Julian Alexander Kitchener-Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford DL (born 17 August 1949) is an English actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter, and a Conservative peer of the House of Lords. Lord Fellowes is primarily known as the author of several Sunday Times best-seller novels; for the screenplay for the film Gosford Park, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2002; and as the creator, writer and executive producer of the multiple award-winning ITV series Downton Abbey (2010–2015).
The Lord Fellowes of West Stafford
|Member of the House of Lords|
|Assumed office |
13 January 2011
Julian Alexander Fellowes
17 August 1949
Emma Joy Kitchener (m. 1990)
|Alma mater||Magdalene College, Cambridge|
University of Cambridge
Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
|Occupation||Actor, novelist, screenwriter, film director|
Fellowes was born in Cairo, Egypt, the youngest son of Peregrine Edward Launcelot Fellowes, and his British wife, Olwen Mary (née Stuart-Jones). His father was a diplomat and Arabist who campaigned to have Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, restored to his throne during World War II.
Fellowes has three older brothers: Nicholas Peregrine James, wordsmith David Andrew, and playwright Roderick Oliver. The siblings' childhood home was at Wetherby Place, South Kensington, and afterwards at Chiddingly, East Sussex, where Fellowes lived from August 1959 until November 1988, and where his parents are buried.
The house in Chiddingly, which had been owned by the whodunit writer Clifford Kitchin, was within easy reach of London where his father, who had been a diplomat, worked for Shell. Fellowes has described his father as one "of that last generation of men who lived in a pat of butter without knowing it. My mother put him on a train on Monday mornings and drove up to London in the afternoon. At the flat she'd be waiting in a snappy little cocktail dress with a delicious dinner and drink. Lovely, really." A decided influence to arise from this place was the friendship that developed with another family in the village, the Kingsleys. David Kingsley was head of British Lion Films, the company responsible for many Peter Sellers comedies. Sometimes "glamorous figures" would visit the Kingsleys' house. Fellowes said that he thinks he "learnt from David Kingsley that you could actually make a living in the film business".
Fellowes was educated at several private schools in Britain including Wetherby School, St Philip's School (a grammar school), and Ampleforth College, which his father had preferred over Eton. He read English Literature at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was a member of Footlights. He studied further at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Fellowes moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and played a number of small roles on television for the next two years, including a role in Tales of the Unexpected. He believed that his breakthrough had come when he was considered to replace Hervé Villechaize as the butler on the television series Fantasy Island, but the role went to actor Christopher Hewett instead. He was unable to get an audition for the Disney film Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985) in Los Angeles, but was offered the role when he was visiting England. When he asked the film's director why he was not able to get an interview in Los Angeles, he was told that they felt the best actors were in Britain.
After this, Fellowes decided to move back to England to further his career, and in 1991, he played Neville Marsham in Danny Boyle's For the Greater Good and dr Jobling in the 1994 BBC adaptation of Martin Chuzzlewit. Other notable acting roles included the role of Claud Seabrook in the acclaimed 1996 BBC drama serial Our Friends in the North and the 2nd Duke of Richmond in the BBC drama serial Aristocrats. He portrayed George IV as the Prince Regent for the second time (the first was in the film The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)) in the 1996 adaptation of Bernard Cornwell's novel Sharpe's Regiment, and Major Dunnett in Sharpe's Rifles. He also played the part of Kilwillie on Monarch of the Glen. He appeared as the leader of the Hullabaloos in the television adaptation of Arthur Ransome's Coot Club, called Swallows and Amazons Forever!.
Aside from acting, he launched a new series on BBC One in 2004, Julian Fellowes Investigates: A Most Mysterious Murder, which he wrote and introduced onscreen. He was the presenter of Never Mind the Full Stops, a panel-based game show broadcast on BBC Four from 2006 to 2007. He created the hugely successful and critically acclaimed period drama Downton Abbey for ITV1 in 2010. He wrote a new Titanic miniseries that was shown on ITV1 in March–April 2012.
In April 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Fellowes was at work on a new period drama series for NBC television, to be set in late 19th-century New York City, entitled The Gilded Age. In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Fellowes suggested that a younger version of Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess character from his Downton Abbey drama might appear in the new series, saying: "Robert Crawley would be in his early teens, Cora would be a child. A young Violet [the Dowager Countess] could make an appearance." As the title suggests, the series would be set during the time of America's so-called Gilded Age – the industrial boom era in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – and portray the upper echelons of New York's high society during that period.
Production and writing for The Gilded Age was updated in January 2016 indicating that filming would start at the end of 2016. As reported in RadioTimes: "NBC's The Gilded Age is set to start shooting later this year, Fellowes tells RadioTimes.com. Asked whether he'd written the script yet, Fellowes replied, 'No I haven't, no. I'm doing that this year', before adding: 'And then hopefully shooting at the end of the year.'"
In April 2016, it was announced that Fellowes would be the producer of The Gilded Age when it was reported that Fellowes is "about to begin writing The Gilded Age for NBC, a sort of American Downton about fortunes made and lost in late 19th century New York, which he will also produce."
On 4 June 2016, Fellowes was asked by The Los Angeles Times, "Where does The Gilded Age stand?" Fellowes replied,
It stands really with me up to my neck in research, and I'm clearing the decks, so that when I start Gilded Age, I'm only doing Gilded Age. These people were extraordinary. You can see why they frightened the old guard, because they saw no boundaries. They wanted to build a palace, they built a palace. They wanted to buy a yacht, they bought a yacht. The old guard in New York weren't like that at all, and suddenly this whirlwind of couture descended on their heads. The newcomers redesigned being rich. They created a rich culture that we still have — people who are rich today are generally rich in a way that was established in America in the 1880s, '90s, 1900s. It was different from Europe. Something like Newport would never have happened in any other country, where you have huge palaces, and then about 20 yards away, another huge palace, and 20 yards beyond that another huge palace. In England right up to the 1930s, when people made money, they would buy an estate of 5,000 acres and they'd have to look after Nanny. The Americans of the 1880s and '90s didn't want too much of that.
In August 2016, Fellowes indicated that his plans for The Gilded Age would not overlap substantially with the characters in Downton Abbey since most of them would have been children in those earlier "prequel" decades. Writing for Creative Screenwriting, Sam Roads quoted Fellowes as stating: "Someone asked if you (referring to Fellowes) would see any of the Downton characters (in The Gilded Age), but most of them would be children. They said that Violet wouldn't be a child, and I replied that 'Yes, I suppose you see a younger Violet'... It might be fun, but I doubt at the beginning, because I want it to be a new show with new people."
A report in early September 2018 stated that Fellowes had two projects underway, both in development: the Netflix series The English Game and The Gilded Age for NBC.
Fellowes wrote the script for Gosford Park, which won the Oscar for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen in 2002. In late 2005, Fellowes made his directorial début with the film Separate Lies, for which he won the award for Best Directorial Début from the National Board of Review.
In 2009, Momentum Pictures and Sony Pictures released The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt, for which Fellowes wrote the original screenplay. Other screenwriting credits include Vanity Fair, The Tourist and From Time to Time, which he also directed, and which won Best Picture at the Chicago Children's Film Festival, the Youth Jury Award at the Seattle International Film Festival, Best Picture at the Fiuggi Family Festival in Rome, and the Young Jury Award at Cinemagic in Belfast. His greatest commercial success was The Tourist, which grossed US$278 million worldwide, and for which he co-wrote the screenplay with Christopher McQuarrie and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.
Other films in which Fellowes has appeared include Full Circle (1977), Priest of Love (1981), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982), Goldeneye: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (1989, as Noël Coward), Damage (1992), Shadowlands (1993), Jane Eyre (1996), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Regeneration (1997) and Place Vendôme (1998). He has continued his acting career while writing. He unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Master of Lake-town in the 2012–2014 The Hobbit series.
Fellowes was the screenwriter and one of the producers for Downton Abbey, which started principal photography in late August 2018. Most members of the cast of the television programme were scheduled to appear in the movie.
Fellowes' novel Snobs was published in 2004. It focuses on the social nuances of the upper class and concerns the marriage of an upper middle-class girl to a peer. Snobs was a Sunday Times best-seller. In 2009 his novel Past Imperfect was published. Another Sunday Times best-seller, it deals with the débutante season of 1968, comparing the world then to the world of 2008. He also wrote, under the pseudonym Rebecca Greville, several romantic novels in the 1970s. A period novel, Belgravia began broadcast, in 11 weekly episodes, from April 2016 and is available, via an app, in audio and text format.
As an actor, Fellowes began his acting career at the Royal Theatre, Northampton. He has appeared in several West End productions, including Samuel Taylor's A Touch of Spring, Alan Ayckbourn's Joking Apart and a revival of Noël Coward's Present Laughter. He appeared at the National Theatre in The Futurists, written by Dusty Hughes. As a writer, he penned the script to the West End musical Mary Poppins, produced by Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Disney, which opened on Broadway in December 2006. He wrote the book for the musical School of Rock which opened at The Winter Garden on Broadway in December 2015. In May 2016 he was nominated for a Tony.
|Gosford Park||2001||Film||Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay|
|Mary Poppins||2004||Theatre||Adapted from the novels by P. L. Travers and the 1964 film directed by Robert Stevenson; screenplay by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi|
|Vanity Fair||2004||Film||Screenplay based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray|
|Julian Fellowes Investigates||2004||Television||Writer and creator; also actor|
|Piccadilly Jim||2004||Film||Screenplay based on the novel by P. G. Wodehouse|
|Separate Lies||2005||Film||Screenplay based on the novel by Nigel Balchin; also director|
|The Young Victoria||2009||Film||Original screenplay|
|From Time to Time||2009||Film||Written by Fellowes, based on the novel by Lucy M. Boston; also director|
|The Tourist||2010||Film||Screenplay polish|
|Television||Creator, executive producer and writer (co-written episodes four and six of Season One with Shelagh Stephenson and Tina Pepler respectively)|
|Titanic||2012||Television||Writer of the four-part ITV1 produced miniseries|
|Romeo and Juliet||2013||Film||Screenplay; adapted from the play by William Shakespeare|
|School of Rock||2015||Theatre||Book; adapted from the 2003 film of the same name by Mike White. Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics by Glenn Slater|
|Doctor Thorne||2016||Television||Script; dramatization of the Anthony Trollope novel|
|Half a Sixpence||2016||Theatre||Book; A new version based on H. G. Wells' novel Kipps with original musical by David Heneker and Beverly Cross. New music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, co-created by Cameron Mackintosh; at Chichester Festival Theatre|
|The Wind in the Willows||2016||Theatre||Book; adapted from the novel of the same name by Kenneth Grahame. Music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Opening in Plymouth, Salford and Southampton prior to the West End.|
|Crooked House||2017||Film||Screenplay; adapted from the novel of the same name by Agatha Christie|
|Downton Abbey||2019||Film||Screenplay; continuation of 2010–2015 television series|
|The Gilded Age||2019||Television||Creator and writer|
On 13 January 2011, Fellowes was elevated to the peerage, being created Baron Fellowes of West Stafford, of West Stafford in the County of Dorset, and on the same day was introduced in the House of Lords, where he sits on the Conservative Benches.
Fellowes is Chairman of the RNIB appeal for Talking Books. He is a Vice-President of the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust and Patron of a number of charities: the south-west branch of Age UK, Changing Faces, Living Paintings, the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity, Breast Cancer Haven and the Nursing Memorial Appeal. He also supports other causes, including charities concerned with the care of those suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He recently opened the Dorset office of the south-west adoption charity, Families for Children.
Fellowes sits on the Appeal Council for the National Memorial Arboretum and is a Patron of Moviola, an initiative aimed at facilitating rural cinema screenings in the West Country. He also sits on the Arts and Media Honours Committee.
On 28 April 1990, Fellowes married Emma Joy Kitchener (born 1963), a Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Michael of Kent. She is also a great-grandniece of Herbert, 1st Earl Kitchener. He proposed to her only 20 minutes after meeting her at a party, "having spent 19 minutes getting up the nerve". On 15 October 1998 the Fellowes family changed its surname from Fellowes to Kitchener-Fellowes.
Fellowes publicly expressed his dissatisfaction that the proposals to change the rules of royal succession were not extended to hereditary peerages, which had they been would have allowed his wife to succeed her uncle as Countess Kitchener in her own right. As he put it "I find it ridiculous that, in 2011, a perfectly sentient adult woman has no rights of inheritance whatsoever when it comes to a hereditary title." Instead, the title became extinct on her uncle's death because there were no male heirs. On 9 May 2012, The Queen issued a Royal Warrant of Precedence granting Lady Emma Fellowes the same rank and style as the daughter of an Earl, as would have been due to her if her late father had survived his brother and therefore succeeded to the earldom.
Lord Fellowes was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset in 2009. He is also Lord of the manor of Tattershall in Lincolnshire and President of the Society of Dorset Men. Their main family home is in Dorset.
Downton Abbey is a British historical period drama television series set in the early 20th century, created by Julian Fellowes. The series first aired on ITV in the United Kingdom on 26 September 2010, and in the United States on PBS, which supported production of the series as part of its Masterpiece Classic anthology, on 9 January 2011.
The series, set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey between 1912 and 1926, depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants in the post-Edwardian era—with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy. Events depicted throughout the series include news of the sinking of the Titanic in the first series; the outbreak of the First World War, the Spanish influenza pandemic, and the Marconi scandal in the second series; the Irish War of Independence leading to the formation of the Irish Free State in the third series; the Teapot Dome scandal in the fourth series; and the British general election of 1923, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and the Beer Hall Putsch in the fifth series. The sixth and final series introduces the rise of the working class during the interwar period and hints towards the eventual decline of the British aristocracy.
Downton Abbey has received acclaim from television critics and won numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie. It was recognised by Guinness World Records as the most critically acclaimed English-language television series of 2011. It earned the most nominations of any international television series in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, with twenty-seven in total (after two series). It was the most watched television series on both ITV and PBS, and subsequently became the most successful British costume drama series since the 1981 television serial of Brideshead Revisited.On 26 March 2015, Carnival Films and ITV announced that the sixth series would be the last. It aired on ITV between 20 September 2015 and 8 November 2015. The final episode, serving as the annual Christmas special, was broadcast on 25 December 2015. A film adaptation, serving as a continuation of the series, was confirmed on 13 July 2018.Downton Abbey (film)
Downton Abbey is an upcoming British historical period drama film, written by Julian Fellowes and directed by Michael Engler. It is a continuation of the television series of the same name, created by Fellowes, that ran on ITV from 2010 to 2015.
The film is scheduled to be released on 13 September 2019 in the United Kingdom and one week later in the United States on 20 September.Downton Abbey (series 2)
The second series of the British historical period drama television series Downton Abbey aired from 18 September 2011 to 6 November 2011, comprising a total of 8 episodes and one Christmas Special episode aired on 25 December 2011. It was broadcast in the United Kingdom on ITV, and in the United States on PBS, starting on 8 January 2012. Series 2 explored the lives of the Crawley family and servants during and after the First World War.
Series 2 received widespread acclaim, with critics praising its cast, historical depictions, and story's arc. The viewing figures significantly increased compared with series 1, with an average of 11 million viewers per episode. The series was nominated for several industry awards, and won the TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials. Maggie Smith received critical praise for her performance as Violet Crawley, which earned her the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.From Time to Time (film)
From Time to Time is a 2009 British fantasy drama film directed by Julian Fellowes and starring Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, Carice van Houten, Alex Etel, Eliza Bennett, Elisabeth Dermot-Walsh, Dominic West, Hugh Bonneville, Kwayedza Kureya, and Pauline Collins. It was adapted from Lucy M. Boston's children's novel The Chimneys of Green Knowe (1958). The film was shot in Athelhampton Hall, Dorset.Gosford Park
Gosford Park is a 2001 British murder mystery film directed by Robert Altman and written by Julian Fellowes. The film stars an ensemble cast, which includes Eileen Atkins, Bob Balaban, Alan Bates, Charles Dance, Stephen Fry, Michael Gambon, Richard E. Grant, Derek Jacobi, Kelly Macdonald, Helen Mirren, Jeremy Northam, Clive Owen, Ryan Phillippe, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Emily Watson. The story follows a party of wealthy Britons plus an American producer, and their servants, who gather for a shooting weekend at Gosford Park, an English country house. A murder occurs after a dinner party, and the film goes on to present the subsequent investigation from the servants' and guests' perspectives.
Development on Gosford Park began in 1999, when Bob Balaban asked Altman if they could develop a film together. Balaban suggested an Agatha Christie-style whodunit and introduced Altman to Julian Fellowes, with whom Balaban had been working on a different project. The film went into production in March 2001, and began filming at Shepperton Studios with a production budget of $19.8 million. Gosford Park premiered on 7 November 2001 at the London Film Festival. It received a limited release across cinemas in the United States in December 2001, before being widely released in January 2002 by USA Films. It was released in February 2002 in the United Kingdom.
The film was successful at the box office, grossing over $87 million in cinemas worldwide, making it Altman's second most successful film after MASH. Widely acclaimed by critics, it received multiple awards and nominations, including seven Academy Award nominations and nine British Academy Film Awards nominations.
The TV series Downton Abbey – written and created by Fellowes – was originally planned as a spin-off of Gosford Park, but instead was developed as a stand-alone property inspired by the film, set decades earlier.List of Downton Abbey episodes
Downton Abbey is a British period drama television series created by Julian Fellowes and co-produced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece. It first aired on ITV in the United Kingdom on 26 September 2010, and on PBS in the United States on 9 January 2011, as part of the Masterpiece Classic anthology. Six series have been made, the sixth airing in the autumn of 2015 in the UK and Ireland, and in January 2016 in the United States. On 26 March 2015, the sixth series was confirmed to be the final series, with the final episode airing in the UK on 25 December 2015 on ITV. During the course of the programme, 52 episodes of Downton Abbey aired over six series. On 13 July 2018, a feature length film was confirmed, which is scheduled for a UK release on 13 September 2019.Piccadilly Jim (2004 film)
Piccadilly Jim is a romantic comedy film directed by John McKay, starring Sam Rockwell and Frances O'Connor. It is based on the 1917 comic novel Piccadilly Jim by P. G. Wodehouse. The film was shot in 2004, shown at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, and released in the UK in 2006. The novel on which the film was based was also adapted into a 1919 film and a 1936 film.Romeo
Romeo Montague is the male protagonist of William Shakespeare's tragedy, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. The son of Lord Montague and his wife, Lady Montague, he secretly loves and marries Juliet, a member of the rival House of Capulet, through a priest named Friar Laurence. Forced into exile after slaying Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, in a duel, Romeo commits suicide upon hearing falsely of Juliet's death.
The character's origins can be traced as far back as Pyramus, who appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses, but the first modern incarnation of Romeo is Mariotto in the 33rd of Masuccio Salernitano's Il Novellino (1476). This story was reworked in 1524 by Luigi da Porto as Giulietta e Romeo (published posthumously in 1531). Da Porto named the character Romeo Montecchi and his storyline is near-identical to Shakespeare's adaptation. Since no 16th-century direct English translation of Giulietta e Romeo is known, Shakespeare's main source is thought to be Arthur Brooke's English verse translation of a French translation of a 1554 adaptation by Matteo Bandello. Although both Salernitano and da Porto claimed that their stories had historical basis, there is little evidence that this is the case.
Romeo, an only child like Juliet, is one of the most important characters of the play, and has a consistent presence throughout it. His role as an idealistic lover has led the word "Romeo" to become a synonym for a passionate male lover in various languages. Although often treated as such, it is not clear that "Montague" is a surname in the modern sense.Separate Lies
Separate Lies is a 2005 British drama film directed by Julian Fellowes, who also wrote the screenplay, updating the 1951 novel A Way Through the Wood by Nigel Balchin, which had already been turned into a stage play under the title Waiting for Gillian in 1957. The film stars Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Rupert Everett. Separate Lies marked the directorial debut of Julian Fellowes, who had worked mostly as an actor and won an Academy Award with his screenplay for Robert Altman's Gosford Park.The Gilded Age (TV series)
The Gilded Age is an upcoming television drama developed by Julian Fellowes for NBC that is set in America during the Gilded Age, the boom years of 1880s New York City. It was announced in 2018.The Young Victoria
The Young Victoria is a 2009 British-American period drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Julian Fellowes, based on the early life and reign of Queen Victoria, and her marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Produced by Graham King, Martin Scorsese, Sarah Ferguson, and Timothy Headington, the film stars Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Harriet Walter, Mark Strong, and Jim Broadbent among a large ensemble cast.
As screenwriter, Fellowes sought to make the film as historically accurate as possible. With this in mind, Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell and historical consultant Alastair Bruce were hired, and filming for The Young Victoria took place at various historical landmarks in England to further the film's authenticity. Despite this, some aspects of the film have been criticised for their historical inaccuracies.
Momentum Pictures released the film in the United Kingdom and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group opened The Young Victoria in limited theatrical release in the United States. Critical reception was generally positive.
Works by Julian Fellowes
Awards for Julian, Lord Fellowes