British-born Rupert Everett grew up in privileged circumstances, but the wry, sometimes arrogant intellectual was a rebel from the very beginning. At the age of 7, he was placed into the care of Benedictine monks at Ampleforth College where he trained classically on the piano. He was expelled from the Central School of Speech and Drama in London for clashing with his teachers and instead apprenticed himself at the avant-garde Glasgow Citizen's Theater in Scotland, performing in such productions as `Don Juan' and `Heartbreak House'. In 1984, he successfully transferred another stage role, Another Country (1984), to film, and became England's hottest new international star. But, again, the wickedly sharp and suave rebel doused his own career by clashing with the press and even with his own fans. In 1989, Everett declared openly his own homosexuality -- an announcement that could have mortally wounded his film career. Instead, over time, it has had the opposite effect. His career revitalized as Julia Roberts' gay confidante in My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), and has continued to bloom in such films as Shakespeare in Love (1998) playing Christopher Marlowe, An Ideal Husband (1999) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) as Oberon. In his landmark decision, Rupert has become a living testament disproving the theory that a truly talented and successful romantic leading man cannot survive the career-killing stigma of being openly gay.