Edward John David Redmayne was born on Jan. 6, 1982 in London, England. One of five children, he was the only member of a family of athletes to pursue an acting career. After studying at Eton College, Redmayne attended Trinity College in Cambridge, where he studied history of art. He consistently acted on stage during his time at university, and was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre. In 2002, Redmayne made his stage debut at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre where he played Viola in a production of "Twelfth Night." He continued to make a name for himself on stage, portraying mostly young men who have issues with their sexuality and/or their father, such as in Edward Albee's play "The Goat," for which Redmayne earned a prestigious Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer Award. In 2009, Redmayne delivered a critically acclaimed performance in John Logan's art hit "Red" as Ken, a fictional composite of all the assistants used by the dogmatic artist Mark Rothko. For his work on the play, Redmayne won an Oliver Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2010. He reprised his role in "Red" when the play traveled to Broadway in 2010, and for that performance, he won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play that same year.
While he made waves on stage, Redmayne also acted on television and in film, including an appearance in Robert De Niro's thriller The Good Shepherd (2006). In the 2007 twisted drama "Savage Grace," Redmayne was pitch-perfect as the disaffected son and incestuous lover of Julianne Moore's character. He had a featured role alongside William Hurt and Kristen Stewart in the Sundance hit "The Yellow Handkerchief," as an adopted Native American who, despite exhibiting symptoms of Asperger's disease, is never diagnosed. Redmayne also appeared in a number of period films, including Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), and in the miniseries "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," as Tess Durbeyfield's (Gemme Aterton) anguished husband who leaves her after learning of her abusive past.
In early 2010, Redmayne's personal life made the tabloids after he started dating fellow British actress Carey Mulligan, on the heels of her much-publicized breakup with American actor Shia LaBeouf. That same year, he starred in the award-winning miniseries "The Pillars of the Earth," based on Ken Follett's 1989 bestseller of the same name. Set in 12th century England, the series followed the construction of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge during the turbulent period in English history known as The Anarchy. Redmayne played Jack Jackson, a clever, young architect who was in love with Aliena (Hayley Atwell), a haughty and willful aristocrat. In 2011, Redmayne delivered a scene-stealing performance in Simon Curtis' drama "My Week with Marilyn," based on the memoirs of Colin Clark, a gofer who worked on the Pinewood Studios set of "The Prince and the Showgirl" (1957), a romantic comedy starring Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier. As Clark, Redmayne had a brief romance with the manic-depressive blonde icon (Michelle Williams), and was also privy to the oft-tense interactions between Monroe and Olivier (Kenneth Branagh).
In a daring career move, Redmayne diverted sharply from his heretofore typical roles as earnest young man with his turn in director Derick Martini's controversial drama Hick (2012). The harrowing tale recounting the dismal ordeal that awaits a wayward young runaway (Chloë Grace Moretz), it featured Redmayne as an unstable drifter who first takes in, then takes an unhealthy interest in, the 13-year-old protagonist. A violent, intensely disturbing film, it was reviled by the majority of critics. While "Hick" remained largely unseen in its limited release, the young actor's next project was the subject of great anticipation as the year reached its conclusion. Part of an international cast that included Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, Redmayne was cast as Marius, an idealist young revolutionary in the big budget film adaptation of the phenomenally successful Broadway musical Les Misérables (2012). Having already impressed audiences with his acting skills, Redmayne revealed yet another level of talent by ably performing each of his character's songs, as would all of his multi-talented castmates.
By Candy Cuenco
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