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James Ronald Gordon Copeland MBE (born 27 October 1947), known professionally as James Cosmo, is a Scottish actor known for his appearances in films including Highlander, Braveheart, Trainspotting, Troy, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Ben-Hur and Wonder Woman, as well as television series such as Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy. On 3 January 2017 Cosmo entered the nineteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother; on Day 19 of the series he won a pass to the final on 3 February 2017 and finished in fourth place.

James Cosmo

James Cosmo 2014 (cropped).jpg
James Cosmo MBE at the TGS SpringBreak event in France, in April 2014
James Ronald Gordon Copeland

(1947-10-27) 27 October 1947 (age 72)
Years active1965–present
Annie Harris (m. 2000)

Early lifeEdit

James Cosmo was born in Dumbarton Cottage Hospital, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, UK and attended Hartfield Primary School in Dumbarton. He is the son of actor James Copeland and Helen.[1] Through his father, young James played cricket on Hampstead Heath with Sean Connery while his father was in the pub with Peter O’Toole.[2] He also has a sister named Laura.[2] When he was 11 moved back to Glasgow and later he worked for a time at Arnott Young shipbreakers in Dalmuir.[2]


At the start of his career he adopted Cosmo, the middle name of his mother Helen, as stage surname.[2] Cosmo is best known for his film roles as Angus MacLeod in Highlander, Campbell in Braveheart and as Father Christmas in the adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Over the years he has also had roles in other films such as Trainspotting, The Last Legion and 2081. He appeared in Troy with future Game of Thrones cast members Sean Bean and Julian Glover. He also appeared in UFO as SHADO operative Lieutenant Anderson, in Take the High Road as Alex Geddes from 1982 until 1983 and in 1984 played Jock McLeish in the Minder episode Senior Citizen Caine. He appeared as Lieutenant-Colonel Philip Drysdale in the seventh series of Soldier Soldier. He portrayed Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, in the HBO series Game of Thrones. He was involved in the filming of the thriller Breakdown in which he appeared alongside Craig Fairbrass, Bruce Payne, Emmett Scanlan, Olivia Grant and Tamer Hassan.

He is a patron of the charity Chance for Childhood.[3]



Year Title Role Notes
1969 Battle of Britain Jamie
1969 The Virgin Soldiers Waller
1971 Assault Det. Sgt. Beale
1972 Doomwatch Bob Gillette
1972 Young Winston Officer on train
1972 Sutherland's Law Ian Campbell Television film
1972 The Stone Tape Cliff Dow Television film
1982 Living Apart Together Priest
1985 Operation Julie Longfellow Television film
1986 Highlander Angus Macleod
1988 Stormy Monday Tony
1989 The Nightwatch James Smithson Television film
1990 Treasure Island Redruth Television film
1990 The Fool Mr. Bowring
1995 Braveheart Campbell
1996 Trainspotting Mr. Renton
1996 Emma Mr. Weston
1997 Santa/Claws Santa Claus Short film
1998 Urban Ghost Story Minister
1998 Babe: Pig in the City Thelonius
1999 Sunset Heights Macdonald
1999 The Match Billy Bailey
1999 Billy and Zorba Zorba Short film
1999 Split Second Donald Paterson Television film
1999 One More Kiss Frank
2000 Honest Tommy Chase
2000 Reflections Upon the Origin of the Pineapple Narrator Short film
2000 The Last of the Blonde Bombshells McNab Television film
2001 To End All Wars Lt. Col. Stuart McLean
2001 All the Queen's Men Archie
2002 Once Upon a Time in the Midlands Billy
2002 The Four Feathers Col. Sutch
2002 The Reckoning Lambert
2003 Skagerrak Robert
2003 Man Dancin' Donnie McGlone
2003 Solid Air Finn
2004 One Last Chance Big John
2004 Troy Glaucus
2005 The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby James Brown
2005 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Father Christmas
2006 Half Light Finlay Murray
2006 Slipp Jimmy fri HudMaSpecs English version, voice
2006 The Lives of the Saints Mr. Karva
2007 The Last Legion Hrothgar
2007 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising Dawson
2007 Where Have I Been All Your Life John Short film
2007 Comet Impact Brenden Kelly Television film
2009 2081 George Bergeron Short film
2009 The Clan Hector McGinley
2010 One Night in Emergency Television film
2010 Outcast Laird
2010 Donkeys Alfie
2010 The Runway Sutherland
2010 The Santa Incident Nick Television film
2011 No Saints for Sinners Murphy
2011 The Glass Man Pecco
2012 Citadel Priest
2012 Songs for Amy Murdo
2013 Get Lucky Mr. Zigic
2013 The Golden Scallop Judge Wellington
2013 Hammer of the Gods King Bagsecg
2013 Justin and the Knights of Valour Blucher voice
2013 The Christmas Candle Herbert Hopewell
2013 Sea Out Old Joe Short film
2013 Dying Light Policeman
2014 The Boogeyman Dr. Harper Short film
2014 We Still Kill the Old Way Arthur
2014 Hole Cooper Short film
2015 Moonwalkers Dawson
2015 Carried Henry Hunter Short film
2015 The Legend of Barney Thomson James Henderson
2015 The Pyramid Texts Ray
2015 Estranged Albert
2016 Project 12: The Bunker Brian Balanowsky
2016 Breakdown Albert Chapman
2016 Mikelis Mikelis Short film
2016 Dark Signal Alan
2016 Ben-Hur Quintus
2016 Whisky Galore! Macalister the Minister
2016 Tomorrow Mr. Charles Post-production
2016 Monochrome Roger Daniels
2016 Eliminators Cooper Post-production
2017 London Heist Ray Dixon
2017 T2: Trainspotting Mr. Renton
2017 Wonder Woman Field Marshal Haig
2017 The Ten Bells Inspector Collins Announced
2018 In Darkness Niall
2018 Outlaw King Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale
2018 Ashes in the Snow Mr. Stakas
2018 Malevolent Grandpa Sayers


Year Title Role Notes
1965, 1969 Dr. Finlay's Casebook Private David / Peter Randall 2 episodes
1966 Ransom for a Pretty Girl Charlie Milne TV mini series
1966 This Man Craig Douglas McGrath 1 episode
1967 St. Ives Dalmahoy 2 episodes
1967 The Revenue Man Andrew 1 episode
1968 Detective Det. Sgt. MacGregor 1 episode
1969 Softly Softly McBride 1 episode
1970 The Borderers Hector 1 episode
1970 The Wednesday Play Senior Under Officer Patterson 1 episode
1971 UFO Lt. Anderson 1 episode
1971 The Persuaders! Inspector Williams 1 episode
1971 The View from Daniel Pike Det. Con. Sanderson 1 episode
1973 ITV Playhouse Sgt. Robbins 1 episode
1973 Sutherland's Law Ian Campbell 1 episode
1973–1977 Warship L. / Reg. Fuller 20 episodes
1974 Play for Today Loch 1 episode
1975 Churchill's People Robert Bruce 1 episode
1975 Quiller Hamilton 1 episode
1976 Survivors Lenny Carter 1 episode
1976 Orde Wingate Brigadier Calvert 3 episodes
1977 George & Mildred Keith 1 episode
1977–1978 Midnight is a Place Davey Scatcherd 3 episodes
1978 The Standard Harry Bray 1 episode
1978 The Sweeney Det. Sgt. Davy Freeth 1 episode
1978 Kidnapped Beggar TV mini series, 1 episode
1979 Dick Barton: Special Agent Jock Anderson 29 episodes
1979 Thundercloud CPO Hawkins 13 episodes
1979 The Onedin Line Glasgow McDade 1 episode
1979 The Professionals Glover 1 episode
1980 Take the High Road Alex Geddes 1 episode
1980 Hammer House of Horror Willis 1 episode
1981 The Nightmare Man Sgt. Carch 4 episodes
1981 The House on the Hill Bonfield 1 episode
1981 Strangers Det. Sgt. Galbraith 1 episode
1982 King's Royal Colin Lindsay 1 episode
1984 Minder Jock McLeish 1 episode
1984 Murder Not Proven? Sergeant Munro 1 episode
1984 Scarecrow and Mrs. King Dr. Ian McCarran 1 episode
1984 Fairly Secret Army Crazy Colin Carstairs 2 episodes
1985 Lytton's Diary Harry Owen 1 episode
1985 Big Deal McFee 1 episode
1985–1986 C.A.T.S. Eyes Howard / McNeill 2 episodes
1986 Running Scared Detective Inspector McNeil 6 episodes
1986 Lost Empires Inspector Furness TV mini series, 1 episode
1987 Super Gran Mr. McBigg 1 episode
1987 Brond Primo 3 episodes
1988 Codename: Kyril Bonham TV mini series, 1 episode
1988 Taggart Victor Baird 1 episode
1989 Crossbow Anton 1 episode
1989 Winners and Losers Frank Kerr TV mini series, 3 episodes
1989 The Justice Game Glen 4 episodes
1989 Saracen Miekera 1 episode
1989–1993 Casualty Tony / John Breckman 2 episodes
1989, 1999 The Bill Patrick Grainger / D.C.I. Cameron 2 episodes
1990 The Campbells Sgt. Henderson 1 episode
1990 El C.I.D. Sands 1 episode
1991 The Sharp End Carmichael TV mini series, 1 episode
1991 Stay Lucky Bigmac 1 episode
1992 Screaming
1992 Medics Harry Liverege 1 episode
1992 Heartbeat Matthew Chapman 1 episode
1992 Rab C. Nesbitt Teacher 1 episode
1993 Scene Reception Officer TV series documentary, 1 episode
1993 Between the Lines D.C.C. Birman 1 episode
1994 The House of Eliott James Maxton 1 episode
1994 Alleyn Mysteries Major Keith Ballantyne 1 episode
1994 Screen Two Jerry 1 episode
1994–1995 Roughnecks Tom 13 episodes
1996 Bad Boys Tam Devlin 1 episode
1997 Ivanhoe Cedric TV mini series, 5 episodes
1997 Ain't Misbehavin' Malky Fraser 3 episodes
1997 Soldier Soldier Lt. Col. Philip Drysdale 9 episodes
1998 Two Lives Eddie 1 episode
1999 Cleopatra Agrippa 2 episodes
1999 Comedy Lab David 1 episode
2000 The 10th Kingdom Blind Woodsman TV mini series, 1 episode
2000 Tales from the Madhouse The Centurion TV mini series, 1 episode
2000–2001 Rebus Morris Gerald Cafferty / Moris Cafferty 2 episodes
2000 Badger Charlie Maddox 1 episode
2001 Best of Both Worlds William Landucci 1 episode
2004 Biography Narrator TV series documentary, 1 episode
2005 Little House on the Prairie Mr. Scott TV mini series, 4 episodes
2007 Midsomer Murders Jack 'Axeman' McKinley 1 episode
2008 The Colour of Magic Galder Weatherwax TV mini series, 1 episode
2009 Merlin Hengist 1 episode
2010 Castle Finn Rourke 1 episode
2010 The Flashforward Philip 1 episode
2010 Sons of Anarchy Father Kellan Ashby 8 episodes
2011–2013 Game of Thrones Jeor Mormont 12 episodes
2012 Silent Witness Arnold Mears 2 episodes
2013 Death in Paradise Roger Seymour 1 episode
2013 Case Histories Len Lomax 1 episode
2014 New Worlds Goffe TV mini series, 1 episode
2015 Magnum Opus Moshe Navon 1 episode
2016 Shetland Arthur McCall / Arthut McCall 4 episodes
2016 Stag The Gamekeeper 2 episodes
2016, 2018–19 The Durrells Captain Creech 4 episodes
2016 The Collection Jules Trouvier
2017 Celebrity Big Brother Himself Series 19 Finalist and third runner up
2017 SS-GB Harry Woods 5 episodes
2018 Hold the Sunset Bob the Burglar 3 episodes
2019 The Name of the Rose Jorge of Burgos 8 episodes
2019 Chernobyl Miner Episode: 'Open Wide, O Earth'
2019 His Dark Materials Farder Coram


  1. ^ "James Cosmo Biography (1948–)". Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "James Cosmo on Game of Thrones, Whisky Galore and his strange days on Big Brother". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Our patrons | Chance for Childhood - Children's charity". Chance for Childhood. Retrieved 24 July 2019.

External linksEdit