7 Revealing Facts About Benedict Cumberbatch as He Turns 47

9 months ago

Benedict Cumberbatch, a name synonymous with charisma and talent, stands as one of the most captivating figures hailing from Britain’s rich artistic tradition. He has left an indelible mark on both the small and big screens with his iconic portrayals of characters like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Strange. These roles have propelled him into the global spotlight, solidifying his status as a remarkable actor of our time.

Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the hit BBC series Sherlock has redefined the way audiences perceive the iconic detective. His interpretation brought Holmes into the 21st century, emphasizing the character’s unmatched intelligence, eccentricity, and sharp wit. It’s no exaggeration to say that Cumberbatch’s portrayal has become the definitive modern-day version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved detective.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Benedict Cumberbatch embraced the enigmatic role of Dr. Stephen Strange, a brilliant and arrogant neurosurgeon turned mystical sorcerer. His transformation into the Sorcerer Supreme in Doctor Strange and his subsequent appearances in the MCU have captivated audiences worldwide. Cumberbatch effortlessly embodies the character’s complexity, seamlessly transitioning from a skeptical scientist to a guardian of the mystical realms.

Beyond his iconic roles, Benedict Cumberbatch is celebrated for his ability to bring intelligence and depth to a wide array of upper-class and sophisticated characters. His performances exude a certain refinement and elegance, whether he’s portraying Alan Turing in The Imitation Game or Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate. This versatility is a testament to his acting prowess, showcasing his ability to inhabit diverse characters with authenticity.

One cannot discuss Benedict Cumberbatch without mentioning his distinctive, deep, and resonant voice. Often described as “sonorous” and “melodic,” his voice is a unique instrument that adds an extra layer of depth to his performances. Whether he’s narrating documentaries, lending his voice to animated characters, or delivering powerful monologues on screen, Cumberbatch’s voice has become an unmistakable and unforgettable part of his artistic identity.

Early artistic development and career beginnings of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch, known to the world as Benedict Cumberbatch, was born on July 19, 1976, in London, England. He hails from a family deeply rooted in the arts. His parents, Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham, were both accomplished actors, which undoubtedly influenced his early exposure to the world of theater and film.

Growing up in London, Cumberbatch attended the prestigious Harrow School, where his passion for acting began to flourish. He participated in school productions and demonstrated an early aptitude for the craft. Despite his early interest, he initially pursued other academic interests and briefly considered a career in law.

After finishing his education at Harrow, Benedict Cumberbatch studied drama at the Victoria University of Manchester. His dedication to honing his acting skills became evident during this time, as he took on a wide range of roles in various theater productions. His commitment and talent were quickly recognized, and he won critical acclaim for his performances.

Following his university studies, Cumberbatch continued to refine his acting prowess by enrolling in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). There, he received formal training and further developed his craft. His time at LAMDA provided him with a strong foundation and a deeper understanding of the art of acting.

Benedict’s early career was characterized by a mix of theater, television, and film work. He gained recognition in the British theater scene for his roles in productions like Hedda Gabler and Rhinoceros. His television appearances included notable roles in series such as Tipping the Velvet and Fortysomething.

He thinks his last name sounds like “a fart in a bath.”


In the early stages of his acting career, Benedict Cumberbatch harbored a curious concern about the potential impact of his distinctive surname on his budding profession. This intriguing dilemma led him to embark on his acting journey under the pseudonym “Benedict Carlton.” It’s a decision that, in hindsight, reveals both his modesty and perhaps a touch of self-deprecating humor.

The choice to adopt “Benedict Carlton” instead of his birth name showcased his initial apprehension about how the public and casting directors might perceive him. He might have felt that his surname, “Cumberbatch,” was unusual, even comical, and possibly not suited to the serious and versatile roles he aspired to portray. This decision to use “Carlton” represented a conscious effort to downplay the peculiarities of his real name.

Interestingly, Benedict’s candid comment about his last name, likening it to “a fart in a bath,” illustrates the extent to which he might have questioned its appropriateness for an actor trying to make his mark in a highly competitive industry. However, the pivotal role of an agent often lies in offering perspective and guidance. In this case, his agent wisely convinced him to retain his birth name, “Benedict Cumberbatch.”

Fortunately for both Benedict and the world of entertainment, he heeded this advice. By embracing his true identity and the unique surname he initially questioned, he not only stayed true to himself but also paved the way for his name to become synonymous with extraordinary talent and unparalleled success in the entertainment industry.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s journey from contemplating a name change to becoming a household name serves as a testament to the authenticity and excellence he brings to his craft. His ability to overcome initial doubts about his name and emerge as a global icon reflects the resilience and self-assuredness that have defined his remarkable career.

Benedict wanted to become a criminal barrister.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s early aspirations diverged from the world of acting; he aspired to become a criminal barrister. Born into a family of actors, including his parents who were established in the industry, the path to fame and stardom was not initially predetermined for him. In fact, his parents, well aware of the challenges of an actor’s life, encouraged him to pursue a more stable and conventional profession.

Cumberbatch’s fascination with the legal arena, specifically the performance aspect of a courtroom, fueled his dream of becoming a criminal barrister. He was drawn to the idea of persuasion, storytelling, and the dramatic elements inherent in legal proceedings. His vision for a career in law resonated with his passion for acting, as he saw parallels between the two fields.

Speaking about his early career aspirations, Cumberbatch noted, “I would’ve loved the performance of court, the idea of persuading people, storytelling and all that. It parallels beautifully with acting, lots of frustrated, amateur dramatics going on in court all the time. I think lots of barristers literally perform in amateur dramatic societies and are very good actors.” This insight reveals his deep appreciation for the theatrical aspects of both the legal and acting worlds.

Although Benedict Cumberbatch initially aimed for a career in law, fate had different plans for him, guiding him towards the world of acting where he would go on to achieve remarkable success and recognition for his exceptional talent.

He has a teaching experience in English subject for a year in India.

Rocco Spaziani/DPA/East News

During a pivotal gap year in his life, Benedict Cumberbatch embarked on a remarkable journey that would significantly shape his perspective. Instead of opting for conventional activities, he chose to take a unique path by volunteering to teach English in Darjeeling, India. This decision not only displayed his adventurous spirit but also allowed him to immerse himself in a vibrant cultural exchange.

What set this year apart was not just the teaching aspect; it was also his deep fascination with meditation and spirituality. Benedict ventured on a retreat alongside a lama and a diverse group of individuals. This transformative experience left an indelible mark on him. The serenity of the Himalayan surroundings, coupled with the wisdom imparted by the lama, opened his mind to new dimensions of consciousness.

Recalling this profound chapter of his life, Cumberbatch described the sensation as though he was “floating.” It was a period of self-discovery and enlightenment that would later influence his perspectives and choices in both his personal and professional life. This spiritual exploration in India added layers of depth to his already multifaceted character, contributing to the thoughtful and introspective actor we know today.

The BBC was initially in doubt about Benedict’s appeal and didn’t think he was “sexy” enough to play the Sherlock Holmes character.

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The casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as the modern-day Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s hit series Sherlock is now celebrated as a stroke of genius, but at the time, it was met with some skepticism. In a surprising twist, the BBC initially had reservations about Cumberbatch’s casting because they believed he didn’t fit their preconceived notion of a “sexy” Sherlock Holmes.

When Benedict was selected for the iconic role, it raised eyebrows and prompted some humorous reactions in hindsight. The idea that the BBC was looking for a more conventionally attractive actor for such an intellectually-driven character seems amusing now, given Cumberbatch’s magnetic portrayal of the detective.

The book Sherlock Chronicles provides valuable insights behind the scenes, and in the following excerpt, co-creator Steven Moffat, producer Sue Vertue, and the talented Benedict Cumberbatch himself discuss how they chose the actor for the role of Sherlock.

“We only considered one individual for the role of Sherlock,” states Steven Moffat. “That person was Benedict Cumberbatch. Sue and I had previously seen him in a film called Atonement, and she immediately recognized his suitability for the role.”

“Mark knew him as well, and after discussing it, we all unanimously agreed that he was an excellent choice,” Moffat continues. “Benedict then auditioned for us, and after witnessing his performance, it became clear that there was no need to explore other options. His appearance, voice, and mannerisms were an impeccable match for the character.”

However, Steven Moffat once revealed the BBC’s initial response to the casting suggestion, saying, “You promised us a sexy Sherlock, not him.” This anecdote highlights how casting choices can sometimes defy conventional expectations and result in iconic performances that redefine how we perceive beloved characters. Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes has since become legendary, proving that “attractiveness” can take many forms in the world of entertainment.

Even though BBC doesn’t consider him as sexy, he still has a unique appearance that not many people have.


Benedict Cumberbatch possesses a fascinating and entirely harmless genetic mutation that sets his eyes apart. This unique feature is known as central and sectoral heterochromia. In his case, both of his eyes exhibit this captivating phenomenon, where multiple colors gracefully meld together to create a mesmerizing effect. If you were to look closely, you’d notice a stunning interplay of blue, green, and gold within each eye.

However, what truly distinguishes Cumberbatch’s eyes is the presence of a distinctive brown “freckle” of color in his right eye. This particular trait is a hallmark of sectoral heterochromia, a relatively rare variation of this genetic phenomenon. It adds an extra layer of intrigue to his already captivating gaze, making his eyes not only a window to his soul but also a visual testament to the wondrous diversity and complexity of the human genetic makeup.

Heterochromia alone is an exceptionally uncommon condition, impacting less than 1% of the global population, which translates to fewer than 78 million individuals worldwide. To put this into perspective, when you compare it to the most prevalent eye color, brown, which is shared by around 70% to 80% of people, roughly 6.4 billion individuals globally, the rarity of heterochromia becomes even more apparent.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s eyes are a testament to the uniqueness that genetics can bestow upon an individual, contributing to his charm and allure in the world of entertainment.

Benedict Cumberbatch is committed to principles of fairness and gender equality and he refuses to participate in any project where his female co-stars do not receive equal pay.

Gerald Matzka/DPA/East News

The issue of equal pay within the entertainment industry, particularly in Hollywood, has evolved into a contentious and widely discussed topic in recent years. Benedict Cumberbatch, a prominent figure in the industry, has emerged as a vocal advocate for pay equality and gender parity, fearlessly expressing his unwavering position on this matter. He has unequivocally stated that he will not involve himself in any project where his female co-stars are not compensated on par with their male counterparts, emphasizing his commitment to principles of fairness and inclusivity.

Cumberbatch’s stance on equal pay goes beyond mere words; it reflects a deep-rooted belief in the fundamental principles of feminism. In his own words, he emphasizes that “equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism.” This statement underscores his recognition of the pivotal role that equitable compensation and opportunities play in achieving gender equality. By championing these core values, he contributes to the broader dialogue on gender equity in Hollywood, using his influence and platform to advocate for change and a more inclusive entertainment industry.

Benedict’s parents in Sherlock are also his parents in real life.

Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham, seasoned actors with extensive experience in the entertainment industry, are a familiar presence to those well-acquainted with the world of film and television. However, for a new generation of viewers brought into the fold by the immensely popular series Sherlock, these two accomplished actors assumed a special significance as they portrayed the parents of none other than the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes and his enigmatic brother Mycroft.

The intriguing aspect of their involvement in Sherlock lies in the unique family dynamic created on screen. While it’s not uncommon for actors to share screen time with their real-life family members, it’s a rarity to see them cast in roles where they play the parents of their own child, as was the case here with Benedict Cumberbatch. This uncommon family connection added an extra layer of authenticity to the series, as Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham inhabited their roles with the same dedication and professionalism they brought to their other projects.

However, beneath the surface, there was a layer of complexity to this familial collaboration. Benedict Cumberbatch, despite his own impressive acting career, openly admitted that working alongside his parents was not without its challenges. The nerve-wracking aspect of the experience stemmed from the fact that they were all professional actors, each bringing their unique skills and expertise to the table.

Yet, in the end, this familial trio managed to overcome any apprehensions, creating on-screen chemistry that was nothing short of brilliant and fantastic, in Cumberbatch’s own words. Their shared commitment to their craft and their ability to transcend the personal and professional boundaries exemplified their dedication to their roles, ultimately contributing to the success of Sherlock and solidifying their places as esteemed figures in the acting world.

As ardent admirers of the celebrities we hold in high regard, it’s natural to feel as though we have a comprehensive understanding of their lives and careers. Yet, it is often the case that our perceptions of these prominent figures are shaped primarily by the roles they play in the public eye, whether it’s on the silver screen, the stage, or the concert arena. In our admiration, we may inadvertently overlook the vast tapestry of their experiences, their lesser-known talents, and the intricacies of their personal journeys that lie hidden beneath the spotlight.

One such luminary whose public image might seem like an open book is Leonardo DiCaprio. As an actor of remarkable acclaim and global recognition, his name is synonymous with cinematic excellence. However, beyond his celebrated filmography and philanthropic endeavors, there exists a rich tapestry of lesser-known facets of his life and career that might genuinely surprise even the most devoted fans.

Leonardo DiCaprio, the renowned actor, has a fascinating backstory that goes beyond his Hollywood fame. Firstly, his unique name has a special origin — he was named after the legendary artist Leonardo da Vinci. His mother made this choice because she felt his kicks while gazing at a painting by the great artist.

One of the lesser-known facets of Leonardo DiCaprio’s life is his enduring battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This condition, characterized by intrusive and distressing thoughts coupled with compulsive behaviors, has been a constant presence throughout his life. What makes DiCaprio’s story particularly compelling is how he has openly acknowledged and confronted this personal challenge.

OCD is a mental health condition that impacts a surprisingly large number of people around the world. While 1% might sound like a relatively small percentage, when you translate that into actual numbers, it becomes evident just how widespread this disorder is.

In the United States alone, the statistics are equally compelling. Here, it is estimated that over 3 million adults have been officially diagnosed with OCD at some point in their lives. To grasp the significance of this number, consider that this represents a considerable portion of the population. These 3 million adults are not just statistics; they are real people, each dealing with the daily challenges that OCD presents. This number underscores the importance of understanding and addressing OCD as a significant public health concern.

Despite the immense pressures and public scrutiny that come with his Hollywood career, DiCaprio has chosen to use his platform to shed light on mental health issues, including OCD. His willingness to discuss his struggles with the disorder has helped destigmatize mental health concerns, inspiring countless individuals to seek help and support for their own battles.

DiCaprio’s advocacy extends beyond just talking about his experiences. He actively engages in efforts to combat OCD, both in his personal life and through his philanthropic endeavors. By seeking therapy, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and practicing self-care techniques, he exemplifies the importance of managing mental health, even for those in the spotlight.

Furthermore, his involvement in various mental health awareness initiatives and charities underscores his commitment to making a positive impact. By lending his name and resources to these causes, he amplifies the voices of those who often suffer in silence, encouraging open dialogue and understanding around mental health issues.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Leonardo DiCaprio are undeniably exceptional actors who have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema. Their dedication to their craft, remarkable versatility, and the ability to immerse themselves into their characters make them true giants in the film industry.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s commanding presence on both the big screen and television has earned him critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase. His portrayal of iconic characters like Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Strange showcases his range and ability to breathe life into complex roles.

Leonardo DiCaprio, on the other hand, has consistently delivered extraordinary performances throughout his career. From his early breakthrough in “Titanic” to his Oscar-winning role in “The Revenant,” DiCaprio’s commitment to his characters and his capacity to evoke deep emotions from his audience have solidified his status as one of Hollywood’s greatest actors.

Both Cumberbatch and DiCaprio have transcended their roles to become cultural icons, using their fame to shed light on important global issues. Whether it’s Cumberbatch’s advocacy for refugees or DiCaprio’s dedication to environmental conservation, they have used their influence for positive change.

In the world of acting, these two luminaries stand as shining examples of talent, dedication, and the power of storytelling. Benedict Cumberbatch and Leonardo DiCaprio’s contributions to cinema will undoubtedly continue to inspire and entertain generations to come, cementing their places as true greats in the history of film.

Preview photo credit Rocco Spaziani/DPA/East News, ROBYN BECK/AFP/East News


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