- Ralph Fiennes comes from a family of creative people
- His parents were photographer Mark Fiennes and writer/painter Jennifer Lash
- His brother Joseph is an actor, while sisters Sophie and Martha direct, and brother Magnus is a composer
- Brothers Jacob Fiennes and Michael Emery work outside of the entertainment industry
Ralph Fiennes is a beloved English actor, known for his passionate portrayal of wizards, romantic interests, spies, Nazis, and everything in between. Everyone from Harry Potter fans, to serious drama buffs appreciates the 60-year-old star, who was born Dec. 22, 1962 in the town of Ipswitch in Suffolk, England.
While the Harry Potter villain is certainly quite the talent, did you know Ralph comes from a whole family of actors, artists, and creative people? His siblings Joseph Fiennes, Jacob Fiennes, Martha Fiennes, Magnus Fiennes, Sophie Fiennesand Michael Emery all found ways to work with their imaginations as grown-ups, even if they’re not all in the entertainment business.
The Fiennes parents raised their big brood to appreciate the arts. Father Mark Fiennes (1933–2004) was a farmer and photographer while mother Jennifer “Gini” Lash (1938–1993) was a writer and painter. The kids ended up embracing a whole host of creative roles, from actors to filmmakers, composers, and even an archeologist!
Want to learn more about the Fiennes family? Find out everything and then some, right here.
Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, born May 27, 1970, is an actor just like older brother Ralph. And just like his brother, the 52-year-old talent has become beloved for his dramatic performances.
He dove into period pieces in the late 90s, starring as William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love (1998). Historically-inspired roles in Elizabeth (1998), Enemy at the Gates (2001), and Luther (2003) followed.
Joseph turned to TV in the 2010s, where he would really find his footing. After a run on the second season of American Horror Story (2012–2013), he was cast as Commander Fred Waterford in The Handmaid’s Tale (2017–2021.) For the role, he earned a Primetime Emmy nomination in 2018.
Jacob Fiennes, also born May 27, 1970, is Joseph’s twin brother, making him 52-years-old as well. He is one of the few Fiennes who doesn’t work in entertainment, and instead, inspired by his father’s love of nature, became a wildlife conservationist. He is currently the conservation director for the 25,000-acre Holkham Estate in Norfolk, England, which is home to rare birds, butterflies, and native plants.
While he doesn’t work in the same world as many of his siblings, Jacob said he never felt like the black sheep of the family. Talking about their youth in a profile for The Guardianhe said, “My mother’s amazing skill was to encourage six very different individuals to express themselves in whatever way they felt suited them.”
Martha Maria Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 58, is an English film director, writer, and producer, born on February 5, 1964. After first cutting her teeth in music videos and commercials, she made her directorial film debut with the 1999 film Onegin, an adaptation of Alexander Pushkin’s 1833 novel Eugene Onegin, starring brother Ralph. The movie was a true family affair. Brother Magnus wrote the music and sister Sophie appeared in a minor role.
Martha opened up about working with her brother in a 2000 interview IndieWire. She praised Ralph, calling him “brilliant to work with.” “He’s extremely intelligent and also very willing to try different things in different takes and do variations and make discoveries, because it’s continuously evolving,” she continued. “It’s a completely alive thing, right through to the very end. It’s fascinating.”
Martha went on to say how their relationship was “based on a lot of mutual respect and professionalism.” “We never really ever let our egos get in the way, because at the end of the day, all that really matters is the film,” she explained.
Magnus Hubert Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 57, is an English composer, record producer, and songwriter, born November 21, 1965. During his career, he has worked with artists like Shakirathe The Spice Girls, Seal, Pulpand Tom Jones. He’s also composed for film and TV, crafting the opening for hit BBC dramas like Hustle, Murphy’s Lawand Death in Paradise.
Sophie Fiennes, 55, is an English film director and producer, born February 12, 1967. Her first creative job was managing the UK-based dance company The Michael Clark Company from 1992 to 1994. Dance would be the basis for much of her work. going forward
In 1998, she began making films with Welsh directors Peter Greenaway. Their projects included film and TV’s Drowning by Numbers, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and Prospero’s Books.
In 2006, she worked in collaboration with philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek on the documentary The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema. The feature, written and presented by the academic, unpacked his analysis of classic films like the The Wizard of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, Rear Window, The Exorcist, and more. They followed it up with 2012’s The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology.
Her 2007 documentary Show and Tell was about dance company Les Ballets C. de la B.’s performance VSPRS. The piece includes footage of the performance and intimate interviews with the dancers and choreographers.
Michael Emery, 70, isn’t a Fiennes by blood, but he is family nonetheless, Born December 31, 1952, he was adopted by the Fiennes’ mother after she saw an advertisement in a Suffolk paper asking someone to foster a troubled 11- year-old boy.
He thrived with his family, eventually becoming an archeologist. Liam often funds his brother’s expeditions, which included the unearthing of the first Bronze Age burial site in Cheshire, England in 2003, according to the BBC.
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