Ralph Feinnesby Aly Runke, contributing writer

Today, December 22, 2014, we celebrate Ralph Fiennes’ 52nd birthday! Many may only recognize Fiennes as the evil Lord Voldemort: hairless, nose-less, and beyond creepy. It is his portrayal of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter franchise that has probably gained him the most fame.

Fiennes as Voldemort may be his most recognizable role but it’s not his only immensely successful one. Fiennes has been nominated for Academy Awards for several movie roles throughout his career including Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List, Count Almasy in The English Patient, and he’s also received a Tony for his performance of Prince Hamlet on Broadway.

Fiennes was born to Mark Fiennes and Jennifer Lash, and was the eldest of six children. He was born in Ipswich, England, on December 22, 1962. He’s lived in Ireland and England, attending a variety of schools. For a while, he even went to school for painting. He can also boast being an eighth cousin to the Prince of Wales.

voldemortHe was not the only successful child of the family; his younger siblings went on to make names for themselves in showbiz as actors, directors and composers. His nephew, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin played young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. No wonder the faces of villain and boy seemed so uncannily alike!

Fiennes still loves Shakespeare, where he got his theatrical start, and continues to play roles for on-screen adaptations, and on Broadway. He is also a patron of the Shakespeare Schools festival, a charity that enables children all over the U.K. to be in Shakespearean plays. Fiennes is also the U.K. ambassador for UNICEF and has done work for the organization in various countries such as India, Uganda, Romania, and Kyrgyzstan. So, although the actor never had any children of his own, it is clear he loves them and wishes to help provide for kids in need and those aspiring to be actors as he did as a young lad.

We wish a very happy birthday to Ralph Feinnes, and look forward to many more years of his brilliant work!

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