Benedict Cumberbatch is an English actor. Cumberbatch studied at the Victoria University of Manchester before getting a Masters at the London Academy of Music and Art. He made his television debut in 1998 with a guest appearance on the TV program Heartbeat, and then landed his first main role playing physicist Stephen Hawking in 2005’s TV movie Hawking. It was in 2010 when Benedict played a modern day Sherlock Holmes in the British TV series Sherlock that the actor rose into the A-list. Big screen roles in American movies followed including a sizeable part as the sorcerer in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange franchise.
Born on July 19, 1976 in London, England, his middles names are Timothy Carlton. His zodiac sign is Cancer.
Cumberbatch is a Buddist “at least philosophically”.
While still in school, Benedict took a trip to India to help teach English to a group of Buddist monks. It was there he first discovered the Buddist philosophy and how it could help him in his own life. “They taught me about the simplicity of human nature, but also the humanity of it, and the ridiculous sense of humor you need to live a full spiritual life.” (1)
When asked if he could venture deeper into his religious beliefs, Cumberbatch has been hesitant discussing them further.
Cumberbatch has been vocal in his political beliefs. He could be considered to be leaning far left with his strong stance on immigrant aid, criticism of foreign policy and his distrust of politicians.
During a run of Hamlet in which he played the title role, at the end of each performance Cumberbatch appealed for donations from the audience to support relief for Syrian refugees. He ended his oration with the denounment “Fuck politicians!” (2)
When he was promoting his film The Imitation Game, in which the actor played gay scientist Alan Turing, Cumberbatch was often asked by the press about his thoughts for gay rights. He said that he was firmly on the side of supporting full rights for homosexuals, and that he would defend this belief to the death. (3)
“We all know actors who are [gay] who don’t want to talk about it or bring it up, or who deny it,” he said. “I don’t really know what they do to deal with it. Human rights movements and sexual and gay rights movements have made huge social progress in the last 40 years, without a doubt, but there’s a lot more work to be done.”
He has also criticized the American Christian far right as being “very homophobic.” (4)
Benedict is married to Sophie Hunter, a theater director. The two married on Valentine’s Day 2015. They have two sons: Christopher (born 2015) and Hal (born 2017).
In 2005 Cumberbatch was vacationing in South Africa with two friends. The trio were kidnapped and held at gunpoint by locals without knowing the reason for the kidnapping. Eventually, their abductors drove Cumberbatch and his friends to a remote location, placed burlap sacks over their head, and then mysteriously drove away without further incident.
Cumberbatch feels that the traumatic incident changed the way he lived. “It taught me that you come into this world as you leave it, on your own. It’s made me want to live a life less ordinary.” (5)
“Cumberbatch – it sounds like a fart in a bath, doesn’t it?”
“I dislike the size and shape of my head. I’ve been likened to Sid the Sloth from Ice Age…”
1: Lion’s Roar
3: The Guardian
Photo by Gage Skidmore. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.