Licence to Kill
“You can’t relate to a superhero, to a superman, but you can identify with a real man who in times of crisis draws forth some extraordinary quality from within himself and triumphs, but only after a struggle. Real courage is knowing what faces you and knowing how to face it.” Timothy Dalton on playing a character
An attractive, dark-haired leading man of British, Italian and Irish descent, Timothy Dalton is well-known as the fourth actor to play James Bond, replacing the courteous British actor Roger Moore in the highly successful The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989), where his interpretation of Bond received high praise as being the closest to author Ian Fleming’s literary Bond. He earned initial attention in The Lion in Winter (1968) and stood out in Sextette (1978), The Rocketeer (1991) and The Beautician and the Beast (1997). Also an accomplished TV and stage actor, Dalton has appeared in a number of productions, including the plays “As You Like It” and “Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs” (both 1966), as well as the made-for-TV film Antony and Cleopatra (1983).
Outside the limelight, Dalton, who was paid 3,000,000 for The Living Daylights (1987), $5,000,000 for Licence to Kill (1987) and $5,000,000 for the miniseries Scarlett (1994), is married to Ukranian beauty Oksana Grigorieva, who is the mother of his only son, Alexander Dalton (born in 1997). The family now resides in West Hollywood. Before the marriage, he was romantically linked to Yvonne Paul, Whoopi Goldberg (together from 1990 to 1991) and Vanessa Redgrave (met in 1971, together for much of the next 17 years).
Childhood and Family:
Born in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, UK, on March 21, 1946, Timothy Peter Dalton, whose nickname is Tim, is of blended British, Italian and Irish lineage. His mother is from the Bronx (New York). Tim’s family relocated to Belper, Derbyshire, England, soon after his birth and he was raised in Manchester, England. As a teenager, he developed a love for acting, encouraged by his grandfathers who were both vaudevillians. In 1964, Tim left school to attend London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and spent the summer touring with the National Youth Theatre. He left RADA after studying for two years and joined the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1966.
Off screen, Tim likes to keep his private life private. He is married to Ukranian actress-model Oksana Grigorieva, who is 26 years younger than him. Despite the large age difference, the couple is happily raising their only son, Alexander Dalton (born on August 7, 1997) together. Tim enjoys fishing, especially in the Pacific, and reading. His other hobbies include opera, jazz, antique fairs, auctions and films.
The Living Daylights
Growing up in a family with a background in the entertainment industry, Timothy Dalton became interested in acting as a teenager. After leaving school, he studied at RADA for two years and toured with the National Youth Theatre for three summers. He made his professional stage debut at Queen’s Theatre in London with the 1964 performance of “Coriolanus,” and joined the Birmingham Repertory Theatre two years later. With the company, he starred in various plays, including “As You Like It” and “Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs” (both 1966). He quickly progressed to television, playing roles in the series “Sat’day While Sunday” (1967) and The Three Princes (1968), as well as guest starred in an episode of “Judge Dee” (1969). But, Dalton did not receive a big break until he was cast as the King of France in his first big screen outing, The Lion in Winter (1968). The Anthony Harvey-helmed drama starred Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn and Anthony Hopkins.
Dalton continued to take on film roles in Giochi particolari (1970), Wuthering Heights (1970, played sensually thrilling Heathcliff), Cromwell (1970) and Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), before deciding to take a hiatus to focus on his stage work. He performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and other troupes throughout the world and did not appear in another movie until 1975’s Permission to Kill, a co-production with West Germany which marked Dalton’s first US film. Three years later, the trained stage player retried to establish his screen career with the second lead of Sir Michael Barrington in the comedy Sextette (1978), opposite legend Mae West. It was hailed as Dalton’s comeback to cinema and the launch of his Hollywood career. Later that same year, he made his American TV miniseries debut in “Centennial,” playing Oliver Seccombe.
The next years saw Dalton continue to divide his time between film and television. He starred in the made-for-TV film Antony and Cleopatra (1983), the miniseries “Jane Eyre” (1983) and the movie The Doctor and the Devils (1985), among others. However, his biggest break arrived when he was officially chosen to replace Roger Moore as the fourth actor to play James Bond and he soon gained international stardom with the release of the 1987 movie The Living Daylights. The action became a hit and grossed more than the previous two Roger Moore films. After a starring role in the comedy Hawks (1988), Dalton again reprised the role of James Bond for Licence to Kill (1989). But, the John Glen-helmed movie failed to follow the success of its predecessor. Despite the failure, the actor’s portrayal of the 007 agent won critical acclaim in some districts as being the closest to author Ian Fleming’s literary Bond. The same year, he was also seen starring as Basil St. John, the one-eyed lover to Brooke Shields’ comic strip reporter “Brenda Starr.”
Dalton then offered an excellent villainous turn of a Hollywood star-turned-Nazi-secret agent in the underestimated comic book adaptation The Rocketeer (1991) and was scheduled to return to the James Bond franchise that same year. However, the film (rumored title: The Property of a Lady) was never made due to a disagreement between the distributor and the copyright holder of the series. In 1994, Dalton officially left the James Bond role. The same year, he starred opposite Joanne Whalley in the much-publicized television miniseries”Scarlett,” based on the sequel novel to “Gone With the Wind.”
The green-eyed Dalton teamed up with Fran Drescher and Ian McNeice in the comedy film The Beautician and the Beast (1997) as a chilly Eastern European tyrant who finds love in the form of a New York-accented cosmotologist (played by Drescher), portrayed Julius Caesar in the ABC miniseries “Cleopatra” (1999, opposite Billy Zane) and was cast as a pastor named Willam Bowden in the Showtime film Possessed (2000). He then appeared as real-life detective/mercenary Allan Pinkerton in the Western film American Outlaws, which starred Colin Farrell and Scott Caan and did not resurface on screen until two years later, when he had the supporting role of Damien Drake in Joe Dante’s Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), starring Brendan Fraser and Steve Martin. He was the narrator of the history made-for-TV film Dunkirk (2004) and was additionally featured as Amphitryon in the adventure telepic Hercules (2005).
The 60-year-old actor recently costarred as Clive Trevelyan in the television film Marple: The Sittaford Mystery (2006), which cast Geraldine McEwanin in the title role. After four years away from the cinematic industry, he is set to return in 2007 with the upcoming Hot Fuzz. The action-comedy will star Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.