Facts about Richard Grant

Richard E. Grant is 61 years old
Born: May 5, 1957
Birthplace: Mbabane, Swaziland
Best known as: The veteran actor who was finally Oscar-nominated for Can You Ever Forgive Me?

     

Richard E. Grant Biography

Name at birth: Richard Grant Esterhuysen

Richard Grant is the veteran actor who earned his first Oscar nomination as a hard-drinking, not-too-moral AIDS patient in the 2018 film Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Richard E. Grant was born in Swaziland to a family with British roots. (He has dual U.K./Swazi citizenship.) He studied theater at the University of Capetown, graduating in 1979. Moving to London a few years later, he changed his stage name to Richard E. Grant and made his 1985 television debut in the satire Honest, Decent and True. He launched his film career as a charming but unemployed and drifting actor in the offbeat cult hit Withnail and I (1987).

A bit gangly, with a distinct look that isn’t exactly handsome, Grant was well-designed for character roles. He fashioned a steady career as a working actor, appearing in films like Henry & June (1990), The Player (1992), The Age of Innocence (1993), Spice World (1997), Gosford Park (2001), Love Hurts (2009) and  Logan (2017). Over time he developed a reputation as a reliable “actor’s actor” who never quite made it to greater fame.

That changed in 2018 when he was cast as Jack Hock, alcoholic sidekick to Melissa McCarthy’s dissipated author Lee Israel in the biopic Can You Ever Forgive Me? Grant’s embrace of a highly colorful led to sudden fame and an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actor.

A longtime diarist, Grant published selections from his diaries in the 2015 book With Nails. He also wrote and directed the 2005 film Wah-Wah, an autobiography of his childhood in Swaziland.

Extra credit

Richard Grant married Joan Washington in 1986; she is a theatrical voice coach.


     

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