Actor Rupert Graves has enthralled audiences worldwide as an actor with a vast array of film, stage and television roles. He began his acting career over thirty-five years ago, landing the small part of a prefect in the cult television series Return of the Saint, sharing the screen with respected film and stage actor Ian Ogilvy.
This small television part was quickly followed up with the stronger role of Yan in a television adaptation of Enid Blyton’s Five Go Down to the Sea, from which a raft of more television work came his way.
In between his attempts to make it in acting, a variety of part-time employment and a mini excursion into punk-rock music followed. Amongst others, Graves worked as a circus clown, in a chip shop and in a shoe factory. However, the acting blood was still in his veins, leading him to join a troupe with the amazing name of “Silly Billy Pickles and the Peanut Street Gang,” which entertained children at Butlin’s holiday camps in the UK.
Born in the seaside resort of Weston-Super-Mare, Graves, even with a clutch of television credits to his name, was far from a confident actor at this point in his life. Indeed, he apologized to director James Ivory for his acting in A Room with a View, convinced that he had “messed up the film.” James Ivory was no fool and knew better, much better.
He promptly signed Graves to star in a production that catapulted him into stardom, the award-winning and controversial adaptation of another E. M. Forster classic Maurice. It was undoubtedly this film, with its daring subject of homosexual love between two men from totally different classes that made the name of Rupert Graves. The film was an immaculate piece of production with a cast to die for, with a performance by Graves as Alec Scudder that electrified cinemas and lifted the film to heights probably not expected.
In the majority of his work, with few exceptions, the term “powerful drama” would seem to sit well with the characters portrayed by Graves. His numerous credits include roles in Torch Song Trilogy, Open Fire and Different for Girls. He also appeared in the winner of the “Best Film” award at the 1996 Montreal World Film Festival, Intimate Relations, for which he was awarded “Best Actor” in 1996 at The Montreal Film Festival, as well as The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Where Angels Fear To Tread.
Apart from his film and television work, Graves has a great fondness for live theatre. His many works on stage include the critically acclaimed Midsummer Night’s Dream at The National, Torch Song Trilogy at The Albery, A Madhouse In Goa at The Lyric Hammersmith and Apollo West End, The Caretaker at The Comedy, the outstanding The Elephant Man on Broadway, and not forgetting his superb outings in Hurlyburly at The Geilgud (Olivier Award Nominee) and the award-winning Closer on Broadway.
Since the break-through feature A Room with a View, headline roles have continued over the years at a furious pace. From the award-winning ITV adaptation of The Forsyte Saga to the dark and dangerous V for Vendetta, the hilarious Death at a Funeral and the iconic Sherlock, to name just a few, the years show no respite for this talented and in-demand actor.
Rupert is married to production coordinator Susie Lewis and they are the proud parents of five children.