A reluctant movie megastar, the Wales-born Christian Bale got his big break at age 13 when he landed the role of a spoiled British boy who comes of age in a World War II internment camp in Steven Spielberg's 1987 gem Empire of the Sun. His transformative performance was a harbinger of his chameleon-like work to come. However, Bale temporarily backed off from acting because he was uncomfortable with his newfound fame. In the 1990s, Bale reemerged with impressive supporting performances in a series of dramatic films (Little Women, The Portrait of a Lady), but 2000's American Psycho was the movie that put him back on the Hollywood map. Bale became a cult heartthrob thanks in part to his disarming smile and newly chiseled physique. The buff actor spent the next few years reinventing himself for every role. He lost a shocking amount of weight to play an insomniac in 2004's The Machinist before bulking back up the next year to take on the title role in the blockbuster Batman Begins. Other solid roles followed in prestige pictures (The New World, Rescue Dawn) and interesting indies (Harsh Times, I'm Not There), and in the 2008 Caped Crusader hit sequel The Dark Knight. In 2009 Bale rebooted another dormant film franchise when he took on the iconic role of John Connor in Terminator Salvation. The movie was a disappointment, and a profanity-laced diatribe aimed at the film's cinematographer became an Internet sensation that briefly sullied Bale's reputation; he eventually apologized. (His reputation also took a hit the previous year when he was arrested over an incident involving his mother and sister, though, ultimately, no charges were brought.) Despite his A-list status, Bale continues to keep a low profile off-screen believing the less an audience knows about an actor's private life, the more believable he is on-screen. Certainly his intense nature serves his film work quite well.
- At age 10 in 1984, made his London stage debut as Thor in The Nerd with Rowan Atkinson.
- Born in Wales, he split his childhood between London, California and Portugal.
- For his performance in 1987's Empire of the Sun, the 13-year-old Bale won Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor from the National Board of Review, an honor created specifically for his work in the film.
- Trained for 10 weeks to sing and dance in the 1992 musical Newsies.
- Became the stepson of Gloria Steinem, one of the pioneers of the feminist movement, when she married his father in 2000.
- Lost more than 60 pounds for 2004's The Machinist, dropping his weight to 120.
- Active in Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund.
- 2010, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2013, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Leading Actor: Nominee
- 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2009, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Superhero: Winner
- 2010, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
- 2011, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Winner
- 2014, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
- 2010, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
- 2010, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
- 2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
- 2013, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
- 2014, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Actor in a Comedy: Nominee
- 2009, People's Choice Awards — Favorite On Screen Match Up: Winner
- 2008, Independent Spirit Awards — Robert Altman Award: Winner
- 2011, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Winner
- 2014, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Nominee
- 2013, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Actor in an Action Movie: Nominee
- 2009, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
- Sibi Blazic — Wife
- Erin Bale — Sister
- David Bale — Father
- Jane Bale — Mother
- Sharon Bale — Sister
- Gloria Steinem — Stepmother
- Louise Bale — Sister
- Emmeline — Daughter
- Rex Bale — Great-uncle
- Birth Name: Christian Charles Philip Bale
- Birth Place: Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales
- Birthday: January 30, 1974, Aquarius
- Profession: Actor
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