Tributes To Oscar-Winner Christian Bale

Former Dorset student Christian Bale's celebrating winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in boxing film The Fighter.

Will Pike's the Deputy Headmaster of Bournemouth School - which is a grammar school for boys and has more than 900 pupils.

He told Heart it's a fantastic achievement for Christian:

"We are delighted for him, very pleased. I think we're very proud of him. Some of us remember him from when he was here; I taught him and he was doing great things when he was here, Empire of the Sun and things like that. So we've followed his progress over the years and I think we're all pleased and delighted for him to have won an Oscar."

"He was lively, interested, he clearly had an eye on his career at the same time because he had to take time off school to do filming and things like that. But he always played his part, he was good.

"Not all our students are aware that Christian was a student here, it comes as a surprise to some of them. I think a lot of people think of him as American. Many of the older guys realise he was here though, we have an active drama group and people like that will look to him as a lead, an example to follow.

"I think he's been very committed to his  career, he's worked very hard at it and he shows what can be done really. I wish him all the best and look forward to him winning the Best Actor Oscar."

Aside from the odd temper tantrum, Christian Bale has managed a remarkably successful transition from child star to serious adult actor.

From his first lead role at 13 in the harrowing Empire Of The Sun to the lead in Batman, he has spent 24 of his 37 years in the movie spotlight.

Now, the Welsh-born actor has capped his career with an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as a crack-addicted boxing trainer in The Fighter.

For so many others, the pressures of fame squeeze juvenile potential into a tormented adolescence blighted by excess - and dodgy screen roles.

Bale was born in 1974 in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, to a family with fine performing pedigree - his mother was a circus dancer and grandfather a magician.

He shot to fame aged 13 in Empire of the Sun, the Steven Spielberg hit based on JG Ballard's semi-autobiographical account of life as a child in a Second World War Japanese prison camp.

Though he found his initial experience of the limelight tough to cope with - running away from interviews to promote Empire of the Sun - he steered clear of many of the destructive temptations that threaten to send fledgling careers off the rails, and hit the big time again as a slick, brooding 26-year-old in the 2000 screen adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis' cult novel American Psycho.

Subsequent roles won him attention for his remarkable aptitude for accents and his willingness to shed and gain weight for roles - he reportedly lost 63 pounds to play an emaciated insomniac in The Machinist in 2004 - but Bale is very protective of his family life.

Asked in a newspaper interview in 2005 if he would like to have children with his wife Sibi Blazik, Winona Ryder's former assistant whom he married in 2000, Bale replied: "Umm, yeah, at some point.''

His wife gave birth to their daughter just 11 days later.

In 2008 he was arrested and questioned by police over an incident at The Dorchester Hotel in London over an alleged assault following a family row just hours before the premiere of The Dark Knight. No charges were brought.

His short fuse became public knowledge when a recording surfaced in which he harangued a member of the production staff during the making of Terminator Salvation.

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