William Branagh is the father of British actor and filmmaker Kenneth Charles Branagh. William’s son Kenneth Branagh has directed and starred in numerous projects on stage and screen. He has directed and starred in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare’s plays, including Henry V (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Othello (1995), Hamlet (1996), and As You Like It (2006).
William Branagh: Bio Summary
|father of Kenneth Branagh
|Place of birth
|Belfast, Ireland, UK
|William Robert Branagh and Elizabeth Harold Maguire
|William Branagh Jr., Joyce Branagh, and Kenneth Branagh
Who Is Kenneth Branagh’s Father, William Branagh?
William Branagh was born in the year 1930 to William Robert Branagh and Elizabeth Harold Maguire. He is said to have been born in Belfast, Ireland, UK. He is the brother of Annie Branagh, Walter Branagh, Tommy Branagh, and Lilly Branagh. There isn’t much information about his early life. His childhood experiences have not been made public.
William Branagh attended Pilot Street Elementary School, in Belfast, Ireland, United Kingdom. He was a plumber and joiner who ran a company that specialized in fitting partitions and suspended ceilings. William fell in love with Frances Branagh (née Harper), the woman who would be the mother of his children.
How William Branagh met Frances Branagh is unknown. The two dated for a while before getting married. Their marriage was not in the spotlight. They gave birth to three children, William Branagh Jr., Joyce Branagh, and Kenneth Charles Branagh. Their son Kenneth who is the middle child of their three children, became a successful actor and filmmaker.
Kenneth Branagh has been active in the entertainment industry since the 1980s. Kenneth was born on 10 December 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The family moved to England to escape the Troubles. They settled in Berkshire. Kenneth said: “When I went there [to England] all I wanted to do was disappear. For me the rupture was sort of complete.”
“My mum had 11 siblings and my father had five so we had a lot of cousins. We had a big – just the actual family was kind of a self sustaining community. If you added into that the community of the street we lived in which was Catholics and Protestants in North Belfast at that time, then it really advertised that it takes a village to raise a child.”
“I felt very supported. I really felt in Belfast I could not get lost, I was nine years old and I felt I couldn’t get lost. The sense of security was complete. It was total, it was absolute. And when it left me, it left me in exactly the same way. So when we moved to England away from all of those people and away from all of that family support, as blessed as we are, as safe as we were, we lost all of that.”
At 23, Kenneth Branagh joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he took on starring roles in “Henry V” and “Romeo and Juliet”. He played an uncredited role as a Cambridge student in Chariots of Fire (1981). He played Student in 1 episode of the TV Series, Play for Tomorrow.
Kenneth Branagh appeared in To the Lighthouse, Maybury, Play for Today, The Boy in the Bush, A Month in the Country, Theatre Night, High Season, Fortunes of War, The Lady’s Not for Burning, American Playhouse, Coming Through, Thompson, Look Back in Anger, Dead Again, Peter’s Friends, Much Ado About Nothing and Othello.
Kenneth Branagh has played roles in A Haunting in Venice, Oppenheimer, Death on the Nile, Tenet, and many more. As a director, he has worked in Henry V, Dead Again, Swan Song, Peter’s Friends, Much Ado About Nothing, Frankenstein, A Midwinter’s Tale, Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Listening, and As You Like It.
Kenneth Branagh also served as the director of The Magic Flute, Sleuth, Thor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Cinderella, All Is True, Belfast, Death on the Nile, and A Haunting in Venice, among others. He was the producer of Peter’s Friends, producer of Much Ado About Nothing, co-producer of Frankenstein and producer of Love’s Labour’s Lost.
Kenneth Branagh has produced other films as well. He has also worked as a screenwriter. In 2020, he was ranked in 20th place on The Irish Times’ list of Ireland’s greatest film actors. In 2022, he became the first person to be nominated for an Oscar in seven different categories over the course of his career.
Where Is Kenneth Branagh’s Father Now?
Kenneth Branagh’s father William Branagh stayed away from the spotlight. He died of cancer in the year 2006 according to the Guardian. His wife Frances Branagh has also passed away. She died of a heart condition in 2004.