Ioan Gruffudd (born October 6, 1973 in Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales) is a Welsh-speaking actor. His parents, Peter and Gillian Gruffudd, were teachers. He has two siblings – a brother, Alun, who is two years younger, and a sister, Siwan, who is seven years younger than he is.
Gruffudd started his acting career at the age of 12 in a Welsh television film named “Austin” and then later moved onto the Welsh S4C soap opera Pobol y Cwm (People of the Valley). At the age of 18, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). He won his first major English language role a few years later in the 1996 TV remake of Poldark.
After playing Oscar Wilde’s gay lover in Wilde in 1997, he got his first international role as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in the blockbuster film Titanic. He later got his best-known role as Horatio Hornblower in the ITV production of the C.S. Forester novels. Next, he played Pip in the BBC production of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. He has also starred in 102 Dalmatians, ITV’s adaptation of The Forsyte Saga, Black Hawk Down, King Arthur and most recently Fantastic Four.
He was invited and accepted into Gorsedd y Beirdd Ynys Prydain (the [Welsh] Bardic Order of Great Britain) at the highest rank in the National Eisteddfod at Meifod in 2003, with the bardic name Ioan.
Gruffudd is currently living with his English fiancée, Alice Evans, in Los Angeles, California. They met during the production of 102 Dalmatians.
Gruffudd has said that he enjoys playing golf, reading and going to the movies: “I like to escape. I’ll go to movies on my own and watch two in a row, sometimes. I like to go off in, sort of, dreamland.”