Stephen Joseph Graham (born 3 August 1973) is an English actor. He is best known for playing Andrew "Combo" Gascoigne in the film This Is England (2006) and its television sequels This Is England '86 (2010), This Is England '88 (2011), and This Is England '90 (2015). His other film roles include Tommy in Snatch (2000), Shang in Gangs of New York (2002), Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies (2009), Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano in The Irishman (2019), and Scrum in the Pirates of the Caribbean films On Stranger Tides (2011) and Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017).
On television, Graham has starred in the fifth series of the BBC One series Line of Duty (2019) as DS John Corbett, as Al Capone in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014), as Jacob Marley in the BBC/FX miniseries A Christmas Carol (2019), as DCI Taff Jones in the ITV miniseries White House Farm (2020), Eric McNally in BBC drama Time (2021), Tony in Help (2021), and Hayden Stagg in the sixth series of Peaky Blinders (2022).
Graham was born on 3 August 1973 in Kirkby, Lancashire. His father was of half Jamaican and half Swedish descent. He was brought up by his mother, a social worker, and his stepfather, a mechanic who later became a paediatric nurse. He maintained a good relationship with his biological father. He attended Overdale Primary School in Kirkby, where he was encouraged to pursue an acting career at the age of eight by local actor Andrew Schofield, who had seen him perform as Jim Hawkins in a school production of Treasure Island. He then continued his education at Ruffwood Comprehensive and was subsequently introduced to Liverpool's Everyman Theatre at the age of 14, later going on to train at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance.
Graham has often portrayed characters from different British, Irish and American regions. He has played characters who are Cockney, Welsh, Geordie, Scouse and Scottish, as well as an Irish gang member in 19th-century New York City, a 1930s Chicago bank robber, a New Jersey mobster, a Texan, the short-fused English nationalist "Combo" in This Is England, and a Jamaican gangster in Yardie.
Graham was nominated for an RTS Award for his work in The Street, and for a British Independent Film Award for his work on This Is England. He appeared in the music videos for "I Remember" by Deadmau5 and Kaskade, "Fluorescent Adolescent" and "When the Sun Goes Down" by the Arctic Monkeys, "Unlovable" by Babybird (directed by Johnny Depp), and Gazelle's single "Finger on the Trigger". Graham also appeared in the music video "Soul Vampire" by Macclesfield-based neo-psychedelic band The Virginmarys, the music video for "Turn" by Travis, and Kasabian's video "You're in Love with a Psycho". He appeared as an inmate within the open prison system in the music video for Goldie's "I Adore You" in 2017.
In 2011, Graham starred in the BBC Christmas show Lapland. When the series was remade as Being Eileen Graham's role was recast with Dean Andrews. He also appeared on a promotional video for a DLC of the video game Call of Duty: Ghosts, titled "CODnapped".
In 2019, Graham featured as DS John Corbett in series 5 of the BBC drama Line of Duty. In November of that year, Graham was the guest for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. In January 2020, he appeared in the ITV series White House Farm as Welsh detective "Taff" Jones. Despite his reputation for his ability to adopt different accents, a number of critics criticised his performance and stated that his Welsh accent was inauthentic.
In 2021, Graham starred in Philip Barantini-directed film Boiling Point, alongside Vinette Robinson, Ray Panthaki and Hannah Walters. It is a one-shot film set in a restaurant kitchen, expanded from the 2019 short film of the same name.
Graham married actress Hannah Walters on 6 June 2008; they had met and started dating while both were training at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance. They currently reside in Ibstock, Leicestershire, having previously lived in the Beckenham area of London. They have a son and a daughter.
Graham is a supporter of Liverpool FC and has made several appearances on the Sky Sports football show Soccer AM. He has struggled with depression and once tried to hang himself in his early 20s; he survived because "the rope snapped". He is teetotal and has dyslexia, revealing that his wife reads scripts for him and helps him decide whether to accept or decline a role: "She says, 'We're doing this,' and I say, 'OK.' [...] If I can find socially aware, political things that are saying something—well, that's where I'm from. It's what I know. So it's where I've tried to keep my base."
|1990||Children's Ward||Mickey Bell||2 episodes|
|1993||Heartbeat||Barry Ward||Episode: "Riders of the Storm"|
|1996||Devil's Food||WPKV News Director||Television film|
|1997||The Lakes||Graham||Episode #1.1|
|1998||Brothers and Sisters||Andrew|
|Where the Heart Is||Nick Bowen||Episode: "Darkness Follows"|
|Liverpool 1||Thewlis||2 episodes|
|The Jump||Peter McNulty|
|1998–2002||The Bill||Jezzo / Jason Barrett||3 episodes|
|1999||Coronation Street||Lee Sankey||5 episodes|
|2000||Forgive and Forget||John||Television film|
|2001||Band of Brothers||Sgt. Myron "Mike" Ranney||2 episodes|
|2002||Flesh and Blood||Eddie||Television film|
|2004||Top Buzzer||Lee||10 episodes|
|2005||M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team||Jason Phelps||Episode #2.3|
|2006–2007||The Innocence Project||Andrew Lucas||6 episodes|
|2008||The Passion||Barabbas||3 episodes|
|The Street||Shay Ryan||2 episodes|
Nominated — RTS Award for Best Actor
|2010||This Is England '86||Andrew "Combo" Gascoigne||2 episodes|
|2010–2014||Boardwalk Empire||Al Capone||36 episodes|
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
|2011||This Is England '88||Andrew "Combo" Gascoigne||2 episodes|
|Walk like a Panther||Mark Bolton||Episode #1.1|
|2012||Accused||Tony||Episode: "Tracie's Story"|
|Parade's End||Vincent Macmaster||5 episodes|
|Good Cop||Noel Finch||1 episode|
|2013||Playhouse Presents||Len||Episode: "The Call Out"|
|2015||This Is England '90||Andrew "Combo" Gascoigne||3 episodes|
Nominated—British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
|2016||The Secret Agent||Chief Inspector Heat||3 episodes|
|The Watchman||Carl||Television film|
|2017||Decline and Fall||Philbrick||3 episodes|
|Little Boy Blue||Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly||4 episodes|
|2018||Action Team||Gavril||Episode: "Mind Games"|
|2018–present||Save Me||Fabio "Melon" Melonzola||Main Role|
|2019||Line of Duty||John Corbett||Series 5, Main Role|
|The Virtues||Joseph||4 episodes|
|A Christmas Carol||Jacob Marley||Miniseries|
|2020||White House Farm||DCI Taff Jones||6 episodes|
|2020–present||Code 404||DI Roy Carver||Main role|
|2021||Time||Eric McNally||Three-part drama |
Winner - British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor
|The North Water||Captain Brownlee||Miniseries|
|Help||Tony||Television film |
Nominated—British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards- Best Actor
|2022||Peaky Blinders||Hayden Stagg||Series 6; 2 episodes|
|The Walk-In||TBA||Upcoming miniseries|
|2006||"When the Sun Goes Down"||Arctic Monkeys|
|2007||"Fluorescent Adolescent"||Arctic Monkeys|
|2008||"I Remember"||Deadmau5 ft. Kaskade|
|2008||"Soul Vampire"||The Virginmarys|
|2017||"You're in Love with a Psycho"||Kasabian|
|2017||"I Adore You"||Goldie|
|2019||"Wandering Star"||Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds|
|2021||“Spit Of You”||Sam Fender|
|2013||BAFTA TV||Supporting Actor||Accused (Tracie’s Story)||Nominated|||
|2016||Leading Actor||This Is England '90||Nominated|
|2019||Supporting Actor||Save Me||Nominated|
|2020||Leading Actor||The Virtues||Nominated|
|2022||BAFTA Film||Leading Actor||Boiling Point||Nominated|
|BAFTA TV||Mini-series (as producer)||Help||Nominated|
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Stephen Graham, who plays Combo, he has a mixed-race heritage. He has a Swedish grandmother, a fully Jamaican grandfather [...]
- Barkham, Patrick (30 June 2009). "Gizza job, CBeebies". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Kermode, Jennie (23 February 2007), "Racism and rights of passage: Actor Stephen Graham discusses his role in this year's most talked-about British film, This Is England", Eye For Film.
- McAlpine, Fraser (10 May 2009). "Deadmau5 & Kaskade - 'I Remember'". BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Banduk, Gazelle. "Gazelle - Finger on the Trigger". Archived from the original on 21 December 2021 – via YouTube.
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- "Being Eileen". BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- "Line of Duty series 5 casts actor Stephen Graham – but what could his role be?".
- "Line of Duty's Stephen Graham: 'My throat-slitting was superb. I'm good at dying'". TheGuardian.com. 6 May 2019.
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- "Stephen Graham, actor". BBC Online. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
- Hitt, Carolyn (11 January 2020). "We need authentic Welsh voices - not English actors mangling our accents". walesonline. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- Boyce, Laurence (23 August 2021). "Karlovy Vary 2021: Philip Barantini talks filming 'Boiling Point' in one take". Screen Daily. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
- Aftab, Kaleem (31 August 2021). "Philip Barantini • Director of Boiling Point". Cineuropa. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
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- "Stephen Graham".
- "First look at Sean Bean and Stephen Graham in Time as Siobhan Finneran joins cast". radiotimes.com. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
- Hooton, Kayleigh (8 May 2022). "BAFTA TV Awards 2022 winners in full". Digital Spy. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
- Evans, Connie; Ashe, Isaac (25 March 2022). "Best actor award for Stephen Graham after TWO nominations". LeicestershireLive. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
- "Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer to star in new Channel 4 drama Help". rts.org.uk. 26 November 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
- "Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham on friendship, football and their new care home drama". TheGuardian.com. 22 August 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
- "TV commissions true story, The Walk-In, starring Stephen Graham". itv.com/presscentre. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
- "BAFTA Awards Search | BAFTA Awards".