Oscar Actors: Law, Jude

Jude Law is considered one of Britain’s finest actors, with many strong film and stage performances to his credit.

Law received Oscar nominations for his performances in Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley; the latter also earned him the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He was also a Golden Globe Award nominee for both works, and again for Steven Spielberg’s AI Artificial Intelligence.

Law first drew film industry and critical attention for his performance opposite Stephen Fry as Lord Alfred Douglas in Brian Gilbert’s Wilde, for which he won an Evening Standard Award.

Among his many subsequent films have been Clint Eastwood’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca; David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ; Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Enemy at the Gates; Sam Mendes’ Road to Perdition, with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman; Anthony Minghella’s Breaking and Entering; David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees; Brad Silberling’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, as narrator; Charles Shyer’s Alfie; Nancy Meyers’ hit comedy The Holiday, with Cameron Diaz; Anthony Minghella’s Breaking and Entering; Wong Kar-wai’s My Blueberry Nights; Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus; Fernando Meirelles’ 360; Martin Scorsese’s multi-Academy Award-winning Hugo; Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion and Side Effects; Richard Shepard’s Dom Hemingway; Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel; and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina, also for Focus Features.

Together with Robert Downey Jr. and director Guy Ritchie, he made the worldwide box office smashes Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. He will next be seen starring with Melissa McCarthy in Paul Feig’s Spy.

Law was producer on, and starred in, Kerry Conran’s fantasy epic Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie; and Sleuth, opposite Michael Caine, which Harold Pinter adapted from Anthony Shaffer’s classic psychological thriller for director Kenneth Branagh.

Law shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with his fellow actors from the ensemble of Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator; and shared a National Board of Review award with his fellow actors from the ensemble of Mike Nichols’ Closer.


He began his career on the stage, acting with the National Youth Theatre at the age of 12. In 1994, he starred in Sean Mathias’ staging of Les Parents Terribles, and was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for Outstanding Newcomer. The play was then renamed Indiscretions for its Broadway run, where he received a Tony Award nomination. He later starred in `Tis Pity She’s a Whore and Dr. Faustus, both directed by David Lan, at London’s Young Vic Theatre; Mr. Law was involved in the fundraising efforts for the major refurbishment of the Young Vic.

In 2009, he starred in the title role of Michael Grandage’s Donmar Warehouse staging of Hamlet in London’s West End and then on Broadway, earning a second Tony Award nomination as well as an Olivier Award nomination. In 2011, he starred in the Donmar production of Anna Christie in the West End, opposite Ruth Wilson for director Rob Ashford; he received an Olivier Award nomination for his work. In the fall of 2013, he returned to the West End to star for several months in the title role of Henry V, staged by Mr. Grandage. He will soon star on-screen as novelist Thomas Wolfe in Genius, directed by Mr. Grandage, opposite Colin Firth as Maxwell Perkins.

He is an Ambassador for the charity Peace One Day.

In 2012, he was honored with the British Independent Film Awards’ Variety Award. In 2007, France’s film academy awarded Mr. Law a César d’Honneur in recognition of his contribution to cinema; and the government of France named him a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his artistic achievements.