Hugh Dancy

Hugh Dancy Biography

Actor (1975–)
Movie and theater actor Hugh Dancy is now starring in the eerie NBC series Hannibal, as well as enjoying family life with wife Claire Danes and their son.


Born in England on June 19, 1975, Hugh Dancy began acting in England on television and the stage. He segued into American movies like Black Hawk Down, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Evening; the last is where he met his future wife, actress Claire Danes. They had a son in 2012. A year later, the Emmy-nominated star was cast in the chilling American TV series Hannibal, inspired by author Thomas Harris's books.

Early Years

Hugh Michael Horace Dancy was born on June 9, 1975, in Stoke-on-Trent, England. He was the eldest child of Jonathan Dancy, a philosopher/college professor, and his wife Sara Dancy, an academic publishing professional. Dancy's parents shipped him off to boarding school for his formative years. Dancy described himself as a rebellious youth—smoking, drinking and messing around. One teacher tried straightening him out by forcing him into the school theater. Dancy took to it instinctively. After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in English literature and language, he pursued acting full-time while bartending to pay the bills.

British TV and Theater

Dancy's professional acting debut came in 1998 on British television. Some of his earliest work includes the series The New Adventures of Robin Hood and the TV movie Madame Bovary. He then appeared on the London stage in To the Green Fields and Beyond, directed by Sam Mendes of American Beauty fame. In 2000, American audiences also got to know the star in the Hallmark Hall of Fame miniseries David Copperfield,where he had the lead opposite Sally Field.

Making Movies

Feature films came next for Dancy, including his first American motion picture, the military flick Black Hawk Down, in 2001. More blockbusters followed, including Ella Enchanted with Anne Hathaway, King Arthur with Keira Knightley and Confessions of a Shopaholic with Isla Fisher, to name a few. His fame and good looks also presented him with the opportunity to model for Burberry Brit for Men from 2004 through 2005.

Marrying Claire Danes

Dancy did hit a bit of career low in the heavily panned Basic Instinct 2 in 2006. But he bounced back big a year later with an Emmy nomination for Elizabeth I, as well as a part in the Meryl Streep movie Evening, where he met his future wife, actress Claire Danes from HBO's Homeland. The two secretly married in France in 2009. In 2012, the same year Dancy scored a Drama Desk Award nod for Venus in Fur, he and Danes had a son, Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy.

Taking on Hannibal

Dancy now has followed in his wife's footsteps to star in a TV show. In Hannibal, which premiered in 2013, the actor plays Will Graham, a socially awkward criminal profiler, who catches killers with the help of psychiatrist-turned-cannibalistic murderer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. (The drama also features Laurence Fishburne.) Perhaps to balance out his role in the dark Hannibal, Dancy is taking a light movie role in 2014. He's lending his voice to the 3-D animated musical Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return with a bevy of talents, including Lea Michele of Glee. Dancy seems to truly appreciate each part he plays. "Becoming an actor [is the bravest thing I've done] because it's a ridiculously insecure profession to go into," Dancy told "I feel very comfortable, but very lucky."

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