Cary Elwes

Cary Elwes portrayed the character Dr. Lawrence Gordon in Saw and Saw 3D.

Personal life

Elwes was born in Westminster, London, England , and is the third and youngest son of English portrait-painter Dominick Elwes[1] and interior designer Tessa Georgina Kennedy, who is of Croatian[2] and Anglo-Irish descent.[3] He attended Harrow School in London and Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where he studied, among other acting-related subjects, German Expressionist Film. While living in New York Elwes studied acting at both the Actors' Studio and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.

In 1991, Elwes met photographer Lisa Marie Kurbikoff. They became engaged in 1997 and wed in 2000. The couple has one daughter.

One of his ancestors is John Elwes, who is believed to be the inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843).[4] Elwes played the role of Dick Wilkins in the 2009 film adaptation of the novel.



Elwes made his acting debut in Marek Kanievska's film Another Country (where he played James Harcourt, a young and sentimental homosexual student from an Eton-esque English boarding school), with Rupert Everett and Colin Firth. The film, adapted from a play, was loosely based on the formative years of British spy Guy Burgess, one of the Cambridge Five. His first notable role was Guilford Dudley in the highly acclaimed British epic Lady Jane, co-starring Helena Bonham Carter. He was personally chosen by Trevor Nunn, director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His performance in that film led director Rob Reiner to cast Elwes in another leading role, this time as the stable boy turned swashbuckler Westley in the comedy The Princess Bride, which required Elwes to do all of his own swordfighting and acrobatics. Elwes' breakthrough performance in this film gained him international acclaim.

He continued working steadily, varying between dramatic roles, as in the Academy Award-winning Glory (1989), and comedic roles, as in Hot Shots! (1991). In 1993, he starred as Robin Hood in Mel Brooks' classic comedy, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, parodying Errol Flynn and Kevin Costner. Elwes also appeared in such popular films as Francis Coppola's adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Crush, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, Twister, Liar Liar, Cradle Will Rock, The Cat's Meow and Kiss the Girls with Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd. In 2004, he starred in the horror/thriller Saw which, at a budget of a little over $1 million, grossed over $100 million worldwide. The same year he appeared in the film Ella Enchanted, portraying the villain rather than the hero. He made an uncredited appearance as Sam Green, the man who introduced Andy Warhol to Edie Sedgwick, in the 2006 film Factory Girl. In 2007, he appeared in Garry Marshall's Georgia Rule with Jane Fonda. In 2009 Elwes worked on two performance capture films, Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol and The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn directed by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. He also stars in the Mystery thriller Shadows under the direction from John Penney.[5] Elwes portrayed Dr. Clement in the psychological thriller Psych 9[6], which was directed by Andrew Shortell.[7] It was confirmed on April 25, 2010 that Elwes will return in Saw VII as Dr. Lawrence Gordon.[8]


In 1996, Elwes made his first television appearance as "David Lookner" on the sitcom Seinfeld. In 1998, he played astronaut Michael Collins in the Golden Globe Award-winning HBO miniseries From the Earth To the Moon. In 1999, he guest starred as Dr. John York in an episode of the television series The Outer Limits. He earned two Golden Satellite Award nominations for his performances in the television films The Pentagon Wars and Uprising. Elwes had a recurring role in the final season (2001–2002) of The X-Files as FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer. Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files, wrote the character especially for him.

In 2004, he received great praise with his portrayal of serial killer Ted Bundy in the A&E Network film The Riverman, which was based on the book The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer written by Robert D. Keppel. The Riverman became one of the highest rated original movies in the network’s history and garnered a prestigious BANFF Rockie Award nomination. In 2005 Elwes again received international critical acclaim with his portrayal of the young Pope John Paul II in the CBS made-for-TV movie epic Pope John Paul II. The TV film was highly successful not only in North America, but also in Europe, where it broke box office records in the late pope's native Poland and became the first film ever to break $1 million (GBP588,200) in three days.[9]

In 2007, he made a guest appearance on the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Dependant" as a Mafia lawyer. In 2009, he played the role of Pierre Despereaux, an international art thief, in the 4th season premiere of Psych.[10] Most recently, Elwes starred in a national Enterprise Rental Car commercial, beginning in July 2009.[11]


Elwes' voice-over works include the narrator in James Patterson's audio book The Jester[12] as well as characters in film and television animations such as Quest for Camelot, Pinky and The Brain, Batman Beyond (which also featured Mark Rolston), and the English versions of the highly popular Studio Ghibli films Porco Rosso, Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns. For the 2004 video game The Bard's Tale, he served as scriptwriter, improviser, and voice actor of the main character The Bard.

Empire magazine announced that Elwes will be voicing the role of George Harrison for the upcoming 3D remake of Yellow Submarine.[13]


Elwes performed in the Bob Balaban-directed off-Broadway dramatic stage play The Exonerated in New York during its March 18–23, 2003 week run.

Saw settlement

In August 2005, he filed a lawsuit against his management firm and the producers of Saw. He alleged that he was promised a percentage of the profits and did not receive the full amount as promised.[14] The producers eventually settled out of court.[citation needed]


Year Film Role Notes
1979 Yesterday's Hero Disco Dancer
1984 Another Country James Harcourt
Oxford Blues Lionel
1985 The Bride Captain Josef Schoden
1986 Lady Jane Guilford Dudley
1987 Maschenka Ganin
The Princess Bride Westley/The Dread Pirate Roberts
1988 Never on Tuesday Tow Truck Driver Uncredited
1989 Glory Major Cabot Forbes
1990 Days of Thunder Russ Wheeler
1991 Hot Shots! Lieutenant Kent Gregory
1992 Bram Stoker's Dracula Lord Arthur Holmwood
Kurenai no buta Curtis aka Porco RossoVoice English version
Leather Jackets Dobbs
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights Robin Hood
The Crush Nick Eliot
1994 The Jungle Book Captain William Boone
The Chase Steve Horsegroovy
1996 Twister Dr. Jonas Miller
1997 Kiss the Girls Detective Nick Ruskin/Casanova Nominated - Blockbuster enternainment awards best supporting actor
The Informant Lieutenant David Ferris
Liar Liar Jerry
1998 Quest for Camelot Garrett Voice
1999 Cradle Will Rock John Houseman
2000 Shadow of the Vampire Fritz Arno "Firtzy" Wagner
2001 The Cat's Meow Thomas H. Ince
2002 Wish You Were Dead Mac "Macbeth" Wilson
Comic Book Villains Carter Direct-to-video
2004 Saw Lawrence Gordon Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Frightened Performance
Ella Enchanted Sir Edgar
American Crime Albert Bodine Direct-to-video
The Bard's Tale The Bard Video Game
2005 Edison Reigert aka Edison Force
Neo Ned Dr. Magnuson
The Cat Returns The Baron Voice (English dub)
2006 Whisper of the Heart The Baron Voice (English dub)
Pope John Paul II The Young Karol Wojtyla
National Lampoon's Pucked Norman aka National Lampoon's The Trouble with Frank
Factory Girl Sam Green Uncredited
2007 Walk the Talk Erik
Georgia Rule Arnold
2008 The Alphabet Killer Capt. Kenneth Shine
2009 A Christmas Carol Portly Gentleman #1/Dick Wilkins/Mad Fiddler/Guest #2/Business Man #1 Voice
2010 Psych 9 Dr. Clement awaiting release
Flying Lessons Steven Jennings awaiting release
As Good as Dead Ethan Belfrage awaiting release
Shadows Jeff Mathews[15] post-production
Warrior David Milligan post-production
Little Murder Barry Fitzgerald post-production
Saw VII Lawrence Gordon post-production
2011 The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Pilot post-production


Year Film Role Notes
1996 Seinfeld David Lookner Episode: "The Wait Out"
1998 The Pentagon Wars Lt. Col. James Burton HBO TV film
From the Earth to the Moon Michael Collins Episodes: "Can We Do This"
"Mare Tranquilitatis"
Pinky and the Brain Director / Hamlet Voice
"Brainie the Poo/Melancholy Brain"
"Whatever Happened to Baby Brain/Just Say Narf"
Quest for Camelot Garrett Voice
Hercules Paris of Troy Voice
Episode: "Hercules and the Trojan War"
1999 The Outer Limits Dr. John York Episode: "Ripper"
Batman Beyond Paxton Powers Episode: "Ascension"
2000 Race Against Time Burke TV film
2001 Night Visions Gerald Episode: "Quiet Please"
Uprising Dr. Fritz Hippler TV film
2001–2002 The X-Files FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer Episodes:
"Nothing Important Happened Today"
"Nothing Important Happened Today II"4-D"
2004 The Riverman Ted Bundy TV film
2005 Pope John Paul II Young Karol Wojtyla TV mini-series
2006 Haskett's Chance TV film
2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sidney Truex Episode: "Dependent"
2009 Psych Pierre Despereaux Episode: "Extradition: British Columbia"

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