Jude Law is an English film, television, and theatre actor who is best known for his lead roles in 1990s and 2000s films. He began acting with the UK National Youth Music Theatre in 1987, and had his first TV role in 1989. In 1997, his role in the Oscar Wilde biopic Wilde garnered him the Evening Standard British Film Award as "Most Promising Newcomer".
In the late 1990s, Law moved to Hollywood. After starring in films directed by Andrew Niccol, Clint Eastwood, and Sam Mendes, he was nominated for an Academy Award in the 2000s; as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Talented Mr. Ripley in 2000, and then again as Best Actor in a Leading Role for Cold Mountain in 2003, both directed by Anthony Minghella. He also won a BAFTA Award for his role in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
He is on the Top Ten List from the 2006 A-list of the most bankable movie stars in Hollywood, based on the criteria set out by journalist James Ulmer in his Ulmer Scale. On March 1, 2007, he was honored with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres conferred by the French government, in recognition of his contribution to World Cinema Arts. He was named a "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres".
In 2009, he will return to the theatre stage to perform the title role in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, under the direction of Kenneth Branagh.
Law was born in Lewisham, South London, to teachers Maggie and Peter Law, who named him after both The Beatles song Hey Jude and Thomas Hardy's central character in his novel Jude the Obscure. His parents now run their own drama school in France. Natasha, his sister, is a well-regarded illustrator and artist, living in London. He grew up in Blackheath, a village in the Borough of Lewisham, and he was educated at John Ball Primary School in Blackheath and Kidbrooke School in Kidbrooke, before attending the Alleyn's School in Dulwich.
He married Sadie Frost on September 2, 1997. He is the father of four children: Finlay Munro (stepson of Law, born September 20, 1990), son Rafferty (born October 6, 1996), daughter Iris (born October 25, 2000) and son Rudy (born September 10, 2002). They divorced on October 29, 2003. On Christmas 2004 he became engaged to Sienna Miller, his co-star in Alfie. On November 12, 2006 Law and Miller announced their breakup.