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School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Toby Jones

One of our most successful and acclaimed alumni received a University Outstanding Alumni Award in 2012.

Toby Jones, who has appeared in more than 20 films, alongside Sigourney Weaver, Robert de Niro and Sandra Bullock, studied drama at The Victoria University of Manchester from 1986 to 1989.

Toby Jones

There existed in the Drama Department at that time a dynamic and challenging culture, between staff, students and the curriculum itself, which threw up questions about the nature and function of drama, questions with which I continue to wrestle.

If I have overcome some of the doubts and fears associated with this career, and as I continue to thrive on its diverse challenges, it is in part due to the questions I learned to ask in the Drama Department.

Toby Jones / Actor, Manchester alumnus


He is well known for:

  • playing Truman Capote in the biopic film Infamous, opposite Sigourney Weaver, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sandra Bullock;
  • mastering the voice of Dobby the House Elf in the Harry Potter films;
  • roles in the ITV mini series Titanic;
  • his role in the blockbuster science fiction film The Hunger Games; and
  • appearances in the 2012 film Snow White and the Huntsman alongside Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron.

His stage credits included a starring role in the London West End comedy The Play What I Wrote, directed by Kenneth Branagh, for which he won Best Supporting Actor at the 2002 Olivier Awards.

Reflecting on Manchester

On receiving his award from the Faculty of Humanities he praised the teaching he received as a student and said it had “a lasting impact on both my career and my general outlook”.

Toby was born in 1967 to actor parents and grew up in Oxford. His brother Rupert is a Director while his other brother, Casper, is also an actor.