Richard Elis (born 1975) is a Welsh actor. He was brought up in the Amman Valley, Wales.[1]

Richard Elis
Born1975 (age 44–45)
Spouse(s)Tonya Smith
Children2 Daughters

He trained at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1996, aged 21[2] Days before he graduated, Elis was asked to audition for London casting agents and was subsequently cast in the BBC soap opera EastEnders as the serial's first Welsh character, Huw Edwards. Elis was initially only scripted to appear in three episodes, but the producers liked the portrayal and his contract was extended. Elis remained in the soap for three years, leaving in 1999 as he feared typecasting.[2]

He went on to appear in S4C’s critically acclaimed drama Ar Y Tracs, Pobol Y Cwm, numerous theatre productions as well as roles in the HTV (now ITV Wales) drama series Nuts and Bolts, The Bill, Casualty and Doctors. He has also appeared in a variety of adverts for products and brands such as Wicked, Bisto, McLeans, Sky, Peugeot, Renault, a Dutch milk company in the Netherlands and notably in the WKD adverts.[2] He has also appeared in numerous independent British Films including Benny and Jolene, Black Mountain Poets, Songbird and Wild Honey Pie! In August 2006, Elis provided the voice of "Welsh Big Brother" as part of a task during series seven of the (then) Channel 4 reality television series Big Brother. During the aforementioned task, housemates had to talk to Big Brother in Welsh whilst in the diary room. Out of the remaining contestants, Glyn Wise was the only one who was from Wales and a fluent Welsh speaker.

Elis is married to Pobol Y Cwm actress Tonya Smith, who plays Yvonne in the Welsh soap opera.[3] They married in 1998 and have two daughters.[2]


  1. ^ "Sixties icon joins EastEnders". BBC News. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d "East End Welsh boy". Western Mail. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  3. ^ "EASTENDER HUW WEDS HIS PATIENT". The People. 19 April 1999. Retrieved 1 July 2009.

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