June 10, 1964
Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom
Ben Daniels was born David Daniels on June 10, 1964, in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England. He studied theater throughout childhood, and went on to pursue the craft in earnest at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, enrolling therein at age 18. Shortly after graduation, Daniels began landing professional acting gigs, and in considerably quick succession. He kicked off his career with a role in a music video accompanying the Moody Blues number "Your Wildest Dreams" from the album The Other Side of Life (1986). Jobs like this led him instantly to roles on the big screen-namely, a minor part in the dramedy film "Wish You Were Here" (1987)-and small, on which he made his debut with a part on the series "One by One" (BBC 1984-87) and another in the TV movie "Freedom Fighter" (NBC 1988). The years to follow were mostly paved with similarly minor parts, though a recurring role on the comedy series "Outside Edge" (ITV 1994-96) marked a bump in his reputation. That same year, Daniels also earned the coveted part of Mercutio on a television production of "Romeo & Juliet" (ITV 1994), and he went on to star in the adventure drama movie "Passion in the Desert" (1997) not long afterward. The turn of the century saw him concentrate most of his creative energies on television projects, namely miniseries like "Aristocrats" (BBC 1999), romances like "Cutting It" (BBC 2002-05), and crime dramas like "Law & Order: UK" (ITV 2009-2014). Though Daniels did find some success on the big screen, with roles in films like "Jack the Giant Slayer" (2013) and the acclaimed drama "Locke" (2013), he maintained a primary focus on TV, then going on to find parts on American programs like the political drama "House of Cards" (Netflix 2013-) and the horror series "The Exorcist" (Fox 2016-). Still, his biggest film was yet to follow: "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" (2016), in which he played the Rebel Alliance's General Merrick.