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Antony Sher

Sir Antony Sher is an actor and novelist. He has a South African background, being born into a Lithuanian-Jewish family in Cape Town (his uncle is Ronald Harwood); but has worked mainly in the United Kingdom.

In 1968, after completing his compulsory military service, he left for London to audition at The Central School of Speech and Drama (which at the time was the best drama school in London) but was unsuccessful. Instead, he studied at the Webber-Douglas School of Dramatic Art from 1969 to 1971. After training, and some early performances with the theatre group Gay Sweatshop, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982. His big breakthrough came in 1985 when he played the title role in Shakespeare's Richard III. This won him the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award. Since then he has played the lead in many big productions, including Tamburlaine, Cyrano de Bergerac, Stanley, and Macbeth.

Despite his success, a shy and insecure Sher turned to cocaine as an antidote and by 1996 spent three weeks in rehabilitation.

In 1997 his portrayal of Disraeli in the film Mrs. Brown was well received, and he won his second Laurence Olivier Award for his role as Stanley Spencer.

In 1998 he received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Liverpool University.

In television, he starred in the miniseries The History Man (1981) and The Jury (2002).

He was knighted for services to the theatre in 2000.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Antony Sher Facts

BirthdayJune 14, 1949 (74)
BirthplaceCape Town, South Africa

Selected Filmography

Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown
The Wolfman
Shakespeare In Love
Horatio Hornblower
Erik the Viking
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Emma / Shakespeare in Love
Shadow Line
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