Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes (born 22 December 1962 in Ipswich, England) is an Academy Award nominatednote Shakespearian English stage and film actor, producer, and director. He is also the older brother of fellow actor Joseph Fiennes, and distantly related to the famed explorer Sir Ranulph Twistleton-Wykeham-Fiennes.
He gained much prominence after his breakout roles in Schindler's List and The English Patient. He has also shown up as a lead actor in foreign-language films, such as the 1999 Hungarian movie Sunshine, and later took on roles with considerable mainstream exposure such as Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films and Gareth Mallory (the replacement of Judi Dench as M) in the James Bond movies, starting with Skyfall for the latter.
Oh, and his name is pronounced "Rafe Fines".
Notable roles include:
- Wuthering Heights (1992) - Heathcliff
- Schindler's List (1993) - Amon Göth
- Quiz Show (1994) - Charles Van Doren
- Strange Days (1995) - Lenny Nero
- The English Patient (1996) - The Patient, real name Count László de Almássy
- The Prince of Egypt (1998) - Ramses II (voice)
- The Avengers (1998) - John Steed
- Sunshine (1999) - Ignatz Sonnenschein (Sors) / Adam Sors / Ivan Sors
- The End of the Affair (1999) - Maurice Bendrix
- The Miracle Maker (1999) - Jesus Christ (voice)
- Red Dragon (2002) - Francis Dolarhyde
- Maid in Manhattan (2002) - Christopher Marshall
- Spider (2002) - Dennis "Spider" Clegg
- The Good Thief (2002) - Tony Angel (uncredited)
- The Constant Gardener (2005) - Justin Quayle
- The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) - Victor Quartermaine (voice)
- Harry Potter series - Tom Marvolo Riddle / Lord Voldemort
- In Bruges (2008) - Harry Waters
- The Reader (2008) - Older Michael Berg
- The Duchess (2008) - William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire
- The Hurt Locker (2009) - Contractor Team Leader
- Clash of the Titans (2010) and Wrath of the Titans (2012) - Hades
- Coriolanus (2011) - Coriolanus (also directed and produced)
- James Bond - Gareth Mallory/M
- The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - M. Gustave H
- Hail, Caesar! (2016) - Laurence Laurentz, a film director.
- Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) - The Moon King (voice)
- The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) - Alfred Pennyworth (voice)
- Holmes & Watson (2018) - Moriarty
- Dolittle (2020) - Barry the Tiger (voice)
- The Dig (2021) - Basil Brown
- The King's Man (2021) - Duke of Oxford
- The Menu (2022) - Chef Slowik
Provides examples of
- Badass Baritone: Especially in his more recent roles as he's gotten older.
- Chronically Killed Actor: Most famously as Amon Göth and Voldemort but he's been axed off in quite a few of his films.
- Directed by Cast Member: Ralph Fiennes both starred in, directed and produced a 2011 film adaption of the William Shakespeare play Coriolanus, co-starring with Gerard Butler and Jessica Chastain.
- Dyeing for Your Art: He put on 28 pounds to play one of his major breakout roles, Amon Göth.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He plays a lot of villainous roles which make good use of his smooth, regal voice.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Although normally rather pretty, he produced this effect when he kept his real eye color as Voldemort rather than using red contacts to match the description from the book.
- Playing Against Type: An invoked example. After he became famous worldwide as Amon Göth he didn't want to become too typecast as villainous roles. Fortunately he was able to portray the handsome, charming, charismatic Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show in a role that won him further acclaim and showcased his acting range.