Ray Winstone: The Biography

Published in 2007 by John Blake Publishing, updated in 2008 and 2011.

Foreword by Simon W. Golding.

Ray Winstone

From the humble East End to the glitz of the BAFTAS, Ray Winstone is now regarded as one of the foremost actors of his generation and the ultimate screen hard man.

But there’s much more to Ray’s on-screen tough-guy image, and his path to the top has been anything but plain sailing. He was every inch the rebel in his youth and was even a London schoolboy boxing champion; but he always had an affinity for acting.

Deciding to pursue his dream through drama school, he soon found himself an outsider and was expelled. But he managed to blag his way into an audition for what would prove to be his big break – his cocky, aggressive boxer’s gait making him perfect for the lead in Alan Clarke’s Scum.

Going on to both small and big-screen success, as well as in the theatre, Ray really cemented his place in the pantheon of British acting greats with his breathtaking performance in Nil By Mouth, which earned him a BAFTA nomination. His subsequent roles, in the likes of Sexy Beast, The War Zone and Last Orders, won him equal plaudits and continued his tradition of portraying tough, uncompromising men. But every tough guy has a heart, and Ray has tempered these roles with those in more light-hearted, romantic comedies such as Fanny and Elvis and There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble.

With his upcoming roles in Indiana Jones 4 and Beowulf (with Angelina Jolie), and with such great British telefilms as Henry VIII, Sweeney Todd and Vincent under his belt, Ray Winstone continues to go from strength to strength. Married for almost thirty years, and a dedicated family man with three daughters, Ray’s story is of a rebel made good. In this first ever biography, we see the man behind the tough, unflinching on-screen exterior.