- Decided to become an actor at age 7 after seeing Charles Laughton in a stage production of Les Miserables.
- Made his stage debut in 1954 as a spear carrier in Othello, and spent more than a decade with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
- First big-screen role was in the 1968 drama The Bofors Gun, for which he won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor.
- Developed a case of stage fright in 1976, leaving in the middle of a preview performance of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh; did not return to the theatre until 1993, when he appeared in Harold Pinter's Moonlight.
- Attracted the attention of Hollywood in 1979, when he portrayed the android Ash in Ridley Scott's classic Alien.
- Appointed a Commander of the British Empire in 1989, and knighted in 1998.
- Published his autobiography, Acting My Life, in 2004.
- 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
- 1999, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
- 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1981, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 1997, Genie Awards — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Winner
- 1967, Tony — Actor, Supporting or Featured (Dramatic): Winner
- 1969, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Winner
- 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
- 1982, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Artist: Winner
- 1985, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
- 1996, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1981, Cannes Film Festival — Best Supporting Actor: Winner
- 2004, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Winner
- Jean Wilson Cuthbert — Mother
- Sarah-Jane Holm — Daughter
- Eric Cuthbert — Brother
- Sophie de Stempel — Wife
- Jessica Holm — Daughter
- Barnaby Holm — Son
- Sophie Baker — Ex-wife
- Penelope Wilton — Ex-wife
- Melissa Holm — Daughter
- Harry Holm — Son
- Dr. James Harvey Cuthbert — Father
- Lynn Mary Shaw — Ex-wife
- Bee Gilbert — Ex-significant Other
- Alice Pearl Massey — Stepdaughter
- The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, England
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