TERENCE STAMP (Pekwarsky) was born in Bow, London. His motion picture debut was in Peter Ustinov’s 1962 film adaptation of Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd.” Stamp’s portrayal of the title character brought him not only an Academy Award® nomination, but also international attention.
After his success in Billy Budd, Stamp collaborated with some of the cinema’s most revered filmmakers. He starred in William Wyler’s adaptation of John Fowles’ “The Collector,” opposite Samantha Eggar, and in Modesty Blaise for director Joseph Losey and producer Joe Janni. Stamp reteamed with producer Janni for two more projects: John Schlesinger’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s “Far from the Madding Crowd,” starring Julie Christie, and Ken Loach’s first feature film, Poor Cow.
Stamp then journeyed to Italy to star in Federico Fellini’s Toby Dammit, a 50-minute portion of the Edgar Allan Poe film adaptation titled Spirits of the Dead. Stamp made Italy his home for several years, during which time his film work included Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Teorema, opposite Silvana Mangano.
His subsequent film credits include Alan Cooke’s The Mind of Mr. Soames; Richard Donner’s Superman and Richard Lester’s Superman II (as Kryptonian super villain General Zod); Peter Brook’s Meetings With Remarkable Men; Stephen Frears’ The Hit; Richard Franklin’s Link; Ivan Reitman’s Legal Eagles; Michael Cimino’s The Sicilian; and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. The film Prince of Shadows, in which the actor starred for director Pilar Miró, was awarded the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Stamp began his fourth decade as an actor, wearing some of the choicest of Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel’s Academy Award®-winning costumes, for the comedy The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, starring with Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving for director Stephan Elliott.
In 1999, it was Stamp’s lead role in Steven Soderbergh’s The Limey (which debuted that year to widespread critical acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival) that once again made him popular to a whole new generation of moviegoers. For his performance, Stamp received nominations for Best Male Lead at the 2000 Independent Spirit Awards and for Best British Actor at the London Film Critics’ Circle (ALFS) Awards.
Stamp can also be seen in George Lucas’ global blockbuster Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace; Frank Oz’s Bowfinger, opposite Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy; Red Planet, opposite Val Kilmer; the French romantic comedy My Wife Is an Actress, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg; My Boss’s Daughter, opposite Ashton Kutcher; Disney’s The Haunted Mansion, playing the diabolical butler Ramsley, opposite Eddie Murphy; and Elektra, playing Elektra’s blind master Stick, opposite Jennifer Garner in the title role.
In 2008, Stamp will be seen in the Warner Bros. feature film remake of the famous television series Get Smart, playing Siegfried, spokesman for the infamous KAOS organization, opposite Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. In 2009, Stamp will also star opposite Tom Cruise in Valkyrie for director Bryan Singer. The film is based on a real-life plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
Stamp recently wrapped production on Yes Man, playing opposite Jim Carrey; also for Warner Bros., the film is due out later this year.
In addition to his acting career, Stamp is an accomplished writer and author. He has published three volumes of his memoirs, including “Stamp Album” (written in tribute to his late mother), a novel titled “The Night” and a cookbook co-written with Elizabeth Buxton to provide alternatives to those who are wheat and dairy-intolerant.