James Frain Biography
Birth Name: James Frain
Birth Place: Leeds, England, GB
Birth Place: Leeds, England, GB
James Frain was born on March 14, 1968 in Leeds, England, but raised in Essex. In his teen years, Frain was already directing, writing and acting in his own plays. After earning a degree in drama from the University of East Anglia, he graduated from London's Central School of Speech and Drama where he met famed British actor and director Sir Richard Attenborough. The connection proved worthwhile as Attenborough cast Frain in his first film, "Shadowlands" (1993), as a troubled Oxford student appearing opposite Sir Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger in the lead roles.
Following his film debut, Frain landed more memorable roles, including the lead in the gangster film "Nothing Personal" (1995), and a critically acclaimed performance as a cruel, closeted aristocrat on "The Buccaneers" (BBC, 1995), a period piece about four American women who travel to England to find husbands. He gained international recognition as the insidious Spaniard Alvaro de la Quadra in the award-winning biopic, "Elizabeth," starring Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush, and for his portrayal of acclaimed pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim in the critical darling, "Hilary and Jackie." Frain showed his softer side in the drama "Where the Heart Is" opposite Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd, in which he played a small-town librarian who falls in love with Portman's character. Frain continued to make headway in both his television and film careers by guest starring on dramas like "Medium" (NBC, 2005- ), the sci-fi thriller "Invasion" (ABC, 2005-06), and "Strong Medicine" (Lifetime, 2000-06) as an art gallery painter.
In 2005, Frain became a regular on the high-octane action series "24" opposite Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, a fearless and unstoppable federal agent who completes dangerous missions to save the world a day at a time. On the hit show, Frain played the ex-husband of Audrey Raines (Kim Raver) who also happened to be Bauer's love interest. In one intense season four episode, Bauer interrogated Frain's character with electrical torture because Bauer suspected involvement with terrorists. The versatile actor lent his dramatic prowess to the Showtime miniseries, "The Tudors," about the marriages and reign of England's King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). On the critical fave, Frain played Thomas Cromwell, a cunning, self-educated soldier who becomes one of the king's closest allies and who leads the Reformation movement in England.
In 2010, he catapulted to a new level of fame after becoming a series regular on "True Blood," a provocative show based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries novels by Charlaine Harris about small town residents in Louisiana who must live alongside modern-day vampires. Frain stirred up plenty of mystery and intrigue as the vampire Franklin Mott, a bounty hunter hired by Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) to dig up dirt on Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). While Franklin's main job was to play detective, he became increasingly obsessed with a human named Tara (Rutina Wesley). Initially, the show focused on Franklin trying to have a relationship with Tara but it progressed to reveal his psychotic and obsessive tendencies towards her. That same year, he starred in the big-budget, highly anticipated sequel "Tron: Legacy" opposite Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde.
Browse More Actors: