Hugh Laurie Biography
James Hugh Calum Laurie (born 11.6.1959)
Hugh Laurie is an English actor, writer, musician, comedian and director most notable for his portrayal as House in the self-titled television series Drama, for which he was awarded two Golden Globe awards, two screen actor guild awards and six Emmy nominations. He was also listed as the 2011 Guinness World Records highest paid television actor in a Drama series, earning £250,000 per episode of House - for which he was also stated as the most watched leading man on television.
Hugh Laurie: Childhood
Laurie was born in Oxford to 'Presbyterianism by character, by mood' mother, Patricia, who Hugh later stated as 'a frustration to her... she didn't like me' during an interview on 'Inside the Actors Studio'. Hugh's father William George Ranald Mundell Laurie, was a doctor who won a gold medal in the 1948 London Games in the coxless pairs (rowing).
Hugh attended St. Columba's Presbyterian Church of England in Oxford, despite later stating 'I don't believe in God' in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. Hugh did not know what to do with pleasure during his childhood and states he was 'a horrible child'.
Hugh went on to study at Eton and Selwyn College as part of a family tradition, in order to follow in his father's footsteps, however It wasn't until he was forced to partially abandon rowing during a case of Glandular Fever that he joined Cambridge Footlights, an amateur theatrical club including multiple notable comedians, actors and writers as members.
Whilst attending the theatrical club, Laurie met close friend and romantic relation Emma Thompson, who introduced him to Stephen Fry. The trio later parodied themselves in a 'Footsteps Challenge' during an episode of The Young Ones, Hugh's first publically recognised television role. During his last year at university (80-81) Laurie was appointed as president of the Footlights association, with Thompson appointed as vice-president. They released their annual revue, The Cellar Tapes to the Edinburgh Festival Fridge and won the first Perrier Comedy Award with Laurie and Fry receiving the main writing credits. Laurie later stated he did not graduate from Cambridge.
Hugh Laurie: Acting Career
The successes of The Cellar Tapes lead to a west end transfer and a television adaption, broadcast in 1982, which allowed the trio (Laurie, Fry, Thompson) to write and star in Alfresco, a comedy series also starring Robbie Coltrane, Ben Elton and Siobhan Redmond. The television show ended in 1984 (after two series) however Laurie continued to work with Fry throughout the 80's and 90's appeared in Comedy television show Black Adder, alongside star Rowan Atkinson and co-star Stephen Fry. The television series was a historical comedy where Laurie played multiple character roles, most recognised as Prince George and Lieutenant George throughout the show.
Laurie continued to act in Black Adder throughout its multiple television series and television films whilst also being involved in separate television and film roles including: Sense and Sensibility (1995), 101 Dalmatians (1996), an episode of US sitcom Friends (1998) and the Stuart Little trilogy. Throughout this time Laurie continued to team up with fellow friend Stephen Fry in comedy series 'A bit of Fry & Laurie' which ran for four series between 1987 and 1995. The show received public recognition and Laurie was praised for his acting and writing.
Laurie reprised his role as Mr. Little (who he played in the live animated films and cartoon film adaptation of Stuart Little) in the Stuart Little television series broadcast in 2003 and 2006. The series was nominated for Outstanding Musical Direction at the 2004 daytime Emmy awards.
In some respects Laurie did follow in his father's footsteps when he was cast as Dr. Gregory House in the Golden Globe, award winning television series House. The Pilot aired on 16th November 2004 achieving Laurie instant success and recognition. The show followed anti-social maverick doctor (played by Laurie) as he attempted to solve the most unusual medical conditions. In 2006 House was awarded as official selection for the television show of the year at the AFI awards. Laurie was also continually, personally nominated for Golden Globes for his role as House. The show ran between 2004 and 2012 and co-starred Omar Epps, Jesse Spencer and Robert Sean Leonard.
Whilst Laurie's was involved with House, he also played further film roles including Captain James Bigs in Street Kings, alongside Forest Whitaker, Keanu Reeves and Chris Evans and voiced Dr. Cockroach Ph.D in DreamWorks Monsters vs Aliens which won the Saturn award for best animated film.
In 2012 Laurie was cast in his first leading film role, in the Independnant Comedy Drama, The Oranges. The film received a mixed reaction however Laurie was praised for his role as David.
Laurie has also received musical success releasing two original blues albums with Warner Bros. Records. Laurie often used his musical talent throughout his productions including House, Jeeves and Wooster (1990 - 1993) and when he hosted Saturday Night Live in October 2006
Hugh Laurie: Personal Life
Laurie's mother died of Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 73 in 1989. Laurie described his father as 'the sweetest man' when he looked after her for the two years she suffered.
Laurie married Joe Green, theatre administrator in June 1989. Stephen Fry was Laurie's best man at his Camden wedding and is Godfather to Laurie's three children: Charlie, Bill and Rebecca.
On 23rd May 2007, Laurie was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to Drama by the Queen.
Laurie is open and has discussed his clinical depression for which he receives psychological treatment.