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Last Updated: Monday, 17 January, 2005, 13:05 GMT
Clive Owen gets Closer to stardom
Clive Owen
Clive Owen won Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes for Closer
British actor Clive Owen has been named best supporting actor at the Golden Globe awards for his performance in the drama Closer.

With a Golden Globe for best supporting actor under his belt and a Bafta nomination as well, Clive Owen is shaping up to be one of the British success stories of the 2005 awards season.

His victory makes him one of the front-runners for the best supporting actor Oscar, for playing one of Closer's romantically entangled quartet.

But the road to the podium has been a long one for Owen, who spent many years toiling on the small screen, and starring in small British productions before Hollywood came calling.

Road trip

Born on 3 October 1964 in Coventry, Owen began acting in youth theatre as a teenager and afterwards went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada).

He joined the Young Vic theatre company in 1988 where he met his future wife, actress Sarah Jane Fenton, while starring alongside her in a production of Romeo and Juliet. The couple married in 1995 and have two daughters.

Second Sight
Owen with actress Claire Skinner in the crime drama Second Sight

That same year, he made his film debut in the low-budget British drama Vroom, as a disillusioned young man who goes on a road trip with his best friend and a middle-aged divorcee.

But his career really began to take off when he starred in the early 90s series Chancer.

Costume dramas

Although the programme only ran for 20 episodes Owen made his mark as super-suave Stephen Crane, a man with a shady past.

It paved the way for a string of roles in film and TV throughout the decade, including the incest drama Close My Eyes and Mike Hodges' acclaimed 1998 drama Croupier.

Among his TV roles were costume dramas Lorna Doone, which co-starred Sean Bean and Polly Walker, and the 1994 adaptation of Return Of The Native, which saw him starring alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones. He also took the lead in the BBC crime drama Second Sight in 1999.

More recently he has been seen in Gosford Park, The Bourne Identity and 2004's ill-fated historical epic King Arthur.

Owen is also the only cast member from the original West End theatre production of Closer to star in the film version - although he moves from the lead role of Dan to the supporting role of Larry.

Unusual

Larry is a doctor who falls in love with a photographer (Julia Roberts) only to have her lured away by a lovestruck obituary writer (Jude Law).
Clive Owen and Natalie Portman in Closer
Owen stars with Natalie Portman in Closer

Much of the appeal, he says, came from the quality of the script, adapted by Patrick Marber from his original play.

"It's very unusual to hear fantastic dialogue, to hear intelligent people interacting. And to do that in this piece is hugely exciting and to be involved in a film for adults."

Owen will be seen next in Sin City, a crime drama based on the comic books by Frank Miller, and featuring an all-star cast that includes Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Elijah Wood.

And rumours continue to fly that he will shortly be stepping into James Bond's tuxedo, taking over where Pierce Brosnan left off. With other actors tipped for the role including Gerard Butler and Dougray Scott, Owen remains non-committal.

"I don't really think about that," he says. "The Bond rumours have been circulating for a while and I learned a long time ago not to think about rumours."

Owen's current awards season success can only improve his future 007 chances.


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