English actor. A hint of ambiguity under his surface sheen made him perfect for such film roles as the twin brothers in Dead Ringers (1988), Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune (1990; Academy Award) and the Earl of Leicester in Elizabeth I (2005, for television). His aristocratic bearing and precise diction have frequently led to casting as repressed, upper-class characters. Other films include The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), The Mission (1986), Damage (1992), and Lolita (1997).
A classically trained Shakespearean actor, he appeared on stage in London's West End from 1969 and made his Broadway debut in in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing (1984; Tony Award). He reached wider audiences in a television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited (1981). His other screen appearances include Un Amour de Swann/Swann in Love (1984), M. Butterfly (1993), Die Hard: With a Vengeance and Stealing Beauty (both 1996), The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), The Time Machine (2002), And Now Ladies and Gentlemen (2003), Being Julia (2004), Appaloosa (2008), and Georgia O'Keeffe (2009, for television).