Whether playing a punk rocker, an assassin, a war vet, or a ghoul, Gary Oldman has consistently amazed viewers with his ability to completely disappear into his roles. Though capable of portraying almost any type of character, Oldman has put his stamp on those of the twisted villain/morally ambiguous weirdo variety, earning renown for his interpretations of the darker side of human nature.
Born Leonard Gary Oldman in New Cross, South London, on March 21, 1958, Oldman was raised by his mother and two sisters after his father, an alcoholic welder, left them when Oldman was seven. Nine years later, Oldman left high school to work in a sporting goods store; in his spare time, he studied literature and later acting under the tutelage of Roger Williams. He went on to act with the Greenwich Young People's Theatre and, after attending drama school on a scholarship, worked with the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. Oldman next worked in London's West End, where, in 1985, he won a Best Actor and a Best Newcomer award for his performance in The Pope's Wedding. By this time, he had made his film debut in Remembrance (1982) and had appeared in two television movies, notably Honest, Decent and True (1985).