Happy birthday to actor Lee Pace who plays Thranduil in The Hobbit! Here are some of the highlights of 1979, the year of his birth: The US Voyager 1 space probe had just revealed the breaking photos of Jupiter’s magnificent rings, Michael Jackson had released his breakthrough album Off The Wall, Star Trek: The Motion Picture hit the theaters, Joe Clark became Canada’s 16th and youngest Prime Minister, “Don’t stop me now” sets millions of feet on fire, and henceforth McDonalds makes all our meals Happy. A charming elf (Evangeline Lilly) and Professor X (James McAvoy) join the ranks of global heroes.
Lee Pace was born on March 25, 1979 in Chickasha, Oklahoma, to a school teacher and an engineer. He spent some time in Saudi Arabia because of his dad’s job on in the oil production, and shortly afterwards moved to Houston, Texas. He spent some time away school doing theatre (appearing in plays such as Romeo And Juliet as Romeo and Julius Caesar as Cassius). After completing his high school education, he graduated from The Julliard School with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
In 2003, it was the starring role of Calpernia Addams in Soldiers Girl that gained him great popularity in television.
“Not even my excellent training at Julliard prepared me for my first movie role. There were times I’d look in the mirror and wonder, ‘What am I doing to my life here? My dad is going to kill me!’ But the reason I went into acting was to be able to play parts as complicated and important as this one.”
For this film Pace was nominated for a multitude of awards, including The Golden Globe.
“I got the chance to help change people’s perspective about other people, and that is a powerful thing.”
He also appeared on screen in Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Pushing Daises (a TV comedy series), and Steven Spielberg’s Linkoln, a movie that was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
“It was a real pinnacle of what I’ve done as an actor,” said Lee, referring to his experience with Linkoln.
The part of Thranduil in The Hobbit was given to him on April 30, 2011, when Peter Jackson had publicly announced it on Facebook.
“He had that gravity, that maturity, he had a beauty, obviously, he had a sense that he could be a thousand years old, he could be immortal, but also that he had lived, he had lived a long life, he had seen a lot and he had been through a lot. And Lee really brought that feeling to the role,” said Peter Jackson about Lee’s performance.
He is expected to appear in the last installment of The Hobbit trilogy that will come to cinemas this December. And also this year, as Marvel Studios throws out another inspiring hero picture out there–The Guardians Of The Galaxy–it is rumored Lee would also have something to do with it. Or should I say, its darker side?
Middle-earth News wishes Lee a happy birthday!