Ioan Gruffudd

In the past few years, hunky Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd (pronounced YO-an Griffith) has made a big impact on viewers as the star of such vehicles as Hornblower and Great Expectations. Here's a look at his career so far.

His television work began at age 14 on the popular BBC Welsh-language soap opera Pobol Y Cwn ("People Of The Valley"). But his first couple of years after attending the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts school were disappointing and left him "skint." However, Ioan's good looks won him a nude scene opposite Stephen Fry in Wilde, which he described as, "liberating, although I was a bit worried what my granny might think."

After a small but pivotal role in box-office champ Titanic (as the officer who plucks Kate Winslet out of the freezing ocean), producer Andrew Benson chose him to play the title character in the expensive (more than $5 million per episode) Hornblower series for ITV/A&E. Benson decided to test the appeal of his young star by doing some unofficial market research at work. The "G.I.T.O.T." - or Girls In The Office Test - produced a positive swoon at the sight of his baroquely curving lips and slender legs as he passed through.

The BBC came calling next, casting him as Pip in their remake of Great Expectations opposite Charlotte Rampling. He appeared in an episode of the 1999 Channel 4 anthology series Love In The 21st Century as a husband whose wife catches him masturbating.

Recently he starred in Warriors for the BBC, as Lt. John Feeley, part of a British peacekeeping unit sent to form the UN Protection Force assigned to war-torn Bosnia. He said about the part, "I didn't think they'd cast me, because basically I'm known for period drama; people don't associate me with hard-hitting contemporary stuff. But I wanted to do this not just for professional reasons, to extend my resume, but also for personal reasons." Shot on location in the Czech Republic, the drama provoked a debate in the House of Commons about the UN after it was broadcast in Britain in 1999.

He also starred in the Welsh-language movie Solomon and Gaenor, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Ioan recently appeared in 102 Dalmations with Glenn Close and Gerard Depardieu, and another series of Hornblower movies which run in April 2001 on A&E.

The Ioan Gruffudd Home Page.
Ilona's Ioan Gruffudd Page.
Ioan Gruffudd: An Electrifying Actor.
Sally's Ioan Gruffudd Picture Page.

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