British stage and screen actor Patrick Stewart is widely known as Captain
Jean-Luc Picard, the leader of the space ship Enterprise, in the series “Star
Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994). Aside from the Golden Globe-nominated
role, he is also famous as the wheel chaired Professor Xavier in the X-Men
franchise: X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
Stewart first achieved critical acclaim through his stage performances in such
plays as “Antony and Cleopatra” (1979, as Enobarbus, won a Society of West End
Award), “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1986, starred as George, netted a
London Fringe Theatre Award) and “A Christmas Carol” (1989, did a one-man show,
collected a New York Theater Critics Drama Desk Award and a Laurence Olivier
Award). Adding to his stage accomplishments, Stewart reaped such awards as a
Family Film Award for his role of Sir Simon de Canterville in his self-produced
The Canterville Ghost (1996), a Grammy Award for his narrative work in the
recording of Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf (1996) and a Western Heritage Award
for playing ranch tycoon John Lear in the adaptation of Shakespeare’s “King
Lear,” King of Texas (2002). As a one-of-a-kind performer, he was also named the
1993 US TV Guide’s “Most Bodacious Male on TV” and the Honorary Associate Artist
of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Outside the limelight, the “Sexiest Man on TV,” according to the 1992 TV Guide
readers’ poll, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 16.
1996. Additionally, he received the Order of the British Empire in January 2001
and the position of Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield in November
2003. Stewart, who is also the voice behind the Porsche commercials, had to
undergo heart surgery to widen an artery in August 2004.
Stewart is the ex-husband of Sheila Falconer (1966-1990) and Wendy Neuss
(2000-2003). Stewart is now seeing young actress Lisa Dillon (24 years old).
Previously, he was once engaged to Meredith Baer, but the relationship did not
last very long.
Childhood and Family:
Patrick Stewart was born on July 13, 1940, in Mirfield, Yorkshire, England. He
is one of three sons born to Alfred (soldier) and Gladys (weaver).
Living in a supportive family environment, 12 year old Patrick enrolled in an
eight-day drama course. Three years later, while working as a local newspaper
reporter, he would sneak out and join rehearsals instead of finding news. After
being dismissed by his employer, Patrick was even more determined to pursue his
true calling. He later attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
As for his married life, on March 3, 1966, Patrick married choreographer Sheila
Falconer, but the knot was broken in 1990. The couple shares a son named Daniel
Freedom Stewart (born in 1968) and a daughter named Sophie Alexandra Falconer
Stewart (born in 1973). Ten years after the breakup, Patrick exchanged wedding
vows with TV producer Wendy Neuss (born in 1961). However, in 2003, the couple
filed for legal separation.
Quitting journalism, Patrick Stewart went to Sheffield and became a member of a
theater group called the Playhouse Theatre, in 1959. The same year, he also made
his first professional stage performance as Morgan in “Treasure Island,” with
the Lincoln Repertory Company. He then joined the Bristol Old Vic Theatre
Company for a season and toured Australia, New Zealand and South America (also
with Vivien Leigh). After his London stage debut, playing the second witness in
the Royal Shakespeare Company production of “The Investigation” (1966), Stewart
was employed as an associate artist. The numerous experiences brought him to
Broadway, where he portrayed Snout in Peter Brook’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Returning to the UK, Stewart was seen on the small screen with a role in an
episode of “Play for Today” (1973) and followed it up with his TV film debut as
Enobarbus in the small screen version of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra
(1974). He also tried the silver screen by playing Ejlert Løvborg in the
Oscar-nominated drama Hedda (1975), before taking the part of Sejanus in the
acclaimed miniseries, “I, Claudius” (1976). Stewart next guest starred as the
Reader in “Jackanory” (1977) and had the role of Janos in Don Taylor’s revival
of his play When the Actors Come (1978, TV).
Re-teaming with Peter Brook, Stewart reprised his role of Enobarbus in “Antony
and Cleopatra” (1979) and took home a Society of West End award for Best
Supporting Actor. The actor then starred as Claudius in the TV movie Hamlet,
Prince of Denmark (1980), before moving to the Arthurian legend in the motion
picture Excalibur (1981, played Leondegrance). Stewart also voiced Major in the
animated movie The Plague Dogs (1982) and Lord Yupa in the English version of
the Japanese animated Kaze no tani no Naushika (1984).
After appearing as Professor Macklin in the horror drama The Doctor and the
Devils (1985), the multi-talented actor amazed audiences with his leading stage
role of George in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1986), where he won a London
Fringe Theatre award for Best Actor. On the screen, Stewart undertook the turn
of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, in the historical drama movie Lady Jane (1986),
before making another breakthrough. Astonished by the actor’s aptitude, creator
Gene Roddenberry cast him as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the leader of the space
ship Enterprise, in the international hit series “Star Trek: The Next
Generation” (1987-1994). Captain Picard eventually became his first signature
role and brought him a Screen Actors Guild nomination in 1995.
Meanwhile, the stage performer still received critical praise after doing a
one-man show in his co-adapted version of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”
(1989). Thanks to his flawless work, in 1993 he was handed a New York Theater
Critics Drama Desk for Best Solo Performance and a Laurence Olivier for Best
Entertainment the following year. He made his stage directorial debut with a
musical revival of Tom Stoppard’s “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” (1992), a
benefit performance for Amnesty International. The performer also found success
when he portrayed Prospero in New York Shakespeare Festival Central Park’s
production of “The Tempest” (1995), which was then restaged on Broadway. As a
cast member of the popular Star Trek, he stepped forward to the director’s chair
by helming four episodes of the series (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994) and worked on
other performances, such as King Richard in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993),
Sergeant Mulvaney in the made-for-TV family comedy In Search of Dr. Seuss (1994)
and as Sterling in the drama comedy Jeffrey (1995).
The recipient of the 1993 US TV Guide award for “Most Bodacious Male on TV,”
Stewart gained vast critical appreciation during 1996-1997. Starring as Sir
Simon de Canterville in his producing debut (as co-producer) in the TV family
drama The Canterville Ghost (1996), the actor netted a Family Film award for
Best Actor in TV. Interestingly, he took home a Grammy for Spoken Word Album for
Children, thanks to his narrative work in the recording of Prokofiev: Peter and
the Wolf (1996). Stewart continued his award-winning turn, this time as Dr.
Jonas, in Richard Donner’s thriller movie Conspiracy Theory (1997), in which he
nabbed a Blockbuster Entertainment for Favorite Supporting Actor in Suspense.
Everything Stewart touched seemed to turn to gold. He had the titular role in
the groundbreaking production of “Othello” (1997) and undertook a leading role
in the limited run of Arthur Miller’s play “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” (1998),
before gaining another small screen triumph with the Emmy and Golden Globe
nominated role of Captain Ahab in Moby Dick (1998, TV). In DreamWorks’ popular
animated The Prince of Egypt, he lent his voice for Pharaoh Seti I, as well as
sang “Humanity.” The associate producer of Star Trek: Insurrection (1998, also
reprised the role of Captain Picard), Stewart executive produced the revival of
his play A Christmas Carol (1999, TV). In the screen version of the play, he
also starred as Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge and received a Screen Actors Guild
The director of the series “Hollywood Update” (2000), Stewart expanded his
reputation among younger audience throughout the world with the starring turn as
Professor Charles Xavier in Bryan Singer’s adaptation of the Marvel comics X-Men
(2000). After voicing King Goobot in an episode of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
(2001), he convincingly portrayed ranch tycoon John Lear in his executive
produced adaptation of Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” King of Texas (2002). For his
performance in the latter, Stewart was handed a Bronze Wrangler from the 2003
Western Heritage awards.
Stewart went to his next commercial success by reprising his role of the
wheelchair-bound Prof. Xavier in X2 (2003), which was followed by his Golden
Globe nominated role of King Henry II in The Lion in Winter (2004, also
executive produced). During 2004-2005, the actor did a lot of voice work and was
heard in Dragons’ World: A Fantasy Made Real (2004, TV) and Chicken Little
(2005, as Mr. Woolensworth).
An Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stewart took part
in the third sequel of X-Men titled X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), this time for
director Brett Ratner. Still in 2006, the actor had a regular role in the
thriller series “Eleventh Hour,” as Professor Ian Hood. He also provided his
voice for The Great Prince/Stag in Disney’s animated movie Bambi II (2006).
Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company
Western Heritage: Bronze Wrangler - Television Feature Film, King of
Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Supporting Actor - Suspense,
Conspiracy Theory, 1998
Family Film: Best Actor - TV, The Canterville Ghost, 1996
Grammy: Spoken Word Album for Children, Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf,
Laurence Olivier: Best Entertainment, “A Christmas Carol,” 1994
New York Theater Critics Drama Desk: Best Solo Performance, “A Christmas
US TV Guide: Most Bodacious Male on TV, 1993
London Fringe Theatre: Best Actor, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,”
Society of West End: Best Supporting Actor, “Antony and Cleopatra,” 1979