Gary Leonard Oldman is an English actor, filmmaker and musician, well-known to audiences for his portrayals of dark and morally ambiguous characters. Oldman came to prominence in the mid-1980's with a string of performances that prompted pre-eminent film critic, Roger Ebert,describe him as "the best young British actor around". He has been cited as an influence by a number of successful actors. In addition to leading and central supporting roles in big-budget Hollywood films, Oldman has frequently acted in independent films and television shows. Aside from acting, he directed, wrote and co-produced 'Nil by Mouth', a film partially based on his own childhood and served as a producer on several films.
Among other accolades, Oldman has received Emmy-, Screen Actors Guild-, BAFTA- and Independent Spirit Award nominations for his acting work, and has been described as one of the greatest actors never nominated for an Academy Award. His contributions to the science fiction genre have won him a Saturn Award, with a further two nominations. He was also nominated for the 1997 Palme d'Or and won two BAFTA Awards for his filmmaking on Nil By Mouth. In 2011, Empire readers voted Oldman an "Icon of Film", in recognition of his contributions to cinema.
Oldman was an accomplished singer and pianist as a child, but gave up music to pursue an acting career. Oldman retained his love for music, however, and can be seen singing and playing piano in the 1988 film' Track 29' and tracing over pre-recorded versions of Beethoven's music in Immortal Beloved. Oldman attended the South East London Boys' School on Creek Road in Deptford, leaving school at 16. After graduating with a BA in Acting from Rose Bruford College in Sidcup, Kent in 1978, Oldman spent almost eight years in theatre, winning a number of awards. during this time he appeared in several films such as 'Remembrance' (1982) and 'Meantime' (1984). In 1986 he won his first starring role as the Sex Pistols' ill-fated bassist Sid Vicious in the 1986 motion picture 'Sid & Nancy'. The role launched Oldman's career and paved the way for work in Hollywood. His performance was ranked #62 in Premiere magazine's "100 Greatest Performances of All Time" and #8 in Uncut magazine's "10 Best actors in rockin' roles". Oldman increased his profile during the mid-to-late 1980's and early 1990's via starring roles in cult films.
Oldman moved to the United States in the early 1990's, where he has since lived. Oldman and other young British actors of the 1980's who were becoming established Hollywood film actors, such as Tim Roth, Bruce Payne, Colin Firth and Paul McGann, were dubbed the 'Brit Pack'. In 1991, Oldman starred in what was at that point the most significant role of his career as Lee Harvey Oswald in Oliver Stone's 'JFK'. The following year, he starred as Count Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola's romance-horror Dracula which was a box-office success worldwide. Oldman's performance is regarded by many as a staple of the horror genre, and was recognised by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films as the best male performance of 1992, who awarded Oldman the prestigious Best Actor award. Oldman would later become a popular portrayer of villains in American cinema. Oldman also displayed a skill for world accents; along with the Transylvanian Count Dracula, Oldman played German-born Viennese composer Ludwig van Beethoven in 'Immortal Beloved' and Russian terrorist Ivan Korshunov in the 1997 blockbuster 'Air Force One'.
Oldman later landed a major role in the 'Harry Potter' film series, playing Harry Potter's godfather Sirius Black. In 2005, Oldman starred as James Gordon in Christopher Nolan's commercially and critically acclaimed Batman Begins', a role he reprised in the even more successful sequel 'The Dark Knight' (2008). Oldman co-starred with Jim Carrey in the 2009 version of A Christmas Carol in which Oldman played three roles. In 1997, Oldman directed, produced, and wrote the award-winning 'Nil by Mouth', a movie partially based on his own childhood. 'Nil By Mouth' went on to win the BAFTA Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film (shared with Douglas Urbanski) and also the BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay, the Channel 4 Director's Award, and an Empire Award and was declared by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts as one of the one hundred best films of all time.
Despite numerous lead and supporting roles in major Hollywood productions, Oldman is intensely private with his personal life and is known for his stance on celebrity and the ideals of Hollywood, once stating that "being famous, that's a whole other career. On 31 December 2008, Oldman married singer Alexandra Edenborough in Santa Barbara, California in a private, formal ceremony. Oldman has been married four times: Lesley Manville (1987-1990), Uma Thurman (1990-1992), Donya Fiorentino (1997-2001), Alexandra Edenborough (2008-present). He has three sons: Alfie from his marriage to Manville, and Gulliver Flynn and Charlie John from his marriage to Fiorentino.