Jude Law  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

David Jude Law (born 29 December 1972) is a two-time Oscar-nominated English actor. He began acting with the National Youth Music Theatre in 1987, and he won awards for several of his roles. In 1989 he got his first TV role in a movie based on a Beatrix Potter book, and then he had a minor role in the British television soap opera Families and the leading role in the BFI /Channel 4 short The Crane. In 1997, he became better known for his role as Oscar Wilde's lover in the biopic Wilde, and winning the Evening Standard British Film Award as "Most Promising Newcomer".

In the late 1990s, he moved to Hollywood. His roles included a disabled athlete in Andrew Niccol's dark science fiction drama Gattaca and a hustler in Clint Eastwood's crime drama Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In 2002, he played the role of a sadistic hitman in Sam Mendes's period crime drama Road to Perdition. In the 2000s, he was nominated for an Academy Award twice: once as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Talented Mr. Ripley in 2000, and then again as Best Actor in a Leading Role for Cold Mountain in 2003, both directed by Anthony Minghella.

He is on the Top Ten List from the 2006 A-list of the most bankable movie stars in Hollywood, based on the criteria set out by journalist James Ulmer in his Ulmer Scale. On March 1, 2007, he was honored with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres conferred by the French government, in recognition of his contribution to World Cinema Arts. He was named a "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres". In 2009, he will return to the theatre stage to perform the role of Hamlet, in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, under the direction of Kenneth Branagh.

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