Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
Claim to Fame
Mr.Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Edmund Reid in Ripper Street (BBC).
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Profile Bio Text
Matthew Macfadyen (born 17 October 1974) is an English actor, known for his role as MI5 intelligence officer Tom Quinn in the BBC television drama series Spooks (also known as MI-5) and for starring as Fitzwilliam Darcy in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice.
Matthew Macfadyen was born in Norfolk and attended schools in England (including in Louth, Lincolnshire), Scotland, and Indonesia. He went to Oakham School in Rutland before being accepted to the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at age 17.
After having studied at the RADA from 1992 to 1995, Macfadyen quickly became a well-known actor in British theatre due primarily to his work with the stage company Cheek by Jowl, for whom 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 particularly memorable, played as an officer-class buffoon with a moustache and a braying laugh. In 2005, he played to further great acclaim the part of Prince Hal in Henry IV, Parts One and Two at the Royal National Theatre, with Michael Gambon in the lead. 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.
Macfadyen`s major TV breakthrough came when he appeared as Hareton Earnshaw in a television adaptation of the Emily Brontë novel 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 much critical 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, and he took his highest-profile role to date, when he was picked to star in Spooks, which went on to become a huge popular and critical success when screened on BBC One. A longer second season was screened in 2003, and a third season was broadcast in the autumn of 2004, with him leaving the series in the second episode. The series also found a following on cable television in the United States, where it 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. Matthew was nominated and subsequently won the `Best Actor` award at the Royal Television Society 2007 Awards for this part, and has been nominated for a BAFTA. He also appeared in a short sketch for Comic Relief as the groom in Mr Bean`s Wedding, alongside Rowan Atkinson and Michelle Ryan.
Macfadyen has appeared in several films including Enigma (released in 2001), in which he was cast as a battle-scarred submarine commander, and In My Father`s Den, for which he received the New Zealand Screen Award for Best Actor. Most notably, he stars as the romantic lead Fitzwilliam Darcy in a highly acclaimed adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, released in the UK in September 2005. He stars in Frank Oz`s Death at a Funeral with Rupert Graves, Alan Tudyk, Daisy Donovan and Keeley Hawes. Matthew also stars in Incendiary, which is based on Chris Cleave`s novel about a woman whose life is torn apart when her husband and infant son are killed in a suicide bombing at a soccer match whilst she was committing adultery. He plays a senior anti-terrorist police officer alongside Michelle Williams and Ewan McGregor. He has also filmed Ron Howard`s film Frost/Nixon, in which he plays John Birt.
In 2008 he appeared as the male lead Arthur Clennam in the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens` Little Dorrit. Macfadyen will appear alongside Academy Award nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter in upcoming BBC Four movie, Enid Blyton (working title), based on the life of Enid Blyton. Macfadyen will be playing Hugh Pollock, Blyton`s publisher and first husband.
In 2002, he began a relationship with his Spooks co-star Keeley Hawes. They were subsequently married on 8 October 2004. Their first child, daughter Maggie, was born in December 2004. The couple announced the birth of a baby boy, Ralph, in September 2006. Matthew Macfadyen is stepfather to Keeley Hawes` son, Myles, born in 2000 from a previous marriage to a cartoonist.
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Full Name at Birth
David Matthew Macfadyen
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David Matthew Macfadyen (born 17 October 1974) is a BAFTA award-winning English actor, known for his roles as MI5 Intelligence Officer Tom Quinn in the BBC television drama series Spooks, Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice and Daniel in the Frank Oz comedy Death at a Funeral. He is also known for portraying John Birt in the political drama Frost/Nixon, as well as Detective Inspector Edmund Reid in the BBC series Ripper Street.
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