Five things you might not know about WDYTYA? star Charles Dance

By Harriet Beadnell, 5 July 2017 - 3:16pm

Charles Dance explores his family tree in the first episode of Who Do You Think You Are? series 14 on Thursday 6 July. Here's five things you might not know about the actor...

Don't miss Charles Dance's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on Thursday 6 July (Photo: Getty Images) 

Worcestershire-born actor Charles Dance has starred in dozens of award-winning films and television series throughout his career, including Game of ThronesThe Jewel in the Crown and Gosford Park.  

However, Charles will add another screen credit to his name when he appears in Who Do You Think You Are? on Thursday 6 July – a thrilling episode that sees the star uncover connections to the London art world and the battlefields of the Second Boer War.

Here are five interesting facts about Charles as he traces his ancestral roots...

1. Dance, the director

As well as being an accomplished actor, Charles also wrote and directed Ladies in Lavender in 2004. Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith star in the film as two sisters who rescue a Polish boy from the Cornish coast and learn of his musical talents.

2. Shakespearian success

Early in his acting career, Charles trod the boards with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), starring in productions of Richard III, Hamlet, Henry IV and Henry V during the 1970s.

However, his most memorable performance came in 1989 when he returned to the RSC to play the title role in Coriolanus. The performance continues to receive praise, and was cited by fans as "changing their lives" when Charles collected the 'William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre’ in Washington DC last year.

3. Sporting prowess

Charles is a keen swimmer in his spare time. He also enjoys cricket and even appeared in a short film to help promote the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

4. Seafaring connections

Although Charles was born in Redditch, he moved to Plymouth when his mother married a civil servant working for the Admiralty. The actor's half-brother Michael (who is ten years older) also joined the navy in his youth.

5. Downstairs, not upstairs

While often seen on screen playing wealthy gentlemen, Charles is keen to point out that his background is staunchly working class. In a 2016 interview with Radio Times, the star explained: “I pretend to be aristocratic because of the way my face is put together, but there is nothing aristocratic about me at all."

However, will Charles’s Who Do You Think You Are? journey force him to reassess his class identity? Tune into BBC One at 9pm on Thursday 6 July to find out!


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6 best Canadian family history websites
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WDYTYA? episode summary: Charles Dance
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