Stephen Graham's top ten performances as he receives OBE to honour incredible acting career
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After more than three decades in the business, Liverpudlian actor Stephen Graham has been honoured with an OBE.
The 49-year-old celebrated the news today (21 April) with a picture of him grinning and holding the prestigious award, which is given to those who have played a major role in an activity and whose work has made them known nationally.
Graham dedicated the OBE to his late mother, writing: "For you mum…. And to all those kids that are told to “get a proper job” this is for you too."
While Graham might not have followed the advice to 'get a proper job' in his younger years, his determination paid off as he became a very real - and very successful - actor.
In celebration of all his hard work paying off, let's take a look back at some of his best roles.
10. Rocketman (2019)
Starring alongside Taron Egerton, Graham appeared in the Elton John biopic as the singer's publisher, Dick James.
Graham portrayed the man who arguably helped John get off the ground as he signed him and Bernie Taupin to his music publishing company - perhaps a small role in the film, but a big deal in real life.
9. Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical (2022)
A divergence from Graham's many gritty roles, we now have the all-singing, all-dancing Matilda the Musical, which delighted many fans when it was released in cinemas last year.
It's one of the most family-friendly of Graham's performances, though the actor admittedly doesn't take on the most favourable role as he stars as Matilda's father, Mr. Wormwood.
8. Peaky Blinders (2022)
Graham might only have appeared in a couple of episodes of the hit period drama, but the love of the show and for Graham meant fans were excited to see him pop up.
The actor looked right at home as he took on the role of Hayden Stagg, a docker and union man, in two episodes of the BBC drama last year.
7. The North Water (2021)
Showing off his talents once again on the small screen, Graham appeared in the TV series The North Water alongside Jack O'Connell in 2021.
The Liverpudlian appeared as Captain Brownlee; captain of the whaling ship which Patrick Sumner (O'Connell) joined in 1859.
6. Taboo (2017)
Graham was hardly recognisable as he appeared alongside another big name in the BBC series Taboo, starring Tom Hardy.
He featured in all but one episode of the series as Atticus; a character who didn't stray too far from Graham's Pirates of the Caribbean days (no, they don't make the cut for this list, but they do exist) as he was a former sailor.
The character was bald and covered in tattoos, including two on his head, leaving fans seriously impressed at his new look.
5. The Irishman (2019)
Hailed as a huge success following its release in 2019, The Irishman saw Graham join the likes of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino on the big screen.
Graham played Anthony 'Tony Pro' Provenzano in the crime movie; embodying the real gangster who was a member of the Genovese crime family.
4. Snatch (2000)
We've another crime movie coming in at number four, though this one is less grit, more laughs.
Graham took on the character of Tommy - friend and business partner to Jason Statham's character, Turkish, and a man who was all too desperate for people to think he was named after a gun.
In reality, Tommy was named after a famous nineteenth century ballet dancer.
Not quite as terrifying, but thoughtful all the same.
3. Boiling Point (2021)
Into the top three we have the 2021 film Boiling Point, which saw Graham take the starring role.
The actor portrayed chef Andy Jones as he fought with the endless pressure of managing a kitchen, and his performance proved convincing enough that it earned the film a British Independent Film Award for Best Casting.
Last year, it was announced that a new five-part series based the film would be coming to BBC.
2. This Is England (2006)
It's the one you've been waiting for.
All the way back in 2006, Graham took on the role of Combo in the indie film, which earned the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film.
The actor has previously admitted he 'lost himself' and turned to alcohol to cope with taking on the violent role of the racist thug, but Graham still returned to the franchise multiple times in the following years for This Is England '86, '88 and '90.
1. Boardwalk Empire (2010)
And here we are.
In first place, it's no surprise to see the critically acclaimed HBO series Boardwalk Empire, in which Graham portrayed a young Al Capone.
Graham's performance seriously impressed fans and showed off his ability to play a hot-headed young gangster, with the series itself being nominated for numerous awards.
So there we have it. With all those performances under his belt, it's no surprise Graham is earned himself an OBE. Very well deserved!