Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch, CBE (born 19 July 1976 in London, England) is a British stage, film, television, and voice actor.
The son of actors Timothy Carlton Congdon Cumberbatch and Wanda Ventham, he skyrocketed into international stardom with his BAFTA, Golden Globe nominated and Emmy winning portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC's worldwide hit Sherlock and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his role in the Historical Drama/Thriller The Imitation Game, as Alan Turing. Now amongst the most sought-after people in showbiz, he has been hailed as one of the best actors of his generation.
An unlikely sex symbol, he landed the #1 spot on The Sun's "Sexiest Man Alive" list two years in a row in 2012 and 2013 (apparently he "hadn't taken anything less seriously in all his life") by a landslide thanks to his devoted fanbase. He was also hailed by Empire Magazine's 50, 000 international readers as "World's Sexiest Actor" in 2013. It looks like brainy is the new sexy after all!
In 2014 he won an Emmy for Sherlock Series 3, and in 2015 he was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to the performing arts and to charity. And in 2019 he finally won his first BAFTA award for best actor for his performance in Patrick Melrose.
He married longtime friend Sophie Hunter, an English theatre and opera director, in 2014; they have three sons.
His notable works include:
- Hawking (2004) as Stephen Hawking. Seems to be the go-to guy for Stephen Hawking. He's also done Professor Hawking's narration on the documentaries Stephen Hawking's Grand Design and Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.
- To the Ends of the Earth (2005) as Edmund Talbot.
- Atonement (2007) as Paul Marshall
- Starter for 10 as Patrick Watts, a Gentleman Snarker and University Challenge team captain.
- Inseparable as Joe and Charlie.
- Sherlock (2010 — 2017) as Sherlock Holmes.
- The Last Enemy as Stephen Ezard, a socially inept mathematician with OCD.
- Nathan Barley as Robin.
- Amazing Grace as William Pitt.
- The Other Boleyn Girl as William Carey (Scarlett Johansson's husband.)
- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy as Peter Guillam.
- War Horse as Major Jamie Stewart.
- The Hobbit as the voice and motion capture of the dragon Smaug, as well as the Necromancer/Sauron (reuniting with Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman).
- Cabin Pressure as Captain Martin Crieff, an airline pilot.
- Big Finish Doctor Who as Howard Carter and "Thing 2".
- Third Star as James Kimberly Griffith, a dying man who makes one final journey.
- Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) as John Harrison. A.K.A. Khan Noonien Singh.
- The Fifth Estate (2013) as Julian Assange.
- Fortysomething as Rory Slippery.
- Danny Boyle's stage adaptation of Frankenstein, alternating between Victor and the Monster.
- Painted With Words as Vincent van Gogh
- Parade's End as Christopher Tietjens, based on Ford Madox Ford's novel.
- 12 Years a Slave (2013) as William Ford, Solomon Northup's first slaveowner.
- August: Osage County (2013) as Little Charlie.
- The Imitation Game (2014) as Alan Turing.
- Penguins of Madagascar (2014) as Classified.
- Black Mass (2015) as Billy Bulger
- Zoolander 2 as the model All.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (2016 present) as Doctor Stephen Strange and Dormammu:
- The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses as Richard III.
- The Grinch (2018) as The Grinch
- Mowgli (2018) as Shere Khan.
- Patrick Melrose as Patrick.
- Brexit: The Uncivil War
- The Current War as Thomas Edison
- 1917 (2019)
- The Courier (2021) portraying Greville Wynne.
- The Power of the Dog as Phil Burbank.
- The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain (2021) as Louis Wain.
This actor's work exhibits examples of:
- Ascended Fancast: He was the people's choice for the titular role of Doctor Strange (2016), since he had previously played stoic, troubled geniuses in well-known adaptations (Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness). The director also agreed, saying Cumberbatch was who they had envisioned for the character. So it was no surprise that he was eventually cast.
- Badass Baritone: His voice is quite deep, to say the least. Overlaps with Evil Sounds Deep whenever he plays a villain.
- Celebrity Resemblance: To the late Alan Rickman, Cumberbatch's performance as John Harrison in Star Trek Into Darkness and his facial hair as Doctor Strange is even comparable to the performance and Beard of Evil of Rickman's Big Bad character Hans Gruber from Die Hard.
- Covers Always Lie: The DVD of the Mini Series To the Ends of the Earth pushed Benedict (who was the star) off of the cover in favor of Sam Neill, even though he plays a very minor character.
- Description Porn: If he is to write an article, chances are it will end up having this. Just take a look at the recount of his diving trip, or his thoughts on classical music.
- Dye Hard: He generally has dark brown hair, or sometimes blonde hair, but he's actually ginger-haired◊.
- Fake American: As Doctor Strange, which started out rather rough in his debut film, but by his Avengers appearances he had gotten more convincing at it.
- Large Ham: Normally plays fairly reserved roles, but can hit Jeremy Irons levels of ham if necessary.
- Male Frontal Nudity: The National Theatre's 2011 production of Frankenstein had Benedict Cumberbatch or Jonny Lee Miller (depending on the night) spending about 20 minutes completely nude as the Monster, as he came to life and learned how to move, walk etc.
- Serkis Folk: Provides motion capture and the voice for Smaug and the Necromancer in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. Also provided mocap and voice for Dormammu in Doctor Strange (2016). Yes, he came to bargain with himself.
- "Sesame Street" Cred: He made his debut counting with the Count and Murray-(arty).
- Speech Impediment: He has a noticeable speech impediment that, among other things, prevents him from pronouncing the word "penguin" properly. Instead, he says it like "peng-wing" and, hilariously and to his embarassment, had to say it repeatedly in a nature documentary and in Penguins of Madagascar.
- Typecasting: Originally as an Upper-Class Twit, until it was replaced with some manner of Insufferable Genius; examples include: Dr Stephen Strange, Sherlock Holmes, Thomas Edison, and Alan Turing. Stephen Ezard from The Last Enemy is a nicer version of Sherlock but is a mathematician and suffers from OCD; Christopher Tietjens from Parade's End is also a mathematician and Logician and is from a wealthy aristocratic family (though he is somewhat of a snob). And recently there's The Grinch, who's a genius inventor and engineer (but who is basically Ebenezer Scrooge in a green suit). Stephen Lewis from The Child In Time and Patrick Melrose are among the few who are normal.