Mark Rylance

Mark Rylance was a British stage and screen actor who won an Oscar in 2016 for his supporting role in Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies" (2015). Born into an academic family (both his parents were English professors), Rylance was brought up in an environment were expressing one's self through the arts was encouraged. He moved with his parents to the United States at the age of 2, eventually settling in Wisconsin, where his father accepted a teaching position at a college in Milwaukee. Rylance would spend the remainder of his formative years in the United States, before returning to England at 18 to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Rylance studied acting for two years at the school, before embarking on a full-time stage-acting career in 1980. Rylance appeared in plays all across London, while developing a name for himself as an important young theater actor. In 1985 he started taking on roles in films as well, with appearances in "Wallenberg: A Hero's Story" (1985), "Hearts of Fire" (1987), and "Prospero's Books" (1991). His burgeoning career as a movie actor may have been taking off, but through his incredibly productive period during the '80s and '90s Rylance never gave up on his theater work. He appeared in dozens of plays during this period, and in 1995 became the very first Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. Rylance would retain his role as Artistic Director for the next 10 years, all while continuing to appear in film and television roles. As a screen actor, 2015 proved to by Rylance's biggest year to date. In addition to appearing as Thomas Cromwell in the mini-series "Wolf Hall" (BBC Two, 2015), he also nabbed a supporting part in Steven Spielberg's historical thriller "Bridge of Spies" (2015), which earned him an Academy Award. Rylance's CGI-enhanced performance in Spielberg's Roald Dahl fantasy adaptation "The BFG" (2016) was less well-received both critically and commercially, though the two reteamed yet again for the science fiction action film "Ready Player One" (2018). Between those films, Rylance appeared in Christopher Nolan's World War II battle drama "Dunkirk" (2017) and starred on Broadway as King Philip V of Spain in "Farinelli and the King."