From Bond Villain to Shakespeare Hero

From Bond Villain to Shakespeare Hero

Who is Toby Stephens?

British actor and director Toby Stephens was born in London, England, on 21 April 1969, meaning that Taurus is his zodiac sign. He’s appeared in 65 movies and TV series, and is perhaps still known best for playing Gustav Graves in the 2002 action adventure thriller movie “Die Another Day”, which starred Halley Berry and Pierce Brosnan, and was directed by Lee Tamahori. It follows James Bond as he’s investigating the connection between a diamond mogul and a North Korean terrorist’ the movie won six of its 42 award nominations.

Education and early life

Toby was raised in London alongside his sister Lucy Dilon and three brothers Chris Larkin, Quinn Hawkins and Michael Stephens, by their father Sir Robert Graham Stephens, the late British actor who died aged 64 on 12 November 1995, and mother Dame Margaret Natalie ‘Maggie’ Smith who’s a popular British actress, and is probably known best for portraying Professor Minerva McGonagall in the film series “Harry Potter”.

Toby became interested in acting at a very early age, looking up to his parents who had already become famous actors; they still urged him to focus on his education, which was why Toby didn’t pursue a career in the film industry until graduation.

He studied at Aldro School prior to progressing to Seaford College, at which he was passionate about dancing and playing soccer. Toby matriculated in 1987 and then enrolled at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1991.

Roles in TV series

Toby’s debut TV series role was playing Oliver in two episodes of the 1992 romantic war drama “The Camomile Lawn”, and in 1996, he portrayed the lead character Gilbert Markham in all the three episodes of the drama mini-series adaption of Anne Bronte’s novel “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”. It also starred Tara Fitzgerald and Rupert Graves, follows a woman who’s run away with her son from her husband, and which won five of its eight award nominations.

Some of Toby’s following roles were in all three episodes of the 2001 comedy mini-series “Perfect Strangers”, two episodes of the 2002 biographical adventure mini-series “Napoleon” and all the four episodes of the 2003 historical drama “Cambridge Spies” (lead role).

The year 2006 saw him star as Rochester in all the four episodes of the critically acclaimed romantic drama “Jane Eyre” adapted from the novel by Charlotte Bronte, which also starred Ruth Wilson and Lorraine Ashbourne, and follows a governess who’s fallen for her master; the mini-series won four of its 27 award nominations. Some of Toby’s roles in the remainder of the 2000s were in the 2006 biographical historical mini-series “The Wild West” (lead role), the 2008 thriller mini-series “Wired” (lead role) and the 2009 action adventure “Robin Hood”.

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From 2010 through 2012, he portrayed the lead character Detective Inspector Jack Armstrong in all the nine episodes of the crime mystery comedy “Vexed”, which was created by Howard Overman, and also starred Ronny Jhutti and Roger Griffiths; it follows the work of two detectives who are also in love with each other.

Toby’s also known for starring as Captain Flint in all the 38 episodes of the action adventure “Black Sails”, which co-starred Hannah New and Jessica Parker Kennedy, and was created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine. It follows the adventures of Captain Flint and his pirates, the series aired from 2014 through 2017, and won eight of its 42 award nominations.

Some of Toby’s most recent TV series roles have been in six episodes of the 2021 action adventure “Alex Rider”, the 2022 pilot episode of the drama “History of a Pleasure Seeker”, and two episodes of the 2023 crime thriller “Six Four”; he’s currently shooting for the upcoming series “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”, set to be released in 2024.

Roles in movies

Toby’s debut film role was playing Othello in the popular 1992 biographical fantasy drama “Orlando”, which starred Billy Zane and Tilda Swinton, and was written and directed by Sally Potter. It follows Queen Elizabeth I who’s ordered a young nobleman not to grow old – the film won 15 of its 26 award nominations, including two Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction – Set Decoration. Some of Toby’s roles in the remainder of the ‘90s were in the 1996 romantic comedy of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, the 1997 fantasy mystery “Photographing Fairies” and the 1999 action thriller “Sunset Heights”.

The year 2002 saw him play Fergus Wolfe in the romantic mystery “Possession”, which starred Aaron Eckhart and Gwyneth Paltrow, and was directed by Neil LaBute. It follows two literary sleuths who’ve discovered that two Victorian poets were romantically linked, and the movie was nominated for a 2003 Golden Trailer Award for Best Romance. Some of Toby’s following roles were in the 2005 biographical historical drama “Mangal Pandey”, the 2005 biographical comedy “The Queen’s Sister” and the 2006 romantic thriller “The Best Man”.

In 2013, he portrayed the lead character Vincent McCarthy in the action science fiction “The Machine”, which also starred Denis Lawson and Caity Lotz, and was written and directed by Caradog W. James. The film follows UK scientists who’ve created a sentient robot, and it won eight of its 12 award nominations.

Some of Toby’s most recent movie roles have been in the 2019 action adventure “Live and Let Die: The Radio Play” (voice role), the 2020 action adventure “The Man with the Golden Gun: The Radio Play” (voice role) and the 2022 drama “Prisoner C33”.

Other credits

Toby received special thanks for the 2003 short documentary movie “Inside ‘Die Another Day’”, and the 2007 short documentary movies “The Genesis of ‘Severance’” and “The Making of ‘Severance’”.

He narrated the 2010 documentary film “Lost: The Mystery of Flight 447”.

Toby directed the 2015 short movie “In Vitro”.

Some of his most recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Red Booth”, “Last Call with Carson Daly” and “Celebrity Page”.

Awards and nominations

Toby’s been nominated for four awards, including a 2003 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor, for “Die Another Day”, the 2005 People’s Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in “Mangal Pandey” and a 2007 Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television, for “Jane Eyre”.

Love life and marriage

Both Toby and his wife Anna-Louise Plowman shy away from speaking about their marriage in public, but some details about it are still know; the two married in a small ceremony on 15 September 2001, and Anna-Louise gave birth to their son Eli Alistair in May 2007; British playwright and memoirist Simon James Holliday Gray was Eli’s godfather. Anna-Louise gave birth to their daughter Tallulah Tara in May 2009, and their second daughter Kura followed in September 2010.

There are no other women whom Toby’s dated, that we know about; he’s married to Anna-Louise Plowman as of June 2023, and they have three children together.

Anna-Louise has appeared in 33 movies and TV series, and is perhaps known best for playing Mrs Hudson in 15 episodes (2016-2017) of the action adventure series “Black Sails”.

Interesting facts and hobbies

In 2012, Toby and his wife starred alongside in one of the many revivals of the critically acclaimed theatre play “Private Lives” by Noel Coward.

Toby prefers to shoot for British movies and TV series, and has refused to appear in a number of Hollywood productions; he’s nevertheless mastered the American accent.

Toby was four when his parents divorced, but they remained equally involved in his upbringing.

He was nearly cast to star as Robin in the 1995 action adventure movie “Batman Forever”.

Toby’s older brother Chris Larkin’s appeared in 43 movies and TV series, and is probably still known best for playing Captain Howard, Royal Marines in the critically acclaimed 2003 action adventure movie “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”, which won 23 of its 113 award nominations, including Oscar wins for Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing.

Age, height and net worth

Toby’s age is 54. He has blue eyes and brown hair, is 5ft 8ins (1.74m) tall, and weighs around 170lbs (76kgs).

Toby’s net worth’s been estimated at over $4 million, as of June 2023.

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