Gary Leonard Oldman (born 21 March 1958) is an English actor, filmmaker and musician. A former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he made his stage debut in 1979 and established himself as a theatre actor over the next decade, coming to prominence via his multiple roles in works by Edward Bond. Oldman gained fame as a film actor in the mid 1980s, and has since garnered widespread critical and peer respect. Tom Hardy once remarked: "Gary Oldman is, hands down, the greatest actor that's ever lived."
Oldman's early starring film roles included skinhead Coxy in Meantime (1983), Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986) and gay playwright Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears (1987). He continued to garner critical acclaim for his portrayals of a violent football hooligan in The Firm (1989), an Irish American gangster in State of Grace (1990), Presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK (1991) and the title character of Dracula (1992), becoming a popular casting choice in villain roles; he played the antagonist of films such as True Romance (1993), Léon (1994), The Fifth Element (1997) and The Contender (2000). Since the turn of the millennium Oldman has been known for his portrayals of Sirius Black in the Harry Potter film series, James Gordon in Christopher Nolan's Batman film trilogy, and George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). In addition to his film career, he has starred in several United States television shows, including Knots Landing and Friends, and contributed the voice of Viktor Reznov to the popular Call of Duty video game series. Aside from acting, he wrote and directed Nil By Mouth (1997), a film partially based on his own childhood, and has served as a producer on several films.
Among other honours, Oldman has won two BAFTA Awards and a Saturn Award, and has been nominated for Academy-, Emmy-, Screen Actors Guild- and Independent Spirit Awards, as well as the Palme d'Or. Norman Stansfield, his overstated antagonist in Léon, has been named as one of the best villains of modern cinema. In 2011, Oldman was voted an "Icon of Film" by Empire readers, in recognition of his contributions to cinema.
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