Received his Third-Class Honours degree in anthropology and archaeology at Selwyn College, Cambridge University.
Bought an all-black Triumph Bonneville motorcycle, a replica of the 1960s British model, in Los Angeles, upon getting the role on House (2004), but he was always an avid motorcyclist, even in England. He enjoys the anonymity the motorcycle helmet gives him.
Attended the Dragon School, a renowned British "public" college preparatory school located in Oxford, England. Also attended by actress Emma Watson and tennis player Tim Henman.
Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), originally wanted him to play Arthur Dent for the film adaptation. A deal was almost in place to have Hugh play Dent, along with Jim Carrey as Zaphod and Jay Roach directing, before Adams' untimely death.
Won the National Junior Championship for rowing (coxed pair) (1977). In the same year, he and his rowing partner represented England in the World Junior Championship for rowing where they finished fourth place.
He lives in a West Hollywood apartment rental while working on House (2004), but flies home to London to be with his family whenever he has a break in filming. He has said that he will move his whole family to America to be with him if the second season looks to be equally successful as the first.
Has played the husband opposite Imelda Staunton's characters in two films: Peter's Friends (1992) and Sense and Sensibility (1995).
His father, William George Ranald Mundell Laurie, and his mother, Patricia (Laidlaw), were both of Scottish descent.
Is the youngest of four children, by six years. He has a brother and two sisters, Charles (who works as a lawyer/shepherd in Scotland), Susan Lassen (who helped found the Save the Children Long Island, NY Volunteer Chapter, and was a member of Save the Children's Board of Trustees), and Janet.
His father won an Olympic gold medal for coxless pairs in the 1948 Games in London. Hugh also had a promising career as an oarsman, but he was forced to give it up while at Cambridge when he contracted glandular fever (mononucleosis). His brother was also an oarsman.
Is an accomplished piano player.
Entered the 1980 Silver Goblets and Nicklass Cup with his Eton rowing partner J.S. Palmer at the Henley Royal Regatta, becoming the only British crew to reach the final that year. They finished in second place behind the favored American crew.
He was first cast in the role of Perry White in Superman Returns (2006). However, the popularity of his television series House (2004) caused schedule conflicts. Frank Langella was then cast.
Auditioned for the role of Arnold Rimmer in Red Dwarf (1988). Others to audition for the role were Norman Lovett, Lee Cornes, Alfred Molina, Alan Rickman and Craig Ferguson. The role went to Chris Barrie.
He was a house captain (senior prefect) in his last year at Eton College. He also played percussion for the school's orchestra and was a "wet bob" - a member of Eton's prestigious rowing team.
He received his first motorcycle when he was 16 as a present from his father. The same year he owned his first guitar, a Yamaha.
Although his first name is James, he has never been called that. His third name, Calum, is the short form of 'Mael Calum', which translates from Gaidhlig (Scots Gaelic) to Scottish and English as 'Malcolm'. (The Gaeilge or Irish Gaelic form is 'Maol Colm', or 'Colm' in short form). His brother's full name is Charles Alexander Lyon Mundell Laurie.
He took up diving.
Is a huge fan of Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen.
He was a member of Cambridge Footlights throughout his university years, serving as a writer and cast member for two years (1978-1980) and president during his last year (1980-1981). Emma Thompson was the vice president.
Is a member of the Leander Club, one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world. His father once served as the club's president.
His son William Laurie auditioned for a role in a Harry Potter film but was told he was too young.
His daughter Rebecca Laurie starred in the film Wit (2001) as Emma Thompson's character aged five.
Plays keyboard in the celebrity band, "Band From TV", with Greg Grunberg of Heroes (2006), Alias (2001) and Felicity (1998), James Denton of Desperate Housewives (2004), Bob Guiney of The Bachelor (2002), Jesse Spencer of House (2004), and other special guests.
Plays keyboard in the band, "Poor White Thrash", with Lenny Henry, Shade Adejumo, Kate McKenzie, Sophie Elton (wife of Ben Elton), Ken Bowley, Andy Gangadeen, John Thirkell and Phil Smith.
Has three children: Charles Laurie (Charles Archibald Laurie, born November 1988), William Laurie (William Albert Laurie, born January 1991), and Rebecca Laurie (Rebecca Augusta Laurie, born September 10, 1993).
Directed some scenes of his film Maybe Baby (2000) when Ben Elton had to go to hospital for the birth of his children.
He was a member of the Cambridge Footlights Revue and in 1981, along with Stephen Fry, Tony Slattery, Emma Thompson, Penny Dwyer and Paul Shearer, he became the winner of the first ever Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Stephen Fry is godfather of his three children.
Is a published author. His novel, "The Gun Seller", was released in 1996. A follow-up novel, "The Paper Soldier" (UK title: "Paper Soldiers"), is forthcoming.
He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2007 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to drama.
Very good friends with House (2004) co-star Robert Sean Leonard.
Great-great-nephew of George Alexander.
When Bryan Singer cast Laurie as Gregory House on House (2004), he was unaware that Laurie is British.
In the 1980s, he shared a house in London with Stephen Fry. They needed some plastering done. The plasterers turned out to be Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, who were inspired by Fry and Laurie to have a go at comedy.
Longtime best friend Stephen Fry served as best man at Laurie's marriage to Joanne Green (1989).
Stated on a British chat show that he doesn't like doing plays; he said that in the only play he'd ever done (Gasping, by Ben Elton), he "felt like [he] was going out of [his] mind", and that he had out of body experiences on stage. He also stated it was something he would never do again.
Is a huge fan of the Fulham Football Club (English soccer club). Fellow fans include Elizabeth Hurley, Lily Allen, Pierce Brosnan, Hugh Grant, Benicio Del Toro, Daniel Radcliffe, Andrew Johnston and the late Michael Jackson.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records (2012), Laurie is the most watched leading man on television due to the worldwide viewership of House (2004). Laurie is also the highest paid television actor, earning a reported $400K per episode as Dr. House (2011).
He sings and plays piano, guitar, drums, harmonica and saxophone.
He was one of the highest-paid actors in a television drama, earning $409,000 per episode on House (2004).
He was listed in the 2011 Guinness World Records as the most watched leading man on television.
Has used his considerable musical talents to release two blues albums: "Let Them Talk" (2011) and "Didn't it Rain" (2013). The tracks consist of covers of songs from famous blues artists with Laurie being a huge blues fan. Laurie sang and performed both piano and guitar on both with his band who are known as The Copper Bottom Band. Both were released to favourable reviews and were some of the highest selling blues albums of their respective years.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6172 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 25, 2016.
While he worked on "Flight of the Phoenix", Jacob Vargas operated the camera to shoot Laurie's audition tape for House.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2018 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to Drama. He is an actor in London, England.
Microwaved to Death as "House" on a Halloween Simpsons Episode.