Christian Bale


30 Jan 1974


Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK


Christian Charles Philip Bale


Christian Charles Philip Bale was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK on January 30, 1974, to English parents Jennifer "Jenny" (James) and David Charles Howard Bale. His mother was a circus performer and his father, who was born in South Africa, was a commercial pilot. The family lived in different countries throughout Bale's childhood, including England, Portugal, and the United States. Bale acknowledges the constant change was one of the influences on his career choice.

His first acting job was a cereal commercial in 1983; amazingly, the next year, he debuted on the West End stage in "The Nerd". A role in the 1986 NBC mini-series Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986) caught Steven Spielberg's eye, leading to Bale's well-documented role in Empire of the Sun (1987). For the range of emotions he displayed as the star of the war epic, he earned a special award by the National Board of Review for Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor.

Adjusting to fame and his difficulties with attention (he thought about quitting acting early on), Bale appeared in Kenneth Branagh's 1989 adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V (1989) and starred as Jim Hawkins in a TV movie version of Treasure Island (1990). Bale worked consistently through the 1990s, acting and singing in Newsies (1992), Swing Kids (1993), Little Women (1994), The Portrait of a Lady (1996), The Secret Agent (1996), Metroland (1997), Velvet Goldmine (1998), All the Little Animals (1998), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999). Toward the end of the decade, with the rise of the Internet, Bale found himself coming one of the most popular online celebrities around, though he, with a couple notable exceptions, maintained a private, tabloid-free mystique.

Bale roared into the next decade with a lead role in American Psycho (2000), director Mary Harron's adaptation of the controversial Bret Easton Ellis novel. In the film, Bale played a murderous Wall Street executive obsessed with his own physicality - a trait for which Bale would become a specialist. Subsequently, the 10th Anniversary issue for "Entertainment Weekly" crowned Bale one of the "Top 8 Most Powerful Cult Figures" of the past decade, citing his cult status on the Internet. EW also called Bale one of the "Most Creative People in Entertainment", and "Premiere" lauded him as one of the "Hottest Leading Men Under 30".

Bale was truly on the Hollywood radar at this time, and he turned in a range of performances in the remake Shaft (2000), Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001), the balmy Laurel Canyon (2002), and Reign of Fire (2002), a dragons-and-magic commercial misfire that has its share of defenders.

Two more cult films followed: Equilibrium (2002) and The Machinist (2004), the latter of which gained attention mainly due to Bale's physical transformation - he dropped a reported 60+ pounds for the role of a lathe operator with a secret that causes him to suffer from insomnia for over a year.

Bale's abilities to transform his body and to disappear into a character influenced the decision to cast him in Batman Begins (2005), the first chapter in Christopher Nolan's definitive trilogy that proved a dark-themed narrative could resonate with audiences worldwide. The film also resurrected a character that had been shelved by Warner Bros. after a series of demising returns, capped off by Batman and Robin's massive commercial and critical failure. A quiet, personal victory for Bale: he accepted the role after the passing of his father in late 2003, an event that caused him to question whether he would continue performing.

Bale segued into two indie features in the wake of Batman's phenomenal success: The New World (2005) and Harsh Times (2005). He continued working with respected independent directors in 2006's Rescue Dawn (2006), Werner Herzog's feature version of his earlier, Emmy-nominated documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997). Leading up to the second Batman film, Bale starred in The Prestige (2006), the remake of 3:10 to Yuma (2007), and a reunion with director Todd Haynes in the experimental Bob Dylan biography, I'm Not There. (2007).

Anticipation for The Dark Knight (2008) was spun into unexpected heights with the tragic passing of Heath Ledger, whose performance as The Joker became the highlight of the sequel. Bale's graceful statements to the press reminded us of the days of the refined Hollywood star as the second installment exceeded the box-office performance of its predecessor.

Bale's next role was the eyebrow-raising decision to take over the role of John Connor in the Schwarzenegger-less Terminator Salvation (2009), followed by a turn as federal agent Melvin Purvis in Michael Mann's Public Enemies (2009). Both films were hits but not the blockbusters they were expected to be.

For all his acclaim and box-office triumphs, Bale would earn his first Oscar in 2011 in the wake of The Fighter (2010)'s critical and commercial success. Bale earned the Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of Dicky Eklund, brother to and trainer of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg. Bale again showed his ability to reshape his body with another gaunt, skeletal transformation.

Bale then turned to another auteur, Yimou Zhang, for the epic The Flowers of War (2011), in which Bale portrayed a priest trapped in the midst of the Rape of Nanking. Bale earned headlines for his attempt to visit with Chinese civil-rights activist Chen Guangcheng, which was blocked by the Chinese government.

Bale capped his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012); in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado tragedy, Bale made a quiet pilgrimage to the state to visit with survivors of the attack that left theatergoers dead and injured. He also starred in the thriller Out of the Furnace (2013) with Crazy Heart (2009) writer/director Scott Cooper, and the drama-comedy American Hustle (2013), reuniting with David O. Russell.

Bale will re-team with The New World (2005) director Terrence Malick for two upcoming projects: Knight of Cups (2015) and an as-yet-untitled drama.

In his personal life, he devotes time to charities including Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Foundation. He lives with his wife, Sibi Blazic, and their daughter, Emmeline.

Actor ( 91 credits )

Jungle Book (2018) Bagheera
Weightless (2017)
Hostiles (2017)
IMDb First Credit (2016)  Himself (1 episode, 2016)
Knight of Cups (2015) Rick
The Big Short (2015) Michael Burry
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) Moses
The Drunken Peasants (2014)  Himself (archive footage) (1 episode, 2014)
American Hustle (2013) Irving Rosenfeld
Out of the Furnace (2013) Russell Baze
Weekend Ticket (2013)  Himself (1 episode, 2013)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Bruce Wayne
Special Look (2012)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
The Flowers of War (2011) John Miller
Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (2011) Himself (archive footage)
Big Morning Buzz Live with Carrie Keagan (2011)  Himself (1 episode, 2013)
Forget About It (2011)  Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) (1 episode, 201
The Fighter (2010) Dicky Eklund
Cage Insider (2010)  Himself (1 episode, 2010)
Death Battle (2010)  Batman (archive footage) (1 episode, 2012)
Public Enemies (2009) Melvin Purvis
Terminator Salvation (2009) John Connor
The 7PM Project (2009)  Himself (1 episode, 2011)
Exclusive Dark Knight Deleted Scene (2008) Batman (archive footage)
The Dark Knight (2008) Bruce Wayne
Gotham Tonight (2008)  Bruce Wayne (archive footage) (1 episode, 2008)
Entertainers with Byron Allen (2008)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2013)
I'm Not There. (2007) Jack / Pastor John
3:10 to Yuma (2007) Dan Evans
DP/30: Conversations About Movies (2007)  Himself (unknown episodes)
A Comicbook Orange (2007)  Batman (1 episode, 2009)
Up Close with Carrie Keagan (2007)  Himself (5 episodes, 2007-2013)
Reel Junkie (2007)  Himself (1 episode, 2013)
5 Second Movies (2007)  Batman (archive footage) (1 episode, 2008)
Rencontres de cinéma (2007)  Himself (2 episodes, 2014-2015)
Rescue Dawn (2006) Dieter Dengler
The Prestige (2006) Alfred Borden
Harsh Times (2005) Jim Luther Davis
The New World (2005) John Rolfe
Batman Begins (2005) Bruce Wayne / Batman
Made in Hollywood (2005)  Himself (3 episodes, 2010-2014)
Cinema mil (2005)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
DeLuxe (2005)  Himself (1 episode, 2009)
Weekend Sunrise (2005)  Himself (1 episode, 2006)
Howl's Moving Castle (2004) Howl (voice)
The Machinist (2004) Trevor Reznik
Omg! Insider (2004)  Himself (2 episodes, 2008-2013)
Els matins a TV3 (2004)  Himself (1 episode, 2008)
Cartaz Cultural (2003)  Himself (2008)
Equilibrium (2002) John Preston
Reign of Fire (2002) Quinn Abercromby
Laurel Canyon (2002) Sam
HypaSpace (2002)  Himself (1 episode, 2006)
Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001) Mandras
Shaft (2000) Walter Wade, Jr.
American Psycho (2000) Patrick Bateman
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) Demetrius
Family Guy (1999)  Himself (uncredited) (1 episode, 2009)
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 2002)
The Early Show (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
All the Little Animals (1998) Bobby Platt
Velvet Goldmine (1998) Arthur Stuart
Fox and Friends (1998)  Himself - Exodus (1 episode, 2014)
Metroland (1997) Chris
The Portrait of a Lady (1996) Edward Rosier
The Secret Agent (1996) Stevie
E! True Hollywood Story (1996)  Himself (archive footage) (1 episode, 2008)
Pocahontas (1995) Thomas (voice)
Little Women (1994) Laurie
Royal Deceit (1994) Amled
Extra (1994)  Himself (1 episode, 2008)
Swing Kids (1993) Thomas Berger
Good Day L.A. (1993)  Himself (1 episode, 2013)
Newsies (1992) Jack Kelly
HBO First Look (1992)  Himself (5 episodes, 2005-2009)
Gomorron (1992)  Batman / ... (2 episodes, 2008-2009)
Días de cine (1991)  Himself (1 episode, 2009)
Charlie Rose (1991)  Himself / ... (4 episodes, 2000-2010)
Henry V (1989) Robin the Luggage-Boy
Empire of the Sun (1987) Jim 'Jamie' Graham
Mio in the Land of Faraway (1987) Jum-Jum / Benke
Biography (1987)  Himself (1 episode, 2007)
Citizen Steve (1987) Himself
Cinema 3 (1984)  Himself (2 episodes, 1988-2009)
Entertainment Tonight (1981)  Himself / ... (20 episodes, 2006-2013)
Good Morning America (1975)  Himself / ... (6 episodes, 1987-2013)
Fantástico (1973)  Himself (1 episode, 2012)
Film '72 (1971)  Himself (2 episodes, 2006)
Today (1952)  Himself (1 episode, 2008)
The Creed of Violence (0) (rumored)
The Promise (0) Chris

Producer ( 1 credit )

Harsh Times (2005) executive producer