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Andy Serkis as Gollum and Smeagol

Gollum Andy Serkis

Date of Birth: 20 April 1964
Place: Ruislip Manor, West London, UK
Height: 5 9

Education: St Benedict's School, London, Lancaster University.
Lorraine Ashbourne, 2 sons Sonny and Louis George, Daughter Ruby
Official Website: http://www.serkis.com/

Smeagol Gollum Smeagol GollumGollumGollum

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Andy now lives in London UK with his wife and 3 children. He is the son of a doctor who worked for a time in Baghdad and a mother who taught handicapped children. For 10 years growing up he and his 4 siblings visited Baghdad Iraq where is father worked frequently.

Growing up in Ruislip he wanted to paint and so chose a course at Lancaster University which concentrated on all the visual arts. He second year required him to do a second course so he picked Theatre Studies which took him into all aspects of the theatre both in front of house and behind the scenes. Andy said that doing a production of a play called Gotcha, by Barrie Keefe.The role he played in this play really that changed his life. In fact he says '.. it just literally transformed my life. I hadn't felt anything as powerful as that in painting, even. It was just a real calling.'

Andy began his acting career in theatre. He has appeared on almost every renowned British stage -- the Royal Court, the Royal Exchange Manchester, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Hull Truck, Dukes Lancaster, the Nuffield Studio, and Donmar Warehouse -- and in a host of popular plays.

The actor has fashioned a television career as prolific as his stage work. In 1987, Serkis made his small-screen debut in two episodes of the Rik Mayall vehicle The New Statesman. He then signed on as Sparky Plugs in the BBC series Morris Minor's Marvelous Motors (1989), a comedy about eccentric mechanics that specialize in fixing a type of car that no one in town owns. The next decade saw Serkis acting in several of Britain's heralded miniseries. In 1994, he appeared in the murder-mystery Finney. In 1996, he played Sergeant Corrigan in a television adaptation of Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse. In 1999, he starred in the Mystery! production Touching Evil as a grief counselor who tends to the husbands of women murdered by a brutal serial killer. In 2000, Masterpiece Theatre opened its 30th season with an adaptation of Oliver Twist that featured Serkis as Charles Dickens' terrifying loose cannon, Bill Sykes. That same year, the actor joined the international cast of Hallmark Hall of Fame's Arabian Nights, which included Dougray Scott, Mili Avital, and Rufus Sewell.

In between juggling theater and television work, Serkis made his feature-film debut in the thriller Grushko (1993). His big-screen performances include a part in Mike Leigh's Career Girls (1997), a memorable turn as a wacky choreographer in the director's Topsy Turvy (1999), and the portrayal of 18th century English poet John Thelwall in Julian Temple's raucous Pandaemonium (2000). Serkis' most demanding role, however, did not require him to appear onscreen. Serkis supplied the voice and movement for the computer-animated creature Gollum in all three installments of Peter Jackson's trilogy The Lord of the Rings -- The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003).  Serkis worked closely with technicians from Weta Workshop and Digital to produce an empathetic and palpable representation of Tolkien's character. He performed in a suit covered in reflectors that were tracked by a computer-driven camera. Animation was then superimposed over his movement, producing one of the most realistic computer-generated images in modern cinema.

After completing The Lord of the Rings, Serkis quickly returned to the London stage. In the summer of 2001, he starred with Sinead Cusack and Catherine McCormack in the U.K. production of Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind at the Donmar Warehouse. The play was one of the last productions overseen by the Donmar's former artistic director, Oscar winner Sam Mendes. The actor also began filming a WWI film with Billy Elliot's Jamie Bell, and wrote and directed his first short film, Snake. Besides starring his Hurly Burly co-star, Rupert Graves, Snake features Serkis' longtime partner, actress Lorraine Ashbourne.

Random Facts

  • He is a vegetarian
  • He was originally only cast for 3 weeks as the voice of Gollum but the LOTR crew were so impressed with his facial expressions and acting when making the voice that he eventually got to play the whole character.
  • His last day of filming on the Lord of the Rings trilogy was only a few weeks before the theatrical release of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). On the carpet of Peter Jackson's living room, they filmed the facial reaction of Smeagol/Gollum when he realizes Frodo intends to destroy the ring. The resulting video was e-mailed to Weta Digital so the animators could replicate the shot with the CGI character.
  • Andy made a guest appearance on the popular TV show The Simpsons In the episode, he reprised his role as a Gollum-like character who called garbage his "precious".
  • Andy loves mountaineering, so he was especially pleased to meet Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mount Everest, during principal photography for Lord of the Rings in New Zealand.
  • Andy has also worked as Assistant Location Manager
  • Owns one of two prop rings used in "Lord of the Rings".
  • The voice Andy used for Gollum was inspired by his cat trying to cough up a hairball.
  • Was required to don a wetsuit and flail around in literally freezing water during reshoots for "The Two Towers."
  • He was ruled ineligible for a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 2003 Academy Awards because his character Gollum in Lord of the Rings onscreen was computer generated
  • September 2004 - Attended the Armaggeddon Pulp Culture Expo Convention in Wellington, New Zealand as a Lord of the Rings guest.
  • His hobbies are mountaineering and painting


Flushed Away (2006) (pre-production) (voice)
King Kong (2005) (filming)
Blessed (2004)
13 Going On 30 (2004)
Standing Room Only (2004/I)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Deathwatch (2002)
24 Hour Party People (2002)
The Escapist (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Jump (2000/I)
Shiner (2000)
Pandaemonium (2000)
The Jolly Boys' Last Stand (2000)
Arabian Nights (2000) (TV)
Five Seconds to Spare (1999)
"Touching Evil III" (1999) (mini) TV Series
"Oliver Twist" (1999) (mini) TV Series
Topsy-Turvy (1999)
Shooting the Past (1999) (TV)
Clueless (1998)
Insomnia (1998)
The Tale of Sweety Barrett (1998)
The Jump (1998) (TV)
Among Giants (1998)
Loop (1997/I)
Mojo (1997)
The Pale Horse (1997) (TV)
Career Girls (1997)
Stella Does Tricks (1996)
The Near Room (1995)
"Finney" (1994) TV Series
Grushko (1994) (TV)
Prince of Jutland (1994)
"Streetwise" (1989) TV Series
"Morris Minor's Marvellous Motors" (1989) TV Series

All letters should be sent to:

Andy Serkis
c/o Lou Coulson
37 Berwick Street, 1 Floor
London, W1F 8RS
United Kingdom

Contributed by Lessa

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