Mark Rylance has often been called the greatest and finest thespian of our time. In fact, many critics and journalists agree that Rylance is one of the very few legitimate “theatre giants” who still exist in an age of movie stars, Internet celebrities, and 15 minute famewhores, in an age when “theatre giants” barely exist anymore.
Rylance won an acting scholarship to RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) in London in 1978. He landed his first professional acting gig in 1980 with Glasgow Citizens Theatre. From that point on, Rylance went on to establish a name for himself in the English-speaking theatre world. He also formed an independent theatre company with his wife (composer Claire van Kampen) called Phoebus Cart, which produced various classical plays. In 1995, he was appointed the Artistic Director of the Globe Theatre in London, where for 10 years, he oversaw many Shakespearan productions, implementing the old-school Elizabethan way of acting and direction, often causing controversy with theatre critics and professionals.
As for his personal life, Rylance is very private. He has two grown stepdaughters with his wife (Juliet and Natasha) who are also involved with theatre and film. Rylance was born in England, but was raised in Milwaukee and attended high school in Wisconsin before relocating to Great Britain to study dramatic acting. Rylance met his wife in the early 1990s when they were working together on a theatrical project at the National Theatre. They currently live in London.
Here is Mark Rylance’s biography on WIKIPEDIA.
Rylance is also involved with acting in films and television, but had stated in interviews that he prefers acting on stage over acting in film. Regardless, he had won critical acclaim for notable roles in films and TV such as The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), The Government Inspector (for which he won a BAFTA in 2005), Intimacy (2001), and Angels and Insects (1995), as well as appearing in art-house films such as Institute Benjamenta (1995) and Prospero’s Books (1991), just to name a few more.
Here is Rylance’s complete IMDB Filmography.