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Oscars 2002 Monday, 25 March, 2002, 05:09 GMT
In with the right Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes is a familiar face to BBC viewers
British writer and actor Julian Fellowes has won a best original screenplay Oscar for Gosford Park.

Fellowes, 52, was approached by director Robert Altman to write the screenplay for the film, after previous work including the TV adaptation of children's classic Little Lord Fauntleroy for the BBC.

As well as the Oscar nomination, he has had a Golden Globe nomination and a New York Film Critics Circle award.

Dame Maggie Smith and Julian Fellowes
Dame Maggie Smith and Julian Fellowes share a joke

He told the press after winning his Oscar that when he writes, he thinks of potential cast members.

"Four of the people I imagined in my wildest dreams actually made the parts.

"I can't believe it. The whole of the first six months of this, I never thought this would happen at all. Then the money came and it went, right up until February.

"The big thing was whether it would get made not whether it would get an Oscar."

Fellowes is better known to UK audiences from his numerous supporting roles in TV and film.

He was a government minister in Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies and was a Scottish laird in BBC TV series Monarch of the Glen.

Laundry

Fellowes is perfectly equipped to chronicle the life of the upper classes.

The Cambridge graduate was educated at leading Catholic public school Ampleforth.

And he spent his youth in just the sort of stately home depicted in the film.

Recalling his years at drama school, he said: "I would be doing rep, sleeping in digs with leaking walls, then I would go off to a huge stately and have them do my laundry at the weekend."

He lives in upmarket Chelsea, west London, with his wife Emma.

She is lady-in-waiting to Princess Michael and her great-great uncle was First World War minister Lord Kitchener.

Their son Peregrine is at boarding school.

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