Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh (born December 10 1960) is a versatile British actor and film director.
He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but when he was nine his family moved to England. Branagh received a honorary doctorate in Literature from Queen's University, Belfast in 1990.
Branagh has worked on both stage and screen. He is probably best known for his popular film adaptations of the works of William Shakespeare, beginning with Henry V in 1989, and including versions of Much Ado About Nothing (1993) and Hamlet (1996). He has starred in a number of other successful films unrelated to Shakespeare.
He has been nominated for four Academy Awards, including two for directing and acting in Henry V and another for the screenplay of Hamlet. He has also won an Emmy Award for his performance in the 2001 TV film Conspiracy .
He starred several times with his then wife, Emma Thompson, whom he married in 1989 and divorced in 1996. He married again in 2003, to film art director Lindsay Brunnock.
In 1994 Branagh declined becoming a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).