Clive Owen (born 3 October 1964) is an English actor, who has worked on television, stage and film. He first gained recognition in the United Kingdom for portraying the lead in the ITV series Chancer from 1990 to 1991. He then garnered critical acclaim for his work in the film Close My Eyes (1991) before getting international notice for his performance as a struggling writer in Croupier (1998). In 2005, Owen won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his appearance in the drama Closer (2004). He has since played leading as well as supporting roles in films such as Sin City (2005), Inside Man (2006), Children of Men (2006), and The International (2009).
The fourth of five brothers, Owen was born in Coventry, in the English Midlands, a son of Pamela (née Cotton) and Jess Owen, a country and western singer. His father left the family when Owen was three years old, and despite a brief reconciliation when Owen was nineteen, the two have remained estranged. Raised by his mother and stepfather, a railway ticket clerk, he has described his childhood as "rough." While initially opposed to drama school, he changed his mind in 1984, after a long and fruitless period of searching for work. Owen graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1987 with a class that included Rebecca Pidgeon, Serena Harragin, Mark Womack, and Liza Tarbuck. After graduation, he won a position at the Young Vic, performing in several Shakespearean plays.
Initially, Owen carved out a career in television. In 1988 Owen starred as Gideon Sarn in a BBC production of Precious Bane and the Channel 4 film Vroom before the 1990s saw him become a regular on stage and television in the UK, notably his lead role in the ITV series Chancer, followed by an appearance in the Thames Television production of Lorna Doone.