Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch was born and raised in London, England. His parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton (Timothy Carlton Congdon Cumberbatch), are both actors. He is a grandson of submarine commander Henry Carlton Cumberbatch, and a great-grandson of diplomat Henry Arnold Cumberbatch CMG. Cumberbatch attended Brambletye School and Harrow School. Whilst at Harrow, he had an arts scholarship and painted large oil canvases. It’s also where he began acting. After he finished school, he took a year off to volunteer as an English teacher in a Tibetan monastery in Darjeeling, India. On his return, he studied drama at Manchester University. He continued his training as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art graduating with an M.A. in Classical Acting. By the time he had completed his studies, he already had an agent.
Cumberbatch has worked in theatre, television, film and radio. His breakthrough on the big screen came in 2004 when he portrayed Stephen Hawking in the television movie Hawking (2004). In 2010, he became a household name as Sherlock Holmes on the British television series Sherlock (2010). In 2011, he appeared in two Oscar-nominated films – War Horse (2011) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). He followed this with acclaimed roles in the science fiction fiction film Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), the Oscar-winning drama 12 Years a Slave (2013), The Fifth Estate (2013) and August: Osage County (2013). In 2014, he portrayed Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014) which earned him a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, British Independent Film Award, British Academy of Film and Television Arts and an Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role.