Great British TV Actors

by sje0211 | created - 24 Jun 2014 | updated - 23 Dec 2016 | Public

1. John Simm

Actor | Life on Mars

John Simm was born on 10 July 1970 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and grew up in Nelson, Lancashire. He attended Edge End High School, Nelson, Lancashire, followed by Blackpool Drama College at 16 and the Drama Centre, London, at 19. He lives with his wife, actress Kate Magowan, and their children Ryan ...

2. Marc Warren

Actor | Wanted

Marc Warren was born on March 20, 1967 in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England. He is an actor, known for Wanted (2008), Green Street Hooligans (2005) and Band of Brothers (2001).

3. Matthew Macfadyen

Actor | Pride & Prejudice

David Matthew Macfadyen was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, to Meinir (Owen), a drama teacher and actress, and Martin Macfadyen, an oil executive. He is of Scottish and Welsh descent. Because of his father's career, he spent at least part of his childhood in Indonesia, before finishing his ...

4. Rupert Penry-Jones

Actor | The Four Feathers

Rupert Penry-Jones was born on September 22, 1970 in London, England as Rupert William Penry-Jones. He is an actor, known for The Four Feathers (2002), MI-5 (2002) and Persuasion (2007). He has been married to Dervla Kirwan since August 2007. They have two children.

5. Andrew Lee Potts

Actor | Band of Brothers

Andrew was born on 29 October 1979 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, UK to dad Alan and mum Susan. He has a sister, Sarah-Jane, who is also an actor. He studied at Leeds Performing Arts School and started out in musical theatre. He is now a veteran TV actor and has been in a catalogue of all ...

6. Philip Glenister

Actor | Ashes to Ashes

Philip Glenister was born on February 10, 1963 in London, England. He is an actor, known for Ashes to Ashes (2008), Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and Life on Mars (2006). He has been married to Beth Goddard since 2006. They have two children.

7. Robert Glenister

Actor | Live by Night

Robert Glenister (born 11 March 1960) is a popular British actor probably best known, amongst other roles, as con-man Ash "Three Socks" Morgan in the hit British TV series Hustle (2004).

His impressive career has spanned nearly three decades, and he has starred in several hit British television ...

8. Jim Broadbent

Actor | Moulin Rouge!

One of England's most versatile character actors, Jim Broadbent was born on May 24, 1949, in Lincolnshire, the youngest son of furniture maker Roy Laverick Broadbent and sculptress Doreen "Dee" (Findlay) Broadbent. Jim attended a Quaker boarding school in Reading before successfully applying for a ...

9. Sarah Lancashire

Actress | Happy Valley

Sarah Lancashire was born on October 4, 1964 in Oldham, Lancashire, England as Sarah-Jane Abigail Lancashire. She is an actress and director, known for Happy Valley (2014), Seeing Red (2000) and Clocking Off (2000). She has been married to Peter Salmon since August 22, 2001. They have one child. ...

10. Maxine Peake

Actress | The Theory of Everything

Maxine Peake is an English stage, radio, film and television actress, who made her name as Twinkle in Victoria Wood's sitcom Dinnerladies. She has since played Veronica in Channel 4's Manchester-based drama series Shameless, barrister Martha Costello in the BBC legal drama Silk and Grace Middleton ...

11. Matthew McNulty

Actor | The Syndicate

Matthew McNulty was born on December 14, 1982 in Manchester, England as Michael Anthony McNulty. He is an actor, known for The Syndicate (2012), Misfits (2009) and The Musketeers (2014).

12. Ben Daniels

Actor | The Exorcist

Ben Daniels is a multi-award winning performer who is equally at home whether working in Film, Television or Theatre. He was born in the Midlands and became interested in acting through drama lessons while at comprehensive school. He began his career after leaving London's prestigious LAMDA drama ...

13. Mark Addy

Actor | The Full Monty

Mark Addy was born on January 14, 1964 in York, England as Mark Addy Johnson. He is an actor, known for The Full Monty (1997), A Knight's Tale (2001) and Robin Hood (2010). He has been married to Kelly Johnson since 1996. They have three children.

14. Ray Winstone

Actor | The Departed

Ray Winstone was born on February 19, 1957, in Hackney Hospital in London, England, to Margaret (Richardson) and Raymond J. Winstone. He moved to Enfield, at age seven, where his parents had a fruit and vegetable business. He started boxing at the age of twelve at the famous Repton Amateur Boxing ...

15. Brenda Blethyn

Actress | Pride & Prejudice

After twenty years of hard work on stage and both television and film, there are not many other actresses who deserved the success, recognition and stardom which Brenda Blethyn has now achieved.

Born in 1946 in Ramsgate, Kent, England, she started her career at British Rail in the 1960s. Saving ...

16. Hugo Speer

Actor | The Full Monty

Hugo Speer was born in 1969 in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. He is an actor and director, known for The Full Monty (1997), The Interpreter (2005) and Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013). He has been married to Vivienne Harvey since February 19, 2015.

17. Sarah Parish

Actress | The Wedding Date

Sarah Parish was born on June 7, 1968 in Yeovil, Somerset, England. She is an actress, known for The Wedding Date (2005), The Holiday (2006) and Blackpool (2004). She has been married to James Murray since December 15, 2007. They have two children.

18. Phil Davis

Actor | Vera Drake

Phil Davis was born on July 30, 1953 in Grays, Essex, England. He is an actor and director, known for Vera Drake (2004), Bleak House (2005) and Alien³ (1992). He has been married to Eve Matheson since 2002. They have one child.

19. Rufus Sewell

Actor | Dark City

Rufus Sewell was born on the 29th of October 1967 in Twickenham, England. His mother, Jo, was Welsh, and was an artist and painter. His father, Bill, was an Australian animator who died when Rufus was 10. He has one brother, Caspar. He attended London's Central School of Speech and Drama and left ...

20. Hermione Norris

Actress | Spooks

Hermione Norris was born in February 1967 in Paddington, London, England as Hermione Jane Norris. She is an actress, known for MI-5 (2002), Cold Feet (1997) and Wire in the Blood (2002). She has been married to Simon Wheeler since December 2002. They have two children.

21. James D'Arcy

Actor | Cloud Atlas

James D'Arcy was born Simon Richard D'Arcy in London, England, to Caroline (O'Connor) and Richard D'Arcy. He was raised by his mother, a nurse. He trained at LAMDA and graduated in July 1995. During his three-year course, he gained acting experience by appearing in the plays "Heracles", "As You ...

22. David Harewood

Actor | Blood Diamond

David Harewood was born on December 8, 1965 in Birmingham, England. He is an actor, known for Blood Diamond (2006), The Merchant of Venice (2004) and Homeland (2011). He has been married to Kirsty Handy since February 26, 2013. They have two children.

23. Suranne Jones

Actress | Scott & Bailey

Suranne Jones was born on August 27, 1978 in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England as Sarah Anne Jones. She is an actress and writer, known for Scott & Bailey (2011), Doctor Foster (2015) and Coronation Street (1960). She has been married to Laurence Akers since August 4, 2015. They have one ...

24. Stephen Tompkinson

Actor | Drop the Dead Donkey

Stephen Tompkinson was born in Stockton-on-Tees in October 1965. His Grand-dad (who Stephen describes as "a comic genius") inspired him to take up acting and he attended the Central Drama School, which he left at the age of 23. He has rarely been out of work since and has worked on the stage, on ...

25. Richard Armitage

Actor | The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Richard Crispin Armitage was born and raised in Leicester, England, to Margaret (Hendey), a secretary, and John Armitage, an engineer. He attended Pattison College in Binley Road, Coventry, and studied at LAMDA (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). His first appearance on the screen was ...

26. Mark Benton

Actor | Career Girls

Mark Benton was born on November 16, 1965 in Guisborough, Cleveland, England. He is an actor, known for Career Girls (1997), The Second Coming (2003) and Early Doors (2003). He has been married to Sarah Gardner since 2002. They have three children.

27. Kevin McNally

Actor | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Kevin McNally was born on April 27, 1956, in Bristol, England. He grew up in Birmingham where he attended Redhill and Mapledene Junior schools and Central Grammar School for Boys. At the age of 16, he got his first job at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. A year later he received a scholarship to the ...

28. Idris Elba

Actor | Beasts of No Nation

An only child, Idrissa Akuna Elba was born and raised in London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at Ford Dagenham; his mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting, before he dropped...

29. Aidan Gillen

Actor | Game of Thrones

Aidan Gillen is an Irish actor. He is best known for portraying Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011), CIA operative Bill Wilson in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 series Queer as Folk (2000), John Boy in the RTÉ Television series ...

30. Bill Paterson

Actor | How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

Bill Paterson was born on June 3, 1945 in Glasgow, Scotland. He is an actor and writer, known for How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008), The Witches (1990) and Miss Potter (2006). He is married to Hildegard Bechtler. They have two children.

31. Harriet Walter

Actress | Sense and Sensibility

Harriet Walter was born on September 24, 1950 in London, England as Harriet Mary Walter. She is an actress, known for Sense and Sensibility (1995), The Young Victoria (2009) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). She has been married to Guy Paul since May 21, 2011.

32. Martin Freeman

Actor | The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Martin Freeman is an English actor, best known for portraying Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film trilogy, Tim Canterbury in the original UK version of sitcom mockumentary The Office (2001), Dr. John Watson in the British crime drama Sherlock (2010) and Lester Nygaard in the dark ...

33. Andrew Lincoln

Actor | The Walking Dead

Andrew Lincoln is a British actor. Lincoln spent his early childhood in Hull, Yorkshire before his family relocated to Bath, Somerset when he was age 10. He was educated at Beechen Cliff School in Bath, and then the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. His father is a civil engineer...

34. Colin Firth

Actor | A Single Man

Colin Andrew Firth was born into an academic family in Grayshott, Hampshire, England. His mother, Shirley Jean (Rolles), was a comparative religion lecturer at the Open University, and his father, David Norman Lewis Firth, lectured on history at Winchester University College (formerly King Alfred's...

35. Tom Hardy

Actor | Inception

With his breakthrough performance as Eames in Christopher Nolan's science fiction thriller Inception (2010), English actor Tom Hardy has been brought to the attention of mainstream audiences worldwide. However, the versatile actor has been steadily working on both stage and screen since his ...

36. Aidan Turner

Actor | The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Aidan Turner was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1983. After graduating from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2004, Aidan appeared in a number of stage productions, many with Ireland's national theatre, The Abbey. Such productions included The Plough & The Stars, Romeo & Juliet and A Cry from Heaven. In ...