Owen was born in Coventry, West Midlands, England, the fourth of five brothers. At the age of three, his father (a country and western singer) left the family. Owen was raised by his mother and his step-father. While initially opposed to drama school, he changed his mind in 1984, after a long and fruitless period of searching for work. Owen graduated from RADA in 1987 in a class including both Ralph Fiennes and Jane Horrocks. After graduation, he won a position at the Young Vic, performing in several William Shakespeare plays. In an incident he later described as "very schmaltzy," he met his future wife Sarah-Jane Fenton while they were performing the title roles of Romeo and Juliet. They married in 1995, and have two daughters, Hannah and Eve. They lived in London before moving to Essex.
Initially, Owen carved out a career in television: in 1988 Owen starred as a psychopath in a BBC television production called Precious Bane and the Channel 4 film Vroom before the 1990s saw him become a regular on stage and television in the UK, notably his lead role in the ITV series Chancer followed by an appearance in the Thames Television production of Lorna Doone.
He won critical acclaim for his performances in a 1991 Channel 4 film called Close My Eyes, about a brother and sister who embark on a passionate but incestuous love affair (in which he appeared totally naked). Due to personal conflicts with the press Owen decided not to appear in television programmes for a while. However, he subsequently appeared in The Magician, Class Of '61, Century, Nobody's Children, An Evening With Gary Lineker, Doomsday Gun, Return Of The Native, The Turnaround and then a Carlton production called Sharman, about a private detective. In 1996 he starred in te film The Rich Man's Wife before finding international acclaim in a Channel 4 film directed by Mike Hodges called Croupier, where he played the title role of a struggling writer who takes a job in a London casino as inspiration for his work, only to get caught up in a robbery scheme, had followed. In 1999 he appeared as an accident-prone driver called Split Second; his first BBC production for a decade.
In 1998 he starred in a film called Bent, about homosexuals who live in a Jewish camp in which, for the role, he lost some weight but gained a huge gay following, then he starred in The Echo, a BBC1 drama. He also starred in a film called Greenfingers about a criminal who goes to work in a garden, before appearing in the well-written BBC1 mystery series Second Sight, in which he played DCI Ross Tanner. In 2001 he provided the voice-over for a BBC2 documentary about popular music through the years called Walk On By, as well as starring in a highly-acclaimed theatre production called The Day In The Death Of Joe Egg, about a couple with a severely handicapped daughter, and then he later appeared in the murder-mystery film directed by Robert Altman called Gosford Park, which won some critically-claimed BAFTAs and Oscars along the way, along with an all-star cast including Helen Mirren and Ryan Phillipe. He has also starred in The Bourne Identity, along with American actor Matt Damon. In 2003 he starred in other films including Trevor Preston's I'll Sleep When I'm Dead and Beyond Borders before taking on another role called King Arthur, in which he admitted that he had to take some horse-riding lessons before starring in the film, in an interview with Jonathan Ross.
He also appeared in the West End and Broadway hit play Closer, by Patrick Marber, which again became a film which was released in 2005, before he starred in another film called Derailed.
He became well known to North American audiences after starring as The Driver in the BMW films. Despite public denials, Owen had long been rumoured to be a possible successor to Pierce Brosnan in the role of James Bond. Rumours intensified after Brosnan admitted that he would not play the part again. Many had considered him to be perfect for the role, but in October 2005 it was announced that British actor Daniel Craig would take Brosnan's place. Unconfirmed sources stated that Owen had turned down the role to avoid typecasting and/or disagreement over financial terms. In 2006 he spoofed the Bond connection by making an appearance in the remake of The Pink Panther in which he plays a character named "Nigel Boswell, Agent 006" (another character in the film quips that Owen's character is "one short of the big time", referring to James Bond, who is widely recognized as Agent 007).
More recently, he's starred opposite Denzel Washington in Inside Man (2006) as the witty and mysterious bank robber; and alongside Julianne Moore and Michael Caine in Children of Men (2006). He plays Sir Walter Raleigh opposite Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth I in the film Golden Age (2007).
Clive Owen also is a Liverpool football supporter and currently stands at 6'2 1/2” tall.
2001 Walk On By TV documentary - narrator
|2007||Sin City 2||Dwight McCarthy||Pre-production|
|Elizabeth: The Golden Age||Sir Walter Raleigh||Filming|
|Shoot 'em Up||Mr. Smith||Post-production|
|2006||Children of Men||Theodore Faron|
|Inside Man||Dalton Russell|
|The Pink Panther||Nigel Boswell/Agent 006||Uncredited|
|Sin City||Dwight McCarthy|
|2003||Beyond Borders||Nick Callahan|
|I'll Sleep When I'm Dead||Will|
|2002||The Bourne Identity||The Professor|
|2001||The Hire||The Driver|
|Gosford Park||Robert Parks|
|Second Sight: Kingdom of the Blind||DCI Ross Tanner||TV movie|
|Second Sight: Parasomnia||DCI Ross Tanner||TV movie|
|Second Sight: Hide and Seek||DCI Ross Tanner||TV movie|
|1999||Split Second||Michael Anderson||TV movie|
|Second Sight||DCI Ross Tanner||TV movie|
|1998||The Echo||Michael Deacon||TV movie|
|1996||The Rich Man's Wife||Jake Golden|
|"Sharman"||Nick Sharman||TV series|
|1995||Bad Boy Blues||Paul||TV movie|
|1994||The Return of the Native||Damon Wildeve||TV movie|
|Doomsday Gun||Dov||TV movie|
|An Evening with Gary Lineker||Bill||TV movie|
|Nobody's Children||Bratu||TV movie|
|The Tournaround||Nick Sharman|
|1993||Class of '61||Devin O'Neil||TV movie|
|The Magician||Det. Con. George Byrne||TV movie|
|1991||Close My Eyes||Richard|
|1990||Chancer||Stephen Crane/Derek Love||TV series|
|Lorna Doone||John Ridd||TV movie|
|1989||Precious Bane||Gideon Smith||TV movie|