Jump to content

Ioan Gruffudd


Recommended Posts

Early life and family

Gruffudd was born on 6 October 1973 in the village of Llwydcoed near the town of Aberdare, in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taff, Mid Glamorgan, south Wales. His family later moved to Cardiff. The popular Welsh name "Ioan" is an equivalent of "John", and "Gruffudd" corresponds to the Anglicized "Griffith". He has been quoted as saying, "I'm determined not to lose my name. It's who I am. It has neither aided my progress nor hampered it. It's just who I am. My character... my make-up. My culture and heritage is a very rich one. So what if it's difficult for people to pronounce? We all learned how to say Schwarzenegger."[1]

Gruffudd's parents, Peter and Gillian Griffiths, were teachers. He has two siblings; a brother, Alun, who is two years younger, and a sister, Siwan, who is seven years younger than he is.

[edit] Education

Gruffudd attended Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdar (Ynyslwyd) (now situated in Cwmdare), Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd, and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, where he sat his GCSEs and A-Levels. A natural musician, he was an accomplished oboist in his teens, attaining a Grade 8 level in the ABRSM music examinations,[citation needed] but gave it up once acting took up most of his time.[2] He also won prizes for his singing while at school. He has said, "As a Welshman, I grew up in a culture of singing and performing with music, and I think it was through this performing that I got my confidence as an actor."[3]

[edit] Career

Gruffudd started his acting career at the age of twelve in a Welsh television film called Austin (1986) and then later moved on to the Welsh soap opera Pobol y Cwm (English: People of the Valley) from 1987 to 1994. At the age of eighteen, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. He won his first major English language role a few years later in the 1996 TV remake of Poldark.

After playing Oscar Wilde's lover John Gray in 1997's Wilde he took his first international role as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in the blockbuster film Titanic. He later landed his best-known role as Horatio Hornblower in Hornblower, the Meridian production of the C.S. Forester novels (1998–2003), shown on ITV1 and A&E. Gruffudd has said: "It was quite something for an unknown actor to get the lead. So I will always be grateful to Hornblower. ... I would love to play this character through every stage of his life. I think it would be unique to have an actor playing him from the very early days as a midshipman, through till he's an Admiral. So, I would love to play this character till he perishes."[3] Since February 20, 2007, Gruffudd has been making plans to obtain rights to the Horatio Hornblower novels in order to produce a film for the big screen.[4]

Gruffudd's TV work includes playing the character Pip in the BBC TV production of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1999) and architect Philip Bosinney in ITV's adaptation of The Forsyte Saga (2002). As regards films, he has starred in 102 Dalmatians (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001) and King Arthur (2004). In 2007 he starred in the historical drama Amazing Grace as William Wilberforce, the British slavery abolitionist, receiving critical acclaim for the role. Gruffudd has also portrayed characters of both Marvel Comics and DC Comics, having appeared as Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) in Marvel's Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and provided the voice of Mister Miracle in DC's Justice League Unlimited (2004–2006).

Apart from television and film work, he also starred in the music video of Westlife's version of "Uptown Girl" (2001) alongside Claudia Schiffer, and on 7 July 2007 he was a presenter at the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium, London.

Gruffudd is a native Welsh speaker. He was accepted into the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain (the Bardic Order of Great Britain) at the highest rank in the National Eisteddfod at Meifod, Mid Wales, in 2003, with the bardic name "Ioan".

[edit] Personal life

Gruffudd lives with his wife, American-born British actress Alice Evans, in Los Angeles, California. The couple met during the production of 102 Dalmatians. They married on 14 September 2007 in Mexico.[5] One of Gruffudd's best men and speechmakers at the wedding was fellow Welsh actor Matthew Rhys, his long-time friend.[6]

Gruffudd enjoys being in Los Angeles because "it's the easiest place in the world to drive, and it's a real pleasure to do that in my black Jag XK8. I've gone all out."[citation needed] He also admires the physicality and confidence of Americans, and enjoys being around them because he feels these qualities rub off on to him.[7]

Gruffudd has said that he enjoys playing golf, reading and going to the movies: "I like to escape. I'll go to movies on my own and watch two in a row, sometimes. I like to go off in, sort of, dreamland."[citation needed]

In April 2007, Gruffudd removed his funding from his largest fan-site, Ioanonline.com, due to comments made about Evans on the site, and elsewhere on the Internet, which angered her. In March 2007, Gruffudd posted a message on Ioanonline.com that started with "Dear All", and expressed disappointment about the "small minority" of fans that had behaved in a "despicable manner" by levelling "unpleasant and sometimes vitriolic comments" at his wife.[8] Despite the attempts of the site's owner to broker a solution, Gruffudd ceased funding, which resulted in the website's closure on 30 April 2007.[9]


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...