April 20, 2014 marks a milestone for Andy Serkis, known best to millions of fans as the actor behind Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. Andy turns 50 today! He was born April 20, 1964, in Ruislip Manor, West London, England.
As a youngster, Andy wanted to be an artist. He studied visual arts at Lancaster University in northwest England, and became involved with theatre design and production. It was there that Andy made his stage acting debut and found his true calling in life. Andy began his professional acting career in 1985 at the Duke’s Playhouse in Lancaster. He went on to perform in a long list of popular plays on every well-known British stage.
Andy is a true pioneer in the emerging art of performance capture. In addition to creating the iconic character Gollum, Andy played Captain Haddock in The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and brought the giant ape Kong to life in King Kong (2005). He also portrayed the smaller but brilliantly intelligent ape Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), reprising the role in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, to be released on July 11, 2014 (USA). Andy will also be scaring the wits out of movie fans as the title character in Godzilla, rampaging into cinemas on May 16, 2014 (USA).
Along with performance capture roles, Andy has performed in numerous parts in films and on television, including Richard Kneeland in 13 Going on 30 (2004), Alley in The Prestige (2006), and Capricorn in Inkheart (2008).
Andy has been nominated for a host of awards. His performance in the television film Longford (2006) garnered a Golden Globe nomination (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television), and a BAFTA nomination (Best Actor). He was honored with a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2009 (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie) for his portrayal of Rigaud in Little Dorrit. He won the Saturn award (Best Supporting Actor) in 2003 for Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and he was nominated again in 2004 for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Best Supporting Actor, for Gollum). He brought home another Saturn award for Best Supporting Actor in 2012 for Caesar in Rise of Planet of the Apes. In 2004, he shared a Critic’s Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture with the cast of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
After reprising the role of Gollum in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Andy took on a new role when Peter Jackson asked him to step behind the camera as second unit director for The Hobbit films. Andy is continuing to make his mark as a director, and is slated to direct a new film version of Animal Farm, based on the classic novel by George Orwell. He formed The Imaginarium Studios in London to support the application of performance capture technology in television, film, and games, and Caveman Films to produce independent films in the United Kingdom.
All of us at Middle-earth News wish Andy the happiest of birthdays. May it be a celebration of special magnificence!
Here are a few recent stories about Andy Serkis on Middle-earth News: