Thirteen-year-old Jude Law, the son of London schoolteachers Peter and Maggie Law, lands a spot with Britain's National Youth Music Theatre, beginning his career as an actor.
Law, 16, stars in the NYMT's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. "He was dominant in the group without being domineering. When he played the lead...the girls went bananas," NYMT founder Jeremy James Taylor tells PEOPLE. Law tells Britain's Times, "I can't say I've suffered for my looks and that's fine, but I want to be made to work hard." In 1990, he lands the TV musical The Tailor of Gloucester before dropping out of high school for the role of a teen runaway on the British soap Families.
Law gets his first big break in the British futuristic crime thriller, Shopping, directed by Paul Anderson. The film costars actress Sadie Frost as Law's sidekick and love interest; it isn't long before life imitates art.
Law lands on Broadway opposite Kathleen Turner and Cynthia Nixon in Indiscretions. In one scene, he rises from a bathtub entirely nude. His U.S. performance of the same role earns him a Tony Award nomination.
Frost gives birth to the couple's first child, a son named Rafferty (right). Frost has a child, Finley, from her former husband, Gary Kemp of pop band Spandau Ballet. Law later tells PEOPLE that Rafferty's birth improved his craft: "I think it gave me a very vital and grounding ingredient to being an actor...It kind of takes away the possibility of becoming a narcissistic ego nightmare, which I think the acting business can sometimes offer up to you."
Law and Frost tie the knot in a private, 20-minute ceremony. "His eyes are very alive and green and vibrant," Frost tells PEOPLE of her attraction to Law. "He's also sexy because he's a father." In 2000, they welcome their second child, Iris, followed by their third child, Rudy.
Law and Frost form the Natural Nylon production company with Ewan McGregor (Law's former roommate) and pal Jonny Lee Miller, who Law has known since they were teens at National Youth Music Theatre. The company produces Nora, XX/XY and Law's Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. In 2003, Law resigns as the company's director, effectively dissolving Natural Nylon after McGregor quit a year earlier.
Along with Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow, Law stars in The Talented Mr. Ripley, based on Patricia Highsmith's noir novel of a spoiled playboy criminal. For his portrayal of Dickie Greenleaf, Law earns an Academy Award nomination for Supporting Actor but loses to Michael Caine (for The Cider House Rules). Law takes home a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor, however.
After starring in director Steven Spielberg's A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, Law is cast in Road to Perdition, with Paul Newman and Tom Hanks. The New York Times calls Law's character, "A scary wild card slithering and hissing like a coiled snake."
Law's almost 2-year-old daughter, Iris, accidentally ingests a tablet of ecstasy that she finds on the floor at a kids' party in a private club, evidently leftover from a party. She's rushed to the hospital and recovers. Police say there is no suggestion of parental neglect surrounding the incident.
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