Ricky Whittle

Richard Whittle (born 31 December 1981)[1][2] is a British actor. Whittle first came to prominence as a model for Reebok in the early 2000s. He is known in the United Kingdom for his role as Calvin Valentine in the soap opera Hollyoaks. In 2009, he finished second in the BBC reality competition Strictly Come Dancing. In 2012, Whittle crossed over to American television when he booked a recurring role on VH-1's Single Ladies, followed by a recurring role on ABC's Mistresses in 2014. From 2014 to 2016, Whittle appeared in The CW's post-apocalyptic drama The 100 as Lincoln. As of 2017, Whittle appears in the lead role of Shadow Moon in the Starz television series American Gods.

Ricky Whittle
Florida Supercon 2017 Ricky Whittle panel 53 (cropped).jpg
Whittle in 2017
Born (1981-12-31) 31 December 1981 (age 40)
Alma materSouthampton Solent University
Years active2002–present
Known for

Early life and educationEdit

Whittle was born in Oldham, England, to Harry and Maggie (Goodwin) Whittle. He is the oldest of three children.[3] His mother is from England and his father is from Jamaica.[4] His father was in the Royal Air Force so the family moved to a different country every few years. However, Whittle was primarily raised in Northern Ireland and revealed that he'd been bullied as a child because he was the only black child in school. At one point, Whittle told his mother he wanted to be white so he could fit in.[5] Whittle studied law at Southampton Solent University where he was football team captain. In order to pay for text books, he started to model. However, Whittle left university just before graduation.[6]


2002–2011: Career beginnings and HollyoaksEdit

Whittle took up modelling in college. He would go on to become the face of Reebok in 2000.[7] Whittle made his acting debut in 2002 the television series Dream Team which aired on Sky 1. The actor said the show was a "dream job" for a young actor just starting out.[8] Whittle's agent surprised him and sent him to audition for Dream Team. Whittle credits his career to his co-star Terence Maynard whom he auditioned with.[9][6] Whittle left the show in 2006 after series 9 and in May 2006, it was announced that Whittle had joined the cast of the Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks in the role of Calvin Valentine.[10] In December 2009, it was announced that Whittle would leave Hollyoaks and the character would be killed off in 2010.[11] In an interview with Digital Spy explained his reasons for leaving Hollyoaks and revealed his plans to try his hand at American television and film. He only planned to do four years with the series.[12] In the summer of 2009, Whittle joined series 7 of the BBC reality series, Strictly Come Dancing. He was paired with professional dancer Natalie Lowe.[13] Whittle would place second after sports presenter Chris Hollins. He permanently relocated to Los Angeles in the summer of 2011 to further his career.[9][14]

2012–2016: American TV breakthrough and The 100Edit

Upon his arrival in the US, Whittle met with someone to put a reel[clarification needed] together. The meeting led to him signing with manager Ken Jacobsen. Jacobsen has also represented James Franco, Michelle Williams and Hilary Swank. Not long after, Whittle was cast in the feature film Austenland opposite Keri Russell, Jane Seymour and Jennifer Coolidge. Whittle joked that he only booked the role because of his body as the audition tape he submitted cut off his head. He found it ironic that it filmed on location in the UK when he travelled to Los Angeles to pursue American TV projects.[14] After that, Whittle had no problem booking gigs. However, his immigration status caused him to pull out of a few projects. Whittle was set to film an episode of the NBC sitcom Up All Night when his management contacted him the night before to inform him that the network wouldn't accept his visa. After this incident, Whittle decided to apply for his green card.[14]

In March 2012, it was announced that Whittle was cast in the recurring role of Charles, a love interest of Denise Vasi's character, in the second season of the VH1 comedic-drama Single Ladies.[15] Whittle submitted his audition tape just as he returned to the UK for Christmas. While he was too young for the role he initially auditioned for, the producers found another role for him.[14] Whittle was initially supposed to appear in two episodes, and that turned into six. However, Whittle made such an impression on producer Stacy A. Littlejohn that she wrote him into the rest of the season.[7][14] Whittle filmed the series in Atlanta from January to June 2012.[16]

In 2013, Whittle appeared in an episode of the CBS drama NCIS, "Detour."[17] In 2014, Whittle joined the cast of The CW's post-apocalyptic drama The 100 in the role of Lincoln.[9] On 25 July 2014, at San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that Whittle had been promoted to series regular for season 2.[18] Around the same time, Whittle booked the recurring role of Daniel on ABC's prime-time drama Mistresses. Whittle wrapped filming for The 100 the week before he was scheduled to start production on Mistresses.[9] Daniel Zamora is the love interest for April played by Rochelle Aytes.[19] Whittle appeared in 10 episodes.[20]

In January 2016, it was reported that Whittle was in talks for the lead role on another series.[21] During an interview with AfterBuzz TV in April 2016, Whittle announced his decision to leave The 100. Whittle controversially accused the show's creator Jason Rothenberg of bullying him into leaving the series by marginalizing his character. The actor explained that once Warner Bros. Television President Peter Roth and The CW President Mark Pedowitz were made aware of the situation, he was allowed to audition for other projects.[22]

2017–present: American Gods and Nappily Ever AfterEdit

In January 2016, it was announced that Whittle had been cast as Shadow Moon, the lead role in Starz television adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel American Gods opposite Ian McShane.[23] Though Whittle had no prior knowledge of the novel, he was a fan favourite pick to play Shadow when Starz announced the series in August 2015.[24][25] Out of the 2,000 audition tapes submitted, Whittle was chosen out of approximately 600 actors that met with the producers.[4] Whittle submitted 16 audition tapes over the five-month process.[4][26][27] In September 2017 Whittle was cast opposite Sanaa Lathan in the Netflix original film, Nappily Ever After based on the novel of same name by Trisha R. Thomas.[28] On 16 April 2018 it was announced that Whittle signed with talent agency William Morris Endeavor.[29]

Personal lifeEdit

Whittle dated his Hollyoaks co-star Carley Stenson from 2007 to 2009. The two have remained close friends.[30][31][2][32] Whittle dated Kirstina Colonna from 2016 until 2018.[33]



Year Title Role Notes
2011 Losing Sam Samuel Short film
2013 Austenland Captain East
2018 Nappily Ever After Clint Netflix original movie


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Dream Team Ryan Naysmith Series regular (S6–9)
2004 Holby City David Richards Episode: "You Can Choose Your Friends..."
2006–2011 Hollyoaks Calvin Valentine 238 episodes
2009 Strictly Come Dancing Himself (contestant) Runner-up (Series 7)
2011 Candy Cabs Eddie Shannon Episode: "Episode Two"
2012 Single Ladies Charles 8 episodes
2013 NCIS Lincoln Episode: "Detour"
2014–2016 The 100 Lincoln Recurring (S1); Series regular (S2–3)
Mistresses Daniel Zamora 10 episodes
2017–2021 American Gods Shadow Moon Lead role
2019 GMA: Strahan & Sara Himself Episode 29; Talk Show Guest

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result Ref.
2007 British Soap Awards Sexiest Male Hollyoaks Nominated
2008 Nominated
2009 Nominated
2010 Nominated
TRIC Awards TV Soap Personality Won
2018 Saturn Awards Best Actor on Television American Gods Nominated [34]


  1. ^ Whittle, Ricky [@MrRickyWhittle] (23 November 2014). "My birthday is December 31st,not today #butthankyou #neverbelievewhatyouread #newyearsevebaby" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 April 2018 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b "Ricky Whittle's perfect weekend". Express & Star. MNA Media. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Biography". Ricky Whittle The Official Site. p. 1. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Nededog, Jethro (30 April 2017). "'American Gods' star Ricky Whittle describes his 'crazy' 16 auditions for the coveted role". Business Insider. Axel Springer SE. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Whittle: 'I wanted to be white'". Newsbeat. BBC News. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b Meslow, Scott (30 April 2017). "How American Gods Actor Ricky Whittle Transformed Into Shadow Moon". GQ. Condé Nast. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b Crocker, Jai (15 June 2012). "Eye Candy: Ricky Whittle Makes the 'Single Ladies' Sweat". Essence. Essence Communications. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  8. ^ Williams, Max (12 April 2018). "Ricky Whittle talks American Gods, Hollyoaks and Dream Team". Square Mile. Square Up Media. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d "An interview with Ricky Whittle for The 100". Channel 4. Channel Four Television Corporation. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  10. ^ Green, Kris (12 May 2006). "Two Dream Team actors transfer to Hollyoaks". Digital Spy. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Ricky Whittle (Calvin) to leave Hollyoaks!". E4. Channel 4 Television Corporation. 18 December 2009. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  12. ^ Green, Kris (18 December 2009). "Hollyoaks Ricky Whittle on Flashforward episode". Digital Spy. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Billinge's Ricky Whittle to waltz his way onto Strictly Come Dancing". St Helens Star. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  14. ^ a b c d e Carter, Lance (2 May 2012). "Interview: UK Star Ricky Whittle Tries His Luck in America and Comes Up a Winner". Daily Actor. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  15. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (30 March 2012). "'Hollyoaks' Star to Recur on VH1's 'Single Ladies' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group (Eldridge Industries). Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  16. ^ Loggins, Emma (23 July 2012). "Ricky Whittle On Acting, Fitness Advice, And 'Single Ladies'". FanBolt. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  17. ^ Campbell, Tina (29 April 2014). "From Hollyoaks to Hollywood: Rachel Shenton lands US TV role". Metro. DMG Media. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  18. ^ Barbieri, Alyssa (25 July 2014). "'The 100' Season 2: Lindsey Morgan and Ricky Whittle Promoted to Series Regulars". Fangirlish. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  19. ^ Eames, Tom (3 September 2014). "Ricky Whittle talks Mistresses role: 'There's lots of fun and sex'". Digital Spy. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  20. ^ Miles, Tina (13 August 2015). "Exclusive: Mistresses star Ricky Whittle on coming back for another series". Liverpool Echo. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (28 January 2016). "Starz's 'American Gods' Casts Its Shadow Moon". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  22. ^ Gennis, Sadie (6 April 2016). "The 100's Ricky Whittle Says the Creator Bullied Him Off the Show". TV Guide. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  23. ^ Robinson, Joanna (28 January 2016). "American Gods Author Neil Gaiman on Why Casting The 100's Ricky Whittle as Shadow Is So Vital". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  24. ^ The Movie God (27 August 2015). "Production On 'American Gods' To Start In March". Geeks of Doom. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  25. ^ "An 'American Gods' Chat w/ Ricky Whittle, Yetide Badaki, Orlando Jones". Shadow and Act. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  26. ^ Snetiker, Marc (22 July 2016). "American Gods cast teases character details, 'gratifyingly weird' show". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  27. ^ Brown, Tracy (23 July 2016). "'American Gods' makes fans a big promise: What you loved about the book, 'you'll see it in the show'". Los Angeles Times. tronc. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  28. ^ Patten, Dominic (6 September 2017). "'American Gods' Ricky Whittle Joins Netflix Pic 'Nappily Ever After'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  29. ^ Patten, Dominic (16 April 2018). "'American Gods' Star Ricky Whittle Signs With WME". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  30. ^ McCafferty, Nicola (6 November 2009). "Ricky Whittle split sparks rumours of Strictly romance". Daily Express. Northern & Shell. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  31. ^ Davies, Rebecca (28 September 2011). "'Hollyoaks' Carley Stenson dating Danny Mac". Digital Spy. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  32. ^ "Strictly star Ricky Whittle denies dangerous driving". BBC News. BBC. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  33. ^ The Wendy Williams Show. Season 9. Episode 145. 12 May 2017. Ricky Whittle.
  34. ^ McNary, Dave (15 March 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.

External linksEdit