Benedict Cumberbatch: A Life In Pictures

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  • 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. 

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