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Hugh Grant : biography

09 September 1960 -

On the 9th of September in 1960 in London a boy, who was named Hugh John Mungo Grant, was born. His family was middle class: James Grant, Hugh’s father, was a captain in British army, and later he started to sell carpets, but didn’t succeed in it. His wife Fynvola worked as a teacher all her life, she taught French, Latin and music.

For the first time Hugh Grant appeared on the stage in a school performance, and he often got female roles. He studied in a boys’ school, where nobody could play female characters, but Hugh had a really angelic face. Mother made him dresses for performances – according to the actor’s recollections; they were often white with blue frills. When he was a teenager, he hated his “girlish” appearance and was sure that girls liked only brutal guys. At the age of thirteen, when Hugh was playing in a sport team, he hurt his face badly. Scars didn’t come off for long, and Hugh liked them, and when this “beauty” finally skinned over, he made scars with father’s razor. The worst part of this deed was that cuts became inflamed because of infection.

According to the actor’s words, his family’s financial situation wasn’t good, but it was good for children – they knew that they couldn’t count on somebody else. James, Hugh’s elder brother, became a successful banker, and when Hugh finished school in 1979 he entered Oxford and decided to become an art historian.

He became more and keener on theatre – he played in students’ performances, in comic company “Jokers from Norfolk”. During his studying he made a cinema debut as a result of an acquaintance with a Hollywood director Michael Hoffmann. A film “Privileged”, which appeared in 1982, was a debut for Hoffmann too, and Hugh got a role of Lord Adrian in it. This film didn’t become a bestseller, but the young actor was noticed, and he started to be invited on TV shows and play in serials. For four years the actor became popular among English viewers.

In 1986 Hugh played a small role in a criminal thriller “White Mischief” of Michael Redford. But the main success of this year was an invitation to one of the main roles in a film “Maurice” of John Ivory, a filming of Foster’s novel about homosexual love. It was a role of Clive Durham that brought Grant wide popularity. The film “Maurice” appeared in 1987 and got delighted reviews from critics and several awards on the Venetian cinema festival. Among those awards was the first prize in nomination “the best actor of the year”, which Hugh shared with his shooting partner James Wilby.

1987 year brought Grant not only fame, but also love. He was about to make a difficult choice between a serious film of BBC studio and a historic film “Rowing with the wind” – the project, which he considered absolutely absurd. But on auditions of Spanish director Gonzalo Suarez Hugh saw an actress Elizabeth Hurley, who was going to play a role of Clair Carmon, and immediately agreed to play Bairon’s role. This agreement wasn’t a mistake – the film “Rowing with the Wind” got several prestigious awards, including a Spanish national cinema award “Goya”. And a beautiful Elizabeth reciprocated his feelings, and their romance lasted for thirteen years.

After success in “Maurice” Hugh Grant wasn’t in want of work – in 1988 viewers saw him in four main parts. Besides a role in a melodrama “Rowing with the Wind”, Grant played lord James in a horror film “The Lair of the white Worm”, a composer Chopin in a short-length film “Nocturnes”, an engineer Allan in a drama “The Bengali Night”, but none of these films was a success.

In 1991 a comedian melodrama “Impromptu” – a graceful film about Chopin and famous writer George Sand’s love – appeared. Viewers again saw Hugh Grant in the role of the great composer. On the next year two interesting films with the actor appeared – an erotic thriller “Bitter Moon”, where Grant played a role of a young Englishman Nigel, and a melodrama of James Ivory “The Remains of the Day”, where he played Reginald Cardinal.

1994 was critical for Hugh’s career – after release of Michael Newell’s sensational British comedy under the name “Four weddings and a funeral” Grant became a sex symbol and a Hollywood star. The film got more that two hundred million dollars in distribution – as critics acclaimed, owing to a duet of Hugh Grant and Andy MacDowell. Grant was awarded with “Golden Globe” for the best male role.

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