Clive Owen was born on 3 October 1964 in Keresley, Coventry (then in Warwickshire), the fourth of five sons born to Pamela (née Cotton) and Jess Owen. His father, a country and western singer, left the family when Owen was three years old, and despite a brief reconciliation when Owen was 19, the two have remained estranged. Raised by his mother and stepfather, a railway ticket clerk, he has described his childhood as "rough". While initially opposed to drama school, he changed his mind in 1984, after a long and fruitless period of searching for work. Owen graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After graduation, he worked at the Young Vic, performing in several Shakespearean plays.