Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander in Wallander, which aired over the BBC and PBS from May 2009 to May 2016.
Kenneth Branagh on Wikipedia
Kenneth Branagh on the Internet Movie Database
Kenneth Branagh
Forecourt Ceremony held on Thursday, October 26, 2017
Born: December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Age at the time of the ceremony: 56
Kenneth Branagh is quite the chameleon. Coming from a strong acting background, he has appeared in several Shakespearean movies, but has branched out into producing and directing both mainstream superhero movies, and smaller projects.

Born to Protestant parents in Belfast Northern Ireland, Kenneth's father was a plumber who eventually sold suspended ceilings. In 1969, the Branagh's moved to Reading Berkshire England, where Kenneth discovered the theatre, participating in school plays. He learned to hide his Irish accent to avoid bullying.

Despite being an iffy student, Branagh got into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. While there, he was an extra in Chariots of Fire (released in April 1982) with Ben Cross. After graduation, he quickly rose in the ranks for his work in plays such as Another Country, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, and Twelfth Night. He played a number of parts in 1988 with Birmingham Rep.

Wanting to do it all like his hero Lawrence Olivier, Branagh was willing to pay his dues in the film biz, beginning with his playing D.H. Lawrence in the TV movie Coming Through with Helen Mirren as Frieda von Richtofen Weekley, aired over ITV in February 1988. While appearing in plays in London at night, Branagh appeared in the low-budget A Month in the Country (released in September 1987) with Colin Firth.

Branagh played Guy Pringle in the mini-series Fortunes of War with Emma Thompson playing his wife Harriet, aired over the BBC and PBS in October 1987. Branagh and Thompson would wed in 1989, and make several films together. They would divorce in 1995.

Branagh helped with various roles in the short-lived comedy/variety show Thompson with Emma Thompson, aired over the BBC in July 1990. Thompson would return the favor by joining the cast of a film Branagh was scripting, directing and starring in the title role: Henry V (released in November 1989) with Derek Jacobi as Chorus.

The film was rather popular, so Branagh got himself a gig directing and starring in Dead Again (which played the Chinese in August 1991) with Emma Thompson once more. The film actually did pretty well in the US.

Wanting to film the Shakesperean plays he had done onstage, his next film was an all-star version of Much Ado About Nothing (released in May 1993) with Emma Thompson as Beatrice. Branagh played Benedick, wrote the script, directed and co-produced.

Back in Hollywoodland, Branagh starred as Victor Frankenstein and directed Mary Shelly's Frankenstein (released in November 1994) with Robert De Niro as you-know-who. Branagh's take on the story is a love-it-or-hate-it affair. Branagh played Iago in Othello (released in December 1995) with Laurence Fishburne in the title role.

Branagh rounded up an all-star cast, wrote the script, directed and took the title role of Hamlet (released in December 1996) with Richard Briers as Polonius. The 70mm epic actually did fairly well, considering it's four hours long.

For director Robert Altman, he starred in the adaptation of the John Grisham story The Gingerbread Man (released in January 1998) with Embeth Davidtz, and in what can only be called a momentary lack of judgement, starred as the bad guy in Wild Wild West (released in June 1999) with Will Smith.

He starred, wrote and directed an adaptaion of Love's Labour's Lost (released in March 2000) with Nathan Lane; he wrote and directed a film of As You Like It (released in September 2007) with Bryce Dallas Howard as Rosalind and returning to Lawrence Olivier territory, he co-produced also directed a remake of Sleuth (released in November 2007) with Michael Caine.

Branagh seems to have had a grand time playing the flamboyant Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (which played the Chinese in November 2002) with Daniel Radcliffe, then portrayed would-be Hitler assassin Henning von Tresckow in Valkyrie (released in December 2008) with Tom Cruise as Claus von Stauffenberg.

Branagh was producer and played the Swedish detective Wallander with Richard McCabe, aired over the BBC and PBS from May 2009 to May 2016. Meanwhile, Branagh directed Thor (released in May 2011) with Chris Hemsworth. That's pretty Hollywood, right?

But on the other hand, he played Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn (which had its North American Premiere at the Chinese on Sunday, November 6, 2011) with Michelle Williams. For a live television trasmission from the stage, Branagh co-directed the production and starred as Macbeth (released in July 2013) with Alex Kingston.

Branagh only co-produced Thor: The Dark World (released in November 2013) with Chris Hemsworth. He played the bad guy, Viktor Cherevin, and also directed Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (which played the Chinese in January 2014) with Chris Pine in the title role.

Finally entering Disney territory, Branagh directed the live-action film of Cinderella (released in March 2015) with Lily James in the title role. For director Christopher Nolan, Branagh played a composite of British commanders in Dunkirk (which played the Chinese in July 2017) with Fionn Whitehead.

Later that year, Branagh played detective Hercule Poirot and directed and produced the stylish Murder on the Orient Express (released in November 2017). He finally got a chance to play William Shakespeare, as well as produce and direct All is True (released in May 2019) with Judi Dench.

Keeping busy, Branagh won an Oscar for writing a film about his upbringing he directed Belfast (released in November 2021). He starred once more and directed a new version of Death on the Nile (which played the Chinese in February 2022), and starred and directed his third Poirot mystery film A Haunting in Venice (released in September 2023). He played Niels Bohr in Oppenheimer (which played the Chinese in July 2023).
TCL Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Kenneth Branagh Forecourt block. Executed by Santos Resendiz, Thursday, October 26, 2017. 30 x 20 inches.
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®, Hollywood, California. Kenneth Branagh Forecourt ceremony, Thursday, October 26, 2017. Kenneth Branagh looks up into the sunshine while placing his hands in the wet cement.
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