Greg Wise: Who is the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 contestant and what is he famous for?

Actor is competing on the show in honour of his late sister

Isobel Lewis
Sunday 10 October 2021 18:39
Strictly's Greg Wise competes on the show in honour of his late sister

Strictly Come Dancing kicks off this weekend, with actor Greg Wise among the stars taking part.

The 55-year-old is best known for his role in Ang Lee’s 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. He played John Willoughby opposite Emma Thompson, who he later went on to marry.

Wise (whose real name is Matthew), was born in 1966 in Newcastle. Initially studying architecture at Heriot-Watt university, he later decided to pursue a career in acting, training at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

He began his acting life on stage, starring in Good Rockin’ Tonight. Wise would then go on to star in a number of TV series and TV films in the early 1990s, including Taggart and Covington Cross.

However, his life changed when he was cast in 1995 in his second ever film, Sense and Sensibility. It would go on to earn seven Oscar and 11 Bafta nominations.

It was here that he also met Thompson, who he would go on to marry in 2003. Thompson had just divorced Kenneth Branagh, with Wise admitting in a recent interview that they had “got together in madness”.

The pair had a daughter, Gaia, in 1999, while they also adopted a son, Tindyebwa Agaba, in 2003.

He would go on to make a name for himself in the period drama genre, starring in d dramas: The Moonstone, The Buccaneers, The Riff Raff Element and Cranford.

Wise and Thompson in 2019

In the years since, Wise would appear in a wide range of films and TV shows, including Galavant, Walking on Sunshine and A Private War.

He played Lord Louis Mountbatten on The Crown in 2016 and most recently appeared in Military Wives in 2018.

Wise teamed up with his wife again in 2019 to co-write the story for festive film Last Christmas, which starred Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding.

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The actor said that he initially turned down the show this year, but was convinced to take part by Thompson.

He  is competing on Strictly this year in honour of his late sister, explaining: ““My beautiful sister was a huge disco queen. She left our world almost exactly 5 years ago in a glitter ball coffin. This is for her. My gorgeous Diva sis, who would have been insane with excitement that her little bro was doing this.

“I will channel her, as her bro can’t dance - but I’m thrilled to be dipping my toes, knees, hips and arms into this wonderful world, and hope to make her proud, and obviously make her laugh...”

Strictly Come Dancing begins Saturday 18 September at 7:45pm on BBC One.

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