March 21, 1958
New Cross, London, England
Gary Oldman was raised by his mother and two sisters, and at the age of 15 he dreamed of becoming a
musician after he found an old record in his attic called "Liberaci Plays The Classics". He
also fell in love with Chopin and the idea of playing classical piano. However, one day when he
was watching a movie starring Malcolm McDowell, he was so inspired by Malcolm's performance
that he believed acting would be a good career to pursue.
Gary Oldman applied to The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and was crushed when he was told he didn't
have what it takes to be an actor. But Gary persisted and began training for the stage with the Greenwich Young Peoples
Theatre. The director of the theatre, Roger Williams, befriended Gary and helped him
get a scholarship to the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama. Soon after, Gary Oldman became a
significant presence on the British stage earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979.
In 1985, Gary Oldman launched his film career with his brilliant portrayal of the doomed punk rocker
Sid Vicious in "Sid and Nancy". Gary physically transformed himself for the part by losing
30 pounds in an effort to resemble the gaunt heroin addicted Sid, for which he received,
the Evening Standard Film Award as Best Newcomer.
Known as an actor's actor, Gary Oldman's ability to transform himself physically and his command of
accents has allowed him to play a broad range of characters such as Lee Harvey Oswald in
"JFK", Beethoven in "Immortal Beloved", and an alcoholic street thug in "State Of Grace".
His transformations are so complete and so utterly compelling, that one easily forgets
that it is indeed Gary Oldman behind the mask.
Photo © unknown - Bio by ThespianNet.com © 2004
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