Born in Coventry, in England’s West Midlands county, on 3 October 1964, Owen is the fourth of five brothers. His father abandoned the family when he was three years old, and Owen was subsequently raised by his mother and stepfather. Acting was not his first choice as a profession, but he changed his mind and went on to graduate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1987. Owen proceeded to join the Young Vic Theatre Company, where he honed his craft while performing in a number of Shakespearean productions.
Owen made his film debut in 1988 in Vroom (1988), and soon after clinched the starring role in the British TV series Chancer (1990). He left the show to pursue film roles, including his star-making turn in Croupier as well as a number of TV movies. On television, Owen’s international popularity surged again thanks to his turn as DCI Ross Tanner, the main character of Second Sight (1999) and three follow-ups that aired in 2000. Although his first major Hollywood film was The Rich Man’s Wife (1996) it was not until 1998’s Croupier – and his role as The Driver in a series of short films produced by BMW in 2001 – that Owen’s film career in the United States began to take off.
The actor went on to co-star in the Oscar winning Gosford Park (2001) and made a memorable cameo as an assassin in The Bourne Identity (2002), leading to a string of prominent roles in major films capitalizing on Owen’s appeal as a leading man. Most of his film parts during the 2000s were in crime thrillers and action movies such as Sin City (2005) and Inside Man (2006). But during this same period of time, he also delivered a thoughtful, nuanced performance in Closer that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and played Sir Walter Raleigh in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007).
Owen is married to Sarah-Jane Fenton, who played Juliet to his Romeo at the Young Vic in 1998. The couple has two daughters.
Height 6′ 2″ (1.88 m)