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Damian Lewis Born Damian Watcyn Lewis 11 February 1971 (1971-02-11) (age 39) St. John's Wood, Westminster, England Occupation actor, film producer Years active 1993–present Spouse Helen McCrory (2007–present) 2 children Damian Watcyn Lewis (born 11 February 1971) is an English actor and producer. He recently starred as Detective Charlie Crews in the NBC drama Life and previously portrayed Major Richard Winters in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers[1] and Soames Forsyte in the ITV miniseries The Forsyte Saga. Contents 1 Early life 2 Career 3 Personal life 4 Filmography 5 Ancestry 6 References 7 External links // Early life I went to English boarding schools and grew up around people very much like Soames and in a milieu very much like the Forsytes's Damian Lewis, PBS.org (2002)[2] Lewis was born in St. John's Wood, Westminster, the son of Charlotte Mary (née Bowater) and J. Watcyn Lewis, a City broker.[3][4] His paternal grandparents were Welsh.[5] His maternal grandfather was Lord Mayor of London Ian Frank Bowater and his maternal grandmother's ancestors include Bertrand Dawson, 1st Viscount Dawson of Penn (a doctor to the royal family) and philanthropist Alfred Yarrow.[3][6] Lewis was brought up an Anglican. Lewis made several visits to the United States to visit relatives during his summers as a child.[7][8] He first decided to become an actor at age 16.[4] He was educated at the independent Ashdown House School in the village of Forest Row in East Sussex and at Eton College and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1993, after which he served as a stage actor for the Royal Shakespeare Company. During his time with the RSC, he played Borgheim in Adrian Noble's production of Ibsen's Little Eyolf, as well as Posthumus in Shakespeare's Cymbeline. He has also starred in another of Ibsen's plays, Pillars of the Community. He once worked as a telemarketer selling car alarms, a job he detested.[9] Career Lewis appeared in Robinson Crusoe 1997, He played Patrick Conner. Lewis also appeared in Jonathan Kent's production of Hamlet, playing Laertes opposite Ralph Fiennes' Hamlet. This production was seen by Steven Spielberg, who subsequently cast Lewis as Richard Winters in the HBO/BBC World War II miniseries Band of Brothers, his first role of several that required a credible American accent.[7] Subsequently, Lewis has played Soames Forsyte in the ITV series The Forsyte Saga (later shown as a Masterpiece Theatre miniseries) — which earned him rave reviews and further exposed him to a US audience.[10] He returned to the US to star in Dreamcatcher, a Stephen King film about a man who becomes possessed by an evil alien. The character is American but when possessed he takes on a British accent, thus requiring Lewis to toggle between the two.[7] On the heels of this role, he starred in Keane as a Manhattanite with a fragile mental state who is searching for his missing daughter. Despite the film's poor box-office performance, the role won Lewis rave reviews.[11][12][13] He played Jeffrey Archer in the satirical TV special Jeffrey Archer: The Truth. Since 2004, he has appeared in a number of films, as well as the 2005 BBC TV adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing, as part of the ShakespeaRe-Told season. Lewis played the role of Yassen Gregorovich in the film Stormbreaker. In February 2006, he became a trade justice ambassador for Christian Aid, a UK charity. Later that year, he also appeared in Stephen Poliakoff's BBC drama Friends and Crocodiles. Also in 2006, he was a player for England in Soccer Aid in late May, and golfed for Europe in the All*Star Cup, in late August, both shown on ITV. On 10 November 2006 and 1 May 2009, he was guest host on BBC's Have I Got News For You. In 2008, Lewis starred as the main character Charlie Crews in the U.S. television series Life on NBC. He starred as a police officer who had been framed for murder and held in prison for 12 years from 1995 to 2007. The series began with his exoneration and a trial reinstatement in his former position as a detective in the LA Police force after winning a 50 million dollar law suit over his wrongful internment. Detective Crews, who had studied Zen during his years in prison, closed his cases in a unique manner, as he secretly continued to track down the people who had set him up. The show, which premiered in the United States on 26 September 2007, became a victim of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Only half of the first season's shows were produced. When the critically acclaimed show returned, it was shuffled from night to night. (The show won a 2008 AFI Award for best television series.[14] Life, with its high production costs, was, perhaps, an early victim of NBC's decision to clear the way for the Jay Leno Prime Time experiment. With its loyal fans waiting for the third season to start, fans were livid when the show was cancelled with little mention, leaving story lines unfinished. Lewis appeared, the following year, in the lead role in The Baker, a film directed by his brother, Gareth Lewis, and also took the supporting role of Rizza in The Escapist, which he also helped produce. Lewis lead the cast in Martin Crimp's version of Molière's comedy, The Misanthrope, which opened in December 2009 at the Comedy Theatre, London. Other cast members included Tara Fitzgerald, Keira Knightley and Dominic Rowan. He also took part in the Soccer Aid 2010 event, which supported the charity UNICEF. During the first half he hit the crossbar with a shot from 25 yards. He also scored in the penalty shoot-out. Lewis himself is a devoted Liverpool FC fan, attending as many games as his schedule allows. Personal life Lewis is married to the actress Helen McCrory. They have two children: a daughter Manon, and a son Gulliver.[15] He is involved with a number of charities, including as one of the patrons of the London children's charity Scene & Heard [16] Filmography Year Title Role Note(s) 1993 Micky Love Clive Television special 1995 The episode Hickory Dickory Dock in Agatha Christie : Poirot Leonard Bateson Television Series 1996 The episode Deep Waters in A Touch of Frost Adam Weston Television Series 1997 Robinson Crusoe Patrick   1999 Warriors Lt. Neil Loughrey Television film 2000 Life Force Kurt Glemser Television series Hearts and Bones Mark Rose Television series 2001 Band of Brothers Maj. Richard D. Winters Mini series 2002 The Forsyte Saga Soames Forsyte Mini series Jeffrey Archer: The Truth Jeffrey Archer Television special 2003 Dreamcatcher Gary "Jonesy" Jones   The Forsyte Saga: To Let   Soames Forsyte Mini series 2004 Keane William Keane   Nyfes Norman Harris   2005 Colditz Cpl/Lt. Nicholas McGrade Television film Chromophobia Marcus Aylesbury   An Unfinished Life Gary Winston   Friends and Crocodiles Paul Television film Much Ado About Nothing Benedick Television film 2006 The Situation Dan Murphy Post-production Stormbreaker Yassen Gregorovich 2007–2009 Life Charlie Crews Television Series 2008 The Baker Milo Also produced The Escapist Rizza Ancestry Ancestors of Damian Lewis                                     16.               8.                       17.               4. John Lewis                             18.               9.                       19.               2. J. Watcyn Lewis                                   20.               10.                       21.               5.                             22.               11.                       23.               1. Damian Watcyn Lewis                                         24. William Vansittart Bowater               12. Sir Frank Henry Bowater, 1st Baronet                       25. Eliza Jane Davey               6. Sir Ian Frank Bowater                             26. Mark Lindsay Fryar               13. Ethel Anita Fryar                       27.               3. Charlotte Mary Bowater                                   28. Henry Dawson               14. Bertrand Edward Dawson, 1st Viscount Dawson of Penn                       29.               7. Hon. Ursula Margaret Dawson                             30. Sir Alfred Fernandez Yarrow, 1st Baronet               15. Minnie Ethel Yarrow                       31.             References ^ Going down a storm - icWales ^ No byline (2002). "An Interview with Damian Lewis". Public Broadcasting Service. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/forsyte/ei_lewis.html. Retrieved 2010-02-12.  ^ a b Person Page - 17574. thePeerage.com. (accessed 2009-01-14) ^ a b No byline (25 May 2003), Interview. Sunday Express. (accessed 2008-12-22) ^ James Mottram (25 February 2008), Damian Lewis Interview. Marie Claire. (accessed 2009-01-14) ^ (21 October 2007), FASCINATING FACT 4144. Contact Music. (accessed 2009-01-14) ^ a b c Iannotti, Lauren (April 2003), "ESQUIRE STYLE". Esquire. 139 (4):120 ^ No byline (November 1999), Title unavailable. New Woman (accessed 2008-12-22 ^ Alison Prato (October 2008), "Out on the Town with This Season’s Breakout Stars". Maxim. (accessed 2008-12-15) ^ Kelleher, Terry (2002-10-14), "The Forsyte Saga". People. 58 (16):36 ^ Rozen, Leah (2005-09-19), "Keane". People. 64 (12):40 ^ Kauffmann, Stanley (2005-09-19), "Heights and Depths". New Republic. 233 (12):28-29 ^ Travers, Peter (2005-10-06). "Keane". Rolling Stone. (984):164 ^ "AFI Awards 2008". American Film Institute. 2008. http://www.afi.com/tvevents/afiawards. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0507073/bio ^ "Scene & Heard - Who We Are". sceneandheard.org. 2010. http://sceneandheard.org/about_whoweare.html. Retrieved 2010-06-19.  External links Damian Lewis at the Internet Movie Database Damian Lewis Yahoo Group PBS Damian Lewis Interview "My philosophy: Damian Lewis", interview from November 2005 with Times Online Persondata Name Lewis, Damian Alternative names Short description Date of birth 11 February 1971 Place of birth St. John's Wood, Westminster, England Date of death Place of death