Everett landed in Glasgow and began his acting career in earnest with a walk-on role at the Citizens' Theatre. In this early period as a struggling actor, Everett supported himself as a "rent boy," or male prostitute - a fact to which the actor admitted in a 1994 magazine interview.

After establishing his languorous stage presence playing a homosexual college student- turned-incipient spy in "Another Country" - a role he reprised in the 1984 film version - Everett scored as an aristocratic bounder romancing a dance hall manager (Miranda Richardson) in "Dance with a Stranger" (1985), a based-on-true accounts tale of Ruth Ellis, the last female to be executed in England. Around the same period, the actor also attempted to crossover to the American market with appearances in the TV miniseries "Princess Daisy" (NBC, 1983) and "The Far Pavilions" (HBO, 1984). The actor's career suffered setbacks in the mid-80s, however, when he turned down the role of Cecil Vyse in the critically lauded Merchant/Ivory production of "A Room with a View" (1986). More bad luck followed when Everett missed out on a chance to play the young Orson Welles in the Welles-directed "The Cradle Will Rock" -- due to the legendary director's untimely death. Everett did, however, get a chance to work with lifelong idol Julie Andrews in the uneven film, "Duet for One" (1986).

Unfortunately, much of Everett's subsequent work in the remaining years of that decade were spent in European productions that, however prestigious on paper, did little to raise his profile in Tinseltown. Surprisingly, Everett's decision to come out of the closet as a homosexual in 1989 appeared to be a positive career move. Although he came off as a bit stiff as one-half of a British couple fallen prey to psychotic expatriates from Venice in "The Comfort of Strangers" (1990), Everett became perfectly believable playing hetero roles later in his career.

Periodically, Everett would return to the theater, as he did in 1991 for a Los Angeles revival of Noel Coward's "The Vortex," and later; in 1995, when he went out in drag to star as the female lead in Tennessee Williams' "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore." In between, Everett wrote two amusing novels, 1991's Hello Darling, Are You Working?and 1994's The Hairdressers of St. Tropez . After a turn as a zombie hunter in Michele Soavi's well-made thriller, "Cemetery Man/Dellamorte Dellamore" (1996), Everett reinvented his signature cool screen persona with back-to-back comedy roles. In Robert Altman's "Ready-to-Wear (Pret-a-Porter)" (1994), Everett was the schemer out to sell a fashion empire out from under his own mother. In "The Madness of King George" (1994), the actor proved amusing as the dense, but ambitious Prince of Wales. For what it was worth, Everett was also one of the rare stars to escape with some shred of dignity after being upstaged by an orangutan in the dreadful comedy, "Dunston Checks In" (1996).

Luckily, those roles only served as a warm-up for his scene-stealing turn in the hit romantic comedy, "My Best Friend's Wedding" (1997). Cast as the acerbic confidante to Roberts's character, Everett played magazine editor George Downs, a flamboyant gay male who must pose as a raging heterosexual fiancé to Roberts. In the original cut of the film, Everett actually appeared in fewer scenes, but test audiences praised his chemistry with co-star Roberts. In response, several additional scenes were shot and edited in. While the much-speculated supporting Oscar nomination failed to materialize, Everett became an actor in demand Stateside virtually overnight.

Following his cameo as Bard rival Christopher Marlowe in "Shakespeare in Love" (1998), Everett lent his patrician bearing and plummy tones to the role of Oberon in Michael Hoffman's adaptation of "William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1999). This was followed in quick succession by an acclaimed turn as Lord Goring in director Oliver Parker's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband" (1999). Everett would later re-team with Parker for a second, less-successful Wilde outing with 2002's "The Importance of Being Ernest."

Everett turned villainous as The Claw in the live-action cartoon "Inspector Gadget" (1999). Taking full advantage of his burgeoning fame, he then went on to polish the script (with writing partner Mel Bordeaux) and co-star opposite real-life friend Madonna in "The Next Best Thing" (2000). In it, he played a gay man who fathers a child with a friend (Madonna). Unfortunately, the film was a critical and commercial bomb - with much of the rancor, fortunately for Everett, directed toward his singer-turned-leading lady. Building further on his writing career, Everett finished two more scripts - the gay James Bondian farce, "P.S. I Love You" and the warm-fuzzy romance "Martha and Arthur" - a script which would have re-teamed him with Julia Roberts in a tale of a closeted actor who marries a beauty to protect his secret from his fans.

In the early 2000's, Everett took a brief sabbatical from the Hollywood spotlight, appearing only in the occasional low-profile European production. The thespian would resurface, though, just a year or two later to lend his distinctive vocal tones to such animated films as "The Wild Thornberrys Movie" (2002) and as Prince Charming in the CGI sequels "Shrek 2" (2004) and "Shrek the Third" (2007).




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