Born June 1, 1947 in Carmel, Wales, John Price was the third child and only son of a former coal miner who ran a small general grocery shop with his wife. His primary education was in Wales, but the brilliant student entered college in Lancashire, England at the age of 16. While studying to become a teacher, he received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) where he changed his name to Jonathan Pryce when joining British Equity because there was already an actor with the name of John Price.
Pryce began his acting career at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. He made his TV debut in a minor role in a 1972 episode of the British sci-fi series, Doomwatch. He made his film debut in 1976’s Voyage of the Damned in which he was billed fifteenth and is now the thirteenth actor in the film to have received an Oscar nomination after Faye Dunaway, Oskar Werner Lee Grant, Wendy Hiller, Julie Harris, Max von Sydow, Orson Welles, James Mason, Katharine Ross, José Ferrer, Janet Suzman and Denholm Elliott.
A 1977 Tony award for Comedians, for a supporting role that he had previously played in London, and a 1980 Royal Court production of Hamlet for which he won an Olivier Award in the title role enhanced his career, but it was Terry Gilliam’s 1985 film, Brazil, in which he had the lead role, that made him a star on film.
The actor added to his awards trophies with his 1991 Tony for Miss Saigon in which he recreated his London portrayal of the engineer in a modernized version of Madame Butterfly. He received Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for his supporting role in the 1993 TV movie, Barbarians at the Gate. Two years later he received numerous Best Actor nominations and awards for his performance in 1995’s Carrington.