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Andy Serkis is a British actor and director who is well-known for his voice acting and performances in CGI-animated and motion capture films. In ‘The Lord of the Rings trilogy and ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ he played the part of Gollum. Using motion capture technology, Serkis has represented a multitude of roles on-screen. After portraying Kong in the 2005 film ‘King Kong,’ he portrayed Caesar in subsequent films, including ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes,’ ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes.’ In the Steven Spielberg-directed film ‘The Adventures of Tintin,’ he provided the voice for the character Captain Haddock. Andy portrayed General Snoke in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi as well. He is now portraying Ulysses Klaue in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film and made his directorial debut with “Breath.”

Youth and Early Life

Andrew Clement G. Serkis was born on April 20, 1964, to Armenian physician Clement Serkis and British educator Lylie. He has four siblings and was born in Ruislip Manor, West London, England.

Serkis attended St Benedict’s School in Ealing, London, before attending the University of Lancaster to study visual arts. He ultimately made his acting debut in the Barrie Keeffe drama “Gotcha.” This was a pivotal moment in his life when he realized his genuine passion for acting.

In his final year at the University of Lancaster, he performed a one-man rendition of Raymond Briggs’ graphic novel, “The Tin-Pot Foreign General and the Old Iron Woman.”

Andy Serkis’s Career

To earn his Equity card, Serkis began his acting career at Duke’s Playhouse in Lancaster. Upon acquiring the card, he acted in many performances under Jonathan Petherbridge’s direction.

In 1989, while working at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, he was cast in a production of ‘Macbeth’, which was his first major role. Throughout his career, he appeared in more theatrical productions, including ‘She Stoops to Conquer,’ ‘Your Home in the West,’ and ‘True Nature of Love.’

In the adaption of Shakespeare’s tragedy “King Lear,” Serkis gave a mesmerizing performance as “The Fool” at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1990.

In 1989, Serkis began portraying Peter Moran on the television series ‘The New Statesman.’ In the same year, he also appeared as Sparky Plugg in “Morris Minor’s Marvelous Motors” and as Dudin in “Saracen.” He also had the opportunity to play Owen, a prominent recurrent character, in the British television show Streetwise.

In addition to his stage work in the 1990s, Serkis appeared on a number of television programs. In ‘The Bill,’ he portrayed Dean Platt and Alex Rackin. He then portrayed Pyotr in the television series ‘Grushko’ and Tom in the 1994 crime series ‘Finney’.

From 1995 through 1998, Andy appeared in multiple television series and films. He utilized the opportunity effectively to demonstrate his worthiness as an actor. During this period, he portrayed MEM O’Brien in the episode “The Burning Deck” of “Kavanagh, QC” and Potts in the film “Mojo.” He even appeared as Steven Brunos in a few episodes of the television series The Jump.

Andy Serkis’s casting as Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” in 1999 elevated his popularity to a new level. In subsequent films, such as “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers,” and “The Return of the King,” he portrayed the same character.

From 1999 to 2003, Andy Serkis spent most of his time in New Zealand in preparation for his part as Gollum. He conducted significant studies and had to film two versions of every sequence in which he appeared. This was done so the digital crew could utilize Serkis’ actions to bring Gollum to life on screen.

In addition, he portrayed Bill Skies in the television series ‘Oliver Twist’ and Michael Lawler in the criminal thriller series ‘Touching Evil.’ In New Zealand for the filming of ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ Andy Serkis also played other interesting roles. After portraying Kasim in the miniseries “Arabian Nights,” he portrayed John Thelwall in “Pandaemonium” and Chester in “Five Seconds to Spare,” a mystery thriller.

In 2002, his revolutionary performance in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” earned him multiple nominations and accolades. This accomplishment was duplicated in 2003 for “The Return of the King.”

In 2003, he first provided his voice for Cleanie in ‘The Simpsons,’ an animated television series, and then for Gollum in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King computer game. The following year, he provided his voice for the characters Smeagol, Gollum, and The Witch-King in the Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth video game.

In 2005, he got praise for his role in the film “King Kong.” He also provided the voice for Lumpy in King Kong: Official Game of the Film.

In 2006, Andy Serkis was cast in a number of significant roles. After portraying Alley in the science-fiction thriller ‘The Prestige,’ he portrayed Spike in the action-adventure comedy picture ‘Flushed Away,’ and then Vincent Van Gogh in the television series ‘Simon Schama’s Power of Art.’ In the British television drama ‘Longford,’ he was nominated for a BAFTA for his portrayal of serial killer Ian Brady.

Between 2008 and 2010, Andy appeared in a number of films, including ‘The Cottage,’ ‘Inkheart,’ and ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. He also had a recurrent role as Rigaud in the television series Little Dorrit. He also provided his voice for a key character in the video game Risen.

In 2011, the actor returned to motion capture technology films. Initially, he was cast as Caesar in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and Captain Haddock and Sir Francis Haddock in “The Adventures of Tintin.”

In the 2014 film ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,’ Serkis resumed the character of Caesar, and his performance earned him multiple honors and nominations. This allowed him to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and fans were delighted when he was cast as the villainous Ulysses Klaue in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

In 2015, the actor duplicated his success by portraying Supreme Leader Snoke in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” In ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ slated for release later this year, he reprises the role. His performance of Caesar in ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ also garnered praise.

It has been reported that he will reprise his role as Supreme Leader Snoke in ‘Star Wars: Episode IX,’ which is set for release in 2019, and that he will also play the key role of Ulysses Klaue in the next 2018 film, ‘Black Panther.’

His directorial debut, “Breathe,” was published on October 27, 2017, by his own production company, “The Imaginarium Studios.” In his second directorial effort, “The Jungle Book,” he will portray the role of Baloo.

Andy Serkis’s Recognition

Andy Serkis is acknowledged for elevating the art form of motion capture to a new level. Many have lauded his performance as Gollum in ‘The Lord of the Rings Trilogy,’ and it has earned him nominations for several significant accolades.

Awards & Achievements

Andy Serkis received Best Supporting Actor at the 2003 Saturn Awards for his role in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” In 2012, he won the prize for ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

In 2004, he and the cast of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’ earned him the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor in 2010.
In 2015, he earned the Best Actor award for ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ at the Empire Awards.

Personal Life of Andy Serkis

Since July 2002, Andrew Serkis has been married to actress Lorraine Ashbourne, and the pair has three children: Ruby, Sonny, and Louis.
He is affiliated with and supports organizations such as PETA and White Knot for Equality, which supports the LGBT population.

Estimated Net Worth

British actor, filmmaker, and author Andy Serkis have a net worth of $18 million. He is best known for his portrayal of Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” films, in which he performed nearly the whole part using CGI motion-capture technology.

He later repeated this character in “The Hobbit” spin-off film series. In addition to these roles, Serkis has acted in a number of other films, predominantly as CGI characters.

Trivia

Andrew has penned a memoir titled “Gollum: How We Made Movie Magic” about his adventures bringing the character of Gollum to life on the big screen.