Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens was an English actor who was best known for portraying Matthew Crawley in the popular period drama series "Downton Abbey" (PBS, 2010-15). Born on October 10, 1982, he was an adopted child and grew up in Wales and southern England. Stevens admitted being quite a rebellious figure in his youth, but his errant behavior was undercut by his brilliant academic performance. It wasn't until his first year at Tonbridge School -- when he tried out for and landed the title role in a production of "Macbeth" -- that Stevens channeled his youthful aggression into something productive. Acting called out to the young teen and starting from the age of 15, he spent his summers training and performing with the National Youth Theatre in London. He studied English literature at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he tried his hand as a comedian as a member of the enduring comedy troupe Footlights. His professional career officially began with a Rose Theatre production of William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" in 2004. His performance in the play as Orlando drew critical praise and earned him a nomination for the Ian Charleson Award, an honor given to British performers under the age of 30. Stevens' big breakthrough came in 2010 when he was cast as Matthew Crawley in Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes' drama series "Downton Abbey." The show became a global sensation and won several Emmy, BAFTA, and Golden Globe awards, as well as a SAG Awards win for Steven as part of the ensemble cast in 2013. After his departure from "Downton Abbey" during the third series, Stevens' film career took off. In 2013, he shot six feature films, four of which were released in 2014. These included the dark action film "A Walk Among the Tombstones" (2014), family comedy sequel "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" (2014) and Adam Sandler fantasy "The Cobbler" (2014). After co-starring opposite John Travolta in the thriller "Criminal Activities" (2015), Stevens starred in indie drama "The Ticket" (2016) and science fiction comedy "Colossal" (2016). Stevens' next major film role came as The Beast opposite Emma Watson's Belle in Bill Condon's live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" (2017).