Cary Elwes



Cary Elwes is a celebrated English actor who starred in The Princess Bride before moving on to roles in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Glory, Days of Thunder, Twister, and Saw, among many other acclaimed performances. He will always be indebted to The Princess Bride, he says, for changing his life and giving him a career that has spanned decades. He lives in Hollywood, California, with his family.

  • Primary profession
  • Actor·producer·soundtrack
  • Country
  • United Kingdom
  • Nationality
  • British
  • Gender
  • Male
  • Birth date
  • 26 October 1962
  • Place of birth
  • Westminster
  • Education
  • Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute·Harrow School·Sarah Lawrence College
  • Knows language
  • English language
  • Parents
  • Dominick Elwes·Tessa Kennedy





(12 December 1997) Became engaged in Paris to Lisa Marie Kurbikoff.

He has had cameo appearences in several movies that his brother, Cassian Elwes , produced such as The Chase and Never on Tuesday .

Stepson of Elliott Kastner.

His recurring character on "The X Files" s 9th season, FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer, is named after the shows creator/executive producer Chris Carter s assistant, Brad Follmer.

Was chosen for the part of Westley in The Princess Bride after Rob Reiner saw him in Lady Jane . He spent weeks training in fencing with both his left hand and right hand while performing acrobatics.

Last name is pronounced El-wez.

Made his film debut in Marek Kanievska s award-winning drama Another Country . Based on that performance, Cary was chosen by renowned Director of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Trevor Nunn , to star opposite Helena Bonham Carter in the highly acclaimed historical epic Lady Jane .

Played a filmmaker 4 times: as John Houseman in Cradle Will Rock , as Fritz Arno Wagner in Shadow of the Vampire , as Fritz Hippler in Uprising , and as Thomas H. Ince in The Cats Meow .

Having been a dramatic actor, he had never done a comedy prior to his acclaimed performance in The Princess Bride .

Was a projectionist at school.

As a student in Sarah Lawrence College in 1980, he studied acting, philosophy and history. He also studied German Expressionist Film in college. Despite his parents wealth, Elwes supplemented his income by working his way through school.

For the video game The Bards Tale , he spent at least 20 hours in Los Angeles and London recording studios to bring his title character to life. In order for his character to converse with nonplayable characters in either a snarky or nice tone, both leavened with comic relief, Cary had to record two responses for every interaction - a total of 1,200 lines and a lot of his own script improvising.

His very devout Catholic mother (former Protestant) took him to meet Pope John Paul II in the Vatican when Cary was 22 years old. Cary portrayed the young pontiff in the docudrama "Pope John Paul II" .

His paternal grandfather was the famous portrait-painter Simon Elwes, and his other prominent ancestors include his great-grandfathers, tenor Gervase Elwes, diplomat James Rennell Rodd, 1st Baron Rennell, industrialist Ivan Rikard Ivanovic, and his great-great-great-grandfather, Alexander Kennedy, a civil/electrical engineer and academic.

Met his wife Lisa Marie in 1991 at a Malibu chili cook-off.

Is a distant relative of the famed Lord Carnarvon who funded archaeologist Howard Carters expedition which uncovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1923; he is also a distant nephew of Tudor King Henry VIII of England, and is a distant nephew of King Henrys third wife, Jane Seymour.

Daughter, Dominique, was born on April 24, 2007.

Raised as a Catholic. He was an altar boy at Brompton Oratory in London. His father and paternal grandfather were also Catholics. His fathers side includes several prominent Catholic clerics, and his paternal great-grandfather was Chamberlain to the Pope. His mother is a former Protestant-turned-Catholic.

Cousin of Amanda Elwes.

Is an accomplished horseman.

Prepares intensely for most of his acting roles. (For example, for Days of Thunder , he had to rely on practical research to meet the physical demands of playing a race car driver. For his role as Air Force Colonel James Burton in The Pentagon Wars , he spent a few days in Burtons home interviewing him and poring over his BFV files, and even filing boxes of Burtons Bradley documents and giving every page back to Burton.).

Played a number of villainous roles. His first role as a villain was in Leather Jackets .

Nicknamed "The Next Errol Flynn" by Mel Brooks. Brooks said, "He can do comedy and drama".

Brother Cassian Elwes was a studio head at the William Morris Agency.

Father was Dominick Elwes (August 1931-September 1975), a portrait painter and Mayfair figure. Parents divorced when Cary was young. A sufferer of manic depression, Dominick was less of a commercial success compared to his artist father Simon Elwes. Dominick was later ostracized by a close circle of friends because of his link to the notorious Lord Lucan. He committed suicide at age 44.

Was personally offered by Trevor Nunn , Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), to join the RSC after starring in Nunns film Lady Jane . Elwes turned down the offer in order to continue working in films.

Is the ambassador for the Audrey Hepburn Childrens Fund with UNICEF. As ambassador, he traveled to Banda Aceh, Indonesia for the documentary "The Children of the Tsunami", which was filmed 90 days after the tsunami of December 2003 to document the damage and recovery efforts.

Entered Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, to study drama but left after two years. Also studied at the London Drama Centre.

Older half-brother of Milica Kastner and Dillon Kastner from his mothers marriage with Elliott Kastner.

Brother of artist Damian Elwes.

He said after The Princess Bride , he was getting lots of offers to act in several costume period pieces. He turned most of them down because he didnt want to be typecast, as he had already starred in period pieces, mostly as a romantic love interest, in the previous films Another Country , Lady Jane , and Maschenka . In contrast, he later starred in several films as a villain, which include Leather Jackets , Twister , The Jungle Book , Ella Enchanted , The Riverman to name a few.

His stage name "Cary Elwes" is actually his surname. The surname "Cary Elwes" was shortened to "Elwes" in some branches of his family.

Attending the Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas, TX as part of the Saw panel.

Studied with Julie Bavasso at Sarah Lawrence.

Cary is the son of shipping heiress and interior designer Tessa Kennedy, who eloped with Carys father, painter Dominick Elwes. Carys stepfather, American producer Elliott Kastner , set up a production base at Pinewood Studios in Britain.

His maternal grandmother, born Daska Marija Ivanovic-Banac, was of half Croatian Jewish (from her own father) and half Serbian (from her own mother) descent. Carys other ancestry is English, with some Scottish and Irish (including distant American-born ancestors).

He has two roles in common with Barrie Ingham : (1) Ingham played Paris of Troy in "Doctor Who" {Small Prophet, Quick Return (#3.7)} , "Doctor Who" {Death of a Spy (#3.8)} and "Doctor Who" {Horse of Destruction (#3.9)} and Elwes played him in "Hercules" {Hercules and the Trojan War (#1.26)} and Ingham played Robin Hood in A Challenge for Robin Hood and Elwes played him in Robin Hood: Men in Tights .


On preparing his role as young Karol Wojtyla for,"Pope John Paul II" (2005) : "I was blessed enough to meet Pope,John Paul when I was 22 years old in the Vatican; I had that privilege.

My mother took me to visit him, and I remember distinctly his,incredible charisma and personal charm and his warmth and compassion.