Benedict Cumberbatch

Published in 2014 by Andre Deutsch, updated 2015.

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In 2013, after the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, Benedict Cumberbatch was described as one of the best blockbuster villains in recent memory. This impressive label was shortly followed by his winning British Artist of the Year for his outstanding performances in film, television and theatre. Who would have thought that the actor who started his television career in the Sunday-night television drama Heartbeat would be credited with such accolades only 12 years later.

Born in 1976 to show business parents Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham, Benedict grew up in London and went to Harrow School where his drama teacher spotted his theatrical talents and his life as an actor began. From his early career roles in Tipping the Velvet, Spooks, Silent Witness and Atonement it was not until he won the lead role in Sherlock in 2010 that he became an acting sensation and Hollywood came calling. Since then, his parts have become increasingly more significant from playing Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate and Smaug in The Hobbit to Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, all in the space of a few months.

This story so far biography takes an informative and entertaining look at the actor’s career, dipping into his personal life, including his relationship with actress Olivia Poulet, to reveal how he has become one the foremost actors of his generation. With fascinating behind-the-scenes stories from the sets of his various television, theatre and film roles, including his terrifying kidnap ordeal in South Africa, this book offers an in-depth look at an intriguing actor who has captivated audiences around the world.

Chapter Excerpt