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Sam Riley (born 8 January 1980) is an English actor, best known for playing the lead role of Ian Curtis in the movie Control, a biopic about the lead singer of the 1970s post-punk band Joy Division. His performance in the role won him the British Independent Film Award for "Most Promising Newcomer". He also won a Kermode for Best Actor 2007 for the film
At one point in the film, after Curtis suffers from an epileptic fit, the actor portraying Joy Division's manager Rob Gretton (Toby Kebbell) comments to him "At least you're not the lead singer in The Fall". Sam Riley had played Mark E. Smith, lead singer of The Fall, in the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People, but didn't make it into the final cut.
For a few years he was the lead singer of the Leeds band 10,000 Things, with whom he achieved moderate success. In September 2007, Riley was cast in Gerald McMorrow's British science fiction film Franklyn. He will play a lead role in 13, an English-language remake of the French thriller 13 Tzameti.
Riley was born in Leeds, and worked in a warehouse job. He currently lives in Berlin with his fiancé co-star Alexandra Maria Lara.
Sam was educated at Uppingham School, a public school in Rutland from 1993 - 1998.
He is also featured in the Fall/Winter '08 advertisement campaign for the English high fashion house Burberry.