Toby Jones
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Oxford, England
5' 5" (1.65 m)
Famous for:
playing Arthur on the London West End comedy “The Play What I Wrote” (2001)
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Entering show business in the early 1990s with small parts in the movies “Orlando” and “Naked,” British actor Toby Jones was launched to fame playing Arthur in the London West End comedy “The Play What I Wrote” (2001), from which he picked up a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award. He went on to recreate his role in a Broadway production of the play in 2003. Jones also won the London Critics Circle Film's ALFS Award for his portrayal of Truman Capote in the biopic “Infamous” (2006) and received ALFS nominations for his supporting roles of Waddington and Swifty Lazar in “The Painted Veil” (2006) and “Frost/Nixon” (2007), respectively. He was unforgettable as the voice of Dobby the House Elf in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002) and appeared in “Finding Neverland” (2004), “Amazing Grace” (2006), “Stephen King's 'The Mist'” (2007), “City of Ember” (2008) and Oliver Stone's “W.” (2008). Jones is also known to TV audiences for his work in the British series “Midsomer Murders” (4 episodes, 1999-2000), the Emmy Award winning miniseries “Elizabeth I” (2005) and the TV film version of Charles Dickens' novel, “The Old Curiosity Shop” (2007), among others.

Jones' fans should look forward to his performances in the upcoming films “Creation” (2009), “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” (2009), “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” (2011) and “Pinkville” (2011). He is also scheduled to reprise his voice role of Dobby in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I and Part II,” which will be released in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Jones and his companion Karen, who is a lawyer, have two daughters.

Son of Freddie Jones

Childhood and Family:

Toby Jones was born on September 7, 1967, in Oxford, England, to an acting family. His father, Freddie Jones (born on September 12, 1927), is a well known British character actor who has acted in a number of films, including 1980's “The Elephant Man.” His mother, Jennifer Heslewood, came from a family of stage actors. Toby's brothers, Rupert and Casey, also work in show business as a TV director and actor, respectively.

In the early 1980s, Toby attended Abingdon School in Oxfordshire. He quickly found a knack for theatrical acting and went on to pursue his acting dreams at The University of Manchester, which he attended from 1986 to 1989. He also studied at the Ecole Internationale du Theatre in Paris.

Toby has two daughters, Holly and Madeleine, who were mothered by his life partner Karen.

The Play What I Wrote


Born into an acting clan, Toby Jones knew he wanted to follow in his family's footsteps at an early age. He appeared in many stage productions before receiving a bit part in the movie “Orlando” (1992), which was based on Virginia Woolf's novel “Orlando: A Biography.”

Jones maintained a steady presence on British TV and in film throughout the reminder of the decade. He appeared in such films as Mike Leigh's “Naked” (1993, starred David Thewlis), the film version of Victor Hugo's novel “Les Misérables” (1998), Des McAnuff's “Cousin Bette” (1998, starred Jessica Lange), Andy Tennant's “Ever After” (1998, starred Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston), Ben Hopkins' “Simon Magus” (1999, starred Noah Taylor) and Luc Besson's “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc” (1999, as a British judge). His TV credits included guest appearances in the TV series “Lovejoy” (1993) and “Performance” (1995) and parts in the BBC miniseries “Out of Hours” (1998) and “Aristocrats” (1999). He also portrayed the recurring role of Dan Peterson in three episodes of the long running British mystery series “Midsomer Murders” in 1999 and in an additional episode in 2000.

During this period, Jones could also be seen regularly on the British stage. He wrote several productions for the National Theater, including “Missing Reel,” a play based on his own experiences of being erased from the film “Notting Hill” (1999). His stage career gained a significant boost when he portrayed Arthur in the successful London West End comedy “The Play What I Wrote” (2001), which was written by and starred Hamish McColl and Sean Foley. Under the direction of Kenneth Branagh, Jones was handed a 2002 Laurence Olivier Theatre award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The show moved to Broadway in 2003 with Jones reprising his role.

Jones was reunited with director Ben Hopkins for “The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz,” which premiered in 2000 at film festivals. The same year, he also appeared in the independent comedy “Hotel Splendide,” which was written and directed by Terence Gross. Following roles in the made-for-TV films “Love or Money,” “Victoria & Albert” (starred Victoria Hamilton as Victoria and Jonathan Firth as Prince Albert) and CBS' “In Love and War” (all 2001), he earned notice for his voice role of Dobby, the sorrowful house elf, in the blockbuster hit “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002).

Thanks to his award winning role in “The Play What I Wrote,” Jones began landing larger, more significant parts in bigger movies. He supported Judi Dench and Maggie Smith in “Ladies in Lavender” (U.K. 2004; U.S. 2005) and offered a strong portrayal of Mr. Smee in “Finding Neverland” (2004), which starred Johnny Depp as Scottish writer J. M. Barrie and Kate Winslet as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Released in the U.K. in October 2004 and the U.S. in November 2004, the film was a critically and commercially successful. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor.

After appearing in “Mrs Henderson Presents” (2005), an Oscar nominated comedy film from director Steven Frears that starred Dame Judi Dench, Jones charmed TV viewers with his portrayal of Robert Cecil, the first Earl of Salisbury, in the miniseries “Elizabeth I” (Channel 4, 2005; HBO, 2006), opposite Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth I of England. He doubled his victory on the wide screen with his memorable portrayal of author Truman Capote in the American drama “Infamous” (2006), directed and written by Douglas McGrath who based his screenplay on the 1997 George Plimpton book “Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career.” The role brought the actor an ALFS Award for British Actor of the Year at the 2007 London Critics Circle Film Awards. Costars of the film included Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Jeff Daniels, Sigourney Weaver, Gwyneth Paltrow and Isabella Rossellini. He was also notable as the Duke of Clarence in the Michael Apted directed “Amazing Grace,” which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 16, 2006, and for portraying Waddington in the third big screen adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham book, “The Painted Veil” (2006), which was directed by John Curran and scripted by Ron Nyswaner. He was nominated for an ALFS Award for British Supporting Actor of the Year for the latter film. That same year, he also starred as artist William Hogarth in the British television movie “A Harlot's Progress.”

In 2007, Jones had a supporting role in the biographical film of the famed Dutch painter, Rembrandt, in “Nightwatching,” which was written and directed by Peter Greenaway and starred Martin Freeman as Rembrandt. He then played Sergeant Trinian's Bursar in the comedy “St. Trinian's” (2007), opposite Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Lena Headey and Russell Brand, and was cast as Ollie Weeks in the horror movie “The Mist” (2007), which was adapted from the 1980 novel of the same name by Stephen King. He next portrayed Daniel Quilp in the British TV film “The Old Curiosity Shop” (also 2007), based on the Charles Dickens novel of the same name.

The next year saw Jones in the Ron Howard directed “Frost/Nixon” and the Oliver Stone controversial film “W.,” based on the life and presidency of George W. Bush. Also in 2008, he worked with Bill Murray and Tim Robbins in the adventure film “City of Ember,” playing Barton Snode.

Recently, Jones completed filming “Creation,” a biographical movie about Charles Darwin that was directed by Jon Amiel and starred Paul Bettany as the noted scientist. It will be released in the U.K. on September 25, 2009. He will also costar with Andy Serkis, Ray Winstone, Naomie Harris, Mackenzie Crook and Noel Clarke in “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” (2009), which follows the rise to fame of Ian Dury and documents his personal battle with polio, and reprise his voice role of Dobby in the upcoming Harry Potter” movies, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I” (2010) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II” (2011). He is also set to support Daniel Craig and Simon Pegg in Steven Spielberg's “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” (2011) and play Andre Feher in the Mikko Alanne scripted “Pinkville” (2011), opposite Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, and Michael Peña. In “Night Train,” a thriller adapted from a novel by Martin Amis, he is rumored to be portraying Bax Denziger.


  • London Critics Circle Film: ALFS Award, British Actor of the Year, “Infamous,” 2007

  • Laurence Olivier Theatre: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, “The Play What I Wrote,” 2002

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