Mark Rylance–Shakespearean actor of the highest caliber, Oscar-winner, Shakespeare authorship skeptic, and honorary lifetime trustee of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship–has been honored with a knighthood. The SOF congratulates Sir Mark Rylance on this well-deserved honor and wishes a happy new year to all!
In 2007, Rylance, along with Derek Jacobi (also an SOF honorary lifetime trustee), unveiled the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt on the authorship of Shakespeare’s work after the final matinée of I am Shakespeare, a play on the authorship question written by and starring Rylance. Rylance appeared in the Oxfordian film Anonymous and has appeared in Last Will. and Testament and Much Ado About Something, two documentaries on the authorship question. In April 2016, Rylance and Jacobi taped a 30-minute reaffirmation of their authorship skepticism amidst the hoopla surrounding the 400th anniversary of the Stratford man’s death.
Sir Mark’s knighthood, in recognition of his many contributions to the performing arts, was announced on December 30, 2016. Rylance was the first Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a post he held from 1995 to 2005. He is an actor, director, and playwright. As an actor, he has won an Oscar (for Best Supporting Actor in Bridge of Spies), two Olivier Awards (for Much Ado About Nothing and Jerusalem), three Tony Awards (for Boeing Boeing and Jerusalem, and for playing Olivia–yes, Olivia–in Twelfth Night), and multiple British Academy Television Awards.
His many, many Shakespearean roles include Hamlet and Romeo, Ariel and Prospero in The Tempest (not in the same production), Touchstone in As You Like It, Olivia in Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Richard II, Richard III, and Henry V. His films include Prospero’s Books and The Other Boleyn Girl.