August 22, 1971 (52)
Richard Armitage, a British actor, has captivated audiences worldwide through his portrayals in film, television, and theater. The nuanced intensity of his performances, coupled with a versatile range that spans Shakespearean drama, popular television series, and blockbuster films.
Armitage began his career on the stage, but it was through his role in the BBC television series “North & South” in 2004 that he gained significant recognition. As the brooding mill owner John Thornton, Armitage showcased a depth of talent that garnered him critical and popular acclaim. This success paved the way for a string of notable roles in television series such as “Spooks” (MI-5 in the US), where he played Lucas North, an operative returning from eight years of imprisonment in Russia.
The trajectory of Armitage’s career took a turn towards the epic when he was cast as Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson‘s “The Hobbit” trilogy. His portrayal of the dwarf prince struggling with the weight of his destiny and the lure of power attracted a global fan base, catapulting him to international fame. Further cinematic endeavors included a chilling turn as a serial killer in “Red Dragon,” and a powerful performance in the war drama “Into the Storm.”
Armitage’s collaborations with other artists in the industry have been as diverse as his roles. He has worked with directors such as Peter Jackson and Brett Ratner, fellow actors including Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, and Cate Blanchett in “The Hobbit” trilogy, and Toby Stephens and Keeley Hawes in “Spooks”. In the theater, he has shared the stage with actors such as Zoe Wanamaker in “The Crucible” and Samantha Colley in “Love, Love, Love.”
Recognition of Armitage’s work has not been in short supply. His compelling performance in “North & South” won him the Best Actor Award at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards in 2005. For his theatrical work, Armitage garnered a nomination for the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as John Proctor in “The Crucible” at the Old Vic in 2014. In 2015, he received a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Film for his role as Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”