Name:
Hugh Laurie
Birth Date:
1959/6/11
Birth Place:
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Height:
6' 2''
Nationality:
British
Famous for:
His role as Dr Gregory House in the ABC's TV Series House
Profession:
Actor, Writer, Soundtrack, Director, Producer, Composer, Comedian
Education:
Dragon School in Oxford, England
BIOGRAPHY
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House M.D.

Background:

Golden Globe Award winning British actor Hugh Laurie gained international recognition playing the medical genius House, who heads a team of diagnosticians, in the hit Fox medical drama series "House M.D." (2004-Present). In his home country of England, he had previously co-wrote and/or co-starred in such TV shows as "Alfresco" (1983-1984), "Blackadder the Third" (1987), "Blackadder Goes Forth" (1989), "Jeeves and Wooster" (1990-1993), "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" (1989-1995), and "Fortysomething" (2003). He also portrayed Vincente Minnelli in the made-for-television movie "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows" (2001).

On the big screen, the talented actor, who made his feature acting debut in "Plenty" (1985; starring Meryl Streep), has starred in the films "Peter's Friends" (1992), "Sense and Sensibility" (1995), "101 Dalmatians" (1996), "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998), "Stuart Little" (1999), "Maybe Baby" (2000), "Flight of the Phoenix" (2004), and "Street Kings" (2008). He will lend his voice to the upcoming movie "Monsters vs. Aliens."

Laurie, who was a competitive rower, released a book titled "The Gun Seller," in 1996, and plans to release a second novel called "The Paper Soldier," tentatively scheduled for a 2009 release.

This 6' 2½'' actor, comedian, writer and musician, who was included is an Australian magazine in its “Sexiest People” 2006 issue, briefly dated actress Emma Thompson while they both attended Cambridge. He has been married to Jo Green, a theatre administrator, since 1989. They have two sons and one daughter.


Competitive in Rowing

Childhood and Family:

In Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, James Hugh Calum Laurie was born on June 11, 1959. The youngest of four children to Scottish descendant parents Dr. William George Ranald Mundell Laurie (a medical doctor and former competitive oarsman; won a 1948 Olympic Gold Medal in the Coxless pairs at the 1948 London Games; deceased) and Patricia Laurie (also deceased), Hugh has a brother, Charles Alexander Lyon Mundell Laurie, who works as a lawyer in Scotland, and two sisters. He is the great-great-nephew of George Alexander and the uncle of actress Rachel Hurd-Wood.

After graduating from Dragon School, a renowned British public college preparatory school located in Oxford, Hugh attended the elite Eton School where he was a member of Eton's prestigious rowing team. He later achieved a third-class degree in anthropology and archeology from Selwyn College at his father’s alma mater Cambridge University.

In 1977, Hugh won the National Junior Championship for rowing. The same year, he and his rowing partner represented England in the World Junior Championship for rowing where they finished in fourth place. They also entered the 1980 Silver Goblets and Nicklass Cup and become the only British crew to reach the finals that year. They finished in second place behind the favored American crew. Hugh is a member of the Leander Club, one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world. His father once served as the club's president.

Hugh is an accomplished piano player and skilled musician and has displayed his skills in episodes of several series, most notably “A Bit of Fry and Laurie,” “Jeeves and Wooster,” and “House.” He also plays keyboard in the band “Poor White Thrash” with Lenny Henry, Shade Adejumo, Kate McKenzie, Sophie Elton (wife of Ben Elton), Ken Bowley, Andy Gangadeen, John Thirkell, and Phil Smith.

On June 16, 1989, Hugh married Jo Green, a theatre administrator. They have two sons, Charles Archibald Laurie (born in 1988) and William Albert Laurie (born in Jan 1991), and one daughter, Rebecca Augusta Laurie (born September 10, 1993).

Hugh is good friends with his “House” co-star Robert Sean Leonard and continues his friendship with actress Emma Thompson, whom he once dated. He was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2007 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to drama.

Hugh, who is likely to become the highest paid British television actor ever after signing a new deal to star in Fox's “House M.D.” at $400,000 per episode, bought a 4 million dollar mansion in Los Angeles, where his family now lives. He lived at the Chateau Marmont Hotel in West Hollywood during the first season of filming of “House, M.D.” (2004), but flew home to London to be with his family whenever he had a break in filming.

Hugh, who received his first motorcycle when he was 16, bought a Triumph Bonneville motorcycle, a replica of the '60s British model, in Los Angeles upon getting the role in “House, M.D.” (2004).


Cambridge Footlights

Career:

A former competitor in rowing until a bout of mononucleosis forced him to give it up, Hugh Laurie, who won a drama award in middle school at the age of nine, joined the Cambridge Footlights while at college. During his stint with one of the most renowned student theater groups in the world, he served as a writer and cast member (1978-1980) with future TV collaborator Stephen Fry and then-girlfriend and future award-winning international actress Emma Thompson. He was also the president of the group during his last year (1980-1981).

Before graduating in 1981, the group brought its final revue, “The Cellar Tapes,” to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they won the first Perrier Comedy Award. They were subsequently invited to stage the show at the West End and then adapt it for television, where it aired in 1982. Laurie, Thompson, and Fry were among the cast members and co-writers, alongside other up-and-comers Ben Elton, Robbie Coltrane, and Siobhan Redmond.

In the following years, Laurie began receiving other projects and co-wrote and performed in two seasons of his first English TV series, "Alfresco" (1983-1984), a sketch show broadcasted by ITV (produced by Granada Television) in which he co-starred with Robbie Coltrane, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, Siobhan Redmond, and Emma Thompson. He also appeared in a TV commercial for Polaroid cameras (UK) during the early 1980s.

1985 saw Laurie make his feature acting debut in "Plenty," Fred Schepisi's drama film starring Meryl Streep that was adapted from David Hare's play of the same name. Afterward, he was a performer and writer for the innovative television comedic music show "Saturday Live" (1986), which was broadcasted in the U.K. from 1985 to 1987. He portrayed a lab assistant in Kate Bush's music video "Experiment IV" (1986) and was cast as the incredibly stupid Prince Regent, opposite Rowan Atkinson's titular character, in the English comedy series "Blackadder III" (1987), which was co-written by fellow Footlights member Ben Elton. He also made his American TV debut on the PBS presentation of "Mrs. Capper's Birthday" (1987), starring Patricia Hayes.

From 1989 to 1995, Laurie co-wrote and co-starred with Stephen Fry in the English sketch comedy series "A Bit of Fry and Laurie," which was broadcasted on BBC2 and BBC1. During this time, he was also cast as the eager, but stupid, Lieutenant The Honourable George Colthurst St. Barleigh in the fourth and final series of the BBC situation comedy “Blackadder,” "Blackadder Goes Forth" (1990), and shared the title characters with Stephen Fry in the PBS/BBC TV series adaptation of the well-loved P.G. Wodehouse's novel, "Jeeves and Wooster" (1990), in which he portrayed Bertie Wooster. He also released a soundtrack album, "The World of Jeeves & Wooster" (1990), with music by Anne Dudley and songs performed by Laurie and Stephen Fry.

Laurie next became a cast member of Kenneth Branagh's "Peter's Friends" (1992) and appeared in the music video for the 1992 single “Walking on Broken Glass” by Annie Lennox He also co-starred as Mr. Palmer in the Ang Lee-directed "Sense and Sensibility" (1995), which was adapted from Jane Austen's 1811 novel by Emma Thompson, who also stars in the film.

During the rest of the 1990s, Laurie starred as Glenn Close's henchmen in the Disney live-action film "101 Dalmatians" (1996) and released a book, "The Gun Seller," in 1996. He was also cast in Randall Wallace's loose adaptation of Alexandre Dumas novel, "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1998; starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, and Gérard Depardieu) and played Mr. Frederick Little, opposite Geena Davis' Mrs. Eleanor Little, in the live-action film based on the 1945 children's book by E.B. White, "Stuart Little" (1999). He would later reprise the role in its 2002 sequel, "Stuart Little 2."

Entering the new millennium, Laurie co-starred with Joely Richardson, playing a married couple struggling to have a baby, in "Maybe Baby" (2000), Ben Elton's film adaptation of his own novel, "Inconceivable." He also directed some scenes of the film.

The following year, Laurie portrayed Vincente Minnelli, the director who was married to Judy Garland (portrayed by Judy Davis) from 1945 to 1951 and is the father of legendary actress and singer Liza Minnelli, in the ABC TV movie based on the memoirs of Lorna Luft, another daughter of Judy Garland, "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows" (2001). He also appeared in TV commercials for Marks & Spencer (2001) and Bradford & Bingley (2002). Additionally, he guest starred in two 2002 episodes of the BBC1 spy thriller series "Spooks" and directed ITV's series "Fortysomething" (2003), in which he also starred as Paul Slippery, a doctor facing a mid-life crisis.

Laurie scored a huge breakthrough in 2004 when he snagged the role of Dr. Gregory House, the titular maverick medical genius who heads a team of diagnosticians, in the Fox medical drama "House M.D." The show that debuted on the FOX network on November 16, 2004, became the most-watched scripted program on TV and the third-most-watched program overall, behind "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars," during the 2007–08 United States television season. It has received various awards and nominations, including three consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Drama Series in 2006, 2007, and 2008. "House M.D." is currently in its fifth season of broadcasting.

Laurie's performance in the show also garnered praise, winning him two Golden Globe Awards for Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama in 2006 and 2007, two Satellite Awards for Best Actor in a Series, Drama in 2005 and 2006, one Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series in 2007, one Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Drama in 2007, and one Television Critics Association (TCA) Award for Individual Achievement in Drama. He also received Emmy nominations in 2005, 2007, and 2008, all for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Additionally, he is likely to become the highest-paid British television actor ever after signing a new deal in September 2008 to star in the series at $400,000 per episode, or more than $9 million a year.

Laurie also starred with Dennis Quaid in John Moore's remake of a 1965 film based on the 1964 novel by Elleston Trevor, "Flight of the Phoenix" (2004), and served as the narrator of “S.E.T.I: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” (2006), a 25-minute short movie shown at the space theatre in Leicester's National Space Centre, in England.

Recently, Laurie co-starred as Internal Affairs Captain James Biggs, with Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker, in David Ayer's action-crime film "Street Kings" (2008). He is currently working on the new computer animated 3-D feature film, "Monsters vs. Aliens," scheduled for a March 27, 2009, release. The movie also stars the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, and Kiefer Sutherland. He also plans to release a second novel called "The Paper Soldier," tentatively scheduled for a September, 27, 2009, release.


Awards:

  • Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, “House M.D.,” 2007

  • Teen Choice: Choice TV Actor: Drama, "House M.D.," 2007

  • Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama, “House, M.D.,” 2007

  • Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama, “House, M.D.,” 2006

  • Satellite: Best Actor in a Series, Drama, "House M.D.," 2006

  • Satellite: Outstanding Actor in a Series - Drama, “House, M.D.,” 2005

  • Television Critics Association: Individual Achievement in Drama, “House, M.D.,” 2005

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