Timothy Dalton Biography

Timothy Dalton photo

Born: March 21, 1946


Date of Birth: March 21, 1946

Born in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, where Dalton's father was stationed during WWII, he is oldest of five children. His father moved the family to Manchester in the late '40s where he worked in advertising and raised the growing Dalton family in an upperclass neighborhood outside of Belper, Derbyshire, just south of Manchester.

Dalton was enrolled in school for bright children where he excelled in sports and was interested in the sciences. He was also interested in acting from a young age, perhaps due to the fact that both his grandfathers were vaudevillains, but it was when he saw a performance of Macbeth in 1962 at age 16 that his destiny was clinched.

After high school, Dalton toured as a leading member of Michael Croft's National Youth Theater during the summers of '64, '65 and '66. He went on to work at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and the star-making Birmingham Repertory. Dalton's extensive work in the classics with the Royal Shakespeare Company led to his being cast as King Philip of France in the film The Lion in Winter (1968).

Dalton also mixed in a healthy dose of BBC work including The Three Princes, Five Finger Exercise, and Candida. During this time he was approached and tested for James Bond in the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, but he turned it down, feeling he was too young for the part.

In 1971, Dalton appeared in Mary Queen of Scots, simultaneously launching a lengthy romantic involvement with that film's star, Vanessa Redgrave.

During the early to mid-'70s, Dalton decided to further hone his skills by going back into the theater fulltime. He signed on with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Prospect Theater Company, and toured around the world with both companies, playing leads in Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Henry V, Love's Labours Lost, and Henry IV—Parts 1 and 2.

When Roger Moore quit the James Bond film series in 1986, it looked for a while as though his successor would be TV star Pierce Brosnan. Instead, the Bond producers made the eleventh-hour decision to cast Timothy Dalton as Secret Agent 007 in The Living Daylights. Though dashing in a tuxedo and more than willing to perform his own stunts, Dalton was more effectively felt in the role of the dastardly movie swashbuckler-cum-Nazi spy in the breezy sci-fier The Rocketeer (1991).

In 1997, his film, The Beautician and the Beast opposite Fran Drescher, opened wide in the U.S. He played a former president/dictator and did a little sword-fighting. He is extremely private about his personal life and loves.

Dalton has a son with Oksana Grigorieva, who went on to have a daughter in 2009 with Mel Gibson.

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