Facts about Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch Biography
Benedict Cumberbatch is the lanky British actor who dashed to fame when he played a modern-day Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock.
Since then, he’s become a major film star, earning an Oscar nomination in 2022 for his lead role in Jane Campion‘s The Power of the Dog (2021).
Benedict Cumberbatch was not a newcomer to acting: he did theater while attending the University of Manchester and then did a year at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, after which he became a working pro almost immediately. After a few low-key parts, he was cast as genius physicist Stephen Hawking in the 2004 TV movie Hawking. For the next five years he played a series of extras and odd ducks — “neurotic, fey people who would have died with a cold compress to their head,” as he once described it to the BBC — helped along by his quirky long face, with its snub nose and seagull-wing upper lip.
Everything changed in July of 2010, when he premiered as eccentric sleuth Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s modern-day Sherlock. His “cold, techie, slightly Aspergerish” Holmes (as described by The Guardian) resonated with fans and made the show a surprise hit. The series was short — just three 90-minute episodes per year — but it launched Cumberbatch to international fame.
Suddenly he was everywhere: as a kindly slaveowner in 12 Years a Slave (2013, with Chiwetel Ojiofor), as the evil dragon Smaug in The Hobbit trilogy of films (2012-14), as the ancient villain Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013, with Chris Pine as Kirk), as ill-fated code-breaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014), as info-rebel Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate (2013), even counting apples and oranges with Muppets on Sesame Street.
In 2014, both Cumberbatch and Freeman won Emmys for their roles in Sherlock. In 2018 he voiced Dr. Seuss‘s classic villain The Grinch in an animated feature film titled (aptly), Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch. He has also played Dr. Stephen Strange in a flood of Marvel superhero movies, starting with Dr. Strange (2016).
Benedict Cumberbatch and actress Sophie Hunter announced their engagement in November of 2014, and they married on February 14, 2015. They have two sons: Christopher (born 2015) and Hal (b. 2017)… His grandfather, Henry Carlton Cumberbatch, was a decorated submarine commander in the Royal Navy.