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Ten Actors Who Shone Even Before They Were Stars – June 28, 2018

Damian Lewis: The Guy Has Been a Godsend to TV

by Matthew Gilbert | Boston Globe | June 28, 2018

Damian Lewis as Soames Forsyte & Gina McKee as his wife in the 2002 miniseries The Forsyte Saga

A lot of the TV actors and actresses we’ve come to love have a past. Turns out that before they could get a good table at an exclusive restaurant, they were nonetheless doing some fine work. Here are 10 examples of memorable early performances by now famous actors and actresses.

DAMIAN LEWIS

“The Forsyte Saga”

The guy has been a godsend to TV, with his work on “Homeland,” “Billions,” “Wolf Hall,” “Band of Brothers,” and a fine network procedural called “Life,” on which he played a cop released from prison on DNA evidence. I have a particular fondness for his work on “The Forsyte Saga,” a 2002-03 adaptation of John Galsworthy’s novels and a remake of a seminal late-1960s PBS series. It’s an engrossing literary soap about a wealthy family torn between passion and Victorian repression, with Lewis’s Soames Forsyte as the upholder of the latter. Lewis is ice cold, pale, and pathetic, as Soames clings to his Victorian delusions, stuffing his emotions down, his eyes a brutish blue. As his unloving wife, Irene, Gina McKee is perfection.

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