Damian Lewis has come a long way since he first started acting. The British performer is currently estimated to be worth at least $15 million. This is after dozens of stage, film, and TV credits in his career, which kicked off in earnest in 1993 – in the TV movie titled Mickey Love.
Lewis gained global recognition for his portrayal of U.S. Army Major Richard Winters in Band of Brothers, a mini-series that aired on HBO in 2001. This role earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. He reportedly landed the part after a drunken screen test with now-billionaire director Steven Spielberg, who essentially gave the actor his big break on television. After his star turn in Band of Brothers, the floodgates of opportunities really opened up for Lewis.
He was a star attraction on Showtime’s hit action drama Homeland, and more recently, won widespread acclaim for playing Bobby Axelrod in the network’s financial drama series, Billions. Fans of the latter were disappointed when it was announced that he would be leaving the show following the tragic passing of his wife Helen McCrory early last year. In such a short span of time since that major decision, Lewis’ overall net worth remains intact.
Damian Lewis was born on February 11, 1971, in St. John’s Wood, London, England, the eldest son of Charlotte Mary and John Watcyn Lewis, a City insurance broker with Lloyd’s. Damian’s grandparents on the paternal side were Welsh. Lewis went to several English boarding schools during his youth. As a child, he also made several visits to the U.S. to visit relatives during summer breaks from school. He became interested in acting at age 16 and was educated at the independent Ashdown House School in Forest Row, East Sussex, before going on to Eton College and graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1993.
Damian Lewis Career
After graduating from drama school, Lewis worked as a stage actor for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He played Boeheim in Adrian Noble’s production of Henrik Isben’s “Little Eyolf,” Posthumus in Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline,” and starred in another Isben play, “Pillars of the Community,” at the National Theatre. During this time, he worked as a telemarketer selling car alarms to help pay bills.
His first TV appearance was as a student in an early episode of the English drama series “A Touch of Frost” in 1993. In 1997, Lewis played the part of Patrick Conner in “Robinson Crusoe.” Next up, he appeared in Jonathan Kent’s production of “Hamlet”, where he played Laertes. The production was seen by Steven Spielberg who later cast Lewis as Richard Winters in “Band of Brothers,” the first of many roles that required Lewis to have a believable American accent. In the 2000 series “Hearts and Bones,” he was cast as the love interest of Dervla Kirwan. After that, he appeared in the ITV series “The Forsyte Saga,” which gained him some attention and positive reviews.
Lewis then returned to the US to star in “Dreamcatcher,” a Lawrence Kasdan film about a man who becomes possessed by an alien. The character is American, but when possessed, he takes on a British accent. Up next, Lewis starred in the film “Keane” as a Manhattanite with a fragile mental state who is searching for his missing daughter. “Keane” opened to poor box office numbers, but his performance was well-reviewed. It was 2001 when Lewis was cast as Maj. Richard Winters in the highly acclaimed HBO drama series “Band of Brothers.” Lewis’s performance earned him a Golden Globe nod.
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Since 2004, he’s appeared in a number of films including “Much Ado About Nothing.” “Stormbreaker,” “Friends and Crocodiles,” and “Have I Got News for You.” In 2008, Lewis starred as Charlie Crews in the US TV series “Life” on NBC. The show won an AFI Award in 2008 for Best Television Series and was met with much critical acclaim, but was still eventually canceled by NBC. The next year, he appeared in “The Baker,” a film directed by his brother Gareth Lewis. Lewis then had a supporting role in “The Escapist,” which he also helped produce. In 2009, he led the cast in Martin Crimp’s “The Misanthrope,” which opened in December 2009 at the Comedy Theatre in London. Other famous cast members included Keira Knightley and Dominic Rowan. In 2010, Lewis played Tory Prime Minister Simon Laity in two seasons of “Number 10” on BBC Radio 4. In 2011, Lewis played the role of Gareth in the film “Will.”