Biography of Brendan FraserBrendan Fraser is a Hollywood actor, the star of the adventure trilogy "The Mummy", the romantic melodrama "Blast from the Past", and the thriller "The Quiet American". He is also the winner of the Screen Actors Guild of the USA Award and the Critics’ Choice Film Award in the nomination "Best Cast" (in the drama "Crash").
After the release of the adventure comedy "George of the Jungle" in 1997, he became known as a sex symbol. In the early 2000s, he was considered one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood and received $45 million for starring in The Mummy.
Over the years, dramatic changes have taken place in his life and the door to the roles of alpha-male heartbreakers turned out to be shut. After that, he began to appear on screens mostly as exemplary family men and caring fathers.
ChildhoodBrendan James Fraser was born on December 3, 1968 in Indianapolis. His parents are Canadians. His mother, Carol Mary, was a sales consultant. His father, Peter Fraser, was an employee of the diplomatic service of the Canadian State Tourism Administration. Also, Brendan has three elder brothers.
The family moved often. They have lived in the USA (Detroit, Cincinnati, and Seattle), Canada (Ottawa, Toronto), the Netherlands (Amsterdam), Great Britain (London), and Italy (Rome). So Brendan has been used to traveling a lot.
He grew up bilingual, knowing English and French equally well. His ancestry includes Scottish, Irish, Czech, German and French-Canadian roots. The actor also has dual citizenship – Canada and the USA.
Brendan attended Upper Canada College, Toronto’s oldest private boarding school for boys. Here the boy began to study in a theater circle.
At the age of 12, Brendan participated in a professional theatrical performance in London’s West End. He was engaged in the production of the play by the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett "Waiting for Godot" and in the play based on the comedy by William Shakespeare "A Midsummer Night’s Dream". Many years later, in 2001, he repeated this experience and played in the West End drama hit by Tennessee Williams "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", receiving many positive reviews.
After school, the young man enrolled at the theater department of the Cornwall College of the Arts in Seattle.
First rolesIn 1990, Brendan graduated from college with a Bachelor of Performing Arts. He was going to study acting further, but ended up in Los Angeles and decided to stay there. At the age of 22, the actor made his debut in the crime drama "Guilty Until Proven Innocent", where he played the bully Bobby, who was imprisoned on charges of murder. According to the plot, his father, who believed in his innocence, played by Martin Sheen, tried to get him out of prison.
In 1992, the youth comedy "Encino Man" was released, and the actor tasted popularity for the first time. The brilliantly played role of the caveman, thawed and revived in our days, brought him a nomination for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award in the category "Most Promising Actor".
In the same year, in the film "School Ties", he demonstrated dramatic talent, playing the main role of a guy from a poor Jewish family who entered a prestigious college where people from wealthy families studied. Future Hollywood stars Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Chris O’Donnell worked with him on set.
The heyday of the careerIn the following years, the actor starred in lots of comedy ("Younger and Younger", "Empty-headed", "With Honors"), where he often played silly characters that appealed to the audience a lot.
The actor gained worldwide fame in 1997, after the release of the comedy "George of the Jungle", where he played a guy who grew up in the heart of the African jungle.
In 1998, he appeared as former Marine in the biopic "Gods and Monsters", which was about the last days of the life of the film director James Whale. Proving that he is a diverse actor, Brendan received a nomination for the Chlotrudis Awards in the category "Best Supporting Actor".
A year later, Fraser starred in one of the best films in his filmography,"Blast from the Past", where he played a young man who was born and lived for 35 years in an underground shelter, since his parents were sure that a nuclear apocalypse had happened on earth.
A key role in the career of Brendan Fraser is the brave treasure hunter Rick O’Connell from the blockbuster "The Mummy" (1999), which collected $416 million at the box office. His co-stars were Rachel Weisz and Arnold Vosloo.
According to the actor, a fantastic story cannot be told with a serious face. Therefore, he liked that his hero was not only capable of feats, but also constantly made the audience laugh.
While working on the film, Brendan often recalled films about Indiana Jones, which he always considered classics of the adventure genre. He tried to give Rick the features of a legendary treasure hunter.
By the way, Fraser is a huge fan of Harrison Ford. The actor often recalled how he presented Ford with the award:
I was asked to the Spike TV Awards Ceremony and it was my obligation and duty and pleasure to present Harrison with the Brass Balls Award. I later asked him what he did with the Brass Balls. He told me he sold it for scrap metal. That’s when we first met. After that, it was reading scenes together over coffee or a drink or something like that. I don’t know.In 2001, the sequel "The Mummy Returns" was released and broke the record of the first part, collecting $433 million. In 2008 "The Mummy: The Tomb of the Emperor of Dragons" was released. Brendan played the fearless Rick again, forced to fight with the mummy who came to life and wanted to rule the world. He had to also fight monsters and a sorceress, and fight with swords. The revenue of the third part of the picture reached $401 million.
According to the actor, during the filming, which reminded him of the struggle for survival, he almost always worked without stunt doubles, and a rare day went without injuries. To ease the pain and continue working, he had to attach ice packs to his body with duct tape. And during the hanging scene of his character, the actor was almost hung for real. Fortunately, the shooting crew managed to resuscitate him.
Shortly after the release of the sequel "The Mummy", Brendan appeared in the first three seasons of the TV series "The Scrubs", played one of the main roles in the comedy melodrama "Dudley Do-Right" (failed at the box office), in the fantastic comedy "Bedazzled" (which collected $ 90 million with a budget of $ 48 million), as well as in the military film "The Quiet American", an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Graham Greene, where his partner was Michael Caine.
In 2004, the actorappeared in the box office film "Crash" (which received three Oscars and two BAFTA awards). And in 2008, he turned into the central character, Professor Anderson, in the film adaptation of the novel by Jules Verne "Journey to the Center of the Earth". The movie earned 241 million with a budget of 60 million and told the story of a journey into an amazing underground world inhabited by strange animals.
In the same year, in the fantasy "Ink Heart", based on the book by the German writer Cornelia Funke, he played the key role of Folkhart, who had the gift of transferring book into the real world by reading .
Victim of harassmentIn 2018, during the heyday of the #MeeToo campaign, Brendan Fraser admitted that he had experienced harassment 15 years ago. Renowned producer Philip Berk, the head of the organization awarding the Golden Globes, groped Brendan during a stay at a hotel in Beverly Hills.
Seeing the producer, Brendan stretched out his hand to greet him, and in response:
His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around. I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.The actor told only his wife about the incident, fearing that the scandal would put an end to his career. According to him, this incident left a psychological trauma, made Brendan withdrawn, in addition, and so, he was no longer invited to the Golden Globes ceremony.
When Brendan poured out his soul, many fans took his words skeptically, because Brendan was 34 at that time, he had just starred in "The Mummy" and was at the peak of physical fitness, while Burke was almost 50. The producer, upon learning about the accusations, denied all information.
DeclineIn 2009, the actor went through a painful divorce; soon, he got problems with his spineand buried his mother who died of cancer. After the 2010 release of the comedy "Furry Vengeance", which was severely criticized, the actor took time out.
In 2013 he was involved in five film projects at once. In particular, he voiced the role of a Supernova astronaut in the animated film "Escape from Planet Earth".Together with Paul Walker and Matt Dillon, he played in the black comedy "PawnShop Chronicles", reincarnating as an Elvis Presley lookalike.
During the downturn in his career on the big screen, the actor decided to try his luck on television. So, in 2015 he played Texas Ranger Anderson in the mini-series "Texas Rising", in 2016-2017 he appeared in a small, but prominent role in the major drama series "The Affair".
Due to problems with his wife, health problems and the consequences of the incident with Berk, Brendan lost his athletic form. Viewers who did not follow his career in TV series and last saw him on the big screen in the early 2010s were amazed: the actor had changed a lot and gained weight.
Users of social networks, fans of the artist, decided to support him and created a subreddit SAVEBRENDAN, where they published his photos and urged the directors to give him a good role. And, after a long lull, in 2019 the actor finally got a role in a big movie: he played Dr. Mitchell in an American-Italian thriller with John Travolta and Morgan Freeman called "The Poison Rose".
RevivalThings have been getting better for Fraser lately. He got a role in the superhero comedy series "Doom Patrol", however, his hero, a former racing driver, resurrected by a brilliant scientist in a metal body, wears an iron mask. Cliff Steele migrated here from the TV series "Titans".
In 2021, Steven Soderbergh’s crime thriller "No Sudden Move" was released with the participation of Fraser, Matt Damon, David Harbour, Benicio del Toro. In addition, Brendan starred in the TV series "Professionals" with Tom Welling as a billionaire futurist, Peter Swann.
Personal life of Brendan FraserFor nine years, the actor was married to an obsure actress, Afton Smith. They first met in 1993 at one of Winona Ryder’s parties. Brendan was surprised that he and Afton were born on the same day (she was a year older). Five years later they got married.
The couple had three sons – Griffin in 2002, Holden in 2004 and Leland in 2006.
In 2007, the couple announced the divorce. According to the court decision, the actor, who was almost not acting at that time, was obliged to pay $900 thousand a year to his ex-wife as child support. Given that he earned about $200,000 a month, he had to give his ex-wife more than a third of his income, and other expenses ate up a rather large amount: mortgage, income tax, real estate tax and, in a separate column, "gardening expenses". He had about $90,000 a month left to live, which was difficult for an actor whose fortune once amounted to $45 million.
In parallel with the problems in his personal life, Brendan faced health problems. After filming in The Mummy trilogy, he needed a laminectomy, a complex spinal surgery. For about seven years, the actor went from one hospital to another. He had an operation on his vocal cords, a part of the knee joint was replaced with prosthesis, and a compression fracture of the spine was treated for a long time.
What I’ve been through... you can’t prepare for this, you can only personally go through it. But such things harden, form character.The last spinal surgery was needed after a tree fell on Fraser in 2012, during Hurricane Sandy. For some time, Brendan rode in a wheelchair, and due to the fact that insurance companies increased the cost of his insurance and banned him from performing stunts in movies on his own, he began to wonder if he could even make a living by acting? In 2013, he appealed to the court with a request to reduce the alimony, but to no avail.
Despite the problematic relationship with his ex–wife, Brendan is a wonderful father. He loves his sons very much, often spends time with them in his country house, . By the way, the actor keeps a horse there. He did not want to part with ir and bought it after filming in the TV series “Texas Rising”. The main reason was, of course, his son that has been suffering from autism.
The actor is not in a relationship. During the filming of Mummy 3, he was confronted to having an affair with his new partner Maria Bello, but he denied it.
Brendan Fraser nowIn September 2022, visitors to the Venice Film Festival received a standing ovation for Darren Aronofsky’s film "The Whale", starring Brendan Fraser as themain actor. The plot focuses on a man named Charlie, who abandoned his family for a lover many years ago. Now he weighs almost 600 lbs trying to establish a relationship with his daughter (Sadie Sink).
On set, Brendan had to wear a special suit weighing 300 lbs and about 45 lbs of makeup. This is Fraser’s first such triumphant role in a long time and, according to critics, one of Aronofsky’s best films.
Fraser received an Oscar for his role as Charlie in "The Whale" in the category of "Best Actor". During his speech, he thanked his sons and director Aronofsky for "throwing him a creative lifeline".
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