Rupert Everett Biography

Actor, Singer, Theater Actor, Film Actor, Journalist (1959–)
Rupert Everett is a British actor known for roles in the films My Best Friend’s Wedding, Shakespeare in Love and a Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Born on May 29, 1959, in Norfolk, England, Rupert Everett worked as a stage actor in Glasgow and London before hitting the big-screen. An openly gay actor, he was a hit in his role as Julia Robert’s pal in My Best Friend’s Wedding, and has subsequently starred in film projects that include Shakespeare in Love, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Next Best Thing, An Ideal Husband and Stardust.

Early Life

Actor Rupert Everett was born on May 29, 1959, in Norfolk, England. When Everett was only 7 years old, his parents enrolled him in Ampleforth College, a prestigious Catholic boarding school. Drawn by the lure of music and acting, he left Ampleforth at 15 to attend the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, only to be expelled during his second year for insubordination. An apprenticeship at the Citizens' Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland, led to a series of roles in local stage productions throughout Britain. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Everett also worked as a model in Milan and (as he publicly confirmed in a 1997 interview) as a male prostitute.

Breakthrough Role

Everett landed his breakthrough stage role in 1982 as the lead in a London production of Another Country. When he reprised the role in a 1984 film version of the play, he was tagged as one of Britain's hottest rising stars -- a reputation that only increased with the release of his next feature, Dance with a Stranger (1985), in which he played the romantic lead opposite Miranda Richardson.

After Everett reportedly turned down a lead role in 1986's A Room with a View (the part eventually went to Daniel Day-Lewis), he made a string of commercial and critical disappointments, notably Duet for One (1986), co-starring Julie Andrews; and the abysmal Hearts of Fire (1987), starring Bob Dylan. As his profile at the box office dipped lower and lower throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Everett tried his hand -- also unsuccessfully -- at pop music, recording two albums. He had more luck with his semi-autobiographical novel, Hello Darling, Are You Working? (1991), which became a bestseller.

Everett's film career heated up again in 1994 with two comic supporting performances in Robert Altman's Prêt-á-Porter (Ready to Wear) and The Madness of King George. The sculpted actor also attracted notice for his appearances in print advertisements for Yves St. Laurent's Opium for Men cologne.

Hollywood Success

After co-starring (opposite Faye Dunaway and a top-billed orangutan) in the critically reviled Dunston Checks In, Everett exploded on the Hollywood scene with his performance as the editor and confidant of Julia Roberts' scheming food critic in the smash hit My Best Friend's Wedding (1997). The director, P.J. Hogan, reportedly reedited the film after test screenings in order to substantially increase Everett's screen time. Nearly 13 years after his first big splash in Another Country, Everett was again touted as a newfound sensation - this time in Hollywood.

One of Hollywood's few openly gay actors, Everett defied typecasting in his next several films, turning in a deft cameo as the playwright Christopher Marlowe in the Oscar-winning smash Shakespeare in Love (1998), starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes. Everett also won raves for his portrayal of a roguish aristocrat in the clever 1999 comedy An Ideal Husband, based on the play by Oscar Wilde and co-starring Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Minnie Driver, and Jeremy Northam.

His less successful efforts included the mediocre A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999), in which he played Oberon, Shakespeare's imperious king of the fairies, opposite Michelle Pfeiffer as the fairy queen, Titania; and a live-action film version of the much-loved cartoon Inspector Gadget (1999), featuring Matthew Broderick as the titular hero and Everett as his nemesis, Doctor Claw.

In 2000, Everett teamed with his good friend Madonna in The Next Best Thing, a poorly received comedy-drama about a woman who decides to raise a child with her best friend, who is homosexual.

Everett owns homes in London, Paris, Miami Beach, and New York City's Greenwich Village. His books include Hello Darling, Are You Working? and 1995's The Hairdressers of St. Tropez.

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