Paul Bettany was born in Harlesden, London to Thane Bettany and Anne Kettle. Both his parents, and his maternal grandmother were also actors. He as an older sister, Sarah, who is a writer and had a younger brother, Matthew, who died in childhood.
Paul spent his early years in North West London until the family moved to Hertfordshire where his father had a job teaching at an all-girls school. After the death of his younger brother when Paul was 16, he dropped out of school and left home, earning a living by busking in London for two years. After that worked in a care home for the elderly for a year before enrolling at the Drama Centre in London, where he studied for three years.
Paul started his acting career in the theatre, joining the Royal Shakespeare Company and appearing in productions of Richard III, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar.
Paul made his on screen debut with guest spots on UK TV shows, Wycliffe, The Bill, and Sharpe, before making his film debut alongside Clive Owen, Jude Law and Ian McKellen in Bent.
Since then he has continued to work appearing in TV shows such as Killer Net, and as Steeforth in David Copperfield, before moving mainly into movies, appearing a A Knight’s Tale, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, A Beautiful Mind, Wimbledon and The Da Vinci Code before landing the voice role of JARVIS in Iron Man in 2008. He has since appeared in a total of 7 Marvel Cinematic Movies, 5 as JARVIS and 3 as Vision, including Avengers: Age of Ultron where he played a dual role as both characters, and can now be seen in his own series for Disney+, WandaVision.
Most recently Paul has appeared entered the Star Wars Universe as Dryden Vos in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and landed the starring role in Amazon Original Movie, Uncle Frank.
Brian Helgeland, writer/director of A Knight’s Tale, wrote the part of Chaucer specifically for Paul, and fought the productions companies to get him.