We chart the star's meteoric rise to fame from schoolboy actor to Oscar nominee and Emmy winner
Benedict Cumberbatch was born on 19 July 1976 to Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham.
A passion for acting quite clearly runs in the family – his father appeared in a number of BBC sitcoms and his mother had a recurring role in comedy Only Fools And Horses.
Benedict – who was educated at Brambletye School in West Sussex before attending Harrow – made his stage debut at the age of 12, playing Titania in a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
He honed his craft at the University of Manchester where he studied drama. Benedict later graduated from the London Academy Of Music And Dramatic Art with a MA in classical acting.
During this time, Benedict met Olivia Poulet. The duo dated for 12 years, eventually calling time on their relationship in 2011.
Despite bagging parts in films including The Other Boleyn Girl alongside Scarlett Johannson and Starter For 10 with James McAvoy and Dominic Cooper, it wasn’t until 2010 that Benedict was propelled to fame when he was announced as the lead in TV series Sherlock.
Since then, Benedict has become a global superstar with a staggering amount of awards and nominations on his CV. He took home the coveted Outstanding Lead Actor trophy for Sherlock at the 2014 Emmy Awards and was named British Artist Of The Year at the BAFTA/LA Britannia Awards in 2013.
During his time in the spotlight, Benedict has undergone a rather dramatic style overhaul. The actor – who’s considered as one of the sexiest men alive – has rocked everything from dark curls to a mid-brown side-part and bleach blonde strands. Known for his dapper approach to wearing trends, he’s also a regular at men’s fashion presentations.
2015 is perhaps the most pivotal year for Benedict yet. Despite losing out to Eddie Redmayne in the Best Actor category at the Oscars, he becomes a husband and father for the first time.
The handsome star married Sophie Hunter at an intimate Valentine’s Day ceremony, following a brief engagement. Benedict and Sophie were first rumoured to be an item in the summer of 2014 when they were snapped enjoying the tennis at the French open.
A representative stated that the newlyweds were ‘delighted to announce the arrival of their beautiful son’ in June 2015.
Join us as we chart Benedict's transformation from a little-known stage star to world-reknowned A-lister...
Bendict Cumberbatch looks smart on the set of To The Ends of The Earth in Richard's Bay, South Africa.
While filming the series, Benedict and other members of the crew were set upon by a gang.
"They said: 'Put your hands on your head, don't look at us,' and were frisking us for drugs, money, weapons. Then they bundled us into the car," he revealed.
Benedict Cumberbatch gets into character in the theatre production of Period Of Adjustment.
Benedict Cumberbatch sports a serious expression as he takes part in a photoshoot.
Benedict Cumberbatch offers co-star Juno Temple his arm on the set of Atonement.
Benedict Cumberbatch gazes into Zawe Ashton's eyes while performing in Rhinoceros.
Benedict Cumberbatch takes girlfriend Olivia Poulet along to the 28th London Film Critics' Circle Awards. The pair are in a relationship for 12 years after meeting when Benedict was at drama school. Benedict and Olivia split in 2011.
Benedict Cumberbatch makes a dramatic exit from a building in Wales while filming an episode of Sherlock.
Benedict Cumberbatch has unruly curls in London at the Asprey pre-Bafta party.
Benedict Cumberbatch addes a touch of print to his plain look at the Creation screening in London with a striped tie.
Benedict Cumberbatch accessorises with a wide-brimmed hat for the premiere of Tamara Drewe in London.
Benedict Cumberbatch acts alongside Nancy Carroll in theatre production After The Dance.
Benedict Cumberbatch leaves the Crime Thriller Awards in London with two gongs.
Benedict Cumberbatch smoulders on the red carpet before watching The King's Speech in London.
Benedict Cumberbatch is unrecognisable as The Creature in the stage adaptation of Frankenstein.
Benedict Cumberbatch suits up for the BAFTAs in London.
Benedict Cumberbatch walks away with the Actor Of The Year gong at GQ's 2011 Men Of The Year Awards.
Benedict Cumberbatch sports a pensive expression as Christopher Tietjens in mini-series Parade's End.
Benedict Cumberbatch raises a glass to Ben Caring at his birthday party at Annabel's in London.
Benedict Cumberbatch stands to attention while promoting Star Trek: Into Darkness in London. He takes on the role of Khan Noonien Singh in the flick.
Benedict Cumberbatch has blonde hair while playing Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate.
Benedict Cumberbatch bags an invite to GQ's 25th anniversary event in London.
Benedict Cumberbatch dons formal evening wear for the Met Gala in New York.
Benedict Cumberbatch helps to shelter Keira Knightley from the rain at the London premiere of The Imitation Game.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter make their red carpet debut as a couple at the New York premiere of The Imitation Game.
The outing comes a few days after the pair announce their plans to marry in The Times newspaper.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter command attention at the 72nd Annual Golden Globes Awards in LA, having just revealed that they're expecting their first child.
A representative said: 'I am delighted to confirm that Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter are expecting their first child. They are both over the moon.'
Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter exchange vows at an intimate Valentine's Day ceremony. The pair marry at the Church Of St Peter and St Paul on the Isle Of Wight.
Sophie picked a custom-made Valentino gown for the wedding.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter announce the arrival of their son via a representative.
'Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter are delighted to announce the arrival of their beautiful son,' they say.
'We would kindly ask everyone to respect the familys privacy during these next few precious weeks.'