Mark Rylance is a highly respected British actor, best known for Shakespearean roles, but he has also appeared in a number of interesting and unusual films.

He was born in Ashford, Kent, in England on 18 January, 1960, and trained as an actor at RADA and the Chrysalis Theatre School, Balham, London.

Rylance recently achieved some notoriety for his performance in Patrice Chéreau's film Intimacy, where he received fellatio from the actress Kerry Fox. He has given striking performances in a number of other films, including the Quay Brothers' Institute Benjamenta, and in Peter Greenaway's version of The Tempest, Prospero's Books.

His closest association is with the Shakespearean stage. He is artistic director of the restored Globe Theatre in London, an authentic reconstruction of the building where many of Shakespeare's plays were first performed. He is now responsible for staging plays in the open-air venue, balancing artistic principles against the pull of tourism and traditionalist performances.

Stage roles include for the Globe Theatre: Henry V, Proteus in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice (all Shakespeare); Mr Allwit in Thomas Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside; Hippolito in Thomas Dekker's The Honest Whore. He also portrayed an acclaimed Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company and was awarded the best actor Olivier award for Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing in 1994.

Mark Rylance's television and film credits include:

As well as these, he has also appeared in a filmed performance of Shakespeare released as Henry V at Shakespeare's Globe, for television in 1997.


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