Matthew Macfadyen

David Matthew Macfadyen (born 17 October 1974) is an English actor. He played MI5 Intelligence Officer Tom Quinn in the BBC television drama series Spooks, Mr. Darcy in the 2005 film Pride & Prejudice and Daniel in the Frank Oz comedy Death at a Funeral. He also portrayed John Birt in the political drama Frost/Nixon and Detective Inspector Edmund Reid in the BBC series Ripper Street. In 2015 he starred in the Sky Living series The Enfield Haunting as Guy Lyon Playfair.

Matthew Macfadyen
Matthew Macfadyen 2007.jpg
Macfadyen in London, 2007
Born (1974-10-17) 17 October 1974 (age 45)
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1995–present
Keeley Hawes (m. 2004)

In June 2010, Macfadyen won a British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Criminal Justice.

Early lifeEdit

Macfadyen was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, the son of Meinir (née Owen), a drama teacher and former actress, and Martin Macfadyen, an oil executive.[1][2] His paternal grandparents were Scottish and his maternal grandparents were Welsh.[1][3] Macfadyen was brought up in a number of places, including Jakarta, Indonesia, as a result of his father's occupation.[1] He attended schools in England (including in Louth, Lincolnshire), Scotland and Indonesia, and went to Oakham School in Rutland, before being accepted to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at 17. As a student, he was inspired by Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander, which he thought was "[a]n example to follow – an example of people acting with each other...", and which "[f]eatured just the most extraordinary acting I'd ever seen".[4]


After having studied at the RADA from 1992 to 1995, Macfadyen became known in British theatre primarily for his work with the stage company Cheek by Jowl, for which he played Antonio in The Duchess of Malfi, Charles Surface in The School for Scandal, and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. His Benedick was played as an officer-class buffoon with a moustache and a braying laugh. In 2005, he played Prince Hal in Henry IV, Parts One and Two at the Royal National Theatre, with Michael Gambon in the role of Falstaff. In 2007, he returned to the stage, portraying an American, Clay, a stay-at-home father with a liberal attitude in the play The Pain and the Itch.

A TV breakthrough came when he appeared as Hareton Earnshaw in an adaptation of Wuthering Heights, screened on the ITV network in 1998. Further television drama work followed, including starring roles in the dramas Warriors (1999) and The Way We Live Now (2001), both for the BBC. Also in 2001, he earned acclaim for his starring role in the BBC Two drama serial Perfect Strangers, which was written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff. In 2002, he starred in The Project, a BBC drama charting New Labour's rise to power. He starred in Spooks, which became a success when screened on BBC One. A longer second season was screened in 2003, and a third season was broadcast in autumn 2004, with him leaving the series in the second episode. The series was aired as MI-5 on the A&E Network. In 2007 he appeared in the one-off Channel 4 drama Secret Life, which dealt with the controversial subject of paedophilia.[5] Macfadyen won the Best Actor award at the Royal Television Society 2007 Awards for this part, and was nominated for a BAFTA. He also appeared in a short sketch for Comic Relief as the bridegroom in Mr. Bean's Wedding, alongside Rowan Atkinson and Michelle Ryan.

Macfadyen appeared in films including Enigma (released in 2001), and In My Father's Den, for which he received the New Zealand Screen Award for Best Actor.[citation needed] He starred as the romantic lead Fitzwilliam Darcy in an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, released in the UK in September 2005.

Macfadyen starred in Frank Oz's Death at a Funeral and the film Incendiary, based on Chris Cleave's novel alongside Michelle Williams and Ewan McGregor. He also appeared in Ron Howard's film Frost/Nixon, in which he played John Birt. In 2008, he played the male lead Arthur Clennam in the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit. In 2009 Macfadyen appeared alongside Academy Award-nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter in the BBC Four movie Enid, based on the life of Enid Blyton, as Hugh Pollock, Blyton's publisher and first husband.

In 2010, he played the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood. He starred as Prior Philip in the TV serial The Pillars of the Earth, and was the middle-aged Logan Mountstuart in Any Human Heart. In June 2010, Macfadyen won a British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Criminal Justice.

In 2011, Macfadyen made a final cameo in the BBC show Spooks, and in 2012, he played Oblonsky in Joe Wright's film, Anna Karenina. In December 2012 he began portraying Detective Inspector Edmund Reid in BBC One's Ripper Street.

In 2013-14 he played Jeeves in the production of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End of London. The play won the 2014 Olivier award for Best New Comedy.[6][7][8]

In 2015 Amazon Prime picked up Ripper Street and, after good reviews, it was recommissioned for fourth and fifth seasons. Macfadyen said he was "delighted to be embarking on another dose of Ripper Street – blood and guts, pocket watches and Victorian headgear, wonderfully dark, moving and mysterious story lines from Mr Richard Wardlow".[9] The series also aired in the U.S. on BBC America. He currently stars as Tom Wambsgans in the HBO series Succession.

Personal lifeEdit

In 2002, Macfadyen began a relationship with his Spooks co-star Keeley Hawes.[10] They were married in November 2004.[11] The couple has two children.[11][12] Macfadyen is stepfather to Hawes's son from her previous marriage.[10] The couple are patrons of the Lace Market Theatre in Nottingham.[13]




Year Title Role Notes
1998 Wuthering Heights Hareton Earnshaw TV Movie
1999 Warriors Alan James TV Movie
2000 Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes Brian Waller TV Mini-series
2001 Perfect Strangers Daniel Symon TV Mini-series Episode 1-3
2001 The Way We Live Now Sir Felix Carbury TV Mini-series Episode 1-4
2002–2004 Spooks Tom Quinn Series 1 – 3, Series 10 Episode 6
2007 Mr. Bean's Wedding Short Video
2008 Ashes to Ashes Billie Eltringham (Gil Hollis) Guest Star
2008 Little Dorrit Arthur Clennam TV Series
2008 Agatha Christie’s Marple a Pocket Full of Rye Inspector Neele TV Series
2009 Enid Hugh Pollock TV Movie
2009 Criminal Justice II Joe Miller TV Series
2010 The Pillars of the Earth Prior Philip TV Mini-series
2010 Any Human Heart Logan Mountstuart TV Mini-series
2012–2016 Ripper Street Detective Inspector Edmund Reid TV Series
2013 Ambassadors Price of Darkness TV Mini-series
2015 The Enfield Haunting Guy Playfair TV Mini-series
2015 The Last Kingdom Lord Uhtred TV Series
2016 Churchill's Secret Randolph Churchill TV Movie
2017 Howards End Henry Wilcox TV Mini-series
2018–present Succession Tom Wambsgans TV Series
Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Maybe Baby Nigel
2001 Enigma Lt. Cave
2002 The Project Paul Tibbenham
2003 The Reckoning King's Justice
2004 In My Father's Den Paul Prior Nominated – BIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a British Independent Film
2005 Pride & Prejudice Fitzwilliam Darcy Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for Best British Newcomer of the Year
2006 Middletown Gabriel Hunter
2007 Grindhouse Eye Gouging Victim Segment: Don't
2007 Death at a Funeral Daniel Howells
2008 Incendiary Terence Butcher
2008 Frost/Nixon John Birt Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2010 Robin Hood Sheriff of Nottingham
2011 The Three Musketeers Athos
2012 Anna Karenina Oblonsky
2014 Lost in Karastan Emil Forester
2015 The von Trapp Family: A Life of Music Georg von Trapp
2017 The Current War J. P. Morgan
2018 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Mr. Stahlbaum
2019 The Assistant Wilcock
TBA Operation Mincemeat Charles Cholmondeley Filming

Voice workEdit

  • 2000: The Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin [ Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4 ] (reader)[28]
  • 2001: Trampoline, by Meredith Oakes [ Afternoon Play on BBC Radio 4 ] (Skeggs)[29]
  • 2003: Essential Poems (To Fall In Love With) [ TV programme on BBC Two ] (actor/reader)[30]
  • 2004: The Coma, by Alex Garland [ audio book ] (reader)[31]
  • 2004: Getting Away From It: The Island, by Tim Pears [ Afternoon Reading on BBC Radio 4 ] (reader)[32]
  • 2004: The Hungerford Massacre [ TV documentary on BBC One ] (narrator)[33]
  • 2005: Stories We Could Tell, by Tony Parsons [ audio book ] (reader)[34]
  • 2006: The 9/11 Liars [ TV documentary on Channel 4 ] (narrator)[35]
  • 2006: Nuremberg: Nazis On Trial [ 3-part TV documentary on BBC Two ] (narrator)[36]
  • 2007: Robin Hood's Quest & The Quest for Aladdin's Treasure [ video games by Oxygen Games ] (narrator)[37]
  • 2007: The Making of Music [ BBC Radio 4 ] (reader)[38]
  • 2007: The Blair Years [ 3-part TV documentary on BBC One ] (narrator)[39]
  • 2007: Last Party at the Palace [ TV documentary on Channel 4 ] (narrator)[40]
  • 2008: Dangerous Jobs for Girls [ 4-part TV documentary on Channel 4 ] (narrator)[41]
  • 2008: Words of War [ TV documentary on ITV1 ] (narrator)[42]
  • 2009: Wine [ 3-part TV documentary on BBC Four ] (narrator)[43]
  • 2009: Inside MI5 [ TV documentary on ITV1 ] (narrator)
  • 2011: M&S food adverts
  • 2011: Bupa healthcare adverts
  • 2014: Horse Power documentary on Scuderia Ferrari / Shell Motorsport on Sky Atlantic (narrator)


  1. ^ a b c Cavendish, Dominic (2 February 2010). "Matthew Macfadyen interview". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  2. ^ Macdonald, Marianne (12 September 2005). "Leading question". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  3. ^ "A man of mystery; Graham Keal talks to Spooks star Matthew Macfadyen about the new series, his Welsh roots and being hounded by the paparazzi.(Features) – Daily Post (Liverpool)". Questia Online Library. 7 June 2003. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  4. ^ Lamont, Tom (21 August 2011). "The Observer". The film that changed my life: Matthew Macfadyen. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  5. ^ "TV star defends paedophile role". Evening Times.
  6. ^ Billington, Michael (13 November 2013). "Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense – review" – via The Guardian.
  7. ^ "Jeeves & Wooster, Duke of York's, review". 13 November 2013.
  8. ^ 2014 Laurence Olivier Awards
  9. ^ Vine, Richard (13 May 2015). "Ripper Street to return for two more series of 'blood, guts and pocket watches'" – via The Guardian.
  10. ^ a b Alison Boshoff (22 February 2008). "The very bizarre love life of Ashes to Ashes' rising star Keeley Hawes". Daily Mail. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  11. ^ a b Liz Hoggard (1 April 2010). "Ashes to Ashes star Keeley Hawes on surviving a shobiz marriage". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  12. ^ "Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes welcome second child". 11 January 2007. Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 June 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Au théâtre : The Crimson Island".
  15. ^ "Au théâtre : Lorca's Death".
  16. ^ "Au théâtre : The Feigned Inconstancy".
  17. ^ "Au théâtre : The Beggar's Opera".
  18. ^ "Au théâtre : One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest".
  19. ^ Cheek by Jowl Archived 30 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ RSC’s official archives Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Cheek by Jowl Archived 30 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ RSC’s official archives[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "National Theatre".
  24. ^ "National Theatre".
  25. ^ "London Theatre Tickets, Theatre News and Reviews - WhatsOnStage". whatsonstage. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007.
  26. ^ "The Pain and the Itch at The Royal Court Theatre". Archived from the original on 29 June 2012.
  27. ^ "Vaudeville Theatre". London Theatreland.
  28. ^ RadioListings Database Archived 10 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ RadioListings Database Archived 23 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ "BBC - Press Office - BBC TWO Essential Poems (To Fall in Love With)".
  31. ^ "Login".
  32. ^ RadioListings Database Archived 23 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ "BBC NEWS - UK - Magazine - How a gun massacre changed Britain".
  34. ^ "Audiobook is not available -".
  35. ^ "9/11 The Five Year Anniversary on Channel 4".
  36. ^ "BBC - History - Nazis on Trial".
  37. ^ High Score Productions Archived 28 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ "BBC - Radio 4 The making of music - Homepage".
  39. ^ "BBC - Press Office - The Blair Years part three: Blair in Power".
  40. ^ "Last Party at the Palace on Channel 4".
  41. ^ "Dangerous Jobs for Girls on Channel 4".
  42. ^ The Words of War on ITV Archived 12 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  43. ^ "Wine News". Decanter.

External linksEdit