Christian began acting work in TV commercials as a young boy. His first screen role came when he was all of 13. Serious and shy, and having received a bit too much attention from the role, the young actor contemplated giving up acting altogether. But in a legendary meeting with Kenneth Branaugh, he was later persuaded to appear in that actor's film production of Henry V in 1989.
From then on, Bale was kept busy in various teen roles in Hollywood films and TV shows, among them two Disney releases – Newsies and Swing Kids. A year later, he was cast opposite Winona Ryder in the film adaptation of Little Women and in several other movie appearances, including the 1999 film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Batman Begins and The Dark Knight
An even larger fan base of "Baleheads" was to grow as the actor, having just completed filming of The Machinist, was cast as Batman in the new Christopher Nolan-directed film series.
The role required a now emaciated Bale to quickly bulk up for the lead role in Batman Begins, which earned him wide critical praise for his dual portrayal as Bruce Wayne/Batman - and for which he received a "Best Hero" award a year later from a young movie-going public at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards. Bale also provided the voice of Batman for the equally successful video game based on the film.
Following the success of Batman Begins, Bale returned to smaller, independent films such as the critically praised Harsh Times in 2006, and in a secondary role in The New World starring Colin Farrell, along with lead roles in Rescue Dawn and The Prestige starring with Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson.
Bale next appeared in the highly-anticipated sequal in the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight, co-starring Heath Ledger as The Joker, released on July 18, 2008.
Coming up, he will also star as John Connor in the next installment in the Terminator franchise Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins slated for May 2009 release.