- NAME: Dan Stevens
- OCCUPATION: Theater Actor, Television Actor
- BIRTH DATE: October 10, 1982 (Age: 31)
- EDUCATION: Tonbridge School, Cambridge University, Emmanuel College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Croydon, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Daniel Jonathan Stevens
- AKA: Dan Stevens
- AKA: Daniel Stevens
- ZODIAC SIGN: Libra
Best Known For
British actor Dan Stevens is best known for his portrayal of Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey, a career high point that he is parlaying into other high-profile projects.
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Born on October 10, 1982, British actor Dan Stevens was adopted by a family in Croydon, England, and spent his young life as a rebellious kid who found an outlet on the stage. Even so, he chose to eschew drama school in favor of formal education at Cambridge. But he still got stage experience, which, together with his talent and dashing good looks, led him to work with British theater royalty,
"It was my dad who encouraged me to question everything, to forge my own path, to think, to read. I always felt it was my right to question everything."
"I wanted to go to Cambridge rather than drama school because I liked the idea that whatever you did had to be what you came up with. There is no drama course. You opt to go and do a play and you'll find yourself there with historians, politicians, astrophysicists. That, to me, was much more exciting than playing at being a horse or living with a whole load of people who wanted to act."
British actor Dan Stevens was born on October 10, 1982, in the English county of Surrey, and soon after was adopted by a family in Croydon. His younger brother is also adopted. Stevens has described himself as a rebellious youth, frequently getting in trouble or being suspended. He has speculated on whether being adopted fueled his unruly behavior but has had no impetus to locate his biological parents because he reveres his loving family, although he doesn't rule out that curiosity in the future.
Landing the lead role of Macbeth while in school gave him a focus for his energies. Stevens won a scholarship to the Tonbridge School, a prestigious boarding school, which gave him opportunities to exercise his newfound passion. But despite finding an outlet on the stage and being accepted into the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, he chose a formal education, reading literature at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He felt it would give him a greater breadth of reference and experience.
An early career coup was playing Orlando in As You Like It opposite Rebecca Hall for her director father, Sir Peter Hall, who soon became a mentor to the young actor. Stevens was nominated for an Ian Charleson Award for his performance.
Dame Judi Dench became another mentor when they were playing together in Noel Coward's Hay Fever in London's West End.
In addition to stage work, Stevens quickly began getting work in films, covering the classic monster genre in Frankenstein and Dracula before moving on to the BBC miniseries of Sense and Sensibility.
But the big career breakthrough came when Stevens was cast as Matthew Crawley in the Masterpiece Classic series Downton Abbey. Fans were devastated when his character died at the end of Season 3. But Stevens felt it was time to move on, clarifying that they were contracted for only three seasons anyway. He admits he will miss the cast, with whom he has grown close. He described Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham) and Allen Leech (Branson) as "hilarious brothers" and Dame Maggie Smith as "a joy." He also told the Telegraph that he would miss Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) because "after everything we have been through, it will be sad not to see the relationship continue."
But with his career in full swing, he joined the Broadway cast of The Heiress, an adaptation of Henry James' Washington Square starring Jessica Chastain. Stevens played Morris Townsend, a role made famous on film by another "rebel," James Dean.
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Explore the on-screen family heritage of Lord Crawley, the cast of the popular British period drama series Downton Abbey, including Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Brown Findlay, Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, Laura Carmichael, Shirley Maclaine, Paul Giamatti and more.
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