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Born: James Brian Mark PurefoyDate of birth: 3 June 1964
Home Town: Born in Taunton, Raised in Somerset near Yeovil, England, UK
Height: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
Eyes: Lovely deep Brown
Hair: Brown

James was born in Taunton and raised in Somerset near Yeovil, England. After leaving school at 16 he took several different jobs, which included working on a pig farm and as a porter at Yeovil District Hospital, he then traveled and working throughout Europe. At 18 James went back to college to take his A-Level exams, one of which was Drama. It was then that he realized that acting something he felt inspired to do and so he applied for and was accepted into the acting course at Central School of Speech and Drama. While playing the lead role in Henry V in the first term of his final year at Central he was spotted by a casting director from RSC and was immediately invited to join the company in Stratford.

Although initially asked only to play Ferdinand in Nick Hytner's production of The Tempest he left the RSC two years later having performed in 8 productions and been directed by: Adrian Noble, Roger Michell and Gene Saks. He played, amongst others, Edgar in King Lear and Malcolm in Macbeth. Over the next six years James divided his time between jobs in theatre and television. In theatre he worked with Katie Mitchell on Women of Troy at the Gate; Matthew Warchus, Ken Stott and Jude Law on Death of a Salesman at the West Yorkshire Playhouse; Iain Glen on Hamlet at Bristol Old Vic; Bill Alexander in a critically acclaimed season at Birmingham Rep playing leading parts in The Servant, The Way of the World and Macbeth and with Simon Callow, Joseph Fiennes Rupert Graves, and Helen McCrory, on Les Enfants du Paradis, again for the RSC. As well as appearing in the BBC's landmark period drama, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (1996) (mini) - he has always chosen to do a wide variety of parts on television, to avoid being typecast. From a psychopathic rapist in BBC1's Calling the Shots (1993) (TV) with Lynn Redgrave to the fraudster Darius Guppy in LWT's The Prince; from the urbane observer Nick Jenkins in Channel 4's "A Dance to the Music of Time" (1997) (mini) to the sad stalker in Granada's series "Metropolis" (2000) (mini), James has always managed to confound people's expectations of him.

Over the last few years he has been busy making feature films, on average at the rate of 3 a year. Early credits include Jedd in Feast of July (1995) for Merchant Ivory, and as the bisexual Irish baker, Brendan in Rose Troche's Bedrooms and Hallways (1998). From the alcoholic roustabout Tom in Mansfield Park (1999) to the wannabe 'Bond' actor Carl Phipps in Maybe Baby (2000); the gambling, womanizing Daniel in Women Talking Dirty (1999) with Helena Bonham Carter to the noble, enigmatic Prince Edward in Brian Helgeland's A Knight's Tale (2001).

He has continued to surprise those who seek to pigeonhole him in his film career - always choosing to play parts that juxtapose strongly with the one he has just completed. Last year he returned to the theatre to play the rake Ned Loveless in Trevor Nunn's acclaimed production of “The Relapse” at the National Theatre in London, before embarking on the biggest challenge he has yet faced - playing George in the big budget “George and the Dragon” (2003), with, among others, Michael Clarke Duncan, Val Kilmer, Piper Perabo and Patrick Swayze. This movie will be released in the summer of 2003. Currently he lives alone in London.

A bit about Sherborne School that James attended.

Visit for some more details on many of James roles, especially some of the more obscure parts he's played.

Fun Facts

• James grew up with his mother and two older sisters and also has a younger brother. He has said that he just loves being in the company of women. :D
• Our boy was kicked out of school at 16 for fraternizing with girls.
• James drooled over Blondie as a young teen.
• When he was young James had a short stint as a pig farmer.
• His proudest moment was the birth of his son, Joseph (Jojo) born in 1997.
• At his London home, James personally constructed a tree house for his young son.
• At boarding school, he once serenaded the girls at a nearby school with thirteen stanzas of "Greensleeves."-lucky girls!!
• In 1997, James was voted "hunk of the year" by a British television magazine. - Um, yeah!
• Screen tested for the Bond role in GoldenEye (1995).
• The name, Purefoy, is originally Norman French and literally means "good faith" or "my word or bond is in good faith." Some Purefoys went to England during the Norman Conquest and others immigrated to England as French Huguenot expatriates in the fifteenth century.
• James love sculpting and writing.We would sure love to see his work!
• James loves the artwork of Rothko. Here is link to Mark Rothko's work.
• During filming of Vanity Fair, James liked to whisper dirty things in Reese Witherspoon's ear right before takes.Naughty boy - Lucky Reese!
• He was cast as the leading man in V For Vendetta but departed halfway through, having had creative differences with the makers of the film.
• James once had a bad experience on Absinthe. He couldn't walk so he crawled home in his Prada suit. The suite has never been quite the same since, what with the grass stains and all. LOL!
• James' favorite place in the world is his bed.Mmm hummm... ;)
• He loves Rock music: Kings of Convenience and Athlete, Lynard Skynard (Freebird), AC/DC, and Led Zeppelin.Rock on babe! :)
• His favorite books are the classics: Vanity Fair, War and Peace, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
• His favorite season is spring.

Personal Quotes

In the July 4, 2001 Newswatch, Wild West End column: "There was one woman whom I was absolutely infatuated with, but she had no interest in me. I was very young at the time and thought the way to prove my love was to write a book for her. It ran for pages and pages and I had it bound in leather to give to her. But it still didn't have the desired effect. I can't remember what the book was called or even what it was about. It doesn't matter now." Awww...

"The age of chivalry isn't dead, is it? It doesn't even have to be a man or a woman that you could be chivalrous to. If somebody's in trouble you give them a hand."

"Breeches are fine, in their place. The trouble with breeches is that it makes you realize what it's like to be a woman with large breasts. There's just no eye contact."

"I've played a lot of Regency bucks and, just as Colin Firth is expected to be sullen and Darcyesque, people have an image in their minds of what I should be like. There's an expectancy. When I read about myself I don't recognize the person they are describing."

"Without fail, every day I lose my keys, credit card and dignity." LOL!

James has a little party song, and here's how it goes...
(This is just too funny!)

As I was going to the fair of Assey
I saw a girl's petticoat hung out to dry
I took off my trousers and hung them close by
To keep that girl's petticoat warm

The petticoat flapped and it made a loud noise
It flounced and it fluttered, lost feminine poise
And it wound round the legs of my old corduroys
Oh trousers, I hope you're on form

(Oh, my petticoat has such a crush on his trousers! Flutterrrr!)