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Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch71 posts

Benedict Cumberbatch is an English actor born in London in 1976. After playing a variety of TV and film roles he gained international recognition in Sherlock, the BBC’s adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Since then he has appeared in Star Trek: Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, and has voiced animated characters such as the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit series. He continues to act in theater productions.

27 Oct, 2015

Post-Hamlet anti-government speech

Makes Statement

Cumberbatch tells a London Hamlet audience to ‘f-ck the politicians’ amid criticism of ministers over their handling of the migration crisis in Europe. He has been giving nightly speeches after his curtain call, reading a poem called Home by Somali poet Warsan Shire, which includes the line:

No one puts children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land

He urges theatregoers to donate money to Save the Children which helps Syrian refugees, raising more than £150,000. Cumberbatch tells theatregoers of a friend’s experience volunteering on the Greek island of Lesbos, where 5,000 people had been arriving every day.

Everywhere on the horizon there was nothing but boats and on the shoreline nothing but lifejackets. We are saying, as citizens of the world, we see you … and at least some help is coming.

11 Sep, 2015

Help Is Coming charity release


Crowded House re-releases Help Is Coming, introduced by Cumberbatch, to raise money for refugees fleeing to Europe to escape conflict. The fund-raising video features footage from refugee camps and shows people attempting to travel to a country of sanctuary. Crowded House’s Neil Finn and Capitol Records have agreed to donate all the royalties to Save The Children.

8 Aug, 2015

Urges fans not to record Hamlet

Makes Statement

Cumberbatch asks fans not to video his performance in Hamlet.

I can see cameras, I can see red lights in the auditorium, and it may not be any of you here that did that, but it’s blindingly obvious. It’s mortifying, and there’s nothing less supportive or enjoyable as an actor being on stage experiencing that. And I can’t give you what I want to give you, which is a live performance that you’ll remember, hopefully in your minds and brains —whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent — rather than on your phones. This isn’t me blaming you. This is just me asking you to just ripple it out there, in the brilliant beautiful way that you do with your funny electronic things.

13 Jun, 2015

Son born


Cumberbatch and Hunter welcome their first child, a boy. Rep:

Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter are delighted to announce the arrival of their beautiful son. We would kindly ask everyone to respect the family’s privacy during these next few precious weeks

1 Apr, 2015


Ad AppearanceOther Awards

Cumberbatch is chosen by poll over David Tennant, Idris Elba, Sean Bean and Damian Lewis to be made into life-size chocolate statue. A team of eight sculptors worked on the piece, which contains the equivalent of 500 bars of chocolate. Sculptor:

The striking thing about Benedict is that he’s got quite a thin face but he’s got a large head. So trying to get that look right is quite tricky.

18 Feb, 2015

Originally Benedict Carlton


Cumberbatch tells reporters the origins of his name:

I started off as Benedict Carlton, which is my middle name, my grandfather’s name. Cumberbatch sounds like a fart in a bath … It is even funnier in an English accent. But an agent who was wiser than me told me it was a good name. People have had fun with it and they continue to!

5 Dec, 2014

Cast as Doctor Strange

Cumberbatch is cast as Doctor Stephen Strange, who after suffering a terrible car accident discovers alternate dimensions and becomes the next Sorcerer Supreme, in Marvel Studio’s Doctor Strange. The film, directed by Scott Derrickson, is set to release November 4, 2016.

Stephen Strange’s story requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity. In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character.

28 Nov, 2014

The Imitation Game

In this thriller, directed by Morten Tyldum, Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the genius British computer scientist. He cracks the German Enigma Code which helps the Allies win WWII. Co-starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode.

Not many people know the whole story, that he invented the computer, broke the Enigma code, was prosecuted for being a homosexual and underwent a year of oestrogen injections before dying in 1954. The irony and sickness of it was extraordinary! He wasn’t shouting from the rooftops or trying to start a cause, he was just a man who was gay. He’s such a quiet hero.

20 Nov, 2014

Time cover

Magazine Cover

benedictCumberbatch appears on the cover of Time magazine’s annual “genius” issue as Nazi code breaker, Alan Turing, who he portrays in The Imitation Game. Cumberbatch discusses his admiration of Turing.

This man’s achievements are extraordinary. Everything that’s been thrown at computers—all of it has only managed to work because of his idea of creating something universal in the first place.

13 Nov, 2014

Plays imitation game

Cumberbatch imitates eleven celebrities in 60 seconds during an interview with MTV’s Josh Horowitz. The challenge is related to Cumberbatch’s upcoming film The Imitation Game.

23 Aug, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge: Benedict Cumberbatch


Cumberbatch accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after being nominated by Tom Hiddleston. He completed the challenge only after providing a brief statement on the importance of the organization. As an Motor Neurone Disease Association Ambassador, completes the challenge not one but over 4 times.

Please donate by texting  ICED55 followed by the amount you’d like to pledge to  70070. It’s an important cause.

He nominates Kylie Minogue, Harvey Weinstein, and Lewis Hamilton.

10 Jul, 2014

San Diego Comic-Con

Cumberbatch is slated to take part in his first San Diego Comic-Con. While he is there, he will be promoting The Penguins of Madagascar. There are rumors that he will participate in Peter Jackson’s panel promoting The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The 90-minute Penguins panel is set to take place at the convention center’s Hall H on July 24, starting at 11:30 a.m. 

Emmy nomination


Nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for Sherlock: His Last Vow. The Emmy awards will be held on August 25th and will air on NBC.

12 Jun, 2014

Sherlock Season 4 premiere possible delay

The busy schedules of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman may delay Sherlock’s Season 4 premiere release. Cumberbatch is currently working on his character, Smaug the Dragon, for the Hobbit trilogy. In addition to the Hobbit, Cumberbatch may take on another character for another movie. Sherlock‘s producer is not worried about the possible schedule conflicts with his actors and tells reporters that they will do what they can without sacrificing the quality of the show.

8 Jun, 2014

The Penguins of Madagascar

Film Appearance

1402260457002-main-PENGUINS-MADAGASCAR-MOV-jy-5096-In the animated film The Penguins of Madagascar, Cumberbatch voices the character of agent Classified – the head of a covert protective force of animals. In this film, Classified must team up with the Madagascar penguins to take down Octavius and save the animal kingdom.

I don’t know what it’s like to be a penguin, but I do know what it’s like to be a super-duper-smooth classified agent.

5 Jun, 2014

The Imitation Game

Cumberbatch will play Alan Turing in the biopic, The Imitation Game. The story is set in World War 2 with Cumberbatch as a British code breaker. For the role, he had to perfect the character’s stutter and study his life. It is set to release in November 2014.

He’s an exceptional man…I hope this film does justice to this unsung hero.

29 May, 2014

Nominated for Critics’ Choice Award


Cumberbatch is nominated for a Critics Choice Television Award for his work in Sherlock: His Last Vow. He will be going up against co-star and friend Martin Freeman who has been nominated for his work in Fargo. The awards will be announced on June 19t at 8PM EST on The CW.

21 May, 2014

Replaces Guy Pearce in Whitey Bulger film


After scheduling issues with Pearce, Cumberbatch is tapped to take on the role of Billy Bulger, Whitey Bulger’s brother and Massachusett’s State Senator. The project is based on the book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob written by Boston Blobe reporters Dick Lerh and Gerard O’Neill. This movie has been in the works since 2004 and will feature Johnny Depp in the leading role of the ruthless gangster.

17 May, 2014

Will star in ‘Yellow Birds’


The actor will star in the Iraq war-drama Yellow Birds, based on the 2012 National Book Award finalist by Kevin Powers.  Cumberbatch will play an Army sergeant that takes two young soldiers under his wing. The book, based on Powers’ personal experiences in the Iraq War, has been called “the All Quiet on the Western Front for America’s Arab wars” by Tom Wolfe.

18 Jul, 2013

Emmy nomination


Cumberbatch is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards for portraying Christopher Tietjens on Parade’s End.

This nomination is a wonderful early birthday present.

19 Jul, 2012

Emmy nomination


Cumberbatch is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for the 64th Emmy Awards for portraying Sherlock Holmes on Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.

I am absolutely thrilled and could not have wished for a better birthday present especially because I am so delighted to see how well we have done across the board, particularly Paul McGuigan getting a nod for his extraordinary vision.

1 Apr, 2004


TV Appearance
Stars in the TV movie Hawking – a drama documenting the life and work of Professor Stephen Hawking, a man whom, despite being diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, has managed to shake the scientific community with his theories on the nature of the universe. Despite being a reputably private person, Stephen Hawking meets with members of the film team and with Cumberbatch to discuss the trials and triumphs of his life.

It’s really odd when you meet somebody you’re about to play, and Stephen must have been as terrified by that as I was. […] The first thing you get when you meet someone with motor neurone disease is the complete person. You see past the disability instantly to all the rich complexities of a human character.


Teaches English in Tibet

Moves Country

Cumberbatch teaches English to Tibetan Buddhist monks at a monastery in a Nepali home near Darjeeling

They were amazingly warm, intelligent, humorous people. Hard to teach English to. I built a blackboard, which no other previous teachers seem to have done. With 12 monks in a room with an age-range of about 8 to 40, that’s quite important – and the reward-punishment thing of sweets or no sweets, or game or no game, worked quite well. But they taught me a lot more than I could possibly ever teach them. They taught me about the simplicity of human nature, but also the humanity of it, and the ridiculous sense of humour you need to live a full spiritual life.


penhaligons5During his gap year between attending Harrow’s and Manchester University, the actor hears of an opportunity to volunteer for teaching English at a Tibetan monastery. He seeks out employment at Penhaligon’s perfumery where he works for six months to earn the income he will need to make the journey.
I had a real yearning to make use of the opportunities I had at school. When I heard about the gap year of teaching English at a Tibetan monastery, I knew I had to do something about it really quickly otherwise it was going to get allocated. I was very decisive. I worked for six months to drum up the finance as it was voluntary – there was no income.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Benedict Cumberbatch, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more