Family & Companions
A former model for Yves St. Laurent, Rupert Everett first made his mark on stage in 1982 by playing a character loosely based on the notorious spy Guy Burgess in Julian Mitchell's play, "Another Country." The actor would finally get his belated due, however, thanks to his scene-stealing supporting turn as Julia Robert's charming gay pal in "My Best Friend's Wedding" (1997). In addition to effectively serving as an introduction to mainstream audiences, the role also established Everett as an adept comic presence to be reckoned with. In subsequent years, Everett would play both gay and straight roles with equally convincing aplomb. In 2004, Everett scored big once again as the honeyed voice of Prince Charming in the CGI-animated hit comedy "Shrek 2" and its sequel "Shrek the Third" (2007).
Born May 29, 1959, in Norfolk, England, Everett was the younger son of a former British army officer-turned-businessman and his Scottish wife. Educated at boarding schools, Everett attended the Catholic all-male institution, Ampleforth. There, Everett met his classmate, the future playwright Julian Wadham. Active in drama, the two were notable for often being cast in female roles during school play auditions. At age 15, Everett dropped out and enrolled at London's Central School of Speech and Drama but was expelled in his second year. Drifting through London's club scene, the good-looking Everett soon landed work as a model in Milan. Returning to Great Britain, Everett landed in Glasgow and began his acting career in earnest with a walk-on role at the Citizens' Theatre. In this early period as a struggling actor, Everett supported himself as a "rent boy," or male prostitute - a fact to which the actor admitted in a 1994 magazine interview.
After establishing his languorous stage presence playing a homosexual college student- turned-incipient spy in "Another Country" - a role he reprised in the 1984 film version - Everett scored as an aristocratic bounder romancing a dance hall manager (Miranda Richardson) in "Dance with a Stranger" (1985), a based-on-true accounts tale of Ruth Ellis, the last female to be executed in England. Around the same period, the actor also attempted to crossover to the American market with appearances in the TV miniseries "Princess Daisy" (NBC, 1983) and "The Far Pavilions" (HBO, 1984). The actor's career suffered setbacks in the mid-80s, however, when he turned down the role of Cecil Vyse in the critically lauded Merchant/Ivory production of "A Room with a View" (1986). More bad luck followed when Everett missed out on a chance to play the young Orson Welles in the Welles-directed "The Cradle Will Rock" -- due to the legendary director's untimely death. Everett did, however, get a chance to work with lifelong idol Julie Andrews in the uneven film, "Duet for One" (1986).
Unfortunately, much of Everett's subsequent work in the remaining years of that decade were spent in European productions that, however prestigious on paper, did little to raise his profile in Tinseltown. Surprisingly, Everett's decision to come out of the closet as a homosexual in 1989 appeared to be a positive career move. Although he came off as a bit stiff as one-half of a British couple fallen prey to psychotic expatriates from Venice in "The Comfort of Strangers" (1990), Everett became perfectly believable playing hetero roles later in his career.
Periodically, Everett would return to the theater, as he did in 1991 for a Los Angeles revival of Noel Coward's "The Vortex," and later; in 1995, when he went out in drag to star as the female lead in Tennessee Williams' "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore." In between, Everett wrote two amusing novels, 1991's Hello Darling, Are You Working?and 1994's The Hairdressers of St. Tropez . After a turn as a zombie hunter in Michele Soavi's well-made thriller, "Cemetery Man/Dellamorte Dellamore" (1996), Everett reinvented his signature cool screen persona with back-to-back comedy roles. In Robert Altman's "Ready-to-Wear (Pret-a-Porter)" (1994), Everett was the schemer out to sell a fashion empire out from under his own mother. In "The Madness of King George" (1994), the actor proved amusing as the dense, but ambitious Prince of Wales. For what it was worth, Everett was also one of the rare stars to escape with some shred of dignity after being upstaged by an orangutan in the dreadful comedy, "Dunston Checks In" (1996).
Luckily, those roles only served as a warm-up for his scene-stealing turn in the hit romantic comedy, "My Best Friend's Wedding" (1997). Cast as the acerbic confidante to Roberts's character, Everett played magazine editor George Downs, a flamboyant gay male who must pose as a raging heterosexual fiancé to Roberts. In the original cut of the film, Everett actually appeared in fewer scenes, but test audiences praised his chemistry with co-star Roberts. In response, several additional scenes were shot and edited in. While the much-speculated supporting Oscar nomination failed to materialize, Everett became an actor in demand Stateside virtually overnight.
Following his cameo as Bard rival Christopher Marlowe in "Shakespeare in Love" (1998), Everett lent his patrician bearing and plummy tones to the role of Oberon in Michael Hoffman's adaptation of "William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1999). This was followed in quick succession by an acclaimed turn as Lord Goring in director Oliver Parker's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband" (1999). Everett would later re-team with Parker for a second, less-successful Wilde outing with 2002's "The Importance of Being Ernest."
Everett turned villainous as The Claw in the live-action cartoon "Inspector Gadget" (1999). Taking full advantage of his burgeoning fame, he then went on to polish the script (with writing partner Mel Bordeaux) and co-star opposite real-life friend Madonna in "The Next Best Thing" (2000). In it, he played a gay man who fathers a child with a friend (Madonna). Unfortunately, the film was a critical and commercial bomb - with much of the rancor, fortunately for Everett, directed toward his singer-turned-leading lady. Building further on his writing career, Everett finished two more scripts - the gay James Bondian farce, "P.S. I Love You" and the warm-fuzzy romance "Martha and Arthur" - a script which would have re-teamed him with Julia Roberts in a tale of a closeted actor who marries a beauty to protect his secret from his fans.
In the early 2000's, Everett took a brief sabbatical from the Hollywood spotlight, appearing only in the occasional low-profile European production. The thespian would resurface, though, just a year or two later to lend his distinctive vocal tones to such animated films as "The Wild Thornberrys Movie" (2002) and as Prince Charming in the CGI sequels "Shrek 2" (2004) and "Shrek the Third" (2007).
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Asked to leave Central School of Speech and Drama in his second year due to insubordination
Made stage debut at Glasgow's Citizens Theatre with a walk-on role in "Don Juan"
Made film debut in the short "A Shocking Accident"
Breakthrough stage role, playing the lead as Guy Bennett in "Another Country"
Major TV debut, "Princess Daisy" (NBC)
Feature acting debut, played the lead in "Real Life"
Reprised stage role in the film version of "Another Country"
Played romantic role of Miranda Richardson's lover in "Dance With a Stranger"
Appeared as Lancelot in the CBS movie "Arthur the King" (filmed in 1982)
Worked with his idol Julie Andrews in "Duet for One"
Cast by Orson Welles to portray Welles as a young man in a film about the staging of "The Cradle Will Rock"; project abandoned when Welles died in 1986
Cast as singer James Colt in "Hearts of Fire"; sang several songs on the film's soundtrack
Starred in film adaptation of "Chronicle of a Death Foretold"
With Natasha Richardson, played a British couple who fall in with an expatriate pair in Venice in "The Comfort of Strangers"
Made American stage acting debut in a Los Angeles production of Noel Coward's "The Vortex"
Published first novel <i>Hello Darling, Are You Working?</i>
Reignited film career with comic turns in Robert Altman's "Ready-to-Wear (Pret-a-Porter)" and Nicholas Hytner's "The Madness of King George"
Filmed the leading role in Michele Soavi's "Cemetery Man"
Played the female lead (in drag) in Tennessee Williams' stage play "The Milk Train Doesn'r Stop Here Anymore"
Acted in a Paris production of "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Appeared in print advertisements for Opium for Men cologne
Won critical praise for his turn as Julia Roberts' gay editor in "My Best Friend's Wedding"
Made cameo appearance as playwright Christopher Marlowe in the Oscar-winning "Shakespeare in Love"
Played Lord Goring in the Oliver Parker-directed film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband"
Played the villainous Dr. Claw in the live-action film "Inspector Gadget" opposite Matthew Broderick in the title role
Portrayed Oberon, the king of the fairies in Michael Hoffman's adapation of "William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Cast as Madonna's gay best friend in "The Next Best Thing"; also sang backup on her cover of "American Pie," which appears on the film's soundtrack
Re-teamed with director Oliver Parker for the remake of "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Cast as the lover of a murdered pop star in P. J. Hogan's "Who Shot Victor Fox?"
Cast as King Charles II in Richard Eyre's adaptation of Jeffrey Hatcher's play "Stage Beauty"
Lent his voice to Prince Charming in the animated feature "Shrek 2"
Voiced the Fox in the adaptation of C.S. Lewis' fantasy classic "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"
Cast opposite Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson in Julian Fellowes' directorial debut "Separate Lies"
Reprised voice role of Prince Charming in "Shrek the Third"
Made Broadway debut in the revival of Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit"
Played supporting role opposite Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal in the period comedy "Hysteria"