Todays Birthday 10/10
Today’s Birthday, October 10: Dan Stevens, British actor (1982 – ).
Dan Stevens once ruined Christmas for more than six million people.
When the London-born actor decided to quit Downtown Abbey, the TV show’s writers killed off his character Matthew Crawley in a car crash during the 2012 Christmas special, shocking its viewers.
Stevens has since revealed the ITV costume drama originally scripted a far grislier end.
“He stepped off a curb and was hit by a grocery truck,” he told NPR in April.
Stevens had been acting for four years when he was cast in Downton in 2010.
The ensemble production – about an English aristocratic family struggling to adapt to modernity – was a global hit and jetted Stevens into the public eye.
The actor had a similar background to his character, including experience on both sides of the UK’s class divide.
Stevens was adopted as a baby by a pair of school teachers who raised him and his brother in Wales and the southeast of England.
Academically gifted, the French and German speaker studied English Literature at Cambridge University. There he was talent-spotted playing Macbeth by theatre director Sir Peter Hall, who cast him in a touring production of As You Like It in 2004.
Stevens’ first major screen role was in a TV adaptation of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Line of Beauty (2006). An avid reader, Stevens was asked to be on the prizes’ jury in 2012 after he criticised the previous years’ panel for seeking “readable” literature.
He read 147 books in seven months, including the winner Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, which he perused four times.
Stevens is also editor-at-large for The Junket, an online quarterly he founded in 2011, and he’s had a column in The Sunday Telegraph.
In 2013 he relocated to New York with his wife and three children, where he made his Broadway debut in The Heiress opposite actor Jessica Chastain.
He donned a false nose as Lancelot in the third Night at the Museum (2014) before slipping on fangs to play Beast to Emma Watson’s Belle in the live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017).
The film reaped $US1.2 billion in global sales, putting it among the top 20 highest-grossing films ever made.
Stevens currently stars in Legion (2017), a TV adaptation of a comic-book in Marvel’s X-Men franchise. The critically acclaimed science-fiction drama was renewed for a third season in 2019.
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