The son of the chaplain to the Queen, Ovenden grew up a musically gifted child in London. At the age of seven he received a scholarship to sing in the choir at St. Paul's Cathedral, and by 13 was awarded a music scholarship to Eton College. From Eton he attended Oxford University, winning a choral scholarship to sing with the world renowned choir of New College. Apart from his studies and touring and recording with the choir, Ovenden directed the baroque opera King Arthur and toured the United States in a production of As You Like It. Upon graduation from Oxford he attended The Webber-Douglas Academy of Performing Arts in London, where he was awarded an Arts Council Scholarship.
After finishing his post graduate studies he went straight into a contract with the Royal Shakespeare Company, working with the brilliant Japanese director Yukio Ninagawa and Sir Nigel Hawthorne in a production of King Lear. Ovenden earned the distinction of being the youngest actor to play a leading role at the world famous Donmar Warehouse when director Michael Grandage cast him in the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along. He also starred in another Michael Grandage production at the Donmar, The Grand Hotel, opposite Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Both plays received an Olivier Award for Best Musical Production. Other theatre credits include a critically-acclaimed performance as the lead role in A Woman of No Importance for director Adrian Noble at London's Theatre Royal Haymarket in the West End.
Ovenden has been working consistently in other media as well. He first starred in Working Title's romantic comedy Come Together with James D'Arcy, and then won the hearts of women everywhere playing the young heartthrob doctor on The Royal. He displayed his impressive acting chops with starring roles opposite Damian Lewis and Gina McKee in the award-winning miniseries The Forsyte Saga for Granada, and as Andrew Foyle in the long running and BAFTA-nominated miniseries Foyle's War, opposite Michael Kitchen. He was also seen opposite Kelsey Grammer in NBC's musical special A Christmas Carol for director Arthur Seidelman.
In addition, Ovenden makes time for concert performances, including several live recordings with the BBC concert orchestra, a Bernstein tribute concert for the BBC in Belfast and a recent appearance at New York's Metropolitan Room for his one-man show. He was also recently involved in a workshop for a new musical in London opposite Ruthie Henshall. Entitled
Marguerite, the piece is composed by film legend Michel Legrand, directed by Jonathan Kent and produced by Les Misérables writers Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schönberg. It is to be staged in London next summer.
Ovenden presently divides his time between London, New York and Los Angeles.
Julian Ovenden Facts
|Birthplace||England, United Kingdom|
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