Personal detailsName: Hugh Grant
Born: 9 September 1960 (Age: 53)
Where: London, England
Height: 5' 11"
Awards: 1 BAFTA, 1 Golden Globe
All about this star
You wouldn't think it to look at him, and certainly not to listen to him, but Hugh Grant has turned out to be something of a survivor. Having spent years in the acting doldrums, unsure even as to whether he had chosen an appropriate, "dignified" career, he scored a massive smash with Four Weddings And A Funeral. Then, just as suddenly, it all collapsed around him, in a whirl of failed productions and very public sex scandals. And yet he rose again, alongside Julia Roberts in Notting Hill, and this time he didn't look back. He received the accolade of a part in a Woody Allen film, he starred with Rene Zellweger in the international hit Bridget Jones' Diary, and then came About A Boy, another adaptation of a bestselling paperback, this time by everyone's favourite Nice Bloke, Nick Hornby.
Hugh Grant, blessed with the middle names John and Mungo, was born in London on September 9th, 1960. His father, James, was an artist who made money running a carpet firm, while his mother was a teacher (his older brother, also named James, is now a banker). Both his parents were from military backgrounds. One grandfather was in the Seaforth Highlanders - Grant would like to make a movie of his WW2 heroics, but his father forbids it, believing all movies to be a "vulgarisation" of the truth.
Growing up in suburbia, Grant won a scholarship to Oxford, going up to New College in 1979. Though considering a career as an art historian, here he tried his hand at student drama, at one point featuring in Hamlet - performed in Star Trek costumes. Before this, his efforts onstage had only served to bring about his greatest humiliation. During a school play, he was called upon to sing If They Could See Me Now, but came in way out-of-key, having to stop and start again. He still recalls the laughing, and the pointing. Nowadays, having since appeared in such weighty productions as An Inspector Calls, Lady Windermere's Fan and Coriolanus, Grant considers himself a more effective actor onstage than onscreen. But cinema grabbed him early, and he appeared in Michael Hoffman's Privileged while still in college in 1982, credited as Hughie Grant.
On leaving, he was painfully unsure of what to do next. He tells a story of attempted teaching where he agreed to tutor a young girl between schools. After she refused to answer any of his questions, he lost patience with her, only to discover that, mortifyingly, she was deaf in one ear and could not hear him. Having tried out comedy at Oxford, and taken to it (he freely describes himself as a "Laugh Tart"), he joined a comedy review called the Jockeys Of Norfolk. They played the London pub comedy circuit, including the George IV in Chiswick, often appearing on the same bill as Mike Myers, then resident in London.