Born: March 25, 1979
Date of Birth: March 25, 1979
Actor Lee Grinner Pace was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma to parents James Roy Pace, an engineer in the oil business and Charlotte Kloeckler, a school teacher. Due to his father’s profession, Lee and his family often relocated. He spent several years of his childhood in the Middle East (Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates) before finally returning to the United States, where his family settled in Houston, Texas.
Lee has two younger siblings, Will and Sally. As a youngster, he loved comic books and cartoons as well as swimming. However, he had to quit the sport because it gave him earaches.
In Houston, Lee dropped out of high school because he frequently skipped to perform at the local Alley Theatre's productions of The Spider's Web and The Greeks. He finally attained his diploma from Klein High School in 1997. After this, he left for New York City to study at the prestigious Julliard School. It was there that his love for acting truly developed. He was cast in several roles, including Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, the title role in King Richard III and Cassius in Julius Caesar. This was before he made a splash in the off-Broadway production of The Credeaux Canvas, in which he gained critical acclaim for his performance, as well as for his work in The Fourth Sister.
Lee made the jump to television with a small role in Law & Order: Special Victim Unit in the episode Guilt, which aired March 22, 2002.
The following year he nabbed a starring role in the Showtime original movie Soldier's Girl as Calpernia Addams. The movie, based on a true story, was about army soldier Barry Winchell (Troy Garity) who was beaten to death for falling in love with a transgendered nightclub performer (Lee Pace).
The movie was received very well and received a 2004 Peabody Award. Lee also netted his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a SUpporting Role in a Series, Mini Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, an Independent Spirit nomination for Best Male Lead, a Golden Satellite nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television and the Breakthrough Award at the Gotham Galas.
When asked about the role, Lee told Interview Magazine: “Not even my excellent training at Julliard prepared me for my first movie role, where I played a transsexual who falls in love with a military guy in Soldier’s Girl. Here I was, this 6’3”, 190 pound lanky kid from Chickasha, Oklahoma, not knowing how to begin being a woman. So I saw documentaries about transsexuals, I lost 25 pounds and I put on prosthetic boobs and hips to become that character. There were times I’d look in the mirror and say, ‘What am I doing to my life here? My dad is going to kill me!’ But the reason I went into acting was to be able to play parts as complicated as this one. In playing a transsexual, I got the chance to help change people’s perspective about other people and that is a powerful thing. I’m playing a swashbuckling bandit in my next film, but I’ll always be proud of Soldier’s Girl.”
From there, Lee landed a starring role in the series Wonderfalls in 2004 and another starring role in the series Pushing Daisies (2007 to 2009). On the big screen, he played Garrett in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 (2012) and Thranduil in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as well as the two sequels.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, Lee enjoys spending his free time riding his bike. He also enjoys sky diving and traveling. He has an English Pointer named Carl, who he states is the most awesome thing in his life.
Filmography:The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)