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Ivan Blakeley Kaye (born 1 July 1961 in Northampton,[1] Northamptonshire) is an English film, television and theatre actor and producer. After playing roles in national productions like Bryan in the comedy series The Green Green Grass,[2] his international fame came with roles in historical drama shows like the Duke of Milan in all three Seasons of The Borgias,[3] and King Aelle in the first four Seasons of History channel's series Vikings.[4] More recent projects include action thriller Gunpowder Milkshake and the series pilot for Amazon's adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower.

Ivan Kaye
Ivan Kaye- 6-2013- 2013-06-06 17-38.jpg
Ivan Kaye, June 2013
Born
Ivan Blakeley Kaye

(1961-07-01) 1 July 1961 (age 58)
Northampton, England
Nationality United Kingdom
OccupationActor, Producer
Years active1987–present
Height6'4 (1,93 m)
Children2

Early LifeEdit

Ivan Kaye was born on 1 July 1961 in Northampton, Northamptonshire. His passion for entertainment started in early childhood when he recreated television adverts at age two and performed shows with his friends throughout his childhood. As an eight-year-old boy, a key experience strengthened his enthusiasm and he joined a youth theatre group at age eleven, taking over organizational duties some years later.[5]

As his parents were social workers who moved frequently, Ivan Kaye attended thirteen different senior schools and experienced bullying along the way. It was in a school fight that he got his nose broken.[6] While earning his degree on the insistence of his parents, he performed in as many student plays as possible and started his professional career right afterward,[7] making his first West End theatre appearance early on (see below Theatre).

Hence Ivan Kaye had a successful theatre career already before starting his television work in his thirties. He decided to leave the theatre and turn to television in order to be able to spend time with his children while they were growing up because theatre performances in the evenings would have meant that he would not have been at home when they returned from school and university.[8]

CareerEdit

Ivan Kaye made his theatre debut in 1980 at Sadler's Wells Theatre (London) as Willie Wonka in a stage version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.[9] More theatre roles followed throughout the 1980s and 1990s, e.g. at the Royal National Theatre and the Piccadilly Theatre (The Rocky Horror Show).[10][11]

In 1990, he started his television career by guest starring in the crime shows The Paradise Club and The Bill.[12][13] In 1992 he played the leading part Sam Sterne in ITV's crime show Sam Saturday.[14][15] Since then he has played almost 50 roles in television and, from 2004, in movies (Layer Cake, Control).[16][17]

Ivan Kaye's roles in recent international productions include drug baron Polo Yakur in Assassination Games (2011), the Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza in The Borgias (2011-2013), Joshua Collins, father of the main character Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) in Dark Shadows (2012), famous Viking warrior Ivar the Boneless in Hammer of the Gods (2013), pub landlord Mick Sturrock in BBC One's crime show The Coroner (2015-2016) and the Saxon King Aelle of Northumbria in History channel's period drama Vikings (2013-2017).[18][19]

Aside from his villain roles as cold-blooded Polo Yakur (a "stand-out performance"[20]) and unscrupulous Duke Ludovico it is mainly his portrayal of King Aelle - in Vikings the deadly enemy and nemesis of the legendary hero of the show Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) - that has recently shaped Ivan Kaye's international profile. In his Twitter bio he describes himself as "Villain for Hire".[21] His performances in the second part of Season 4 of Vikings have been met with increased interest[22] as his character King Aelle is of pivotal importance in the scenes of Ragnar's death and at the centre of attention during his own execution through the blood eagle torture inflicted by Ragnar's sons in revenge for the death of their father.[23] In an interview on his character King Aelle in September 2017 Ivan Kaye has contested the assessment of this antagonist as a villain[24] - an assessment that had already been subject to disputes between parts of the audience.

Earlier internationally known roles include Reuben Starkadder in the television film Cold Comfort Farm (1995) and Adonija in the German-Italian-French co-production Solomon (1997).[25][26] Mainly in the United Kingdom Ivan Kaye is also known for his characters Dr. Jonathan Leroy in 27 episodes of the soap opera EastEnders in 2003-2004 and the herdsman Bryan in all of the episodes of the 4 Series television sitcom The Green Green Grass (2005-2009).[27][28]

As a versatile actor and voice artist Ivan Kaye has performed in three short films[29][30][31] and lent his voice to characters in several video games like Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (2003) and Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011)[32][33] as well as starring as a main character in comedy episodes produced by his own and Douglas McFerran's production company Comedy Ink Productions.[34][35][36] From October 2017 to January 2018 he returned to the stage in the role of Tom Kettle in Jez Butterworth's play The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre in London's West End.[37][38]

In April/May 2018 Ivan Kaye came back to the small screen in the UK in his role as Pesca in the five part mini-series The Woman in White, a new BBC adaptation of Wilkie Collins' classic Gothic novel.[39] A sneak peek review of British independent feature film For Love or Money: An Unromantic Comedy (released in the US since 15 March 2019) has emphasized his outstanding performance as the father of the main female character.[40]

Ivan Kaye's most important recent projects are Amazon's pilot for an adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower book series, starting with a prequel about the main character's youth based on book 4 Wizard and Glass[41] and Navot Papushado's new action thriller Gunpowder Milkshake. The former has started filming in Split on 13th May 2019,[42] the latter finished filming in August 2019 in Berlin.

PersonEdit

On social media Ivan Kaye interacts directly with his followers. He can be reached personally through his Twitter account and his Facebook fan page. Aside from his native language English he also has knowledge in French and Spanish.[43] As indicated by his first name he has Russian ancestry.[44][45] Ivan Kaye has two grown-up daughters and lives in London.[46]

By supporting the Hounslow Urban Farm and the animal home The Mayhew Ivan Kaye stands up for the protection of animals and the environment.[47][48] He also supports the campaign "Justice for Andrew Jones" which aims at bringing the killers of a teenager to court who was killed in 2003 in Liverpool on the street.[49]

FilmographyEdit

Title Role Year
The Paradise Club Arthur Burns 1990
The Bill Alan Wilcock/David Collier/Watkins 1991–2010
Sam Saturday DI Sam Saturday 1992
Men of the World John 1994
Cold Comfort Farm Reuben Starkadder 1995
Casualty Guy/Simon Webster 1995–2001
Bugs General Maliq 1996
Solomon Adonijah 1997
Faith in the Future Mark 1998
Microsoap Roger 1998–2000
A Dinner of Herbs Dan Bannaman 2000
Metropolis Hector 2000
Sunburn Kidnapper 2000
The Peter Principle Paulo 2000
The Armando Iannucci Shows 2000
Bad Girls Charlie Atkins 2000–2001
Dinotopia Catrone 2002
Lenny Blue DI Featherstone 2002
Trial & Retribution VI Bob Brickman 2002
London's Burning Jimmy Watts 2002
The Eustace Bros. Dennis Walton 2003
Inside the Mind of Paul Gascoigne Narrator 2005
EastEnders Dr. Jonathan Leroy 2004
Layer Cake Freddie Hurst 2004
Control Norton 2004
Self Portrait Burton 2005
The Green Green Grass Bryan 2005–2009
Holby City Jimmy Furnival 2008
Chief Chief 2011
Injustice DS Harry Bowman 2011
The Borgias Duke of Milan 2011–2013
Assassination Games Polo Yakur 2011
Tortoise in Love Sean 2012
Dark Shadows Joshua Collins 2012
Vikings King Aelle of Northumbria 2013–2017
Hammer of the Gods Ivar 2013
Top Hat The Gentleman 2013
Undercover Garabed 2015
The Coroner Mick Sturrock 2015–2016
The Woman in White Pesca 2018
End of Term Garth Stroman 2018
For Love or Money: An Unromantic Comedy Patrick 2019
Cliffs of Freedom Ghazi Khalif 2019
The King Lord Scrope 2019
The Dark Tower tba 2020
Gunpowder Milkshake Yankee 2020

TheatreEdit

West End Theatre;

National Theatre;

  • (1988) Play. 'The Changeling'. National Theatre. Don Pedro.[61]
  • (1988) Play. 'The Magic Olympical Games'. National Theatre. Magus.[62]
  • (1989) Play. 'Ghetto'. National Theatre. Kruk/ Sasha Molevsky.[63][64]
  • (1992) Play. 'Fuente Ovejuna'. National Theatre. Dan Manrique.[65][66]

Other;

  • (1980) Musical. 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. Sadler's Wells/Sheffield Crucible. Willy Wonka.[67]
  • (1984) Play. 'In Nomine Patris'. Edinburgh/King's Head Dad. (Fringe First)
  • (1984) Review. 'The Floodlight's Review'. Edinburgh. Various Roles/+Writer. (Nominated for Perrier)
  • (1985) Musical. 'Sammy's Magic Garden'. Edinburgh Festival/Latchmere. Compost.
  • (1986) Play. 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead'. Latchmere. Player King.
  • (1987) Panto. 'Cinderella'. Latchmere. Ugly Sister.
  • (1994) Play. 'View from the Bridge'. Bristol Old Vic/Birmingham Rep. Marco.[68][69]
  • (1996) Musical. 'Lock up your Daughters'. Chichester Festival Theatre. Ramble.[70][71]
  • (1999) Play. 'In Flame'. Bush Theatre. Matt/ Frank / Fabrizio.[72]
  • (2002) Play. 'Teeth 'n' Smiles'. Sheffield Crucible. Saraffian.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "FreeBMD Entry Info". www.freebmd.org.uk. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  2. ^ Perry, Chris. The Kaleidoscope British Christmas Television Guide 1937–2013. Lulu.com. ISBN 9781900203609. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  3. ^ "The Borgias Season Three " historyonfilm.com". historyonfilm.com. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  4. ^ Schwindt, Oriana (29 December 2016). "'Vikings' Showrunner Michael Hirst on Ragnar's Fate (SPOILERS)". Variety. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
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External linksEdit