Although he first appeared as just one of the latest crop of golden-skinned English imports to caress the hormones of American filmgoers, Jude Law is steadily proving that his talents lie beyond his ability to smolder seductively in front of the camera. Since 1995, when Law made the transition from British soap opera to Broadway via Sean Mathias' Indiscretions (in which he co-starred with Kathleen Turner), his work has increasingly garnered favorable notice from critics and moviegoers alike.
Born in London on December 29, 1972, Law started acting as a teenager. Before Indiscretions, his most notable role was in Shopping (1994), a British production that gave him both initial recognition and an introduction to his future wife, actress Sadie Frost (the couple has two children). After the critical and commercial success of Indiscretions, Law began finding more work in film, starring as Claire Danes' boyfriend in I Love You, I Love You Not (1997) and as the genetically privileged man who sells his identity to Ethan Hawke in Gattaca (1997). Also in 1997, Law took on the plum role of Alfred Lord Douglas (or Bosie), Oscar Wilde's volatile lover in Wilde. Although none of these films received unanimously positive critical (or box-office) attention, they did help to further establish Law as an actor to be taken seriously. Law followed them with a small part in Bent (1997) and the more pivotal role of Billy, Jim Williams' hotheaded and ill-fated lover in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997). Following that film, Law went on to make a few smaller films, including Music From Another Room (also starring a still unknown Gretchen Mol) and The Final Cut, in which he played a sinister, deceased version of himself.