With outrageously long-lashed brown eyes and darkly sensuous looks, Joseph Fiennes has joined his older brother Ralph as the English embodiment of sex for scores of women the world over. After years of working in his brother's shadow, Joseph emerged in 1998 as one of the movie industry's hottest properties, thanks to roles in two back-to-back hits, Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love.
Born May 27, 1970, in Salisbury, England, Fiennes and his twin brother, Jacob, were the youngest of six children, Ralph being the eldest. The son of a photographer father and a novelist mother who went under the nom de plume of Jennifer Lash, Joseph and his siblings had a fairly nomadic upbringing, moving 14 times over the course of the actor's childhood. His parents had strong artistic leanings, something they encouraged among their children, and so Fiennes grew up in a very creative atmosphere. After leaving art school, he began working with the Young Vic Theatre Company and then trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He made his first professional stage appearance in A Month in the Country, in which he performed opposite Helen Mirren.