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By Steve McGarry
Nov 25, 2012
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Steve McGarry

Gerard Butler

Born in Paisley, Scotland, on November 13, 1969, Gerard Butler studied law at Glasgow University before working in Edinburgh as a trainee lawyer.  At the age of 25, he abandoned law and moved to London to pursue and acting career.  It took him two years, during which time he worked at a variety of jobs from waiter to toy demonstrator, before he landed his first professional acting job, appearing in a stage production of "Coriolanus."  He made his screen debut in 1997's "Mrs. Brown," which starred Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria.

Following small roles in the James Bond movie "tomorrow Never Dies" and "Tale of the Mummy,"  he moved to Los Angeles to take a crack at Hollywood.  He quickly established himself as a leading man with starring roles as Attila the Hun in the TV movie "Attila" and the lead in "Dracula 2000," before starring in the likes of "Reign of Fire," "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" and "Timeline."

Subsequent roles ranged from the lead in the 2004 movie adaptation of the musical "The Phantom of the Opera," to the warrior Beowulf in "Beowulf& Grendel."  For his breakthrough role as the Spartan king Leonidas in 2007's epic "300," Butler put in four months of intense body training to achieve a suitably muscular physique. 

He has gone on to star in movies as diverse as the 2007 drama "P.S. I Love You" opposite Jennifer Garner, the fantasy adventure "Nim's Island," the British gangster romp "Rocknrolla," the sci-fi thriller "gamer" and the animated hit How to Train Your Dragon."  Having starred with Jennifer Aniston in the comedy "the Bounty Hunter," he took a leading role in 20011's "Coriolanus" - the screen adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy that had launched his acting career.

In late 2011, while filming the surfing-themed "Chasing Mavericks," Butler was hospitalized after narrowly escaping drowning!
Dec 9, 2012
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