Damian Lewis

Last updated on the 19 June 2024 by Maeve

Damian Lewis

Mini Biography

Born: 11 February 1971, St John’s Wood, London, England. 

Damian Lewis carved a unique path through film and television. His journey began in the affluent London district of St. John’s Wood. His father, a stockbroker and his mother, with ancestry linked to wealthy newsprint manufacturers, provided a privileged upbringing. However, Lewis’s passion wasn’t finance; it was the stage.

The Forsyte Saga - Damian Lewis and Gina McKee
The Forsyte Saga – Damian Lewis and Gina McKee

Even at the elite Eton College, where tradition reigned, Lewis’s theatrical flame burned bright. At 16, he defied expectations by launching his own theatre company, a testament to his early determination. This artistic spark led him to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he learnt his craft alongside future stars like Daniel Craig.

After graduating in 1993, Lewis found his footing on the prestigious stage of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His talent caught the eye of none other than Steven Spielberg, who cast him as Major Richard Winters in the acclaimed miniseries “Band of Brothers” (2001). This breakout role, demanding an impeccable American accent, showcased Lewis’s remarkable range and his ability to embody characters with depth and complexity.

Colditz - Sophia Myles, Tom Hardy and Damian Lewis
Colditz – Sophia Myles, Tom Hardy and Damian Lewis

Damian Lewis continued to impress on both sides of the Atlantic. He garnered critical acclaim for his portrayal of Soames Forsyte in the British miniseries “The Forsyte Saga” (2002), further establishing his name in the United States.

One of Lewis’s defining roles came in 2011 with the Showtime series “Homeland.” His portrayal of Nicholas Brody, a troubled U.S. Marine Sergeant suspected of being a terrorist collaborator, was nothing short of masterful. Lewis’s ability to navigate the character’s moral ambiguity and emotional turmoil earned him a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award, solidifying his place as a dramatic powerhouse.

Damian Lewis as King Henry III
Damian Lewis as King Henry III

Damian Lewis continued to captivate audiences with diverse roles. He embodied the charismatic yet ruthless hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod in the Showtime series “Billions” (2016-2022), showcasing his talent for portraying complex anti-heroes. He even ventured into the world of Quentin Tarantino with a memorable appearance as actor Steve McQueen in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019).

Damian Lewis’s personal life was marked by a happy marriage to the talented actress Helen McCrory. Together, they raised their two children and were a beloved couple in the British acting scene. Sadly, McCrory passed away in 2021, leaving a profound void in Lewis’s life.

 

Suggested viewing

 

Wolf Hall (2015)

Wolf Hall (2)

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.1

Set amidst the tumultuous political and religious landscape of 16th-century England, Wolf Hall chronicles the rise of Thomas Cromwell, a shrewd and ambitious lawyer who ascends to become King Henry VIII’s most trusted advisor. As Cromwell navigates the treacherous waters of courtly intrigue, he orchestrates the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon and the subsequent break with the Catholic Church, forever altering the course of English history.

Top cast: Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Joss Porter, Bernard Hill, Hannah Steele, Jessica Raine, Tom Holland.

 

Colditz (2005)

Colditz (2005)

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 6.7

“Colditz”, a television drama, chronicles the daring escape attempts of British prisoners of war held at the infamous Colditz Castle in Germany during World War II. Based on the real-life experiences of the prisoners, the series showcases their ingenuity, resilience and unwavering determination to regain their freedom. Amidst the harsh realities of captivity, “Colditz” captures the camaraderie and spirit of resistance that prevailed among the prisoners of war.

Top cast: Damian Lewis, Sophia Myles, Tom Hardy, Laurence Fox, James Fox, Timothy West, Jason Priestley, Guy Henry, Robert Whitelock.

 

A Spy Among Friends (2022)

A Spy Among Friends poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.3

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, “A Spy Among Friends” delves into the complex friendship and betrayal between British intelligence officers Nicholas Elliott and Kim Philby. As Elliott grapples with the revelation of Philby’s double life as a Soviet spy, their bond is shattered, exposing the delicate balance between loyalty and deception in the high-stakes world of espionage.

Top cast: Guy Pearce, Damian Lewis, Anna Maxwell Martin, Stephen Kunken, Karel Roden, Adrian Edmondson, Nicholas Rowe, Monika Gossmann, Puiu-Mircea Lăscuș.

 

The Forsyte Saga (2002)

The Forsyte Saga (2002)

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.1

Spanning three generations, “The Forsyte Saga” chronicles the lives of the Forsyte family, an epitome of the English upper-middle class, as they face the changing social and economic landscape of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Amidst their pursuit of wealth, status and love, the Forsytes’ intertwined lives reveal the enduring power of family ties, the complexities of human relationships and the transformative impact of societal upheavals.

Top cast: Damian Lewis, Gina McKee, Rupert Graves, Ioan Gruffudd, Corin Redgrave, Amanda Root, Rupert Young, Emma Griffiths Malin.

Alternative version

The Forsyte Saga poster

 

 

Damian Lewis full filmography @ Wikipedia
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