Howth, County Dublin,
December 17th, 1972
Stuart Townsend (born 15 December 1972) is an Irish actor and director. His most notable portrayals are of the characters Lestat de Lioncourt in the 2002 film adaptation of Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned, and Dorian Gray in the 2003 film adaptation of Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Early life and career
Townsend was born in Howth, County Dublin, the son of Lorna Hogan, an Irish model, and Peter Townsend, an English professional golfer.
He attended the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin where he made his non-professional stage debut in the school's 1993 production of Colin Teevan's Tear Up The Black Sail. His professional stage debut was in 1994's True Lines, directed by John Crowley. True Lines was first performed in Kilkenny; it later moved to the Dublin Theatre Festival and on to the Bush Theatre in London.
Townsend's early film roles were in Irish short films such as "Godsuit" and "Summertime". His first part in a feature length film wasTrojan Eddie, a 1996 Anglo-Irish co-production. In 1997 he landed a lead role in the British film Shooting Fish.
After his appearance as the seducer in the title role of About Adam, he started to be noticed in the United States by critics and the public alike. In mid-2000, he briefly returned to the London stage in the Tennessee Williams play Orpheus Descending, starring as Val Xavier, alongside Helen Mirren as Lady Torrance. He appeared in big budget films including Queen of the Damned, as the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt; and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as Dorian Gray.
Townsend was hired to play the part of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, but was replaced by Viggo Mortensen the day before principal photography began. In 2005, he starred alongside Gabrielle Union in Night Stalker, the remake of the 1974 ABC TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. He played the part of Carl Kolchak, an investigative reporter looking into his wife's murder. Night Stalker was abruptly cancelled by ABC after six episodes due to bad viewing figures. He was cited as "too young" by many reviewers and fans of the original series comparing him to Darren McGavin in the original series.
The same year, he played a guest starring role on NBC's Will & Grace as the pansexual pastry chef of Karen Walker who seduces her, Will Truman, and later Karen's maid Rosario. He also made an uncredited cameo in 2005's live-action Æon Flux film. Townsend starred alongside Ryan Reynolds in the 2007 comedy Chaos Theory.
He made his directorial debut with the 2007 film Battle in Seattle which is a portrayal of the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 World Trade Organisation which was undermined by anti-globalisation protesters. The film's cast included Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta and Woody Harrelson, but enjoyed only limited release and no blockbuster support.
He was set to play Fandral in Kenneth Branagh's Thor, but was replaced in January 2010, due to unspecified creative differences.
Townsend also starred in the ABC thriller, Betrayal and starred in the second season of Salem.
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