Date of Birth : Jul 31st 1947
Tony award winning English actor who has appeared on stage, film and television. He has been awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play, and the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, all for his role in the play The History Boys.
Griffiths was born in Thornaby-on-Tees, Yorkshire, England to a steelworker father and a bagger mother. He had a Catholic upbringing. The son of deaf parents, he learned sign language at an early age in order to communicate with them. He even developed an ear for dialects that subsequently landed him several ethnic roles. In his childhood he attempted to run away from home many times. He dropped out of school at age 15 and worked as a porter for a while, but his boss eventually convinced him to go back to school. Here he decided to attend a drama class at Stockton & Billingham College. He continued his education in drama at Manchester Polytechnic School of Drama (now called the Manchester Metropolitan University School of Theatre).
His more recognised roles have been in both contemporary and period pieces such as Gorky Park (1983), Withnail and I (1987), King Ralph (1991), The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991), Guarding Tess (1994), and Sleepy Hollow (1999). Recently he has been seen as Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; the Dursleys were absent in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).