Born: August 22, 1971
Date of Birth: August 22, 1971
Born and raised in Leicester, England, Richard Armitage is most famous for his role as Thorin Oakenshield in the three-film adaptation of The Hobbit.
Richard attended Huncote Community Primary School in Huncote, Blaby District, Leicestershire. He later attended Brockington College in Enderby, where he studied music while playing the cello in school and in local orchestras as well as learning how to play the flute. At Pattison College in Coventry, his education expanded to include dance and acting.
At 17, Richard joined a circus in Budapest to gain his Equity Card. Shortly after, he returned to England and performing in music theater productions such as Cats.
He found he wasn’t happy with the broad level of acting in music theater and wanting to direct his career towards more serious acting. So, he enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) to study drama.
Following completion of his program at LAMDA, he soon found himself back on stage playing small roles in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s productions of Macbeth and The Duchess of Malfi, as well as Hamlet and Four Alice Bakers with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. In 1999, Richard made his film debut with a small role in the independent film This Year’s Love.
In 2002, Richard appeared in his first major television role as John Standring in the BBC TV movie Sparkhouse. The following year he landed recurring roles in the TV series Cold Feet and Ultimate Force.
Having established himself in television, Richard took on the major role of Guy of Gisborne in the BBC series Robin Hood. “In order to sustain the character of Guy, you have to find the conflict within him,” Richard told the BBC. “I have to say, I think baddies are the most fun to play because you get to be rude and aggressive and you get to do things that you can’t really do in everyday life.”
Richard’s first substantial role in a major feature film was as Nazi spy Heinz Kruger in Captain America: The First Avenger and soon after, he landed the biggest role in his career when he was cast as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of a three-film series. Most recently, he starred in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).