Image of Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent

One of England's most versatile character actors, Jim Broadbent was born on May 24, 1949, in Lincolnshire, the youngest son of furniture maker Roy Broadbent and sculptress Dee Broadbent. Jim attended a Quaker boarding school in Reading before successfully applying for a place at an art school. His heart was in acting, though, and he would later transfer to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Following his 1972 graduation, he began his professional career on the stage, performing with the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and as part of the National Theatre of Brent, a two-man troupe which he co-founded. In addition to his theatrical work, Broadbent did steady work on television, working for such directors as Mike Newell and Stephen Frears. Broadbent made his film debut in 1978 with a small part in Jerzy Skolimowski's The Shout (1978). He went on to work with Frears again in The Hit (1984) and with Terry Gilliam in Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985), but it was through his collaboration with Mike Leigh that Broadbent first became known to an international film audience. In 1990 he starred in Leigh's Life Is Sweet (1990), a domestic comedy that cast him as a good-natured cook who dreams of running his own business. Broadbent gained further visibility the following year with substantial roles in Neil Jordan's The Crying Game (1992) and Mike Newell's Enchanted April (1992), and he could subsequently be seen in such diverse fare as Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Widows' Peak (1994), Richard Loncraine's highly acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard III (1995) and Little Voice (1998), the last of which cast him as a seedy nightclub owner. Appearing primarily as a character actor in these films, Broadbent took center stage for Leigh's Topsy-Turvy (1999), imbuing the mercurial W.S. Gilbert with emotional complexity and comic poignancy. Jim's breakthrough year was 2001, as he starred in three critically and commercially successful films. Many would consider him the definitive supporting actor of that year. First he starred as Bridget's dad (Colin Jones) in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), which propelled Renée Zellweger to an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Next came the multiple Oscar-nominated film (including Best Picture) Moulin Rouge! (2001), for which he won a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA award for his scene-stealing performance as Harold Zidler. Lastly, came the small biopic Iris (2001/I), for which he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as devoted husband John Bayley to Judi Dench's Iris Murdoch, the British novelist who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. The film hit home with Jim, since his own mother had passed away from Alzheimer's in 1995.

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May 24, 1949 In Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England, UK
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series Play for Today 1970-10-15
Latest Project:
Movie Dolittle 2020-01-01
Known For
Poster of Eddie the Eagle
Poster of The One and Only Mike Leigh
Poster of Filth
Poster of Enchanted April
Movie Dolittle Lord Thomas Badgley 2020-01-01
Movie King Lear Earl of Gloucester 2018-05-28
Movie King of Thieves Terry Perkins 2018-09-04
Movie Black '47 Kilmichael 2018-09-05
Movie The Sense of an Ending Tony Webster 2017-03-10
Movie Birds Like Us Horozovich (voice) 2017-05-05
Movie Paddington 2 Samuel Gruber 2017-11-09
Movie Mary and the Witch's Flower Doctor Dee (English, voice) 2017-07-08
Series War and Peace Prince Bolkonsky 2016-01-03
Movie The Legend of Tarzan Prime Minister 2016-06-29
Movie Eddie the Eagle BBC Commentator 2016-02-26
Movie Bridget Jones's Baby Mr. Colin Jones 2016-09-14
Movie Ethel & Ernest Ernest Briggs (voice) 2016-10-28
Movie Magik Garret 2016-12-25
Movie The Weather Inside Britischer Botschafter 2015-09-29
Movie Brooklyn Father Flood 2015-10-20
Movie The Go-Between Old Leo 2015-09-20
Series London Spy Scottie 2015-11-09
Movie The Lady in the Van Underwood 2015-11-13
Movie Big Game Herbert 2014-09-05
Movie Postman Pat: The Movie CEO (voice) 2014-05-23
Movie Paddington Samuel Gruber 2014-11-24
Movie The One and Only Mike Leigh Himself 2014-11-24
Movie Get Santa Santa Claus 2014-12-05
Movie Closed Circuit Attorney General 2013-08-28
Movie Filth Dr. Rossi 2013-09-23
Movie Le Week-End Nick Burrows 2013-10-04
Movie The Harry Hill Movie Cleaner 2013-12-20
Movie The Phone Call Stan (voice) 2013-10-20
Movie Nina Conti: Her Master's Voice Himself 2012-03-11
Movie Cloud Atlas Captain Molyneux / Vyvyan Ayrs / Timothy Cavendish / Korean Musician / Prescient 2 2012-10-26
Series Game of Thrones Archmaester Ebrose 2011-04-17
Series Exile 2011-05-01
Movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Horace Slughorn 2011-07-07
Movie The Iron Lady Denis Thatcher 2011-12-30
Movie Arthur Christmas Santa (voice) 2011-11-10
Movie Any Human Heart Logan Mountstuart (Older) 2010-06-30
Movie Another Year Tom 2010-11-05
Series Downton Abbey Jim Broadbent 2010-09-26
Movie The Young Victoria King William IV 2009-03-04
Movie Creating the World of Harry Potter. Part 2: Characters Himself 2009-12-08
Movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Horace Slughorn 2009-07-07
Movie Tales of the Riverbank G.P. (voice) 2008-02-07
Movie Lost and Found Narrator (voice) 2008-12-24
Movie Einstein and Eddington Sir Oliver Lodge 2008-11-29
Movie Hot Fuzz Inspector Frank Butterman 2007-02-14
Movie When Did You Last See Your Father? Arthur Morrison 2007-10-05
Series The Street Unknown 2006-04-13
Movie Free Jimmy Stomowskij (voice) 2006-04-21
Movie Art School Confidential Jimmy 2006-05-05
Movie Longford Lord Longford 2006-10-26
Movie Spider-Plant Man Batman 2005-03-11
Movie The Magic Roundabout Brian (voice) 2005-02-02
Movie Robots Madame Gasket (voice) 2005-03-10
Movie Valiant Sergeant (voice) 2005-03-25
Movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Professor Kirke 2005-12-07
Movie Pride Eddie (voice) 2004-06-21
Movie Vanity Fair Mr. Osborne 2004-09-01
Movie Around the World in 80 Days Lord Kelvin 2004-06-16
Movie Vera Drake Judge 2004-10-22
Movie Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Bridget's Dad 2004-11-10
Movie And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself Harry Aitken 2003-09-07
Movie Bright Young Things The Drunken Major 2003-05-16
Movie The Young Visiters Alfred Salteena 2003-12-26
Movie The Gathering Storm Desmond Morton 2002-04-22
Movie Gangs of New York William "Boss" Tweed 2002-12-14
Movie Nicholas Nickleby Mr. Wackford Squeers 2002-12-27
Movie Bridget Jones's Diary Bridget's Dad 2001-04-13
Movie Iris John Bayley 2001-12-14
Movie Moulin Rouge! Harold Zidler 2001-05-24
Movie Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death The Doctor 1999-03-26
Movie Topsy-Turvy W. S. Gilbert 1999-09-03
Movie Little Voice Mr. Boo 1998-11-05
Movie Smilla's Sense of Snow Dr. Lagermann 1997-02-28
Movie The Borrowers Pod Clock 1997-12-05
Movie The Secret Agent Chief Inspector Heat 1996-11-08
Movie Rough Magic Doc Ansell 1995-09-07
Movie Richard III The Duke of Buckingham 1995-12-29
Movie Widows' Peak Con Clancy 1994-05-13
Movie Bullets Over Broadway Warner Purcell 1994-10-14
Movie Princess Caraboo Mr. Worrall 1994-09-16
Movie Wide-Eyed and Legless Deric Longden 1993-09-05
Movie A Sense of History 23rd Earl of Leete 1992-01-01
Movie Nona 1991-10-19
Movie Enchanted April Frederick Arbuthnot 1991-11-06
Movie Life Is Sweet Andy 1990-11-15
Movie Erik the Viking Ernest the Viking (a Rapist) 1989-09-01
Series Victoria Wood 1989-11-16
Series The Staggering Stories of Ferdinand de Bargos 1989-11-16
Movie Vroom Donald 1988-11-11
Movie Blackadder's Christmas Carol Prince Albert 1988-12-23
Movie Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Jean Pierre Dubois 1987-07-23
Movie The Insurance Man Gutling 1986-02-22
Movie Walter Joseph - Orderly 1986-07-01
Movie Brazil Dr. Jaffe 1985-02-20
Movie The Good Father Roger Miles 1985-11-01
Movie The Hit Barrister 1984-09-12
Series Blackadder Don Speekingleesh, an Interpreter 1983-06-15
Movie Walter and June Orderly 1983-04-30
Movie Birth of a Nation Geoff Figg 1983-06-19
Series Dramarama Unknown 1983-09-12
Series Bird of Prey 1982-04-22
Movie Uliisses 1982-06-18
Movie Our Winnie Second Attendant 1982-11-12
Movie Time Bandits Compere 1981-07-13
Movie Breaking Glass Station Porter 1980-10-01
Movie The Passage 1979-03-09
Movie Long Distance Information Mackaness 1979-10-11
Movie The Shout Fielder in cowpat 1978-06-16
Series Play for Today Unknown 1970-10-15
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