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James Broadbent (born 24 May 1949) is an Academy Award-winning English actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles in Iris, Moulin Rouge!, Topsy-Turvy, Bridget Jones' Diary, and Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, as the quirky Professor Slughorn.


Jim Broadbent was born on 24 May, 1949, in Holton cum Beckering, Lincolnshire, the youngest son of furniture maker Roy Broadbent and sculptress Dee Broadbent. Jim attended a Quaker boarding school in Reading before successfully applying for a place at an art school. His heart was in acting, though, and he would later transfer to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Following his 1972 graduation, he began his professional career on the stage, performing with the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and as part of the National Theatre of Brent, a two-man troupe which he co-founded. In addition to his theatrical work, Broadbent did steady work on television, working for such directors as Mike Newell and Stephen Frears.

Broadbent made his film debut in 1978 with a small part in Jerzy Skolimowski's The Shout, and made his television debut the following year. He went on to work with Stephen Frears (for television and in The Hit) and Terry Gilliam (in Time Bandits and Brazil) before establishing himself in Mike Leigh's Life Is Sweet in 1990. He proved his ability as a character actor in films including The Crying Game, Enchanted April, Bullets Over Broadway, The Borrowers and Little Voice before taking a leading role in another Mike Leigh film, Topsy-Turvy. He played "The Shy Doctor" in the 1999 Comic Relief parody Doctor Who sketch, Doctor Who & the Curse of Fatal Death. In 2001, Broadbent starred in three of the year's most successful films: Bridget Jones's Diary, Moulin Rouge!, for which he won a BAFTA and Iris, for which he won an Oscar for his portrayal of John Bayley.

Broadbent also appeared as DCI Roy The Slag Slater, an associate character in the enormously popular sitcom Only Fools & Horses. Other comic roles include the lead role in the sitcom The Peter Principle and occasional guest appearances in Not The Nine O'Clock News and Victoria Wood As Seen On TV. He played Don Speekingleesh in The Queen of Spain's Beard in the first series of The Black Adder in 1983. He also played the role of Prince Albert in Blackadder's Christmas Carol, first broadcast in 1988.

Broadbent played the title role in Channel 4 drama, Longford in October 2006, earning a BAFTA TV Award, a Golden Globe and a 2007 Emmy nomination for his performance. Broadbent also plays Dean Charles Stanforth in Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; King William IV in The Young Victoria; and Horace Slughorn in Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince.

Broadbent has been married to painter and former theatre designer, Anastasia Lewis since 1987. He has no children but she has two sons from a previous relationship. He is an atheist.


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