Walkden, England, native David Bamber nearly avoided the proscenium altogether, with early plans to enter a training program for special education instructors. At the last yawning moment, however, Bamber decided to jump ship and head into acting, courtesy of the dramatic arts program at Bristol University and -- later -- a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). As a student, the thespian distinguished himself from many of his colleagues by acquiring a marked preference for contemporary material over classicist plays. As a stage actor, Bamber (though openly heterosexual, with a wife and children) sustained a particularly fine reputation for convincing portrayals of (often repressed) gay characters in such plays as My Night with Reg and Pride and Prejudice. He also gained recognition for comic physicality deemed brilliant by many critics. In terms of on-camera work, Bamber's work (somewhat ironically) has leaned more toward period material than his stage efforts. Following an appearance in the all-star British seriocomedy Privates on Parade (1982), he signed for roles in such projects as the made-for-television outings The Merchant of Venice (2001) and Pollyanna (2002), and the HBO miniseries Rome (2005) as Marcus Tillius Cicero. In 2008, Bamber joined co-stars Tom Cruise, Tom Wilkinson, Kenneth Branagh, and others for the Cruise-produced Hitler assassination thriller Valkyrie with a frightening turn as Adolf Hitler.