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British comedian, Broadway star, and late night television host, James Corden was born in Buckinghamshire on August 22, 1978. He grew up in Hazlemere, a small town near High Wycombe. His mom had a career in social work while his dad was a musician in the Royal Air Force. The family played an active role in the Salvation Army.
"Can I Have Your Attention Please?" is his autobiography where Corden explains his desire to entertain. He wanted people to look at him and smile. At the very young age of four Corden's misbehavior at his younger sister's christening elicited laughter from the congregation. People were looking at him and smiling and that was the beginning of his dream.
Corden started studying acting during an after-school program at the Jackie Palmer Stage School. By the age of seventeen, he had landed the first of many professional parts, in a production of Martin Guerre.
In 2004 Corden was praised for his portrayal of Timms in Alan Bennett’s critically acclaimed play, The History Boys. The role took him to London, on the play’s tour, and on its time on Broadway. He also played Timms in the 2006 film version of the production. During this time Bennett encouraged Corden to begin writing as well as continuing to act.
Corden progressed to bigger appearances on TV shows including Boyz Unlimited, Fat Friends, and Teachers. He wrote and produced the British sitcom Gavin and Stacey which debuted in 2007. These successes were followed by some professional setbacks in 2009. A failed television sketch show followed by the movie, Lesbian Vampire Killers which did poorly at the box office.
These setbacks in Corden's career did not last long. He overcame them with a performance in London and on Broadway with One Man Two Guvnors. This physical comedy uses improvisation, and audience participation. Corden referred to it as a “ridiculously silly” play, but it earned him an Olivier Award and a Tony in 2012. The next year he produced a hit series for Hulu called The Wrong Mans. In 2014, he played parts in Begin Again and Into the Woods.
Corden's first appearance on an American talk show in 2014 when he replaced Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show on CBS. His surprise at being chosen was voiced when he told Variety that CBS had made “a really bold choice.” His first episode of the show included Tom Hanks.
Corden's signature segment, "Carpool Karaoke", won an Emmy in 2016. Once he realized that much of people’s time in LA was spent in the car, he capitalized on it by creating a celebrity karaoke segment. Huge names in the industry have buckled up to talk and sing on the segment including Mariah Carey, Bruno Mars, Madonna, Adele, Britney Spears, and many others. Michelle Obama also made an appearance in the segment during her time as First Lady. Also in 2016, He hosted the 70th Annual Tony Awards.
Since claiming widespread success in the United States, Corden and His wife, Julia, moved to Los Angeles from England. They have two children, Max and Carey.
(By Biopage writers. Photo credit iDominick. Please contact Biopage for any inaccuracy.)
For years, James Corden has been a beloved part of British pop culture. By the time he started his career in America, James had written and co-starred in his own hugely popular TV series. In fact, James' first ever version of "Carpool Karaoke" took place in London in 2011 with my dear friend, the late George Michael. When he began hosting The Late Late Show in 2015, most Americans still had no idea who he was. But it wasn't long before he skyrocketed to fame in the U.S., too. It took just over a year for James' show to be nominated for four Emmy Awards. He then went on to host the Tony Awards and the Grammy Awards. He has also Carpool Karaoke'd with Adele, Lady Gaga, myself and more. James is one of the most hardworking and talented people you will ever meet. But that alone doesn't explain his extraordinary success. Anyone—friends and fans alike—can tell you that James doesn't take himself, or others, too seriously. And that's why he's able to make us laugh, cry and sing—sometimes all at once. His authenticity has allowed him to shape pop culture in an incredible way. We can expect to see more of James in the coming years—and that's a wonderful thing for television, comedy and humanity. (By Elton John, singer and composer and the founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation)