Patrick Stewart OBE is an English actor best known for his roles as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and as Professor Xavier in the X-Men film franchise.
Stewart was born in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, England to Gladys Barrowclough, a weaver and textile worker, and Alfred Stewart, a Regimental Sergeant Major in the British Army who served with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and previously worked as a general labourer and as a postman.
He attended Crowlees C of E Boys' School, and in 1951, aged 12, he entered Mirfield Secondary Modern School, where he continued to study drama.
At age 15, Stewart dropped out of school and increased his participation in local theatre. He acquired a job as a newspaper reporter, but after a year, his employer gave him an ultimatum to choose acting or journalism. He quit the job.
His brother tells the story that Stewart would attend rehearsals during work time and then invent the stories he reported.
In 1957, at the age of 17, he embarked on a two-year acting course at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He lost most of his hair by the age of 19 but he successfully sold himself to theatre producers after performing an audition with and without a wig, heralding his performance as "two actors for the price of one!".
Following a period with the Manchester Library Theatre, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in 1966 where he appeared next to actors such as Ben Kingsley and Ian Richardson.
He made his Broadway debut as Snout in Peter Brook's legendary production of A Midsummer Nights Dream, then moved to the Royal National Theatre in the early 1980s.
Over the years, Stewart took roles in many major television series without ever becoming a household name. He appeared as Sejanus in I, Claudius; Karla in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People; Claudius in a 1980 BBC adaptation of Hamlet.
He even took the romantic male lead in the BBC adaptation of Mrs Gaskell's North and South (wearing a hairpiece).
He also had minor roles in several films such as King Leondegrance in John Boorman's Excalibur (1981) and the character Gurney Halleck in David Lynch's 1984 film version of Dune.
In 1987, after attending a Shakespeare Seminar at UCSB, Stewart went to Los Angeles to star as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994).
From 1994 he also portrayed Picard in the movie spin-offs Star Trek: Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).
He also played Picard in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's pilot episode "Emissary".
The accolades he has received include "Sexiest Man on Television" (TV Guide, 1992), which he considered an unusual distinction considering his age and his baldness. (That same year, Cindy Crawford was voted the sexiest woman in the same poll.)
In an interview with Michael Parkinson, he expressed gratitude for Gene Roddenberry's riposte to a reporter who said, "Surely they would have cured baldness by the 24th century," to which Roddenberry replied, "In the 24th Century, they wouldn't care."
A few years later on Jonathan Ross's talk show, he said that his last patch of hair looked so out of place that while visiting friends his hosts actually held him down and cut off the offending lock.
In 1991, Stewart performed his one-man-play adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in which he portrayed all 40-plus characters himself. He staged encore performances in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, and then again for the benefit of survivors and victims' families in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Stewart performed the play again for a 23-day run in London's West End in December 2005. For his performances in this play, he has received the Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance in 1992 and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment for Solo Performance in 1994.
Shakespeare roles during this period included Prospero in William Shakespeare's The Tempest, on Broadway in 1995, a role he would reprise in Rupert Goold's 2006 production of The Tempest as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works Festival, and the title role in Shakespeare's Othello in 1997.
Originally a play about a black African entering a white society, Patrick had wanted to play the title role since the age of 14, so he (along with director Jude Kelly), inverted the play so Othello became a white man in a black society.
He has played a great range of characters, from the flamboyantly gay Sterling in the 1995 film Jeffrey to King Henry II in The Lion in Winter (2003) and Captain Ahab in a made-for-TV movie version of Moby Dick (for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award).
In late 2003, during the eleventh and final season of NBC's Frasier, Stewart appeared on the show as a gay Seattle socialite who mistakes Frasier for a potential lover.
Stewart has also starred in X-Men, X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand as Charles Xavier. The films' success has resulted in another lucrative regular genre film role in a major superhero film series.
He has also since voiced the role in videogames such as X-Men Legends II, although some of the games are more closely tied to the original comic books rather than the movies.
In 2005, he was cast as Professor Ian Hood in an ITV science-fiction thriller 4- episode series Eleventh Hour, created by Stephen Gallagher. The first episode was broadcast on January 19, 2006.
He also, in 2005, played Captain Nemo in a two part movie named Mysterious Island. This movie was based on a book written by Jules Verne.
Stewart also appeared in Ricky Gervais's television series Extras, as a last-minute replacement for Jude Law. For playing himself, he was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2006 for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
Stewart is the Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield. He is a lifelong supporter of the British Labour Party and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2001 New Year Honours list.
In October/November of 2006, Stewart accompanied the Royal Shakespeare Company as they performed The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar at the University of Michigan.
He acted the role of Antony again playing opposite Harriet Walter's Cleopatra in an acclaimed performance of Antony and Cleopatra at the Novello Theatre in London in 2007.
During this period, Stewart also addressed the highly esteemed Durham Union Society on his life in film and theatre.
He was named as the next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre based at St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford in January 2007.
Stewart has lent his voice to a number of projects. He has narrated recordings of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle (part of the series The Chronicles of Narnia), Rick Wakeman's Return to the Centre of the Earth, and as the narrator in the soundtrack of The Nightmare Before Christmas, as well as numerous TV programs such as High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman.
Stewart provided the narration for Nine Worlds, an astronomical tour of the solar system. He is also heard as the voice of the Magic Mirror in Disneyland's live show, Snow White - An Enchanting Musical.
He also was a voice actor on several animated films, including The Prince of Egypt, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Chicken Little, The Pagemaster, as well as the English dubbings of the Japanese anime films Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki and Steamboy.
He voiced the pig Napoleon in a TV adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm and guest starred in the Simpsons episode "Homer the Great" as Number One.
More recently, he has played a semi-recurring role as CIA Deputy Director Avery Bullock (lending his likeness as well as his voice) on the animated series American Dad as well as appearing on Family Guy in various forms (as Capt. Picard & replacing Peter Griffin's voice for a gag).
In 2006, Stewart voiced Bambi's father, The Great Prince of the Forest in Disney's direct-to-video sequel, Bambi II. Stewart considered it an honour to do so.
He loaned his voice to a number of Activision produced computer games, including Star Trek: Armada, Armada II, Bridge Commander, and Elite Force II, all reprising his role as Captain Picard.
Stewart reprised his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Legacy for both PC and Xbox 360, along with the four other 'major' Starfleet captains from the different Star Trek series.
In addition to voicing his characters from Star Trek and X-Men in several related computer and video games, Stewart also worked as a voice actor on games unrelated to both franchises, such as Lands of Lore, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in which in 2006 he won a Spike TV Video Game Award for his work.
He also lent his voice to several editions of the Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia.
His voice talents also appeared in a couple of commercials including the UK TV Advert for Domestos 5x Longer Bleach, an advertisement for Shell fuel, and an American advertisement for the prescription drug Crestor.
He also voiced the UK and Australian TV advertisements for the PAL version of Final Fantasy XII.
Stewart also used his voice for Pontiac automobile and MasterCard Gold commercials in 1996, and Goodyear Assurance Tires and Crestor drugs in 2004. He provided the voice of Max Winters in TMNT in March of 2007.
In 1964, Stewart met the choreographer of the Old Vic, Sheila Falconer, and they later wed on March 4, 1966 from which there were two children: Daniel Freedom, and Sophie Alexandra.
Stewart and Falconer divorced in 1990.
In 1997 he became engaged to Wendy Neuss, a production assistant on the series Star Trek: Voyager, and later married on August 25, 2000. They divorced on October 14, 2003.
Four months prior to his divorce of Neuss, Stewart played opposite actress Lisa Dillon in a production of The Master Builder. Despite their age difference (she was 24), the two have dated.
Stewart is known to be a fan of the comic book Transmetropolitan, going so far as to have written the introduction to the fifth compilation, "Lonely City".
Stewart is also a huge fan of the MTV animated series Beavis & Butthead, and is known to do a surprisingly accurate impersonation of the title characters.
Stewart is part of a musical group The Sunspots with fellow Star Trek: The Next Generation actors Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton and Michael Dorn.
He is an admitted fan of the British scifi-sitcom series Red Dwarf, and was one of those interviewed on its "Red Dwarf" A–Z special, as well as providing the introduction.
In said documentary, quickly seeing what he thought was a 'rip-off' of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', he stated that he was going to phone his lawyer to sue the makers of the show, but after seeing a part which made him laugh, he sat down and watched.