See the actor's rise to fame

Before becoming world-famous as Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch is born in London on 19 July 1976.

He’s the only son of actors Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham – who played Cassandra’s mum in Only Fools And Horses.

His grandmother pays for him to go to posh boarding school Harrow, where he’s surrounded by the sons of princes, peers and millionaires.

Benedict tries everything from paragliding to school plays but his parents discourage him from drama.

‘They kept saying: “Look at how out of control our lifestyle is, how money’s a huge ebb and flow,”‘ says Benedict.

Benedict teaches English at a Tibetan monastery for a year after leaving school and thinks about becoming a barrister.

However, he decides his heart is still set on acting and studies drama at Manchester University

While studying, Benedict meets long-term girlfriend Olivia Poulet. But they end their 12-year relationship in 2011.

After a year at drama school in London, Benedict is in demand.

In 2004, he earns a BAFTA Best Actor nomination for playing wheelchair-bound physicist Stephen Hawking.

He stars alongside Dominic Cooper and James McAvoy in 2006 flick Starter For 10 and shares a sex scene with Scarlett Johansson in 2008’s The Other Boleyn Girl.

His career reaches a new level in 2010 when he bags the lead in BBC show Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch has made it.

But away from his part as detective Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t always have an easy ride in acting.

In 2004, he’s accosted by 6 armed carjackers while filming BBC drama To The Ends Of The Earth in South Africa.

He endures a frightening near-death experience on the set of his 2012 TV drama Parade’s End in Belgium.

‘We were filming this dream sequence which involved an explosion,’ he says.

‘It just went off in my face. I was engulfed in flames.’

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