Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch (born 19 July 1976) is an English film, television, theatre and voice actor.
His most acclaimed roles include Stephen Hawking in the BBC drama Hawking (2004), Victor Frankenstein and his creature in Danny Boyle’s stage adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (2011) at the Royal National Theatre, Peter Guillam in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Sherlock Holmes in the BBC/PBS series Sherlock, Christopher Tietjens in the BBC/HBO miniseries Parade’s End (2013), Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), Smaug the dragon and the Necromancer through voice and motion capture in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy and Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate (2013).
Cumberbatch stars in the upcoming historical drama film, The Imitation Game (2014) as wartime cryptographer Alan Turing. He is set to return to theatre to play Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark at London’s West End tentatively scheduled in the autumn of 2014. He will play Amazon explorer Percy Fawcett for Paramount Pictures and Plan B Entertainment’s upcoming film adaptation of the best-selling book, The Lost City of Z.
He has earned an Olivier Award, four BAFTA nominations, two Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination among others. In September 2013, he was honoured by BAFTA Los Angeles with a Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year for his “masterful performances in television, film and theatre.” He ranked No. 1 in Empire magazine’s worldwide poll of 100 Sexiest Movie Stars of 2013
In 1999, Cumberbatch began dating actress Olivia Poulet whom he met at university. The couple amicably broke up after 12 years together. After Poulet, Cumberbatch dated London-based artist Anna James but has since remained single. He has expressed in his September/October 2013 interviews that he is not in a relationship at the moment.
While in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in 2005, Cumberbatch and two of his friends were abducted overnight and held at gunpoint by a group of locals. He was yanked out of the car, his limbs were tied, and he was thrown into the boot. In the end, their abductors drove them in the middle of nowhere and set them free without any explanation. Cumberbatch said of the incident: “It taught me that you come into this world as you leave it, on your own. It’s made me want to live a life less ordinary.”
Cumberbatch considers himself a Buddhist, “at least philosophically”. He is fond of extreme sports like skydiving, scuba diving, and high-speed motorcycling