He was born in Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk. He ran away to London aged 16 to become an actor, and worked as a rent boy to support himself. He studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama but was dismissed for insubordination, and then got a job at the Citizens' Theatre in Glasgow.
In 1989 Everett moved to Paris, where he wrote the novel Hello, Darling, Are You Working? and came out as gay, which he later said may have damaged his career.
In 2006 he revealed in his memoir ''Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins that he had had a six-year affair with the television presenter Paula Yates. However he has described himself as homosexual rather than bisexual. "I was basically adventurous, I think I wanted to try everything."
In 2012 he starred as Oscar Wilde in David Hare's play The Judas Kiss.
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/3577920/The-ascent-of-Everett.html Nigel Farndale "The ascent of Everett", Daily Telegraph 22 May 2002
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/nov/29/rupert-everett-madonna-carole-cadwalladr Guardian article. 29 November 2009. "I wouldn't advise any actor thinking of his career to come out."
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/3655414/Rupert---unleashed-and-unloved.html Jan "Rupert unleashed and unloved" Telegraph 2 October 2006
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5352284.stm "Ross apologises for swearing star." BBC News