Walter Charles Dance, OBE, was born on 10 October 1946 in Redditch, Worcestershire, England. He's an an actor, director, and screenwriter who is most frequently seen playing Obstructive Bureaucrats , Villains and overall authoritative figures. Dance was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for several years in the 70s, and made a name for himself as a stage actor before moving on to television and film work. His big break came when he was cast as Guy Perron in Granada Television's acclaimed mini-series The Jewel in the Crown, but he's more known to international audiences for playing Lord Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones.
He also played Dr. Clemens, the doctor of penitentiary Fury 161 who becomes Ellen Ripley's lover in Alien³ and the one-eyed hitman Mr. Benedict in Last Action Hero. Among his other roles include appearances in The Golden Child, Michael Collins, and For Your Eyes Only. In 2010, he played Havelock Vetinari in an adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, taking the part simply because he was a huge fan of Pratchett's work. He also had a guest spot in Merlin, playing Aredian the Witch Finder, considered one of the show's best One-Shot Villains. Once a year, he makes an appearance on the celebrity quiz Big Fat Quiz of the Year, in which he reads a trashy celebrity biography (or, once most infamously, Fifty Shades of Grey) with the utmost dignity, the panel members having to guess the identity of the author. It is almost undoubtedly the best part of the show.
To date, he has directed one film, Ladies in Lavender (2004), which he also executive produced and co-wrote the screenplay for (based on a short story by William J. Locke), and is set to direct, write the screenplay for and star in an adaptation of Alice Thomas Ellis' novel The Inn at the End of the World.
In 2015, he made his grand debut into the world of video game voice-over work, voicing Emperor Emhyr var Emreis in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
He is a natural choice for villainus roles due to his intense stare, imposing 6'3 stature, slender frame and, most notably, his magnificent rich, smooth voice. His characters also tend to be very snappy dressers though, by his own admission, he dresses almost entirely in jeans and t-shirts in his private life.
Charles Dance is a father and a grandfather.
He makes everything he is in better; if the production as a whole is not good, his performance will be.
- 1981 For Your Eyes Only as Claus
- 1986 The Golden Child as Sardo Numspa
- 1992 Alien³ as Dr. Jonathan Clemens
- 1993 Last Action Hero as Benedict
- 1996 Michael Collins as Soames
- 1996 Space Truckers as Nabel/Macanudo
- 2001 Gosford Park as Lord Raymond Stockbridge
- 2001 Dark Blue World as Wing Commander Bentley
- 2002 Ali G Indahouse as David Carlton
- 2006 Scoop as Mr. Malcolm
- 2006 Starter for 10 as Michael Harbinson
- 2011 Your Highness as King Tallious
- 2012 Underworld: Awakening as Thomas
- 2013 Patrick as Doctor Roget
- 2014 The Imitation Game as Commander Denniston
- 2014 Dracula Untold as Master Vampire
- 2015 Michiel de Ruyter as Charles II
- 2015 Woman in Gold as Sherman
- 2015 Child 44 as Major Grachev
- 2016 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as Mr. Bennett
- 2017 Underworld: Blood Wars as Thomas
- 2019 Godzilla: King of the Monsters as Alan Jonah
- 2020 The King's Man as Arthur
- 2020 Mank as William Randolph Hearst
- 1975 Edward the Seventh as Prince Albert Victor/"Eddy"
- 1984 The Jewel in the Crown as Guy Perron
- 1984 The Secret Servant as Harry Maxim
- 1988 First Born as Edward Forester
- 1989 Goldeneye (a TV movie, not the film) as Ian Fleming
- 1990 The Phantom of the Opera as the Phantom
- 2000 Murder Rooms as Sir Henry Carlisle
- 2005 Bleak House as Mr. Tulkinghorn
- 2009 Merlin as Aredian
- 2010 Going Postal as Lord Vetinari
- 2011 Neverland as Dr. Richard Fludd
- 2012 Strike Back as Conrad Knox
- 2014 The Great Fire as Lord Denton
- 2011-2015 Game of Thrones as Lord Tywin Lannister
- 2015 And Then There Were None as Judge Lawrence Wargrave
- 2016 Savage Kingdom as the narrator
- 2019-2020 The Crown (2016) as Louis Mountbatten
- 2022 The Sandman (2022) as Roderick Burgess