Born: May 5, 1957
Birthplace: Mbabane, Swaziland
Richard E. Grant (born Richard Grant Esterhuysen; 5 May 1957) is a Swazi-English actor, screenwriter, director and perfumier. He came to public attention in 1987 for playing Withnail in the film Withnail and I, and achieved recognition as John Seward in the 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula. He played Dr. Zander Rice in the 2017 superhero film Logan and Izembaro in the sixth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones.
Grant was born Richard Grant Esterhuysen in Mbabane, Swaziland. His father, Henrik Esterhuysen, was head of education for the British government administration in the British Protectorate of Swaziland. His father had English and Dutch/Afrikaner ancestry and his mother was of English and German descent.
As a boy, Grant went to primary school at St Mark's, a local government school in Mbabane that had only recently become racially integrated. When Grant was ten years old, he witnessed his mother commit adultery on the back seat of a car with his father's best friend, which subsequently led to his parents' divorce. This event inspired Grant to keep a daily diary, which he has continued to do ever since. Grant wears a watch on each wrist, one given to him by his dying father, permanently set on Swaziland time. He is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and Swaziland.
Grant attended secondary school at Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa (UWCSA), an independent school just outside Mbabane, where he was a day scholar. Grant studied English and drama at the University of Cape Town. He adopted his stage name when he moved to Britain as an adult and registered with Equity.
Grant was a member of the Space Theatre Company in Cape Town before moving to London in 1982. He later stated, "I grew up in Swaziland when it was mired in a 1960s sensibility. The kind of English spoken where I grew up was a period English sound and when I came to England people said, 'how strange'. Charles Sturridge, who directed Brideshead Revisited for TV, said, 'you speak English like someone from the 1950s'."
Grant's first film role was the perpetually inebriated title character in Withnail and I, which has established a large cult following. Following this film, Grant started appearing in Hollywood films, quickly establishing himself as a powerful character actor in a wide array of films, from blockbuster studio movies to small independent projects. Over the past twenty years, Grant has had strong supporting roles in the films Henry & June, L.A. Story, The Player, The Age of Innocence, The Portrait of a Lady, Spice World, Gosford Park, Bright Young Things, and Penelope.
While filming L.A. Story with Steve Martin, the pair communicated by fax in what became for both a hilarious dialogue: "I kept these faxes, which grew to a stack more than 2in thick, because they entertained me, and because I thought they were valuable aesthetic chunks from a screeching mind, a stream-of-consciousness faucet spewing sentences - sometimes a mile long - none of it rewritten, and bearing just the right amount of acid and alkaline."
In 1995, Grant starred as the titular character in Peter Capaldi's short film Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life. The film won the 1995 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.
He released a single and accompanying video "To be or not to be" with Orpheus in 1997.
Grant has twice portrayed the Doctor from Doctor Who, both outside the main continuity. In the comedy sketch Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death, he portrayed a version of the Tenth Doctor, referred to as the Quite Handsome Doctor. He also voiced a version of the Ninth Doctor for the BBC original animated webcast Scream of the Shalka. The latter had intended to be the official Ninth Doctor prior to the revival of the TV series. In August, 2012, the BBC announced that Grant would join the cast of Doctor Who for "The Snowmen", in which he plays a villain, Dr. Walter Simeon. He appeared again in the following episode, "The Bells of Saint John" as the Great Intelligence, one of the Second Doctor's most infamous villains and, prior to "The Snowmen" (played by Ian McKellen), was last seen in The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear. Grant reprises the role in the series 7 finale, "The Name of the Doctor".
On 1 December 2006, Grant turned real life investigator when, with the help of BBC Newsnight, he exposed a $98 million scam to sell a bogus AIDS cure.
Grant appeared as "The Voice" in 2+2+2 at American Nights at The King's Head Theatre, from 3 to 29 July 2007, and in 2008 co-starred in the London-based comedy Filth and Wisdom.
On 22 November 2007, he gave a keynote speech at North London Collegiate School in north London as part of their Performing Arts Centre Opening Festival, and presented the 2008 Laurence Olivier Awards.
In 2008, he made his musical theatre debut with Opera Australia, playing the role of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, at the Theatre Royal, Sydney, a role he reprised in 2017 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
In 2009. he played Alain Reille in Yasmina Reza's one-act play God of Carnage at the Theatre Royal, Bath: and subsequently at Cheltenham, Canterbury, Richmond, Brighton and Milton Keynes.
In 2010 he made an appearance in a music video, when short lived Bristol band The Chemists hired him to appear in their video for "This City"; the band split the same year. This appearance also followed up his previous involvement with the band the year before, in which he spoke the lyrics to "This City" to background music, as part of the intro and outro tracks on their only album Theories of Dr. Lovelock.
Grant has written an autobiography and a novel called By Design that is set in Hollywood.
Richard E. Grant was a mentor on the British Airways Great Britons Programme.
In March 2013 Grant starred as intelligence analyst Brian Jones in David Morley's drama The Iraq Dossier, with Peter Firth, Anton Lesser, David Caves, and Lindsay Duncan. It recounted the story of how British Ministry of Defence Intelligence expert Jones had tried to warn that his government's September Dossier on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction was inaccurate.
On 9 May 2015 Grant gave a reading at VE Day 70: A Party to Remember in Horse Guards Parade, London.
In 2016 joined the HBO series Game of Thrones in Season 6 as Izembaro.
In 2017, he starred as the main antagonist of Logan, in which he gained positive critical reception for his performance.
Grant wrote and directed the 2005 film Wah-Wah, loosely based on his own childhood experiences. A screenwriter recommended he write a screenplay, after reading Grant's memoirs of his Withnail and I experience.
Grant kept a diary of the experience, later published as a book (The Wah-Wah Diaries). The book received positive reviews from critics, many of whom were impressed by the honesty of the tale, especially in regard to his difficult relationship with the "inexperienced" producer Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar.
Grant stated in subsequent interviews that she was a "control freak out of control", and that he would "never see her again as long as live." In a BBC interview, he again mentioned his "disastrous" relationship with Mention-Schaar. He related that he had received only five emails from her in the last two months of pre-production, and that she rarely turned up on the set at all. She failed to obtain clearance firstly for song rights, and secondly to actually film in Swaziland. For the last infraction Grant was eventually forced to meet with the King of Swaziland to seek clemency.
During an interview with an Australian chat show, he mentioned that Wah-Wah was not released in France, and as a result, his producer did not make money out of it.
Grant married voice coach Joan Washington in 1986 and has one daughter with her (Olivia) and a stepson (Tom).
Grant is a teetotaller. He is intolerant to alcohol, having no enzymes in the blood to metabolise it. If he does drink alcohol, he can keep it down for 10 minutes and is then violently sick for 24 hours afterward. After casting him as the alcoholic Withnail, director Bruce Robinson made Grant drink a bottle of champagne and half a bottle of vodka during the course of a night so that he had experience of the sensation.
He also appeared on BBC1's show Saturday Kitchen on 14 July 2007, where he stated he detests dairy products, while his favourite food is giant prawns on a bed of rice. In October 2008, he told The Times that he is an atheist. He is an avid follower of West Ham United, and appeared on Sky Sports' Soccer AM to show his support for the team on the morning of the 2006 FA Cup Final.
In April 2014, Grant launched his new unisex perfume, JACK, exclusively at Liberty of Regent Street.
|1987||Withnail and I||Withnail|
|1989||How to Get Ahead in Advertising||Denis Dimbleby Bagley|
|1989||Killing Dad||Ali Berg|
|1990||Mountains of the Moon||Larry Oliphant|
|1990||Henry & June||Hugo Guiler|
|1991||Hudson Hawk||Darwin Mayflower||Nominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor|
|1991||L.A. Story||Roland Mackey|
|1992||The Player||Tom Oakley|
|1992||Bram Stoker's Dracula||Dr. Jack Seward|
|1993||The Age of Innocence||Larry Lefferts|
|1993||Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life||Franz Kafka||Short film|
|1994||Prêt-à-Porter||Cort Romney||National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble|
|1995||Jack and Sarah||Jack|
|1996||The Portrait of a Lady||Lord Warburton|
|1996||Twelfth Night: Or What You Will||Sir Andrew Aguecheek|
|1996||The Cold Light of Day||Victor Marek|
|1997||The Serpent's Kiss||James Fitzmaurice|
|1997||Keep the Aspidistra Flying||Gordon Comstock|
|1998||St. Ives||Major Farquhar Chevening|
|1999||The Match||Gorgeous Gus|
|1999||A Christmas Carol||Bob Crachit|
|2000||The Little Vampire||Frederick Sackville-Bagg|
|2000||The Miracle Maker||John the Baptist||Voice|
|2001||Gosford Park||George||Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Satellite Special Achievement Award - Ensemble Cast
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated - Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
|2003||Monsieur N.||Hudson Lowe|
|2003||Bright Young Things||Father Rothschild|
|2004||The Story of an African Farm||Bonaparte Blenkins|
|2005||Wah-Wah||Writer and director|
|2005||Corpse Bride||Lord Barkis Bittern||Voice|
|2005||Colour Me Kubrick||Jasper|
|2006||Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties||Preston||Voice|
|2007||Always Crashing in the Same Car||James Booth|
|2008||The Garden of Eden||Colonel Philip Boyle|
|2008||Filth and Wisdom||Professor Flynn|
|2009||Love Hurts||Ben Bingham|
|2009||Cuckoo||Professor Julius Greengrass|
|2010||Jackboots on Whitehall||Campbell Babbitt||Voice|
|2010||The Nutcracker in 3D||Father|
|2011||Horrid Henry: The Movie||Vic Van Wrinkle|
|2011||The Iron Lady||Michael Heseltine|
|2011||Foster (a.k.a. Angel in the House)||Mr. Potts|
|2012||Kath & Kimderella||Alain|
|2013||About Time||Lawyer in Play||Uncredited|
|2014||Queen and Country||Major Cross|
|2016||Their Finest||Roger Swain|
|2017||Logan||Dr. Zander Rice|
|2017||The Hitman's Bodyguard||Seifert|
|2018||Can You Ever Forgive Me?||Jack||Post-production|
|2018||The Nutcracker and the Four Realms||Snow Realm King||Post-production|
|1983||Sweet Sixten||Anton||Episode: "Episode Six"|
|1985||Screen Two||Moonee Livingstone||Episode: "Honest, Decent & True"|
|1988||Codename: Kyril||Sculby||4 episodes|
|1994||Absolutely Fabulous||Justin||Episode: "Hospital"|
|1994||Hard Times||James Harthouse||3 episodes|
|1996||Karaoke||Nick Balmer||4 episodes|
|1996||A Royal Scandal||King George IV||Television film|
|1997||Captain Star||Captain Jim Star||Voice
|1999-2000||The Scarlet Pimpernel||Sir Percy Blakeney / The Scarlet Pimpernel||6 episodes|
|1999||Trial & Retribution III||Stephen Warrington||2 episodes|
|1999||Let Them Eat Cake||Monsieur Vigée-Lebrun||Episode: "The Portrait"|
|1999||Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death||The Conceited Doctor||Television special|
|2002||Sherlock: Case of Evil||Mycroft Holmes||Television film|
|2002||The Hound of the Baskervilles||Jack Stapleton||Television film|
|2004||Posh Nosh||Simon Marchmont||8 episodes|
|2004||Frasier||Stephen Moon||Episode: "Goodnight, Seattle"|
|2004||90 Days in Hollywood||Narrator||Documentary|
|2004||The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody||Narrator||Documentary|
|2005||Home Farm Twins||Paul Baker|
|2006||Above and Beyond||Don Bennett||2 episodes|
|2007||Dalziel and Pascoe||Lee Knight||2 episodes|
|2007||Mumbai Calling||Benedict T. Harlow||Episode: "Good Sellers"|
|2007||Agatha Christie's Marple||Raymond West||Episode: "Nemesis"|
|2011||The Crimson Petal and the White||Dr. Curlew||4 episodes|
|2011||Rab C Nesbitt||Chingford Steel||Episode: "Broke"|
|2012-2014||Richard E. Grant's Hotel Secrets||Himself (host)||14 episodes|
|2012||The Fear||Seb Whiting||3 episodes|
|2012||The History of Safari With Richard E Grant||Himself (host)||Docuemtnary|
|2012-2013||Doctor Who||Dr. Simeon / The Great Intelligence||3 Episodes|
|2014||Downton Abbey||Simon Bricker||4 Episodes|
|2015||Dig||Ian Margrove||10 episodes|
|2015||Wellington: The Iron Duke Unmasked||Wellington||Documentary|
|2015||Jekyll and Hyde||Sir Roger Bulstrode||9 episodes|
|2016||Game of Thrones||Izembaro||3 Episodes|
|1993||The Legends of Treasure Island||Long John Silver|
|2003||Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka||The Doctor|
|2010||"This City" (The Chemists music video)||Human cyborg|
|2013||Fuck: An Irreverent History of the F-Word||Narrator||Audiobook|
|2013||The Pillars of the Earth||Narrator||Audiobook|
|World Without End||Narrator||Audiobook|
|Pinocchio's Daring Journey||Stromboli
|2017||My Fair Lady||Henry Higgins||Lyric Opera of Chicago|