Andy Serkis

Virtually Actor. Definitely Father. Mostly Imagineer.

Andy Serkis is the eighth highest-grossing actor of all time, and his film work in motion capture has been critically acclaimed. He is best known for his performance capture roles comprising motion capture acting, animation, and voice work for computer-generated characters. In 2011, Serkis founded The Imaginarium Studios[1] with film producer Jonathan Cavendish.

Serkis was born on April 20, 1964, in Ruislip Manor in Middlesex (now within Greater London). He grew up in a combination of Ruislip and Baghdad, Iraq. His mother, Lylie Weech, was half Iraqi and half English and taught disabled children, and his father, Clement Serkis, was an Iraqi-Armenian gynecologist.

He studied visual arts and theatre as part of his degree at Lancaster University and graduated in 1985. Serkis was a member of The County College and part of the student radio station Bailrigg FM. He joined the Nuffield Studio, getting involved in designing and producing plays. In his final year at Lancaster, he adapted Raymond Briggs’s graphic novel The Tin-Pot Foreign General and the Old Iron Woman, a satire about the Falklands War, as a one-man show, which he performed to acclaim.

Andy has been in many films since 1983 such as the narrator of the documentary “Natural World”, Torsten in “Royal Deceit” (1994), Sergeant Corrigan in “Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse” (1997), John Thelwall in “Pandaemonium” (2001),

Gollum/Sméagol in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002), “The Lord of the Rings:

The Return of the King” (2003), Kong/Lumpy in “King Kong” (2005), the voice of Spike in “Flushed Away” (2006), Ian Dury in “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” (2010), Caesar in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011),

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (2014), “War for the Planet of the Apes” (2017), Ulysses Klaue / Klaw in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, Supreme Leader Snoke in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015), “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017), “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (2019), Ulysses Klaue in “Black Panther” (2018), Baloo in “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” (2018), and Alfred Pennyworth in “The Batman” (2022).

He also offers his talents as a Motion Capture Consultant, Second Unit Director, Executive Producer, and Director. Andy Serkis married actress and singer Lorraine Ashbourne, and the couple has three children: daughter Ruby Serkis (born in 1998), and two sons Sonny Serkis (born in 2000) and Louis Ashbourne Serkis (born on June 19, 2004), who is now also a movie star.

Andy Facts

He owns one of two prop rings used in “Lord of the Rings.”
The other went to Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins.
He based the voice of Gollum on the sounds his cats
made while coughing up furballs.
His performance as Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings”
trilogy is ranked #10 on Premiere Magazine’s 100
Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.

He is an accomplished amateur painter and often takes part in his passion, mountaineering. Serkis has been active in charitable causes, such as The Hope Foundation, which provides essential life-saving medical aid for children suffering from Leukemia and children from countries devastated by war. In October 2006, he was a presenter at the first annual British Academy Video Games Awards at the Roundhouse, London. Andy Serkis lives with his family in North London, England.

  1. The Imaginarium, also known as Imaginarium Productions, is a production company linked to a digital performance-capture studio based in London, founded by actor-director Andy Serkis and film producer Jonathan Cavendish in 2011. The studio is dedicated to inventing believable, emotionally engaging digital characters using performance capture technology. It applies motion capture technology in film, television, and video games. Since 2011, it has provided performance capture for international films including Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015). [Back]

Further Reading


The Movie Database

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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