Biography - Early life

Gerard Butler was born on 13 November 1969 in Glasgow, Scotland, the youngest of three children of Margaret and Edward Butler, a bookmaker. Of Irish descent, he was brought up in a strict Roman Catholic family. Gerard Butler was raised (along with his older brother Brian and older sister Lynn) in his mother's hometown of Paisley in Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Gerard Butler spent most of the first year of his life in Montreal, Quebec. His mother returned to Scotland with him, from Quebec, when her marriage broke down, when Gerard was aged 18 months. He attended High School in Paisley, rose to position of Prefect (and later Head Boy) at St Mirin's & St Margaret's High School and achieved respectable grades - good enough to win a place at Glasgow University to study law. He also attended Scottish Youth Theatre while a teenager. He did not see his father again until he was 16 years old, when Edward Butler called to meet him at a Glasgow restaurant. After this meeting, Butler cried for hours, and recalled of it later: "That emotion showed me how much pain can sit in this body of yours; pain and sorrow that you don't know you have until it is unleashed."

Gerard Butler became close to his father after this reunion. Around the same time, he also accepted Glasgow University's offer to study law. During his time as a student, he became the President of the Law Society and sang in a rock band called Speed.

While a 22 year old student, his father was diagnosed with cancer and died. This caused Gerard Butler's lifestyle to spiral out of control. He would say of this period in his life: "I had gone from a 16-year-old who couldn't wait to grasp life to a 22-year-old who didn't care if he died in his sleep."

Upon graduation, he won a position as a trainee lawyer at an Edinburgh law firm. However, his lifestyle remained unrestrained and he frequently missed work due to his partying antics. One week before he qualified as a lawyer, he was fired.

At the age of 25, and an unqualified lawyer, Gerard Butler moved to London to pursue his dream of becoming famous. He admitted: "When I started out, I'm not sure I was actually in it for the right reasons. I wanted very much to be famous." Unable to win any acting roles immediately, he was forced to accept blue collar jobs, which included being a waiter, a telemarketer and a demonstrator of how toys work at fairs. Whilst in London, he met an old friend from his teenage days in the Scottish Youth Theatre, who was now a London casting agent. At that time, he was her boyfriend and her assistant. She took him to an audition for Steven Berkoff's play of Coriolanus. The director said of Gerard Butler's audition: "When he read, he had such vigour and enthusiasm - so much that it made the other actors seem limp - that I decided to cast him in the ensemble."

Now aged 27, Gerard Butler had his first professional acting job. Less than a year later, he won a part in a theater adaptation of Trainspotting, which he performed at the Edinburgh Festival. By age 30, Gerard Butler decided to move to Los Angeles to make it in the big league; there he won parts in Dracula 2000, Tomb Raider 2, Dear Frankie, and Phantom of the Opera. The director Vadim Jean said: "I have never seen anybody work so hard to make their career happen."

Despite the early yearnings for fame, Gerard Butler would tell London's Daily Telegraph in a 2009 interview, when aged 39: "I did expect to succeed and I did have faith that I would. In reality, though, it has turned out to be something very different to what I wanted. It's the work and not the adulation that has proved to be the most fulfilling."

  source: Wikipedia