Joseph Fiennes
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Joseph Fiennes

Joseph Fiennes
Joseph Fiennes 5 (cropped).jpg
Fiennes in 2009
Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes

(1970-05-27) 27 May 1970 (age 49)
Years active1993-present
María Dolores Diéguez (m. 2009)
Parent(s)Mark Fiennes
Jennifer Lash
RelativesHero Fiennes-Tiffin (nephew)
Ralph Fiennes (brother)
Jacob Fiennes (twin brother)
Martha Fiennes (sister)
Magnus Fiennes (brother)
Sophie Fiennes (sister)

Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes[1] (; born 27 May 1970), known as Joseph Fiennes, is an English film and stage actor.

He is known for his portrayals of William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love (1998), for which he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, Sir Robert Dudley in Elizabeth (1998), Commisar Danilov in Enemy at the Gates (2001), and Monsignor Timothy Howard in the second season of the TV series American Horror Story (2012-2013). His role in the 2017 TV drama series The Handmaid's Tale was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

Early life and family

Fiennes was born in 1970 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, the son of Mark Fiennes (1933-2004), a farmer and photographer, and Jennifer Lash (1938-1993), a writer.[2] He has pan-British Isles ancestry.[3][4] His surname comes from the French village of Fiennes, Pas-de-Calais. His grandfathers were industrialist Sir Maurice Fiennes (1907-1994) and Brigadier Henry Alleyne Lash.

Fiennes is an eighth cousin of Charles, Prince of Wales[5] and a third cousin of adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 3rd Baronet and author William Fiennes.[6]

His siblings are actor Ralph Fiennes; directors Martha Fiennes and Sophie Fiennes; composer Magnus Fiennes; and conservationist Jacob Fiennes, Joseph's twin brother. His foster brother, Michael Emery, is an archaeologist. His nephew Hero Fiennes-Tiffin played Tom Riddle, young Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


Fiennes was briefly educated in the Republic of Ireland, then at Swan School For Boys (now known as Leehurst Swan School, following a merger with another school), an independent school in Salisbury, before passing his 11+ exam and continuing to Bishop Wordsworth's School, a voluntary-aided state day grammar school, in the Cathedral Close of the city. He then attended art school in Suffolk for a year, before joining the Young Vic Youth Theatre. Fiennes subsequently trained for three years at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 1993.[7]


Stage and film

His first professional stage appearance was in the West End in The Woman in Black, followed by A Month in the Country opposite Helen Mirren. Fiennes then became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for two seasons.

He made his television debut as Willy in The Vacillations of Poppy Carew. His first feature film was 1996's Stealing Beauty, co-starring Liv Tyler. In 1998, Fiennes appeared in two films that were nominated at the Academy Awards: he played Robert Dudley opposite Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth and he portrayed William Shakespeare opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love, receiving nominations for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. He and Paltrow were reunited onscreen in Running with Scissors (2006).

In 2001 he appeared in the film Enemy at the Gates. In 2002 he starred in the independent film, Killing Me Softly.

In 2003 he lent his voice as Proteus in the DreamWorks animated film Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas opposite Brad Pitt. The same year he starred in the limited-release film Luther, playing Martin Luther, and he also appeared in The Merchant of Venice, in which he portrayed Bassanio. Fiennes returned to the theatre in 2006 to perform in the one-man play Unicorns, Almost about World War II poet Keith Douglas at the Old Vic.

In 2006, he appeared in the films The Darwin Awards and Goodbye Bafana. Goodbye Bafana was filmed by director Bille August in South Africa, and released in 2007. Fiennes portrayed James Gregory, author of the book Goodbye Bafana: Nelson Mandela, My Prisoner, My Friend.


Fiennes starred in the ABC science fiction series FlashForward, which debuted on 24 September 2009 and ran through 27 May 2010, as Mark Benford.[8] Fiennes starred in Starz's 10-part series, Camelot, as the wizard Merlin.[9]

In the second season of American Horror Story, which premiered in October 2012, Fiennes played the role of Monsignor Timothy Howard. Fiennes can be seen currently on the Hulu original series The Handmaid's Tale (TV series).

Personal life

Fiennes married María Dolores Diéguez, a Swiss model of Spanish origin, in a Roman Catholic ceremony in Tuscany in August 2009.[] They have two daughters.[]

Fiennes was one of the celebrities, including Tom Hiddleston, Jo Brand, E. L. James and Rachel Riley, to design and sign his own card for the UK-based charity Thomas Coram Foundation for Children. The cards were auctioned off on eBay in May 2014.[10]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Stealing Beauty Christopher Fox
1998 Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence Laurence released as The Very Thought of You in the US
1998 Elizabeth Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Breakthrough Artist
1998 Shakespeare in Love William Shakespeare Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favourite Newcomer
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Breakthrough Artist
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor
MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Gwyneth Paltrow)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated--BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated--MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Male Performance
Nominated--Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated--Teen Choice Award for Sexiest Love Scene (shared with Gwyneth Paltrow)
1999 Forever Mine Manuel Esquema/Alan Riply
2000 Rancid Aluminum Sean Deeny
2001 Enemy at the Gates Commisar Danilov
2001 Dust Elijah
2002 Leo Stephen
2003 Killing Me Softly Adam Tallis
2003 Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas Proteus Voice role
2003 Luther Martin Luther
2004 The Merchant of Venice Bassanio Nominated--Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
2005 The Great Raid Major Gibson
2005 Man to Man Jamie Dodd
2006 Running with Scissors Neil Bookman
2006 The Darwin Awards Michael Burrows
2007 Goodbye Bafana James Gregory
2008 The Escapist Lenny Drake
2008 The Red Baron Arthur Roy Brown
2008 You Me and Captain Longbridge Narrator
2008 Spring 1941 Artur Planck
2009 Against the Current Paul Thompson
2014 The Games Maker Morodian
2014 Hercules King Eurystheus
2015 Strangerland Matthew Parker
2015 Psy American man
2016 Risen Clavius
2016 On Wings of Eagles (The Last Race) Eric Liddell
TBA The Last Planet Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Pretty/Handsome Bob Fitzpayne Unsold TV pilot
2009-10 FlashForward Mark Benford 22 episodes
2011 Camelot Merlin 10 episodes
2012-13 American Horror Story: Asylum Monsignor Timothy Howard 10 episodes
2017 Urban Myths Michael Jackson Episode: "Elizabeth, Michael, and Marlon"
2017-present The Handmaid's Tale Commander Fred Waterford 36 episodes
Nominated--Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated--Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2018-19)
Nominated--Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
2019 Fiennes: Return to the Nile Himself 3 episodes
2019 Sherwood Sheriff Nottingham 6 episodes


Other projects and contributions

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ "It's Raiph actually". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 April 2008
  3. ^ "Ralph Fiennes Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  4. ^ "Ralph Fiennes".
  5. ^ "Ralph Fiennes: His incarnations of evil - from sadistic Nazi officer to Voldemort - have made him one of Britain's most celebrated film actors". The Financial Times. 31 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Ranulph Fiennes: the chilling and thrilling truth about my family". The Telegraph. 17 October 2009.
  7. ^ "Guildhall School of Music & Drama | People who studied at Guildhall". Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ Joseph Fiennes Flashforward Interview Archived 28 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green Lead Camelot Cast". 3 June 2010.
  10. ^ Rebecca Pocklington (6 May 2014). "Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Jo Brand and more celebrities design and sign cards for UK's first children's charity". Mirror Online. Retrieved 2014.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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