Cary Elwes (born October 26, 1962) is an English actor and writer, best known for his roles in the Saw franchise and films such as The Princess Bride, Glory, Kiss the Girls, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Days of Thunder, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Hot Shots!, Twister, The Jungle Book and Liar, Liar. He has also had several roles in series such as The X-Files, Psych and the Crackle series The Art of More.

He played Dr. Lawrence Gordon in Saw and Saw 3D.

Early Life

Cary Elwes was born on October 26, 1962 in Westminster, London, the youngest of three sons of portrait painter Dominic Elwes and interior designer and socialite Tessa Kennedy. He is the brother of artist Damian Elwes and film producer Cassian Elwes. His stepfather, Elliott Kastner, was an American film producer. His paternal grandfather was painter Simon Elwes, whose own father was the diplomat and tenor Gervase Elwes. Elwes' other great-grandfathers include the diplomat Rennell Rodd, 1st Baron Rennell and industrialist Ivan Rikard Ivanović. Elwes has Croatian Jewish, English, Irish, Serbian, and Scottish ancestry. His Croatian and Serbian roots come from his maternal grandmother, Daška McLean, whose second husband, Billy McLean, was an operative for Special Operations Executive during World War II.

One of Elwes' ancestors is John Elwes, who is alleged in some sources to have been the inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Elwes himself played five roles in the 2009 film adaptation of the novel. Through his maternal grandfather, Elwes is also related to Sir Alexander William "Blackie" Kennedy, one of the first photographers to document the archaeological site of Petra following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Elwes was brought up as a Roman Catholic and was an altar boy at Westminster Cathedral, although he did not attend denominational schools as most of the men on his father's side of the family had, including his father. His paternal relatives include such clerics as Dudley Charles Cary-Elwes, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Northampton, Abbott Columba Cary-Elwes, and Father Luke Cary-Elwes. He discussed this in an interview while he was filming the 2005 CBS television film Pope John Paul II, in which he played the young priest Karol Wojtyła.

Elwes' parents divorced when he was four years old and in 1975, when Elwes was 13, his father committed suicide. For his education, Elwes attended Harrow School. He then attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In 1981, he moved to the United States to study acting at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. While living there, Elwes studied acting at both the Actors Studio and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute under the tutelage of Al Pacino's mentor, Charlie Laughton. As a teenager, he also worked as a production assistant on the films Absolution, Octopussy and Superman, where he was assigned to Marlon Brando. When Elwes introduced himself to the famous actor, Brando insisted on calling him "Rocky" after Rocky Marciano.

Elwes met photographer Lisa Marie Kurbikoff in 1991 at a chili cook-off in Malibu, California and they became engaged in 1997. They married in 2000 and have one daughter together.



Elwes made his acting debut in 1979 with a small role in Yesterday's Hero. In 1984, he acted in Marek Kanievska's film Another Country, loosely based on the English boarding school exploits of British spies, Burgess, Philby and MacLean, in which he played James Harcourt, a gay student. He went on to play Guilford Dudley in the British historical drama film Lady Jane, opposite Helena Bonham Carter. He was then cast as a stable boy turned swashbuckler Westley in Rob Reiner's fantasy-comedy The Princess Bride, based on the novel of the same name by William Goldman. It was a modest box office success, but received critical acclaim, earning a score of 96% on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Since being released on home video and television, however, the film has become a cult classic.

Elwes continued working steadily, varying between dramatic roles, as in the Academy Award-winning Glory in 1989, and comedic roles, as in Hot Shots! in 1991. In 1993, he starred as Robin Hood in Mel Brooks's comedy, Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Elwes also appeared in such films as Francis Coppola's adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Crush, The Jungle Book, Twister, Liar Liar and Kiss the Girls. In 1999, he portrayed famed theatre and film producer John Houseman for Tim Robbins in his ensemble film based on Orson Welles's musical, Cradle Will Rock. Months after that, he traveled to Luxembourg to work with John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe in Shadow of the Vampire. In 2001, he co-starred in Peter Bogdanovich's ensemble film The Cat's Meow, portraying movie mogul Thomas Ince, who died mysteriously while vacationing with William Randolph Hearst on his yacht.

In 2004, Elwes 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 Ella Enchanted, this time as the villain, not the hero.

In August 2005, Elwes filed a lawsuit against Evolution Entertainment, his management firm and producer of Saw. Elwes said he was promised a minimum of one percent of the producers' net profits of the film and did not receive the full amount. The case was settled out of court.

Elwes 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 opposite Jane Fonda. In 2010, he returned to the Saw franchise in Saw 3D, the seventh film in the series, to reprise his role as Dr. Lawrence Gordon. In 2011, he was selected by Ivan Reitman to star alongside Natalie Portman in No Strings Attached. That same year, Elwes and Garry Marshall teamed up again in the romantic comedy New Year's Eve.

In 2012, Elwes starred in the independent drama The Citizen and the following year, Elwes joined Selena Gomez for the comedy ensemble Behaving Badly directed by Tim Garrick. In 2014, he starred in John Herzfeld's ensemble comedy Reach Me. In 2015, he completed four movies: the ensemble drama Sugar Mountain, directed by Richard Gray, and the dramas H8RZ, directed by Derrick Borte, We Don't Belong Here, opposite Anton Yelchin and Catherine Keener directed by Peer Pedersen, and Being Charlie, which re-united Elwes with director Rob Reiner after twenty-eight years and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. In January 2016 Elwes completed portraying Andy Warhol opposite Kevin Spacey in The Billionaire Boys Club, directed by James Cox.


Elwes made his first television appearance in 1996 as David Lookner on Seinfeld. Two years later, he played astronaut Michael Collins in the Golden Globe Award-winning HBO miniseries From the Earth To the Moon. The following year, Elwes was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for his portrayal of Colonel James Burton in The Pentagon Wars, directed by Richard Benjamin. In 1999, he guest starred as Dr. John York in an episode of the television series The Outer Limits. Shortly afterward, he received another Golden Satellite Award nomination for his work on the ensemble NBC Television movie Uprising opposite Jon Voight, which was directed by Jon Avnet. Elwes had a recurring role in the final season of Chris Carter's hit series The X-Files from 2001 to 2002 as FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer.

In 2004, he portrayed serial killer Ted Bundy in the A&E Network film The Riverman, which became one of the highest rated original movies in the network's history and garnered a prestigious BANFF Rockie Award nomination. The following year, Elwes played the young Pope John Paul II in the CBS television film Pope John Paul II, his second time working with Jon Voight. 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 in three days.

In 2007, Elws made a guest appearance on the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Dependent" as a Mafia lawyer. In 2009, he played the role of Pierre Despereaux, an international art thief, in the fourth-season premiere of Psych. In 2010, he returned to Psych, reprising his role in the second half of the fifth season, the sixth season and again in the show's eighth season premiere. In 2014, Elwes played Hugh Ashmeade, Director of the CIA, in the second season of the BYUtv series Granite Flats.

In May 2015, Elwes was cast in Crackle's first streaming network series drama, The Art of More, which explores the cutthroat world of premium auction houses. Elwes plays Arthur Davenport, a shrewd and eccentric world-class collector illegal art and antiquities. The series debuted on November 19.

Voice Overs

Elwes' voice-over work includes the narrator in James Patterson's audiobook The Jester, as well as characters in film and television animations such as Quest for Camelot, Pinky and The Brain, Batman Beyond and the English versions of the 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 screenwriter, improviser and voice actor of the main character, The Bard. In 2009, Elwes reunited with Jason Alexander for the Indian film Delhi Safari. The following year, he portrayed the part of Gremlin Gus in Disney's video game Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. In 2014, he appeared in Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey as the voice of scientists Edmond Halley and Robert Hooke.


In 2003, Elwes portrayed Kerry Max Cook in the off-Broadway play The Exonerated in New York, directed by Bob Balaban in March.



Year Title Role
1979 Yesterday's Hero Disco Dancer
1984 Another Country James Harcourt
Oxford Blues Lionel
1985 The Bride Josef
1986 Lady Jane Guilford Dudley
1987 Maschenka Ganin
The Princess Bride Westley
1989 Never on Tuesday Tow Truck Driver
Glory Maj. Cabot Forbes
1990 Days of Thunder Russ Wheeler
1991 Hot Shots! Lt. Kent Gregory
1992 Leather Jackets Dobbs
Kurenai no buta Curtis
Dracula Lord Arthur Holmwood
1993 The Crush Nick Eliot
Robin Hood: Men in Tights Robin Hood
1994 The Chase Steve Horsegroovy
Felidae Francis
The Jungle Book Boone
1995 Mimi wo sumaseba The Baron
1996 Twister Dr. Jonas Miller
1997 Liar Liar Jerry
The Informant Lt. David Ferris
Kiss the Girls Det. Nick Ruskin
1998 The Pentagon Wars Colonel James Burton
Quest for Camelot Garrett
1999 Cradle Will Rock John Houseman
2000 Shadow of the Vampire Fritz Arno Wagner
Race Against Time Burke
2001 The Cat's Meow Thomas Ince
Uprising Dr. Fritz Hippler
Wish You Were Dead Mac 'Macbeth' Wilson
2002 Neko no ongaeshi The Baron
Comic Book Villains Carter
2004 Saw Dr. Lawrence Gordon
American Crime Albert Bodine
Ella Enchanted Edgar
The Riverman Ted Bundy
2005 Edison Reigert
Neo Ned Dr. Magnuson
2006 Haskett's Chance Mark Haskett / Chris Dalness
Pucked Norman
The Dread Pirate Roberts: Greatest Legend of the Seven Seas Professor E. L. Rawscey
Factory Girl Sam Green
2007 Georgia Rule Arnold
Walk the Talk Erik
2008 The Alphabet Killer Kenneth Shine
2009 Na pude aneb Kdo má dneska narozeniny? Sir Handsome
A Christmans Carol Portly Gentleman #1 / Dick Wilkins / Mad Fiddler / Guest #2 / Business Man #1
2010 As Good as Dead Ethan Belfrage
Flying Lessons Steven Jennings
Psych:9 Dr. Irvin Clement
Saw 3D Dr. Lawrence Gordon
Tough Trade
2011 Little Murder Barry Fitzgerald
No Strings Attached Dr. Metzner
Hellgate Jeff Mathews
The Adventures of Tintin Pilot
New Year's Eve Stan's Doctor
Wonder Woman Henry Johns
2012 Camilla Dickinson Rafferty Dickinson
Delhi Safari Sultan / Bee Commander
The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure Bobby Wobbly
Rodencia y el Diente de la Princesa Sir Thaddeus
The Story of Luke Uncle Paul
The Citizen Miller
2013 Hansel & Gretel Get Baked Meter Man
In Security Joshua
She Loves Me Not Brady Olinson
Anna Nicole E. Pierce Marshall
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Aquaman
Horizon Max Hartman
2014 Resan till Fjäderkungens Rike Jonah's Father
A Bit of Bad Luck Brooks
Behaving Badly Joseph Stevens
Teen Lust Sheldon
Reach Me Kersey
2015 H8RZ Principal Donato
Being Charlie David Mills
A Haunting in Cawdor Lawrence O'Neil
2016 Lost & Found John Broman
Indiscretion Jake Simon
Elephant Kingdom Rock
La reina de España Gary Jones
Sugar Mountain Jim Huxley
2017 We Don't Belong Here Frank Harper
Max Ken
Butterfly in the Typewriter Kingsley Amis
Burning at Both Ends Jacques
The Gettysburg Address John P. Jones
The First D.W. Griffith
Billionaire Boys Club Andy Warhol
Don't Sleep Dr. Richard Sommers


Year Title Role
1996 Seinfeld David
1998 From the Earth to the Moon Michael Collins
Pinky and the Brain Director / Hamlet
Hercules Paris of Troy
1999 Batman Beyond Paxton Powers
The Outer Limits Dr. John York
2001-2002 The X Files Brad Follmer
2001 Night Visions Gerald
2005 Pope John Paul II Young Karol Wojtyla
2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sidney Truex
2009-2014 Psych Pierre Despereaux
2012 Leverage Scott Roemer
Perception British Intelligence Officer
2014-2016 Family Guy Charles Dickens / Dr. Watson / Watson
2014 Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Edmond Halley / Robert Hooke
Granite Flats Hugh Ashmeade
2015-2016 Sofia the First Basil / Prince Roderick
The Art of More Arthur Davenport
2016-2017 Life in Pieces Professor Sinclair Wilde
2017 Workaholics Fox
2018 Youth & Consequences Joel Cutney

Video Games

Year Title Role
2004 The Bard's Tale The Bard
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Black Bart
2012 Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Gremlin Gus


External Links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.