Toby Stephens: Wikis


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Toby Stephens
Born 21 April 1969 (1969-04-21) (age 40)
London, England
Occupation actor
Spouse(s) Anna-Louise Plowman

Toby Stephens (born 21 April 1969) is an English stage, television and film actor, best known for playing supervillain Gustav Graves in the James Bond film Die Another Day (2002) and Edward Fairfax Rochester in the BBC television adaptation of Jane Eyre (2006).



Stephens, the son of actors Dame Maggie Smith and Robert Stephens, was born in London, England. He was educated at Aldro and Seaford College and trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He began his film career with the role of Othello in 1992's Orlando. He has since made regular appearances on television (including in The Camomile Lawn) and on stage.

He has gained acclaim as a stage actor of distinction, notably playing the title role in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Coriolanus shortly after graduation from LAMDA; that same season he played Claudio in Measure for Measure for the RSC. He also played Stanley Kowalski in a West End production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, and Hamlet in 2004. He has appeared on Broadway in Ring Round the Moon. He played the lead in the film Photographing Fairies and played Orsino in Trevor Nunn's film of Twelfth Night. In 2002 he took on the role for which he is most widely known, that of Gustav Graves in the James Bond movie Die Another Day.

In 2005 he played the role of a British army captain in the Indian film, Mangal Pandey: The Rising, portraying events in the Indian rebellion of 1857. The following year he returned to India to play a renegade British East India Company officer in Sharpe's Challenge.

In late 2006 he starred as Edward Rochester in the BBC television adaptation of Jane Eyre (broadcast in the United States on PBS in early 2007) and The Wild West in February 2007 for the BBC in which he played General George Armstrong Custer in Custer's Last Stand.

During mid-2007, Stephens played the role of Jerry in a revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal under the direction of Roger Michell. Later that year, Stephens also starred as Horner in Jonathan Kent's revival of William Wycherley's The Country Wife. The play was the inaugural production of The Theatre Royal Haymarket Company, which in addition to Stephens includes the actors Eileen Atkins, Patricia Hodge, David Haig and Ruthie Henshall. Various members of the Company are expected to star in upcoming productions at the Haymarket Theatre with various artistic directors. The formation of the Company is considered by many London theatre critics to be a bold move for West End theatre.[1]

In February 2008, Fox Broadcasting Company gave the go-ahead to cast Stephens as the lead in a potential one hour, prime time U.S. television show, Inseparable, to be produced by Shaun Cassidy. Billed as a modern Jekyll and Hyde story, the show was to feature a partially paralyzed forensic psychologist whose other personality is a charming criminal. Stephens' casting was highly unusual, because Fox had not yet approved a script nor purchased a pilot for the show. However, in mid-May 2008, The Hollywood Reporter announced that "[b]y the time the network picked up the pilot . . . [the producers'] hold on Stephens had expired . . . ."[2][3]

In May 2008, Stephens performed the role of James Bond in a BBC Radio 4 production of Ian Fleming's Dr. No, as part of the centenary celebration of Fleming's birth. The production was reportedly the first BBC radio dramatization of the novel though Moonraker was on South African radio in 1956, with Bob Holness providing the voice of Bond.[4].

Also in May 2008, Stock-pot Productions announced that Stephens will have the lead role in a feature-length film entitled Fly Me, co-starring Tim McInnerny.[5] Stock-pot was also the producer of One Day, a short 2006 film shown at international film festivals, in which Stephens played a small part as the boss of McInnerny's character.

On 5 October 2008, Stephens appeared onstage at the London Palladium as part of a benefit entitled "The Story of James Bond, A Tribute to Ian Fleming." The event, organized by Fleming's niece, Lucy Fleming, featured music from various James Bond films and Bond film stars reading from Fleming's Bond novels. Stephens took the part of James Bond himself in the readings.

In early December 2008, Stephens read from Coda, the last book written by his good friend Simon Gray, for BBC Radio 4. The excerpts from which Stephens read included Gray's description of Gray's participation as godfather at the christening of Stephens' son Eli.

Early in 2009, Stephens appeared as Prince John in Season 3 of the BBC series Robin Hood. The series is currently airing on BBC America in the United States. In the summer of 2009, Stephens also appeared on the London stage in the Donmar Warehouse production of Ibsen's A Doll's House alongside Gillian Anderson and Christopher Eccleston.

Stephens has finished filming a three-part comedic television series for BBC Two entitled Vexed, about "two detectives who share chemistry but have complicated personal lives."[6] In addition, according to IMDb, Stephens has been cast in two episodes of a six-part television series, Strike Back, based on the novel by Chris Ryan. The show will air on Sky1 in Spring 2010.[7]

Over the years, Stephens has continued to prolifically narrate audiobooks and perform in broadcast radio dramas; over the last two years, he has given 12 such performances. In March 2010, BBC Audiobooks will release a recording of Time and the Conways, a radio drama based on J.B. Priestley's play, in which Stephens was cast in the role of Robin. The drama originally aired on BBC Radio in 1994. In April 2010, Stephens will perform the role of James Bond yet again in the BBC Radio 4 production of Goldfinger, a radio drama based on the James Bond book. Stephens' wife, Anna-Louise Plowman will perform the role of Jill Masterton opposite Stephens. That same month, the BBC will release the drama Journey into Space: The Host as an audiobook; Stephens performed the lead role of Jet Morgan when the drama was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2009.

Stephens will also return to the stage in 2010 to star as Henry in a revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, to be directed by Anna Mackmin at the Old Vic Theatre in London. The play will run from April 10, 2010 (in previews until April 21, 2010), through June 5, 2010. Of debuting at the Old Vic, where his parents performed as part of Laurence Olivier's Royal National Theatre company, Stephens recently said: "It's quite moving for me to do something there. It means it has an added fascination. It was an historic place but I never saw anything when [my parents] were there, which is really sad, because I was just born. I'm a huge admirer of Stoppard's work."[8]

Stephens is also expected to star in Danton's Death in the summer of 2010. The play will represent his debut at the Royal National Theatre.[9] [10]

As of January 2010, Stephens is reportedly filming a new made-for-television movie, The Blue Geranium, a further sequel to the television series and movies based on Agatha Christie's Miss Marple character. [11]

Personal life

In May 2007, Toby Stephens and his wife of six years, New Zealand actress Anna-Louise Plowman, had their first child, a son named Eli Alistair.[12] The late Simon Gray, the renowned British playwright (who penned Japes, a stage play, and Missing Dates, a radio drama, both of which starred Stephens), was reportedly Eli's godfather.[13] Stephens and his wife became the parents of a second child, a girl named Tallulah, in May 2009.[14]


Year Title Role Director Other Notes
1992 Orlando Othello Sally Potter Written by Sally Potter, based on the novel Orlando by Virginia Woolf
1996 Twelfth Night Duke Orsino Trevor Nunn Based on the Shakespeare play Twelfth Night
1997 Sunset Heights Luke Bradley Colm Villa
1997 Photographing Fairies Charles Castle Nick Willing Based on the book by Steve Szilagyi
1998 Cousin Bette Victorin Hulot Des McAnuff Based on the book Cousin Bette by Honoré de Balzac
1999 Onegin Vladimir Lensky Martha Fiennes Based on the poem Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
2000 The Announcement Ross Troy Miller
2000 Space Cowboys Frank Clint Eastwood
2001 Possession Fergus Wolfe Neil LaBute Based on the novel Possession: A Romance by A. S. Byatt
2002 Die Another Day Gustav Graves Lee Tamahori Based on the characters of Ian Fleming
2004 Terkel in Trouble Voice of Justin Kresten Vestbjerg Andersen, Thorbjørn Christoffersen, Stefan Fjeldmark Animated film
2005 Midsummer Dream Voice of Demetrius Ángel de la Cruz, Manolo Gómez Animated film Based on the play A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare
2005 Mangal Pandey: The Rising Captain William Gordon Ketan Mehta
2006 Dark Corners Dr Woodleigh Ray Gower Written by Ray Gower
2006 Severance Harris Christopher Smith


Year Title Role Other notes
1992 The Camomile Lawn Oliver Based on the book The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley
1996 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Gilbert Markham Based on the book The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
2000 The Great Gatsby Jay Gatsby Based on the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2001 Perfect Strangers Charles
2002 Napoléon Tsar Alexander I Based on the book by Max Gallo
2003 Essential Byron Reader Dramatised documentary focusing on poet Lord Byron's work
2003 Cambridge Spies Kim Philby
2003 Agatha Christie's Poirot Five Little Pigs Philip Blake Based on the book Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
2004 London Casanova
2005 Waking the Dead Dr Nick Henderson Season 5, Episodes 5 and 6 (Subterraneans, Parts I and II)
2005 The Queen's Sister Anthony Armstrong-Jones
2006 The Best Man Peter Tremaine
2006 Sharpe's Challenge William Dodd Based on Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe series
2006 Jane Eyre Edward Fairfax Rochester Based on the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
2007 The Wild West - Custer's Last Stand General George Armstrong Custer Documentary
2008 Wired Crawford Hill
2009 Robin Hood - Series 3 Prince John of England
2010 Vexed Jack
2010 Strike Back Arlington Based on the book by Chris Ryan
2010 (?) The Blue Geranium George Pritchard A Miss Marple mystery based on the Agatha Christie short story (first published in The Thirteen Problems)


Year Title Role Other notes
1992 Tartuffe Damis Directed by Sir Peter Hall (Playhouse); play by Molière; Stephens' West End theatre debut
1992 Tamburlaine Celebinus/King of Argier Directed by Terry Hands (RSC); play by Christopher Marlowe
1992 Antony and Cleopatra Pompey Directed by John Caird (RSC); play by Shakespeare
1992 All's Well That Ends Well Bertram Directed by Sir Peter Hall (RSC); play by Shakespeare
1993 Wallenstein Max Piccolomini Directed by Tim Albery (RSC); play by Friedrich von Schiller
1994 Unfinished Business Young Beamish Directed by Steven Pimlott (RSC); play by Michael Hastings
1994 Coriolanus Caius Marcius Coriolanus Directed by David Thacker (RSC); play by Shakespeare
1994 A Midsummer Night's Dream Lysander Directed by Adrian Noble (RSC); play by Shakespeare
1994 Measure for Measure Claudio Directed by Steven Pimlott (RSC); play by Shakespeare
1996 A Streetcar Named Desire Stanley Kowalski Directed by Sir Peter Hall (The Haymarket); play by Tennessee Williams
1998/99 Phedre Hippolytus Directed by Jonathan Kent (Almeida & Brooklyn Academy); play by Jean Racine
1998/99 Britannicus Nero Directed by Jonathan Kent (Almeida & Brooklyn Academy); play by Jean Racine
1999 Ring Round the Moon Hugo/Frederick Directed by Gerry Gutierrez (Lincoln Center Theatre NY); play by Jean Anouilh; Stephens' Broadway debut
2001 Japes Japes Directed by Sir Peter Hall (The Haymarket); play by Simon Gray
2001 The Royal Family Anthony Cavendish Directed by Sir Peter Hall (The Haymarket); play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber
2004 Hamlet Hamlet Directed by Michael Boyd (RSC); play by Shakespeare
2004 The Pilate Workshop Jesus Directed by Michael Boyd (RSC); play by Helen Edmundson, based on Ann Wroe's Pontius Pilate: The Biography of an Invented Man
2007 Betrayal Jerry Directed by Roger Michell (Donmar); play by Harold Pinter
2007 The Country Wife Mr. Horner Directed by Jonathan Kent (Haymarket); play by William Wycherley
2009 A Doll's House Thomas (Torvald, Nora's husband, in the original) Directed by Kfir Yefet (Donmar); play by Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Zinnie Harris
2010 The Real Thing Henry To be directed by Anna Mackmin; play by Tom Stoppard
2010 Danton's Death Georges Danton To be directed by Michael Grandage; play by Georg Buchner

Radio drama and audio books

Year Title Role Other notes
1994 Time and the Conways Robin Radio drama based on the play Time and the Conways by J.B. Priestley: to be released as a BBC Audiobook in March 2010
1995 The Prince's Choice Coriolanus, Hamlet, Henry V, Henry IV and Edward Poins A selection from Shakespeare's works; narrators include the Prince of Wales and Stephens' parents, Sir Robert Stephens and Dame Maggie Smith, Hodder & Stoughton Audio Books
1997 As You Like It Orlando BBC dramatised recording of Shakespeare's play
1997 The Lifted Veil Latimer BBC dramatised recording of the novella by George Eliot
1997 The Guns of Navarone Mallory BBC two part dramatised recording of the novel by Alistair MacLean, BBC Radio Collection Audiobook
1997 Birdsong Stephen Wraysford BBC three-part drama based on the Sebastian Faulks novel (sometimes listed under the title of Part I, 'France 1910')
1997 Anna Karenina Count Vronsky BBC dramatised recording of the Leo Tolstoy novel, BBC Classic Collection Audiobook
1998 The Troy trilogy Achilles 3 x 90 minute plays by Andrew Rissik for the BBC with Paul Scofield

King Priam and His Sons; The Death of Achilles; Helen at Ephesus

1999 Tales from the Arabian Nights Narrator Includes Aladdin and His Magic Lamp, Sinbad and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Naxos Audiobooks
1999 Macbeth Macbeth Voice of Macbeth for the Movingstage Marionette Company's production of the Shakespeare play
2000 Conversations with Napoleon Reader The words of Napoleon Bonaparte
2001 King Lear Edmund Paul Scofield is King Lear in a dramatised reading of Shakespeare's play, Naxos Audiobooks
2001 On the Road Narrator BBC radio reading of the Jack Kerouac book
2002 The Riddle of the Sands Narrator Novel by Robert Erskine Childers, Penguin Audiobooks
2002 The Woman in White Walter Hartright BBC dramatised recording of novel by Wilkie Collins, BBC Radio Collection Audiobook
2002 Aeneid Aeneas Virgil's Classical Poem abridged by James Burbidge with Paul Scofield, Naxos Audiobooks
2003 Dionysos Pentheus, King of Thebes BBC radio drama by Andrew Rissik with Paul Scofield
2004 Will in the World Reader Based on Stephen Greenblatt's book, a reconstruction of Shakespeare's life & era
2005 Much Ado About Nothing Benedick BBC dramatised recording of Shakespeare's play
2006 Shylock Bassanio BBC Radio 3 dramatised recording of play by Sir Arnold Wesker
2007 Heart of Darkness Narrator Novel by Joseph Conrad, Silksoundbooks Audiobook
2007 Flashman on the March Narrator Novel by George MacDonald Fraser, HarperCollins Audiobook
2008 Flashman and the Dragon Narrator Novel by George MacDonald Fraser, HarperCollins Audiobook
2008 Missing Dates Jason (Japes) BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of play by Simon Gray (a reworking of his play Japes, in which Stephens also played the title role, see Theatre above)
2008 The Good Soldier Narrator BBC Radio 4 reading of the novel by Ford Madox Ford
2008 Dr. No James Bond BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of novel by Ian Fleming
2008 Let's Murder Vivaldi Ben BBC Radio 4 The Saturday Play, adaptation of David Mercer's television drama
2008 Coda Simon Gray BBC Radio 4 reading of Simon Gray's autobiographical book
2008–2009 The Dark Flower Narrator BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime featuring the novel by John Galsworthy
2009 My Dark Places James Ellroy BBC World Service radio drama based on the autobiographical book by James Ellroy
2009 Journey Into Space: The Host Jet BBC Radio 4 The Saturday Play, written by Julian Simpson, based on BBC Radio show Journey Into Space by Charles Chilton (to be released as an audiobook, April 2010)
2009 King Solomon's Mines Narrator Novel by H. Rider Haggard, BBC Worldwide Audiobook
2009 Becket King Henry II BBC Radio 3 adaptation of Jean Anouilh's play[15]
2010 Dick Barton Special Agent: The Mystery of the Missing Formula Narrator Novel by Mike Dorrell, based on the character Dick Barton of the BBC Light Programme of the 1940's; BBC Audiobook
2010 Goldfinger James Bond BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of novel by Ian Fleming
2010 No Place Like Home BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play by Robert Rigby and Nick Russell-Pavier


  1. ^ David Benedict, "Theatre Royal Haymarket Gambles", Variety, July 23, 2007, online edition. [1]
  2. ^ Nellie Andreeva, "Busy Pre-upfront Weekend", The Hollywood Reporter, May 10, 2008, updated May 11, 2008, Online edition. [2]
  3. ^ "Pilot Buzz", zap2it, May 12, 2008.[3]
  4. ^ "Bob Holness on Game Shows". Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  5. ^ Stock-pot Productions Limited, Blog, May 27, 2008. [4]
  6. ^ Katherine Rushton, "Greenlit Gets First BBC Order with Cop Comedy", "Broadcast", July 23, 2009 [5]
  7. ^ Dan French, "Richard Armitage for Sky1's 'Strike Back'", "Digital Spy", August 24, 2009 [6]
  8. ^ Louise Jury, "Toby's emotional debut for classic Stoppard play", London Evening Standard, December 7, 2009. [7]
  9. ^ "Slumdog's Danny Boyle Returns to the Stage as Frankenstein," Theatre News, London Evening Standard, January 21, 2010. [8]
  10. ^ Terri Paddock, "20 Questions with... Toby Stephens," November 19, 2001. [9]
  11. ^ "Julia McKenzie returns as the fictional sleuth Miss Marple, in her seventh film The Blue Geranium for ITV1",, January 21, 2010 [10]
  12. ^ Mark Lawson, "Prodigal Son", The Guardian, May 31, 2007, Online edition. [11]
  13. ^ Janice Turner, "Simon Gray Has Lung Cancer But Won't Stop Smoking," The Times, April 24, 2008, Online edition. [12]
  14. ^ Tim Walker, "Toby Stephens: Being born into the theatre was a mixed blessing," The Daily Telegraph, May 21, 2009, Online edition. [13]
  15. ^ BBC Press Office (28 August 2009). "Classic stage plays and adaptations of major works of fiction at the heart of new drama season on Radio 3". Press release. Retrieved on 28 August 2009.


  • 1994—Ian Charleson Award (best classical actor under 30): Coriolanus
  • 1994—Sir John Gielgud Award (best actor): Coriolanus
  • 1999—Theatre World Award (debut performance on Broadway): Ring Round the Moon

Interviews and articles

External links

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