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Mark Strong


Mark Strong (born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia; 5 August 1963) is a British actor best known for his film roles such as Prince Septimus in Stardust (2007), Archibald in RocknRolla (2008), Lord Henry Blackwood in Sherlock Holmes (2009), Frank D'Amico in Kick-Ass (2010), Jim Prideaux in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Sinestro in Green Lantern (2011), George in Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Major General Stewart Menzies in The Imitation Game (2014), Merlin in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) and Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017), Dr. Thaddeus Sivana in Shazam! (2019) and Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023), and John in Cruella (2021).


Strong was born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia in the Islington district of London on 5 August 1963, the son of an Austrian mother and an Italian father. His father left the family soon after Strong's birth, and Strong was brought up by his mother while she worked as an au pair. He later said, “The home I grew up in was a flat in Myddelton Square in London's Islington, a beautiful Georgian square with a huge church in the middle. We moved around a lot when I was young. 


I remember flats in Walthamstow, Clapton, Stoke Newington, and Edmonton.” He said in 2008 that he was inspired to become an actor by watching French actor Alain Delon, but clarified in 2019 that he did not actually consider acting as a career until he was older.


When Strong was little, his mother legally changed his name to help him fit in with his English peers. He was baptized a Catholic. He attended Wymondham College in Morley, Norfolk, where he sang in two punk bands, the Electric Hoax, and Private Party—the latter's name based on the idea that people wouldn't attend their shows, thinking they were private parties.


 Strong had ambitions to become a lawyer but returned to London after one year of studying German law at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He subsequently studied English and drama at Royal Holloway, University of London before attending the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.


1917 as Captain Smith


John Carter as Matai Shang