Hugh Grant (1960-) b. London, England.
Born in London, England. Floppy-haired with a trademark nervous stutter, Hugh Grant comes from a modest background; his father ran a carpet business while his mother was a teacher. He attended New College, Oxford University, as an English major but turned to acting as a creative outlet in his final year. In 1982, Grant made his screen debut in Privileged while still an undergraduate. Following some theatre and television roles, Grant appeared in the Merchant-Ivory production adaptation of E.M Forster’s Maurice (1987), earning himself international recognition. In 1987 Grant also met his long-time girlfriend and Estee Lauder model, Elizabeth Hurley, they went on to form production company Simian Films together. Grant later starred in Roman Polanski’s erotically charged thriller Bitter Moon (1992), as an uptight bridegroom spellbound by a wheelchair-bound passenger on a cruise ship. In 1993 Grant was cast in the Merchant-Ivory production Remains of the Day (1993).
His role as a blundering young aristocrat in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), the most successful British film ever, and the inhibited Reverend Campion in Sirens, propelled him to Hollywood and international stardom. The following year was certainly productive as he appeared in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1995), quaint comedy The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill, But Came Down a Mountain (1995), the minor An Awfully Big Adventure (1995), Restoration (1995), and as a neurotic father-to-be in Hollywood project Nine Months (1995). Grant gained worldwide notoriety later in 1995 when he was arrested for lewd conduct after soliciting the services of Los Angeles prostitute Divine Brown. Extreme Measures (1996), a film produced by his and Hurley’s company, Simian Films, proved a disappointment.
Grant withdrew from the public eye for a period of time before reappearing as bookshop owner William Thacker in the informal Four Weddings sequel Notting Hill (1999); the combination of Grant and Julia Roberts proved a box office success. Grant’s other 1999 project was Mickey Blue Eyes, a second release from Simian Films, the film proved to be a stereotypical and stuttering comedy that failed to satisfy. Grant and Elizabeth Hurley announced their separation during the summer of 2000, but continued to work together on the Simian Films venture. 2001 saw a return to prominence for Grant with the adaptation of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Hugh playing the slimy boss Daniel Cleaver with consummate relish. The role of another deceitful character from a novel adaptation beckons for Grant, in the big screen version of Nick Hornby’s About a Boy (2002). Grant once again teamed-up wirth screenwriter Richard Curits for Curtis’ directorial debut, Love Actually (2003), a romantic-comedy comprimising of loosely connected stories. His subsequent appearances have been more infrequent in low-key comedies.