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Charles Dance is an English actor, screenwriter, and film director. Dance typically plays assertive bureaucrats or villains. Some of his most high-profile roles are Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones (2011), Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Sardo Numspa in The Golden Child (1986), Dr. Jonathan Clemens in Alien³ (1992), Benedict in Last Action Hero (1993), the Master Vampire in Dracula Untold (2014), Lord Havelock Vetinari in Terry Pratchett's Going Postal (2010), Alastair Denniston in The Imitation Game (2014) and William Randolph Hearst in Mank (2020).

He played the role of Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones (2011), based on the Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin.

In 1989, he played Bond creator Ian Fleming in Anglia Television's drama biography.

BornOctober 10, 1946

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  • Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys
    • 15 wins & 24 nominations total


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The Imitation Game

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‘I’m in reasonably good shape for a man of my age’

By his own admission, Charles Dance has always been more or less a private man. He doesn’t court publicity – ‘I don’t have a press agent,’ he says, ‘I’ve never understood why people do’ – and certainly doesn’t court the paparazzi. But last September he dropped the ball, and boy, did he pay for it.

Dance was in Venice with his girlfriend, the Italian film producer Alessandra Masi, when he thought he’d found a quiet portion of beach, away from prying eyes and snapping lenses, to enjoy a splash. As it happened, he hadn’t gone far enough.

The next day, the tabloids, bless them, were ablaze. Photographs, lots of photographs, showed Dance and Masi, 53, canoodling in the surf, but the headlines all picked up the same theme.

‘Charles Dance shows off his impressive beach body at 73,’ panted one. ‘Game of Thrones star Charles Dance shows off his buff physique,’ heaved another. This paper was even moved to ask: ‘What is Charles Dance’s 70-something secret?’

Some three decades after he turned down an audition to be James Bond on account of believing he was ‘too ginger’, here was Dance’s 007 moment at last. So, did he happen to catch that coverage?

As we’re more used to seeing him… Charles Dance Credit:  John Balsom

He emits a rasping, baritone laugh and squirms slightly. ‘Yes, let my guard drop a bit there, I just forgot. I shouldn’t have, the number of years I’ve been doing this job… But, you know, that terrible old cliché – it’s better to be looked-over than overlooked in our business.’

In his study at home in north London, Dance, now 74, is full of mirth, anecdote and wisdom. As early spring sunshine pours through the gaps in a blackout blind, he rocks on a desk chair in front of a stack of old CDs, the light catching on his now-silvering locks.

‘I mustn’t grumble. The sun is shining, spring looks as if it’s finally here…’ He’s just been to the garden centre. ‘What I plan to do is start a better vegetable garden than last year. I grew a few potatoes, some carrots… The cabbages didn’t turn out too well. Boring broccoli. I’m going to do that a bit more efficiently.’

As we began our call, an Italian accent could be heard off-camera (‘Check the volume on your computer!’ it implored, for which it was thanked). Dance confirms that he and Masi, who moved in last year, have spent lockdown together.

She may be one reason for his contentment, but another might be the late-career flourish Dance is enjoying. From Game of Thrones, in which he was the scheming Lord Tywin Lannister, to The Crown, in which he was the scheming Earl Mountbatten, he’s never been more profligate in stealing scenes, and never more in-demand. As one US publication put it recently, ‘Instead of, “Hey, it’s that guy,” it’s [now], “Hey, it’s Charles f—king Dance.”’

With girlfriend Alessandra Masi earlier this month Credit:  BACKGRID

The latest on Charles Dance’s production line of memorable turns is as newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst in Mank, David Fincher’s Oscar-buzzy Netflix film about the making of Citizen Kane. Set in 1940 and shot like an Old Hollywood noir, in it Gary Oldman plays the titular Herman Mankiewicz, a prodigious but tempestuous screenwriter tasked by a 24-year-old Orson Welles (played by British actor Tom Burke) to pen his big picture debut.

Dance enters the fray at key moments as the imposing Hearst, whose life as a tyrannical press baron famously inspired the character of Kane. And, yes, he pinches most of his scenes. Dance appeared in Fincher’s first film, Alien 3, some three decades ago, but they’ve kept in touch over the years.

‘Out of the blue, I got this email saying he’s making a film around the making of Citizen Kane, and how would I like to go over and play Hearst? He said, “It’s a glorified extra, but I’d love you to do it,”’ Dance recalls. ‘I read the script and thought it was a bit more than a glorified extra, more of a telling cameo, but I said, “David, I would come and change light bulbs for you.”’

In reality, the role is far more even than a telling cameo. Despite ‘physically bearing no resemblance’ to Hearst, Dance lends it all his gravitas. Decades of playing villains – from For Your Eyes Only to Last Action Hero, right up to Game of Thrones – has given his hooded eyes and hooked features a gently menacing air. Add to that age and fine ’40s tailoring, and he’s perfectly ominous.

‘I read a couple of books, tried to get examples of his voice, [but] also thought about people of my generation, like Rupert Murdoch and – although he’s considerably down the intellectual scale – Donald Trump. Hearst was an extraordinarily wealthy man, but he was a bit of a megalomaniac, and veered between being entertaining and charming and being a complete bastard.’

The research made him consider the intersection of power, wealth, politics and the media. ‘It’s still going on: [Hollywood] is still run by accountants, unfortunately, and one can’t help but be aware of how powerful heads of media corporations are. I’m astonished Silvio Berlusconi was able to operate as a politician while running the most powerful media operation in Italy, and managed to run the two in probably quite a questionable way.

The abuse of power, Dance says, reminds him of ‘the whole unfortunate business with Harvey Weinstein and the things that came out about him. But it’s always been there, in our business, it’s just that the lid has come off it recently.’

For Your Eyes Only, 1981 Credit: shutterstock

Despite Oldman leading the cast, Mank is an ensemble piece. Amanda Seyfried plays Hearst’s mistress, actor Marion Davies, Lily Collins is Mank’s secretary, and Tuppence Middleton his wife, among many others.

Fincher runs a famously tight ship. ‘He does indeed,’ Dance says. Most scenes in the film were shot dozens of times, and one – a long, woozy dinner scene at which a drunk Mank makes a heck of a spectacle – went to more than 40.

‘It was very hard work for Gary, because wherever David was shooting, it was either on Gary or a reaction from one of us – so Gary, rightly but also generously, was just firing on all 12 cylinders [every take].’

At 74, scenes like that can be knackering, Dance says. I bet he was just glad to be seated. He laughs. ‘Yeah, I was… But I just like working, and a film set is a place buzzing, that energy is infectious.’

White Mischief, 1987 Credit:  Alamy Stock Photo

The buzz of a studio lot aside, I speak for the Western world when I tell Dance I am curious about the source of his energy, specifically how he can still command lustful tabloid spreads dedicated to his strapping torso. Apparently it’s all down to his fitness routine.

‘It hasn’t been much very lately, other than a 6km walk on Hampstead Heath each morning. My obsession is swimming. For the last five or six years I’ve tried to swim [in the lido on the Heath] every morning, whatever weather. One year I did mid-March to November, that was my limit, then it becomes more medicinal than pleasurable.’

The lido, he says, ‘is a great place to think, once your body is used to the cold. Then you get up, have a full cardiac-arrest breakfast, and you’re fit for the day. I can recommend it.

He used to run, but the knees are shot, and he likes to cycle, but a stiff neck makes that dicey, so it’s ‘swimming, vigorous walking, and chucking a few weights around’.

‘I’m lucky to have a fast metabolism and a slow pulse rate, which is a kind of ideal combination, but I actually find it terribly boring, the whole business. I don’t go to a gym – you get all that gym talk, surrounded by people in Lycra and with buff gym bodies. I am just in reasonably good shape for a man of my age.’

Cycling in London in 2019  Credit: NASH / BACKGRID

He started smoking – ‘Park Drive Tipped, they were, terrible things…’ – behind the vestry as an 11-year-old choir boy, but gave up in recent years. Weight-wise, he feels he has a couple of kilos to shed.

‘It’s going in all the wrong places.’ He prods at the sides of his plaid shirt with suspicion. ‘You get something called “love handles”, which are not nice. Either I go on a very strict diet, or I have to change my swimming apparel.

This is not the first time Dance’s looks have been scrutinised quite so closely, of course. In the late 1980s, flush from a string of romantic roles, including as Guy Perron in British Raj series The Jewel in the Crown, he was repeatedly compared to Robert Redford (‘Not very fair to Robert Redford…’) and branded ‘the thinking woman’s crumpet’ by just about all who wrote about him.

‘I can remember the first time somebody called me that,’ he says. ‘Shortly afterwards, I was in Cannes, walking along the Croisette, and coming towards me was Joan Bakewell, who was known as “the thinking man’s crumpet”. As we met, we both said, “Hello, crumpet…”’ A rasp. ‘Thankfully that’s passed. Clever journalists would come up with something else.’

The Jewel in the Crown, 1984 Credit: Alamy

Born in the Midlands but raised in Plymouth, Dance’s mother, Nell, was a cook who worked all her life, while his father, Walter, was an electrical engineer who’d fought in the second Boer war. He grew up with a brother 10 years his senior, Michael. Walter died when Dance was four, after which Nell remarried, to Edward, a civil servant, who became the boys’ stepfather.

For most of his life, Dance had been under the impression that his father was in his 50s when he died. It wasn’t until he appeared on the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? in 2017 that he learned Walter was in fact in his mid-70s when he died, and had previously had another wife and children whose descendants now live in South Africa. Yet nobody on either side was theatrical.

‘One of the things I was given by this distant relative in South Africa was this medal for elocution that my father had got, and from the little I knew, he used to do recitations in the parlour, only in an amateur way.’

Dance worked as a labourer and plumber’s mate after studying at art school, where he had fostered an interest in acting. He then met two retired thespians in Plymouth, Leonard and Martin, who coached him in the classics, bullied an RP accent into him, and taught him all they knew in exchange for a couple of pints in the local. Praise was hard to come by.

With ex-wife Joanna Haythorn and their children in 2000 Credit:  Alan Davidson/Shutterstock

‘I can remember driving Leonard back from the pub, I thought I’d been pretty s—t hot working through Julius Caesar, and he got out of the car and said, “You don’t realise how bad you are, do you boy? See you next week!”’ Dance smiles at the memory. ‘It’s very important to know when you’re not being good.’

But he was good, good enough to soon join the Royal Shakespeare Company  without having been to drama school. Not that it impressed his mother much. Though very loving, she remained defiantly nonplussed by news of her son’s glamorous career, to his amusement.

‘Bless her, she was quite proud I think, really. She was a bit of a martyr to the cause.’ I wonder if he ever thinks about what his father would make of his career. ‘Yeah. I would hope, like any child, that my parents would be pleased and proud. I think he’d quite like it.’

Dance has since become a parent himself. He married sculptor Joanna Haythorn in 1970, and had two children, Oliver, now 46, and Rebecca, now 40, before they divorced in 2004. He then had another daughter, nine-year-old Rose, in 2012 with his then-fiancée Eleanor Boorman, a former model 26 years his junior.

With daughter Rebecca in 2015 Credit:  WireImage With ex-fiancée Eleanor Boorman in 2011 Credit:  AFP via Getty Images

‘I think every child tries to do better than their parents did. My mother did teach me to be independent. How to look after yourself, basically,’ Dance says. ‘One thing my mother used to say, which I realise no parent ever should, is “Stop showing off”. You should never stop a child showing off. Show off more!’

So that’s how he’s tried to be. Oliver, who works in the film props industry, lives nearby, while Rebecca lives in Somerset. Is it different, parenting again in a younger generation?

‘Different in as much as we live in a different place. My contribution is co-parenting, because we’re not together, and so it’s different in that respect. But [Rose] is a fantastic little girl, like my grown-up daughter was, and my grown-up son. I do like children, I think they’re very special.’ Boorman and Rose live ‘200 miles away’, so the homeschooling responsibility ‘has been down to her mother. But we FaceTime on a pretty regular basis.’

And he has a granddaughter. ‘I do indeed. She’s about six months younger than my daughter. I think they think they’re like cousins.’ He throws his hands up and flaps them away. ‘It’s all rather complicated but it doesn’t really matter at all, whatever their “titles” are.’

Would he consider marrying again? ‘N-no,’ he says, after a split-second’s thought.

Meryl Streep and Charles Dance in Plenty, 1985 Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Curiously, much of Dance’s success has come in the period since he became a bachelor. He trained at the RSC during the ’70s, before moving into television and film, finding acclaim in both, not least in the ’80s, when the success of For Your Eyes Only and The Jewel in the Crown led to starring opposite Meryl Streep in Plenty and Greta Scaachi in White Mischief.

But his is a career that has strengthened as it has matured. The noughties brought Robert Altman film Gosford Park and the BBC adaptation of Bleak House, while the last decade has seen him gain a small screen Midas touch, instantly enhancing the class and quality of anything he appears in, to the extent that his name now looks unfinished without a ‘Sir’ before it.

‘It’s swings and roundabouts in this business; I’m sure that Game of Thrones had something to do with it. To get offered a plum part in the most successful television series to date…’

That show has made him instantly recognisable to an entirely new generation. ‘I’m amazed. I can be sitting in a car, at night, in the rain, at traffic lights, and somebody on the other side of the road points and says, “Hello Charlie, you all right?”’

Gosford Park, 2002 Credit: Alamy Bleak House, 2005

A word of warning, mind: don’t approach him for a selfie. ‘No, hate it. I try to decline as graciously as I can, but I’d rather not. Most people accept it, but some say, “Oh, really?” As if it’s obligatory! Which it’s not.’

Unfortunately, none of the recent roles have been very permanent: Dance has a habit of dying, or being killed, and he’s noticed. ‘I’ve died in almost everything I’ve done over the last few years,’ he says, cheerfully.

One of those deaths belonged to Mountbatten in The Crown, who we saw being assassinated by the IRA off the coast of County Sligo in the last series. Originally there was talk of Dance playing the Duke of Edinburgh, chiefly due to a physical resemblance growing by the day.

‘I would have had to wait until the season being shot now, because Tobias Menzies was there being rather wonderful. Anyway, I was asked to do Mountbatten and thought, “Oh, let’s do that instead.” Another wig, few more uniforms…’

So where will Dance pop up next? There’s a part as General Kitchener in Matthew Vaughn’s The King’s Man, a Netflix adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s comic The Sandman, he’s just finished Against the Ice, a film about the 1909 expedition to dispute the US claim on Greenland, in which he’ll co-star with Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peaky Blinders’ Joe Cole.

Game of Thrones, 2011-2015 Credit:  Alamy Stock Photo

Theatre seems to be one place we won’t see him. I mention that Sir Ian McKellen, his old RSC mucker, is to play Hamlet at the age of at least 81, in an age-blind show. ‘Is he really?’ Dance says, with what may or may not be a roll of the eyes. ‘I wonder who’s playing his mother…’

Not for you, then?

‘Not the parts that are traditionally for younger people. Other than for an intellectual exercise, I don’t really see the point of that,’ he says.

‘I have this odd feeling about theatre. There are nights when I pray there’s going to be a bomb scare, an announcement – “Ladies and gentlemen, you must leave the theatre!” – and the show is cancelled,’ he continues. ‘And then there are nights that are fantastic and it goes well and that’s great, you get this applause and your ego has been boosted. But if I’m honest I prefer to be on a film set.’

So that’s where he’ll be, especially once the pandemic’s over. I assume he’s vaccinated? ‘No,’ Dance says, insouciantly, ‘I’ve had my invitation, but I went to Iceland to film in January, got tested every day, came back, went to Waitrose, woke up the next morning feeling s­—t, so did Alessandra, then we were positive. So we isolated for a couple of weeks, and now I think I’ll go and get jabbed.’

The Crown, 2019-2020 Credit:  Courtesy of Des Willie / Netflix

Never has a man sounded so casual about catching a deadly disease at 74. But it’s difficult to imagine Dance riled at all. In fact, the only time he comes close is a rant about the proposed easing of the lockdown restrictions, specifically that there is a date set ‘for opening the discotheques. This is the worst place. Where else is the virus going to flourish? A crowded discotheque filled with hot, sweaty people!’

Charles Dance doesn’t dance, I discover. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been clubbing, actually – you spend the whole time not being able to hear what somebody’s saying. I hate dancing, because I’m no good at it,’ he huffs. ‘I bet you’re a secretive clubber, aren’t you?’

So, it’s restaurants with old friends he misses, otherwise he’ll be on set. He holds Sir John Gielgud, with whom he used to share an agent, as a role model. ‘He used to ring up and say, “Hello, Johnny Gielgud here, got any work?” In his 90s! That’s what I’d like to do.’

You can bet he will, too. That gives Dance another 20 years, at least. There must be some ambitions left? ‘Just keep working,’ he replies, with reflexive modesty. Then he leans forward, narrows his eyes and steeples his fingers. ‘I would like to front more stuff,’ he decides, finally. ‘I’m forever being asked to come in and play telling cameos…’

And why not? He’s only just become Charles f­—king Dance.

Mank is available now on Netflix

Charles Dance - biography, age, photo, personal life, wife, height, weight 2022

Biography of Charles Dance

Charles Dance is a famous British actor, director, screenwriter and producer. He became famous thanks to his roles in the series Game of Thrones, Velvet Fingers, as well as the films Rebecca and The Phantom of the Opera. In 2006 he received the title of officer of the Order of the British Empire.

British stage and film actor Walter Charles Dance

Childhood of Charles Dance

The future actor was born in the city of Redditch (Worcestershire, England), in the most ordinary family. Charles' father, Walter Dance, worked as a civil engineer, and his mother, Eleanor Perks, was a cook. The head of the family died very early, at that time the boy was barely four years old. After the tragedy, Eleanor moved to Plymouth with relatives, where Charles Dance spent his childhood.

Charles Dance in childhood and now

In the biography of the actor there is a very interesting fact. At the age of 12, he suddenly began to stutter, but after six years, the disease also suddenly disappeared. Probably, the cause of the disease was a psychological shock that affected speech abilities. nine0002 Education of Charles Dance Charles Dance studied at a private technical school for some time, continued his studies at the Plymouth School of Art. After completing his secondary education, he decided to master graphic design. To do this, the guy entered the Leicester College of Art, but, unexpectedly for himself, he became seriously interested in the student drama club. Gradually, Charles lost interest in design and decided to direct all his efforts to comprehend acting. For a year and a half, he attended private classes with eminent teachers: Martin Burkhart and Leonard Bennett. Thanks to good mentors, Dance revealed a significant acting potential in himself and decided to continue to follow this path. nine0002 Acting career of Charles Dance Charles Dance's career did not start in the most successful way. He barely made ends meet, worked for some time as a dresser and ancillary workers in a little-known London theater. Only in 1970 did he first appear on stage as a professional actor. However, thanks to his extraordinary abilities, he quickly became famous in the theater circles of London. Already in the mid-70s, he became a permanent member of the troupe of the Royal Shakespeare Theater. nine0004 The theater was a good start for Charles, but then the actor chose to focus on the cinema. First, he appeared in television plays, then went to daily series (for example, "Raffles", "Father Brown", "Professionals", etc.). The first successful film was the action movie For Your Eyes Only, which tells the story of James Bond played by Roger Moore. This was followed by participation in the exciting historical drama "Jewel in the Crown" - a film that brought the actor the first breeze of fame. nine0005

Charles Dance's first film role

Charles Dance continued to act in films, increasingly finding himself on the set with real world-class stars. Among the outstanding films of his "initial" period, one should note the touching melodrama "Restless Heart" with Meryl Streep in the title role, the film "The Golden Child" with Eddie Murphy, as well as the exciting action movie "The Last Action Hero" with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Charles Dance in his youth

At 19In 88, Dance told reporters that he prefers to do without types and aims to change the prevailing opinion regarding English gentlemen of the first half of the 20th century, despite the fact that critics unanimously said: Charles Dance is the embodiment of the image of the ideal Briton.

Who better to play a British gentleman than Charles Dance?

Since then, he preferred to take on extraordinary roles, both from the "past" and the "future". He brilliantly played in historical, existential and even erotic dramas ("Bleak House", "Henry VIII"), bringing his own special style to detectives and thrillers ("Foyle's War", "Gosford Park"). Moreover, he naturally fit into comedy parodies (“Brave with Pepper”, “Ali G in Parliament”). nine0004 Charles Dance in Ali G in Parliament

Dance did an excellent job with his role in the musical "The Phantom of the Opera". For the role of Eric, the Phantom of the Opera, he received a huge fee by the standards of that time - one million dollars.

In 1990, Charles Dance played the Phantom of the Opera in the teleplay of the same name

No less successful, although diametrically opposed, was the film Alien 3, where Charles Dance played a prison doctor named Clemens, who nurses Sigourney Weaver's character after the crash of a spaceship. nine0004 Alien 3: Charles Dance as Jonathan Clemens

In addition, Charles Dance directed the musical melodrama Ladies in Purple (2004). For this work, he wrote the script himself, and for the main roles he picked up beautiful actresses of British origin - Maggie Smith and Judi Dench. The drama told about two elderly aristocratic women who, by chance, get acquainted with a young man, a victim of a shipwreck, who awakens long-forgotten feelings in them.

Trailer for Charles Dance's "Ladies in Purple"

Charles Dance and "Game of Thrones": a new round of popularity

The turning point in the career of the actor was the participation in the filming of the series "Game of Thrones". Casting for the role of Tywin Lannister, Charles Dance did not have to go through - the film crew was eager to get it as an adamant, ruling with an iron fist "gray eminence" it was him. They, however, as well as the audience, were lucky - he found a window in the busy filming schedule. George Martin himself noted his "imperious appearance and steely charisma." nine0004 Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister

When Tywin Lannister appeared in the frame, the audience could be sure that they would now witness a subtle psychological game. His character "bent his line" even in communication with his own children performed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage.

Frame from the series "Game of Thrones"

After the sensational premiere of the first season, films with Charles Dance began to appear on the screens much more often. Over the next four years, he appeared in the third part of the werewolf and vampire franchise (Underworld: Awakening), in the Oscar-winning biopic The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch, in the Hollywood blockbuster Dracula, and even in the international horror film " Viy". During the filming of the latter, he met outstanding actors of Russian cinema: Andrei Smolyakov and Alexei Chadov. And this is not the whole list of works that received laudatory reviews from critics! nine0004 Commander Denniston

Personal life of Charles Dance

Charles Dance lost his bachelor status at the dawn of his acting career. He married his sweetheart Joanna Haythorne in 1970. They had two children: son Oliver and daughter Rebecca. The couple lived together for 34 years, but, as often happens in acting families, they could not maintain a relationship.

First wife of Charles Dance, Joanna Haythorne

A little later, the actor had an affair with actress Sophia Miles, but this connection turned out to be only a short-term hobby. In 2010, Dance became engaged to sculptor Eleanor Burman, and two years later they had a daughter, Rose. However, the couple did not decide on a legal marriage and over time their relationship faded. nine0004 Pictured: Charles Dance and Eleanor Burman

Charles Dance today

Despite his age, Charles Dance is in excellent shape and continues to actively act in films, remaining a sought-after actor. Only in 2015, ten projects with his participation were released, among which it is worth noting the biographical action movie Admiral, the drama Woman in Gold, and the fantastic drama Frankenstein.

Charles Dance also voiced one of the characters in The Witcher 3

In the same year, the crime thriller Number 44, based on the book by Tom Rob Smith, appeared on television (its premiere was canceled in Russia).

In 2016, viewers could see him in the horror comedy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, as well as the sensual drama Me Before You, starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. These completely different works had something in common - in both films, Charles Dance demonstrated high skill and natural acting talent. nine0005

Still from the film Me Before You

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Charles Dance - biography, personal life, photos, news, films, in his youth, Game of Thrones, filmography 2022


Charles Dance is a British creative figure who, in addition to acting, has distinguished himself in screenwriting, directing and as a producer. The skill of the performer was facilitated by his craving for art and dramatic talent, recognized by theater lovers. Charles became known to the general public for a scene from the provocative film Ali G in Parliament, where his character, a notorious villain, dances in a leopard-print skirt and blouse. nine0005

Childhood and youth

Charles was born in the English county of Worcestershire, his hometown is Redditch. His father, Walter Dance, worked as a civil engineer, and his mother, Eleanor Perks, worked as a cook. When the boy was barely four years old, his father suddenly died. Mom was forced to move a small family to relatives in Plymouth, where Dance grew up and was educated.

Dance attended Plymouth School of Art, and in high school he attended boarding school in Leicester, where he majored in design and photography. In this direction, Charles entered college, where he enrolled in a theater group and quickly realized that he wanted to develop as an actor. nine0005

Charles Dance dropped out of high school and took private acting lessons from a professional teacher. Nevertheless, at first the young man could not gain a foothold in this field. To somehow make ends meet, Charles got a job at the London theater as a costume designer and stagehand. Only in 1970 did Charles' acting biography begin. But by the mid-70s, Dance was invited to the troupe of the Royal Shakespeare Theater, where he appeared in the most famous productions of the legendary playwright. nine0005


A career in the theater allowed Charles Dance to gradually conquer the cinema. In his youth, the artist appeared on television in television plays, then there were the popular daily series "Father Brown", "Professionals". The first film that drew close attention to the British actor was the James Bond spy thriller For Your Eyes Only, while the historical drama The Jewel in the Crown brought wide popularity.

Star projects followed these paintings. In the melodrama Restless Heart, where Meryl Streep played an Englishwoman, a member of the French Resistance, the artist played the role of Raymond Brock. In the adventure action movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger "The Last Action Hero" Dance reincarnated as the local villain Benedict. nine0005

The artist's favorite genre - fantasy - was replenished in 2014 with work in the film "Wii", directed by Oleg Stepchenko. The film was released in 3D. In addition to foreign screen stars, Valery Zolotukhin, Alexei Chadov, Andrey Smolyakov, Nina Ruslanova starred in the film. Charles Dance got the role of Lord Dudley. In the same year, the artist starred in the role of Master Vampire in the full-length action movie Dracula.

Later, the actor played in the drama about a Jewish family that was persecuted during the Second World War - "Woman in Gold", in the thriller "Number 44" about the investigation of the brutal murders of children that took place in the USSR in the early 50s. The drama "Despite the Falling Snow" is also devoted to the Soviet theme, where Dance played the main role. nine0005

The work in the military drama The Imitation Game, where Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed the main character on the screen, entered Dance's repertoire as a bright page. Charles portrayed a typical World War II martinet so convincingly that he received several nominations and awards.

It is impossible not to mention the directorial work of Charles Dance - "Ladies in Purple". For this musical melodrama, the artist also wrote the script himself, and invited two brilliant British actresses, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, to play the main roles. nine0005

In 2016, Dance starred in the melodramatic horror film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a parody of Jane Austen's novel. The producer of the project was Natalie Portman. Charles Dance tried on the image of Mr. Bennet, the father of the main character Elizabeth (Lily James). In the new version, the girl is engaged in martial arts.

In 2017, the actor's extensive filmography was supplemented by work in the science fiction action movie Underworld: Blood Wars, in which Dance got the role of a vampire elder, the father of the protagonist David (Theo James). nine0005

Charles Dance is also mastering the path of a producer. Along with Peter Dinklage and Frank Dolger, the actor is curating a television adaptation of Quasimodo, which is being filmed for Atrium TV.

Charles's aristocratic looks and rich experience in theatrical classics influenced the producers' choice of Dance for the role of Queen Victoria's great-grandson Louis Mountbatten in the 2019 biopic The Crown. The series was highly acclaimed by film critics and was nominated 63 times for prestigious awards in the first four seasons. nine0005

Game of Thrones

In the summer of 2010 it was announced that Charles Dance was joining the hugely popular fantasy series Game of Thrones. There, the actor played the role of the head of the Lannister house, Tywin Lannister. The merciless and cruel warrior showed himself to be an excellent leader, but his heart was forever broken by the death of his wife Joanna during the birth of the dwarf Tyrion. The conflict between father and son led them to an open confrontation, during which the hero of Charles died.

The hero's story unfolded over five seasons. When creating the cult series, the film crew had to pretty much travel around the continents and countries. It is estimated that each episode cost HBO between $2-6 million to produce, and the cost of a pilot was around $10 million.

The life of the series continued to interest Charles even after leaving the project. So, in 2020, Dance took the side of the audience, who demanded to re-shoot the finale. A petition with several million votes was posted on

Personal life

Almost simultaneously with the beginning of his acting career, Charles Dance got rid of the status of a bachelor. In early 1970, the artist was legally married to his beloved Joanna Haythorne, who gave Charles two children: son Oliver and daughter Rebecca. The artist's personal life did not attract the attention of journalists for 34 years - until his relationship with his wife began to collapse. The couple divorced in 2004, citing cold feelings as the reason for the separation. nine0005

Later, the actor had a short affair with actress Sophia Myles, the same age as his heiress, then his companion was the former Gucci model Shambhala Mart.

The artist got engaged to Eleanor Burman, a sculptor by profession, in 2010. The chosen one once appeared with Charles in the melodrama French Connections. But the engagement never turned into a wedding, even though their daughter Rose was born in 2012.

The artist has not let journalists into his private life for a long time, but in 2020 the paparazzi took Dance on the sea beach in the arms of a young blonde. The actor himself did not comment on his relationship. nine0005

Like any Game of Thrones performer, on behalf of Charles Dance, there are fan accounts on Instagram, where photos of the artist and frames from the film are posted.

Charles Dance now

Now Charles continues to appear in high-profile projects, in particular in the franchise directed by Matthew Vaughn, based on the comics The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. The actor starred in the prequel to the Kingsman film series, King's Man Begins, which proved to be difficult to shoot due to pandemic restrictions. Nevertheless, the premiere took place at the end of 2021. In addition, there were confirmations from the director about the start of work on the next part in 2022. nine0005


  • 1974 - “Tales of Pater Brown”
  • 1985 - “Restless Heart”
  • 1986 - “Golden Child”
  • 1990 - “Ghost of the Opera”
  • 1992 - “Alien 3”
  • 1994 - “Porcelain Moon”
  • 2005-“Cold House”
  • 2011-2015-“Game of Thrones”
  • 2014-“VII”
  • 2014-“Dracula”
  • 2015-“Despite the falling snow”
  • 2015- Frankenstein
  • 2016 - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  • 2016 - "Me Before You"
  • 2016 - "Underworld: Blood Wars"
  • 2016 - "The Crown"
  • 2017 - "Mystery of the Iron Mask: Journey to China"
  • 2019 - “Godzilla 2: King of Monsters”
  • 2019 - “Fanny Lai History”
  • 2019 - “Widow”
  • 2020 - “Mank”
  • 2020 - “The Book of Spirits”
  • 2020 - “Capture Singapore”
  • 2021 - King's Man Begins

Interesting Facts