Hugo Weaving Biography

Actor, Film Actor (1960–)
Hugo Weaving is best known for playing Agent Smith in the Matrix film trilogy and Elrond in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.


Hugo Wallace Weaving was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, on April 4, 1960. He played Agent Smith in the Matrix film trilogy and Elrond in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Often cast as a villain, Weaving has had starring roles in Transformers (2007), Captain America (2011) and Cloud Atlas (2012).

Early Years

Hugo Wallace Weaving was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, on April 4, 1960. His mother, Anne, taught and led tours, while his father, Wallace, worked as a seismologist. During his childhood, his family lived in England, Australia and South Africa, but eventually settled in England, where Weaving attended boarding school in Bristol. When he was 16, his family moved back to Sydney and enrolled Weaving at Knox Grammar School. Five years later, he graduated from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art.

Almost fresh out of school, Hugo Weaving gained attention with his performance in The City's Edge (1983), a low-budget film said to be the first to realistically portray the living conditions of aborigines. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, he appeared in a number of Australian productions, including the 1989 film Bangkok Hilton, in which he appeared opposite Nicole Kidman. Two years later, he won the Best Actor award from the Australian Film Institute for his performance in Proof, a black comedy about a blind photographer, which also featured his countryman Russell Crowe.

Professional Success

Not one to be pigeonholed, Weaving appeared in drag in the 1994 film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and lent his signature baritone voice as the narrator in Babe (1995). One of his most widely known roles came as Agent Smith in the 1999 sci-fi blockbuster The Matrix. Later, audiences worldwide would find his lean frame and arched eyebrows a natural fit in his role as the half-elf Elrond in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

In 2005, Weaving won the lead role in V for Vendetta, wearing a mask for the entire performance. His work as the main villain in Transformers (2007) and Captain America (2011) seemed to cement his place in Hollywood, but the Australian has always had an aversion to high-profile stardom. "You stop being able to create another human being," he once said. "So I rather like playing the roles of masked characters. It allows me to maintain a certain private life."

Although 2012 saw Weaving in Cloud Atlas and The Hobbit, he has indicated that he will appear in fewer Hollywood movies, and instead focus on theater and smaller, independent films along the lines of the 2010 low-budget drama Oranges and Sunshine, in which he starred.

Personal Life

Hugo Weaving lives in Sydney, Australia, with Katrina Greenwood and their two children, Harry and Holly. He owns a dairy farm three hours north of the city, which he purchased with proceeds from The Matrix. He was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 13 and has consequently never gotten a driver's license.

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