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Charles Dance is an English actor, screenwriter, and film director. Dance typically plays assertive bureaucrats or villains.[citation needed] Some of his most high profile roles are Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Dr Clemens, the doctor who becomes Ellen Ripley's confidante, in Alien 3 (1992), the villain in The Golden Child (1986) and Last Action Hero (1993), and Lord Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones. Dance was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on June 17, 2006.

Alien franchise credit[]


Other credits[]

  • For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  • Plenty (1985)
  • The Golden Child (1986)
  • Out on a Limb (1987)
  • White Mischief with Greta Scacchi (1987)
  • Good Morning, Babylon (1987)
  • Hidden City (1987)
  • Pascali's Island (1988)
  • Alien 3 (1992)
  • Kalkstein (1992)
  • Last Action Hero (1993)
  • China Moon (1994)
  • The Contractor (2007)
  • Ironclad (2011)
  • Your Highness (2011)
  • Underworld: Awakening (2012)

Biographical information[]

Early life[]

Dance was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, the son of Eleanor (née Perks), a cook, and Walter Dance, an engineer. He attended Widey Technical School for Boys (it closed when known as Widey High School in 1988) in Crownhill. He was set for a career in graphic design after graduating from the Plymouth College of Art before turning to acting.


Dance was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company during the mid- to late-1970s and was in many of their productions in London and Stratford-upon-Avon. Later he returned to the RSC to take the title role in Coriolanus at Stratford-upon-Avon and Newcastle in 1989, and at the Barbican Theatre in 1990. He received rave reviews and a Critics' Circle Best Actor award for his performance as the Oxford don C. S. Lewis in William Nicholson's Shadowlands, in the 2007 stage revival.

Dance made his screen debut in 1974, in a BBC mystery series Father Brown as Commandant Neil O'Brien in The Secret Garden, but his big break came ten years later when he played the major role of Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown (Granada Television, Christopher Morahan 1984), an adaptation of Paul Scott's novels that also made stars of Geraldine James and Art Malik. He has also starred in many other British television dramas such as Murder Rooms, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), Rebecca, The Phantom of the Opera, Fingersmith and Bleak House (for which he received an Emmy nomination). He was name-checked in the British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, as being slated to play the title character in The Life of Jesus Christ 2, which was filming in Morocco at the same time as the main characters of the series were there for a photo shoot. Dance recently appeared as a guest star in the BBC television series Merlin as an infamous witch hunter. He also played Guy Spencer, the pro-Hitler propagandist, in the second instalment of Foyle's War, and had an ongoing role as Dr. Maltravers in the ITV drama Trinity.

Dance played Havelock Vetinari in the 2010 Sky adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. Dance plays the role of Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones, based on the Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin. Dance was wooed for the role by the producers whilst filming Your Highness in Belfast. Dance Is also currently playing Conrad Knox on the British Television series Strike Back: Vengeance as the primary villain in the series.

Dance's debut film as a screenwriter and director was Ladies in Lavender (2004), which starred Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith. In 2008, filmed a role in Trinity for ITV2. In 2009, he directed his own adaptation of Alice Thomas Ellis's The Inn at the Edge of the World and made a guest appearance in BBC drama series Merlin as the Witchfinder Aredian and himself in the third series of Jam & Jerusalem.

Personal life[]

Dance married Joanna Haythorn in 1970 and they had two children. After his marriage ended in 2004,[10] he had a brief relationship with actress Sophia Myles. He became engaged to sculptor Eleanor Boorman in September 2010. They are expecting their first child together, announced 23 November 2011.