Is Crispin Bonham Carter Related to Helena? The Truth Behind the Family Ties

Crispin Bonham Carter is an English actor, theatre director, and educator who is best known for his role as Mr. Bingley in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. He is also a member of the Bonham Carter family, a prominent British political dynasty. But is he related to Helena Bonham Carter, the famous actress who has starred in films such as The King’s Speech, Harry Potter, and Sweeney Todd? The answer is yes, but not very closely.

The Bonham Carter Family Tree

According to Wikipedia, Crispin Bonham Carter is the son of Peter Bonham Carter and Clodagh Greenwood, and the grandson of Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Bonham Carter. He is a third cousin once removed of Helena Bonham Carter and her brother Edward. The first ancestors that Crispin and Helena have in common are John Bonham Carter (1788-1838) and his wife Joanna Maria Smith (1791-1884), who were great-great-great-grandparents of Crispin and great-great-grandparents of Helena.

The Bonham Carter family has a long history of involvement in British politics, business, and culture. Some of the notable members include:

  • John Bonham Carter (1817-1884), a Liberal politician and reformer who was the son of John and Joanna.
  • Henry Bonham Carter (1838-1921), a banker and philanthropist who was the grandson of John and Joanna.
  • Violet Bonham Carter (1887-1969), a Liberal politician and writer who was the daughter of Henry.
  • Mark Bonham Carter (1922-1994), a Liberal politician and publisher who was the son of Violet.
  • Raymond Bonham Carter (1929-2004), a banker and the father of Helena and Edward.
  • Jane Bonham Carter (1957- ), a Liberal Democrat politician and life peer who is the daughter of Mark.

The Acting Connection

Crispin Bonham Carter is not the only actor in his family. His third cousin Helena Bonham Carter is one of the most acclaimed and versatile actresses of her generation, having won multiple awards and nominations for her performances in various genres. She is also known for her collaborations with director Tim Burton, whom she dated from 2001 to 2014.

Interestingly, Crispin and Helena have worked together in one film: Howards End (1992), a period drama based on the novel by E.M. Forster. Crispin played Albert Fussell, a minor character who was engaged to Helen Schlegel (Helena). However, they did not share any scenes together.

Crispin has also appeared in other films and TV shows, such as Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Casino Royale (2006), Absolutely Fabulous (2001), and ER (2002). He has also directed several theatre productions, such as The Importance of Being Earnest (2010) and The Tempest (2013).

The Teaching Career

In 2007, Crispin decided to change his career path and train as a teacher. He then worked for 10 years as an English and Classics teacher at Alexandra Park School, a comprehensive secondary school in north London. According to IMDb, he was inspired by his work directing young actors at LAMDA, the Guildhall, and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

In 2019, he was appointed as an Assistant Head at Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet, a grammar school for boys. He described it as his “dream job” in an interview with The Times.

Crispin is married to Katherine Julian Dawnay, with whom he has four sons: Arthur, Christopher, Stanley, and Frank. He lives in London with his family.


Crispin Bonham Carter is related to Helena Bonham Carter, but they are not very close cousins. They both belong to the same illustrious family that has contributed to British society in various fields. They both have also pursued careers in acting, but have different styles and preferences. Crispin has also become a teacher and an educator, while Helena continues to dazzle audiences with her performances. They are both talented and successful individuals who share a common heritage.

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