James “Jim” Broadbent was born on May 24, 1949 in Holton cum Beckering, in Lincolnshire. His parents were also actors who co-founded the Holton Players acting troupe. Jim was educated at Leighton Park School and graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1972. In 1987, he married Anastasia Lewis.
Jim has appeared in well over 100 plays, films, and television series. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role of John Bayley in Iris, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the role of Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge! He also starred in the television film Longford in 2006, for which he won the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film. Some of his most known films include Bridget Jones’s Diary, Gangs of New York, Hot Fuzz, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Iron Lady, and Cloud Atlas.
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On September 17, 2007, it was announced that Jim would play Professor Horace Slughorn in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He later reprised the role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. In an interview with The Telegraph, he had this to say about taking the part:
I did say to Imelda Staunton, who had just done one, that I had been offered this and she said it was lovely and go on and do it. She said they treat you very well and it is a very easy, comfortable atmosphere. I also knew David Yates, who is a delight to work with. So it was not a decision that took much making.
In 1999, Jim appeared as the Doctor in The Curse of the Fatal Death, a charity spoof of Doctor Who.
More notably, he is a patron of the charity Dementia UK and has supported the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, after losing his mother to Alzheimer’s disease. He has called for more money to be put into dementia research, considering how little attention it receives compared to other serious diseases. In 2009, he spoke at the Alzheimer’s Research Trust annual conference, saying there needed to be more people “discovering, understanding and, ultimately, creating the treatments that people need.”
Jim is also the patron of the LAFTAs, which are annual awards that celebrate the films and animations created by Lincolnshire’s young film makers. Jim was born in Lincolnshire and has been the patron of the LAFTAs since their start in 2007.
In 2014, Jim visited St Andrew’s Hospice in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, which cares for children and adults with life-limiting illnesses. He toured the facilities, met with patients, and expressed his hope for more government and community support of the hospice.
In 2015, Jim donated two signed movie posters and a DVD copy of his film Le Week-End for a charity auction for Home-Start East Lindsey. The charity supports families struggling with illness, bereavement, or community isolation.
- He was the voice of Vroomfondel in the BBC radio series version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
- He is the only actor to star in both a Harry Potter and Superman film.
- Harry Potter is one of three popular fantasy books turned into films he has appeared in. The other two were Inkheart and The Chronicles of Narnia.
- In the 2006 British Independent Film Awards, he won the Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor. Richard Harris was the original actor to play Albus Dumbledore, and the award was created after his death. Jim is just one of a few Harry Potter actors to have received the award.
- He was offered an Order of the British Empire (OBE) but declined it.
Connect with Jim Broadbent
Connect with Jim Broadbent
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