Charles Dance

Last updated on the 10 July 2024 by Maeve

Charles Dance headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 10 October 1946, Redditch, Worcestershire, England. 

Charles Dance is a renowned actor best known for his commanding presence and nuanced portrayals of complex characters. His illustrious career spans over four decades, encompassing a diverse range of roles in theatre, film and television.

Geraldine James and Charles Dance, The Jewel In The Crown
Geraldine James and Charles Dance – The Jewel In The Crown

Dance’s early life was marked by a passion for the arts. He attended King Edward VI School in Southampton, where he participated in school plays and developed a keen interest in drama. After completing his secondary education, he pursued a degree in graphic design at Leicester Polytechnic.

Charles Dance’s career took an unexpected turn when he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1970. His stage performances quickly earned him recognition and he soon established himself as a leading Shakespearean actor. Over the next two decades, he graced the stage with memorable portrayals of iconic characters such as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Coriolanus.

Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones
Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones

Charles Dance’s first major role was army officer Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (1984). Other notable roles included Maxim de Winter in Rebecca (1997) and Raymond Stockbridge in Gosford Park (2001).

In 2011, Dance landed a role that would define his television career – Tywin Lannister, the patriarch of House Lannister, in the HBO fantasy epic “Game of Thrones.” His portrayal of the formidable and calculating patriarch earned him critical acclaim and solidified his status as one of television’s most compelling villains.

Charles Dance resides in North London. He tied the knot with Joanna Haythorn in 1970, and they welcomed a son named Oliver (born 1974) and a daughter named Rebecca (born 1980) before parting ways in 2004. From 2008 to 2012, he was in a relationship with Eleanor Boorman, with whom he has a daughter named Rose (born 2012).

He is a passionate advocate for the arts and has served as the president of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.


Suggested viewing


The Jewel in the Crown (1984)

The Jewel in the Crown poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.4

In the waning days of British rule in India, a young Englishwoman’s rape ignites a chain of events that exposes the deep-rooted tensions and injustices between the British Raj and the Indian populace. Amidst political turmoil and personal struggles, the characters grapple with questions of identity, loyalty and justice.

Top cast: Tim Pigott-Smith, Geraldine James, Wendy Morgan, Charles Dance, Art Malik, Saeed Jaffrey, Rosemary Leach, Peggy Ashcroft.


Going Postal (2010)

Going Postal poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.7

Moist von Lipwig, a con man turned postmaster, must revive the ailing postal system of Ankh-Morpork, a chaotic city filled with thieves, assassins and goblins. Along the way, he encounters a host of eccentric characters and faces challenges that threaten to derail his mission.

Top cast: Richard Coyle, David Suchet, Claire Foy, Charles Dance, Andrew Sachs, Igor Bonifaci, Adrian Scarborough, Ingrid Bergmann.


Game of Thrones (2011)

Game of Thrones poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 9.2

In the realm of Westeros, noble families vie for power, while ancient threats arise in the form of White Walkers and dragons. Amidst political intrigue and battles for the Iron Throne, Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled heir to the throne, emerges as a potential savior.

Top cast: Emilia Clarke, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams.


And Then There Were None (2015)

And Then There Were None poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.8

Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island by a mysterious host, only to be accused of past murders and picked off one by one. As fear and suspicion grip the group, they race to uncover the identity of the killer before they become the next victim.

Top cast: Charles Dance, Maeve Dermody, Aidan Turner, Burn Gorman, Toby Stephens, Miranda Richardson, Noah Taylor, Sam Neill, Anna Maxwell Martin.


Rebecca (1997)

Rebecca poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.3

An unnamed young woman marries a wealthy widower, but her happiness is overshadowed by the memory of his late wife, the beautiful and charismatic Rebecca. As she struggles to find her place in Rebecca’s shadow, she uncovers disturbing secrets about her predecessor’s life and death.

Top cast: Charles Dance, Emilia Fox, Diana Rigg, Faye Dunaway, Jonathan Cake, Tom Chadbon, Geraldine James, Lucy Cohu.


Gosford Park (2002)

Gosford Park poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.2

In a grand English estate during the 1930s, a weekend shooting party brings together the wealthy elite and their dedicated staff. Upstairs, lords and ladies indulge in social niceties and hidden tensions. Downstairs, a complex web of relationships unfolds among the housemaids, valets and butlers. But their world is shattered when a murder disrupts the festivities. As a detective investigates, the upstairs and downstairs perspectives intertwine, revealing the cracks beneath the polished surface of both the grand house and the seemingly rigid social order.

Top cast: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Camilla Rutherford, Charles Dance, Geraldine Somerville, Tom Hollander, Natasha Wightman, Jeremy Northam.


Charles Dance full filmography @ Wikipedia
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