Hugh Laurie

James Hugh Calum Laurie, OBE (born 11 June 1959) is an English actor, comedian, writer, and musician. Laurie reached fame in the United Kingdom as one half of the Fry and Laurie double act, with friend and comedy partner Stephen Fry. Since 2004 he has become known to international audiences as Gregory House, protagonist in the American television drama, House.

Early life and education
Laurie was born in Oxford, England. His father, William "Ran" Laurie, was a doctor who also won an Olympic gold medal in the coxless pairs at the 1948 London Games. His mother, Patricia Laidlaw, died when Laurie was 29.[1] Laurie was raised in the Presbyterian church.[2] He was brought up in Oxford and attended the Dragon School, a prestigious preparatory school. He later went on to Eton and then to Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he achieved a Third-Class Honours degree in archaeology & anthropology.

Like his father, Laurie was an oarsman at school and university; in 1977, he was half of the junior cox-ed pair that won the English national title before representing England's Youth Team at the 1977 World Championships. Later, he also achieved a Blue taking part in the 1980 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. Cambridge lost that year by five feet (1.5 m). Laurie is a member of the Leander Club, one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world. One of the boats at Selwyn, his old college at Cambridge, is named "Laurie" in his honour.

Forced to abandon rowing during a bout of infectious mononucleosis, he joined the Cambridge Footlights, which has been the starting point for many successful British comedians. There he met Emma Thompson, with whom he had a romantic relationship and is still good friends. She introduced him to his future comedy partner, Stephen Fry. Laurie, Fry and Thompson later parodied themselves as the University Challenge representatives of "Footlights College, Oxbridge" in "Bambi", an episode of The Young Ones, with the series' co-writer Ben Elton completing their team. In 1980–81, his final year at university, Laurie managed to find time outside his rowing to become president of the Footlights, with Thompson as vice-president. They took their annual revue, The Cellar Tapes, written principally by Laurie and Fry, the cast also including Thompson, Tony Slattery, Paul Shearer and Penny Dwyer, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and won the first Perrier Comedy Award.

[edit] Career
The Perrier Award led to a West End transfer for The Cellar Tapes and a television version of the revue, broadcast in May 1982. It also resulted in Laurie, Fry and Thompson being selected along with Ben Elton, Robbie Coltrane and Siobhan Redmond to write and appear in a new sketch comedy show for Granada Television, Alfresco, which ran for two series.

Laurie and Fry went on to work together on various projects throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Among them were the Blackadder series, written by Ben Elton and Richard Curtis and starring Rowan Atkinson, with Laurie in various roles, but most notably Prince George and Lieutenant George; their BBC sketch comedy series, A Bit of Fry and Laurie; and Jeeves and Wooster. The latter was an adaptation of P. G. Wodehouse's stories, in which Laurie played Jeeves' employer, the amiable twit Bertie Wooster. It was a role for which Laurie was considered particularly well suited, displaying his talent as a pianist and singer, alongside his celebrated 'posh' voice. He and Fry also worked together at various charity stage events, such as Hysteria! 1, 2 & 3 and Amnesty International's The Secret Policeman's Third Ball, Comic Relief TV shows and the variety show Fry and Laurie Host a Christmas Night with the Stars. They collaborated again on the film Peter's Friends.

Laurie appeared in the music video for the 1992 single "Walking on Broken Glass" by Annie Lennox, in full Regency-period costume as in Blackadder the Third (and opposite John Malkovich, similarly reprising Dangerous Liaisons). He also appears as a scientist in the video for "Experiment IV" by Kate Bush.

Laurie's later film appearances include Sense and Sensibility (1995), adapted by and starring Emma Thompson; the Disney live-action movie 101 Dalmatians (1996), where he played Jasper, one of the bumbling criminals hired to kidnap the puppies; Elton's adaptation of his novel Inconceivable, Maybe Baby (2000); Girl From Rio; the 2004 remake of The Flight of the Phoenix; and the three Stuart Little films.

In 1996 Laurie's first novel, The Gun Seller, a spoof of the thriller genre, was published and became a best seller. It was also critically very well received[attribution needed]. He has since been working on the screenplay for a movie version and on a second novel, The Paper Soldier.

In 1998, Laurie had a brief guest-starring role on Friends in the episode "The One with Ross's Wedding, Part Two". With the popularity of House, his short scenes in the episode have become favourites of fans of both series, largely due to his comically disdainful use of the name "Pheebs".

Since 2002, Laurie has appeared in a range of British television dramas, guest-starring that year in two episodes of the first season of the spy thriller series Spooks on BBC One. In 2003, he starred in and also directed ITV's comedy-drama series Fortysomething (in one episode of which Stephen Fry appears). In 2001, he also voiced the character of a bar patron in the Family Guy episode "One If by Clam, Two If by Sea". Laurie was the character of Mr. Wolf in the cartoon Preston Pig. He was also a panellist on the first episode of QI, alongside Fry as host. In 2004, Laurie guest-starred as a professor in charge of a space probe called Beagle, on The Lenny Henry Show.

Although Laurie has been a household name in Britain since the 1980s, he only really came to the attention of a broader American public in 2004, when he first starred as the acerbic attending physician Dr. Gregory House in the popular FOX medical drama, House. For his portrayal, Laurie assumes an American accent. As the story goes, Laurie was in Namibia filming Flight of the Phoenix and recorded the audition tape for the show in the bathroom of the hotel, the only place he could get enough light. His US accent was so convincing that the executive producer, Bryan Singer, who was unaware at the time that Laurie is English, pointed to him as an example of just the kind of compelling American actor he had been looking for. Laurie also adopts the voice between takes on the set of House, as well as during script read-throughs.

Following Laurie's American success, Stephen Fry expressed a desire to make a cameo appearance in House, but due to commitments in England, he is unable to do so for now.[3]

In July 2005, Laurie was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role in House. Although he did not win, he did receive a Golden Globe in both 2006 and 2007 for his work on the series (one of very few to have received the award in consecutive years) and the Screen Actors Guild award in 2007. Laurie has also been awarded a large increase in salary, from what was rumoured to be a mid-range five-figure sum to $350,000 per episode. His House contract was also extended for an additional year, allowing for at least a fifth season to be produced.[4] Laurie was not nominated for the 2006 Emmys, apparently to the "outrage" of Fox executives[5], but he still appeared in a scripted, pre-taped intro, where he parodied his House character by rapidly diagnosing host Conan O'Brien and then proceeded to grope him as the latter asked him for help to get to the Emmys on time. He would later go on to speak in French whilst presenting an award with Dame Helen Mirren on stage.

Laurie was cast as Daily Planet editor Perry White in the film Superman Returns but had to bow out of the project due to his involvement in House (incidentally, the series is produced by Bad Hat Harry Productions, which is owned by Superman Returns director Bryan Singer).

In July 2006, Laurie appeared on Bravo!'s Inside the Actors Studio, where he also performed one of his own songs, "Mystery", on the piano with vocal accompaniment.

Laurie hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live where he dressed in drag in a sketch about a man (Kenan Thompson) with a broken leg who accuses his doctor of being dishonest. Laurie played the man's wife.

In August 2007, Laurie appeared on BBC Four's documentary, Stephen Fry: 50 Not Out, filmed in celebration of Fry's fiftieth birthday.

[edit] Personal life
Laurie married Jo Green, a theatre administrator, in June 1989. They live in north London with their daughter, Rebecca (born 1993), and two sons, Bill (born 1991) and Charlie (born 1988). Charlie had a cameo in A Bit of Fry and Laurie in the last sketch of the third episode of the first series entitled Special Squad, as baby William (whom Stephen and Hugh begin to "interrogate" about "what he's done with the stuff", calling him a scumbag and telling him that's he's been a very naughty boy) during his infancy, while Rebecca had a role in the film Wit as five-year-old Vivian Bearing. Laurie is close friends with actress Emma Thompson and his House co-star Robert Sean Leonard[6].

He stated on BBC Radio 2 in an interview with Steve Wright in January 2006 that he is currently living in an apartment in West Hollywood while he is in the United States working on House. Laurie can play the piano, guitar, drums, harmonica and saxophone. He has displayed his musical talents in episodes of several series, most notably A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster, House and when he hosted Saturday Night Live on 28 October 2006. He is a vocalist and keyboard player for the Los Angeles charity rock group "Band From TV."

Laurie was awarded an OBE in the 2007 New Year Honours List for his services to drama.[7][8] On 23 May 2007, he was given the honour by Queen Elizabeth II. [9]

Laurie has periodically struggled with severe clinical depression, and continues to receive regular treatment from a psychotherapist. He stated in an interview that he first concluded he had a problem while driving in a charity demolition derby in 1996, and he realised that driving around explosive crashes caused him to be neither excited nor frightened (he said that he felt, in fact, bored).[10] "Boredom," he commented in an interview on Inside the Actors Studio, "is not an appropriate response to exploding cars". Laurie admitted in an interview with Rolling Stone and during a guest appearance on The Tonight Show that he once tried hydrocodone/APAP (Vicodin) as part of his preparation for the role of Dr. Gregory House.

Laurie was considered in 2006 the most versatile artist of all times by Life magazine.[citation needed]

Laurie admires the writings of P.G. Wodehouse: he explained in a 27 May 1999 article in The Daily Telegraph how reading Wodehouse novels had saved his life.[11]

[edit] Awards
Emmy Awards

2005 - Nominated - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
2007 - Nominated - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Golden Globe Awards

2005 - Winner - Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
2006 - Winner - Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
2007 - Nominated - Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama[12]
Satellite Awards

2005 - Winner - Outstanding Actor in a Series, Drama
2006 - Winner - Outstanding Actor in a Series, Drama
Screen Actors Guild Awards

2006 - Nominated - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
2007 - Winner - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Television Critics Association

2005 - Winner - Individual Achievement in Drama
2006 - Winner - Individual Achievement in Drama
2007 - Nominated - Individual Achievement in Drama [13]
Teen Choice Award

2007 - Winner - TV Actor: Drama

[edit] Filmography
Cambridge Footlights Revue (1982) - various characters
Alfresco (1983–1984) - writer/various characters
The Crystal Cube (1983) - Max Belhaven/various characters
The Young Ones (1984) - Lord Monty
Plenty (1985) - Michael
Mrs. Capper's Birthday (1985) - Bobby
Happy Families (1985) - Jim
Blackadder II (1986) - Simon Partridge (also known as Mr Ostrich & Farters Parters), Prince Ludwig the Indestructible
Happy Families (1985) - Jim
Filthy Rich & Catflap (1986) - N'Bend
Blackadder the Third (1987) - George, Prince of Wales, Prince Regent
Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) - Prince George and Lord Pigmot (future)
A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1989–1995) - writer/various characters
Blackadder Goes Forth (1989) - Lt the Honourable George Colhurst St Barleigh
The New Statesman (1989) - Waiter
Jeeves and Wooster (1990–1993) - Bertie Wooster
Peter's Friends (1992) - Roger Charleston
Sense and Sensibility (1995) - Mr Palmer
Tracey Takes On... (1996) - Timothy Bugge (Season 1)
101 Dalmatians (1996) - Jasper
Spiceworld (1997) - Poirot
The Borrowers (1997) - Police Officer Steady
Friends (1998) - The One with Ross's Wedding
The Bill (1998)
The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) - Pierre, The King's Advisor
Cousin Bette (1998) - Baron Hector Hulot
Blackadder: Back & Forth (1999) - Viscount George Bufton-Tufton/Georgius
Stuart Little (1999) - Mr Fredrick Little
Maybe Baby (2000) - Sam Bell
Chica de Río (2001) - Raymond
Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001) - Vincente Minnelli
Stuart Little 2 (2002) - Mr. Frederick Little
Spooks (2002) - Jools Siviter
Fortysomething - Paul Slippery
Fire Engine Fred (2004)
Flight of the Phoenix (2004) - Ian
House (2004–present) - Dr Gregory House
Valiant (2005) - Wing Commander Gutsy (voice)
Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild (2006) - Mr. Frederick Little (voice)
The Night Watchman (2008) - Internal Affairs Officer

[edit] Books
The Gun Seller (1996) ISBN 0099-46939-1

[edit] References
^ Hugh Laurie Yahoo Films
^ Rolling Stone Magazine - "Dr. Feelbad"
^ Fry unable to film House cameo with Laurie
^ Raise Prescribed for 'House' Star
^ The First Post: Why Hugh Laurie was overlooked at this years Emmys
^ The Rod Ryan Show: Interview with Robert Sean Leonard
^ "Rod and Zara top New Year Honours", BBC, 29 December 2006.
^ "Queen hands OBE to actor Laurie", BBC, 23 May 2007.
^ Hugh Laurie honored by Queen Elizabeth II - USA Today
^ BBC News Magazine: Faces of the week
^ Wodehouse saved my life
^ Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2008 Golden Globe Awards For The Year Ended December 31, 2007. HFPA (2007). Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
^ Television Critics Association

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