|Distinctions||stage and screen actor|
Spall was born in King's College Hospital, Camberwell, London, England, and is the son of actor Timothy Spall and his wife Shane Spall, the second of three children. Unlike his two sisters who are a primary school teacher and a textile designer respectively, Spall followed in his father's footsteps. Named after the protagonist in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, a role his father played in the Royal Shakespeare Company and he would later play himself, Rafe always had ambitions to act. Having done badly at his school Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College, he left to become an actor having joined the National Youth Theatre but after failing to get into his chosen drama schools he began his career at the bottom.