Hugh Laurie was born in Oxford, England, and educated at Eton College and Cambridge University, where he took a degree in anthropology. He rowed in the Cambridge and Oxford Boat Race of 1980 and was elected president of the venerable Footlights Revue. Along with Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson, Laurie produced The Cellar Tapes, which won the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1981 and propelled the trio into a number of groundbreaking British television shows, including four seasons of A Bit of Fry and Laurie, which Laurie co-wrote for the BBC with Stephen Fry; three seasons of Blackadder; and three seasons of Saturday Live. In addition, four seasons of Jeeves and Wooster, based on the novels of P.G. Wodehouse, aired on PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre from 1990 to 1995.
Laurie most recently starred on the AMC miniseries The Night Manager as Richard Roper, the “worst man in the world,” alongside Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander, and Elizabeth Debicki. Laurie’s riveting performance as Roper garnered him his seventh Emmy® nomination (Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie).
Additionally, Laurie recently reprised his role as Tom James, a senator and Selina (Julia Louis Dreyfus)’s running mate on the second season of the Emmy®–winning HBO series Veep.
Laurie’s performance as Dr. Gregory House has garnered him two Golden Globe® Awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, six Emmy® nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. He has twice been honored by the Television Critics Association with TCA Awards for Individual Achievement in Drama.
On American television, Laurie portrayed Vincente Minnelli opposite Judy Davis in the network telefilm Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. He also appeared in Tracey Takes On… and Friends. His voiceover credits include Family Guy and The Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror XXI” episode.
Laurie has directed television programs and commercials, including the House Season Six episode “Lockdown,” composed and recorded numerous original songs, and written articles for London’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper. Four volumes of A Bit of Fry and Laurie scripts have been published by Mandarin, and his first novel, The Gun Seller, was published in both the U.K. and the U.S. to critical acclaim and has been adapted into a screenplay.
His feature credits include Disney’s Tomorrowland with George Clooney, Tim McGraw, and Britt Robertson; Mr. Pip; The Oranges, opposite Catherine Kenner and Leighton Meester; the animated films Arthur Christmas opposite James McAvoy and Jim Broadbent, Hop opposite Russell Brand and James Marsden, and Monsters vs. Aliens opposite Reese Witherspoon and Seth Rogen; Street Kings opposite Forest Whitaker and Keanu Reeves; Flight of the Phoenix opposite Dennis Quaid; Peter’s Friends directed by and co-starring Kenneth Branagh; Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet; Cousin Bette with Jessica Lange; The Man in the Iron Mask; 101 Dalmatians; and the Stuart Little films with Geena Davis.
After signing a record deal with Warner Bros. records, Laurie recorded the celebrated New Orleans blues album Let Them Talk, which was released in the U.S. in September 2011. Recorded at sessions in Los Angeles and New Orleans, the musical and vocal collaboration was produced by two-time Grammy® winner Joe Henry. The album was the biggest-selling blues album of 2011 in the U.K. The performance documentary about Laurie’s musical passion, Hugh Laurie: Let Them Talk – A Celebration of New Orleans Blues, also aired on PBS’s Great Performances in September. Laurie’s second album, Didn’t It Rain, was released in August 2013. His second PBS special, Live on the Queen Mary, also aired in August. This intimate live performance by Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band was filmed aboard the historical Queen Mary in Long Beach. In October 2013, Laurie embarked on a U.S. tour with the Copper Bottom Band.