Nov. 28th, 1961
Wimbledon, South London, England, UK
Guest TV Roles
Viscount James Blackwater
Alexander Martin Clunes (born 28 November 1961) is an English actor and comedian. Clunes is perhaps best known for his roles as Gary Strang in Men Behaving Badly, Doctor Martin Ellingham in Doc Martin and title character in Reggie Perrin
Clunes is the younger of two children, Clunes is the son of the classical actor Alec Clunes who died of lung cancer when Clunes was eight and a half years old; he has an older sister, Amanda.His mother Daphne, later a board member of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, once worked for Orson Welles.Clunes attended nursery with screenwriter Peter Morgan, and was educated at two independent secondary schools, the Royal Russell School in Croydon and The Arts Educational Schools, in Chiswick, London.
The late actor Jeremy Brett, who portrayed Sherlock Holmes in the long running ITV show The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, encouraged Clunes in his acting career.Martin Clunes' mother was Jeremy Brett's first cousin.
Clunes' first marriage was to the actress Lucy Aston. They later divorced and Clunes married television producer Philippa Braithwaite in 1997.In 1999, Braithwaite gave birth to a daughter, Emily.Clunes lives with his family in Beaminster, Dorset.He is a keen equestrian enthusiast keeping horses of his own and in 2010 was announced as president of the Royal International Horse Show held annually at the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead
Clunes served his first role in rep at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, and his first television appearance came in the 1980s Doctor Who story Snakedance as the spoiled Lon.But a sporadic career led to him supplementing his income as a photo model for Gilbert and George, and he can be seen in their 1983 work World.
He got his first regular television role as one of the sons in the BBC sitcom No Place Like Home,and then starred in two series of the sitcom All at No. 20
While Clunes was appearing on stage at the Hampstead Theatre, Harry Enfield came to see him which developed into a friendship where Clunes played characters in Enfield's sketch shows. Enfield then recommended Clunes for the role of Gary in the sitcom Men Behaving Badly, written for Enfield by Simon Nye, bringing Clunes his best-known role to date and for which he won a BAFTA television award in 1996.
Establishing himself, he has since appeared in films and television shows such as An Evening With Gary Lineker, Staggered (starred and directed), Hunting Venus, The Booze Cruise, Saving Grace, and Jeeves and Wooster. In 1998, he was featured in Sweet Revenge and appeared as Richard Burbage in the Oscar-winning film Shakespeare in Love. Clunes has also acted frequently for the radio, including a guest appearance in the BBC Radio 4 series Baldi
In 2001,he played Captain Stickles in the BBC adaptation of R. D. Blackmore's Lorna Doone.
In 2002 he played serial killer John George Haigh in A Is for Acid, and took the lead in ITV's production of Goodbye Mr Chips
Clunes was one of the eponymous leads in the 2004 ITV romantic comedy-drama William and Mary, which ran for three series, with Julie Graham. Clunes had worked with Julie Graham previously on Dirty Tricks
His leading role in the ITV comedy drama series Doc Martin from 2004 marked a successful change of direction for Clunes. In 2005, his portrayal of the ornery vascular surgeon turned cranky general practitioner won him a nomination for Most Popular Actor in the National Television Awards. The show is produced for ITV by Buffalo Pictures Ltd.the production company he runs in partnership with his wife, Philippa Braithwaite.At the media launch for the third series of Doc Martin in September 2007,Clunes announced that as ITV had not yet commissioned a fourth series, that he planned to take a year's break from work to relax and rediscover his passion for acting, move to the far side of the camera and plans to grow his hair again as he "misses his locks.".The final episode of Series 3 succeeded in attracting nearly 10 million viewers or 40% of audience share.There was, however, mixed reaction from fans to Series 3's dénouement. In an interview in November 2007 on ITV's GMTV, he promised that there would be a fourth series but not for another year (2009)
In August 2007 he starred in ITV's The Man Who Lost His Head
Clunes is a regular voice over artist and is the voice of Kipper on the animated children's series Kipper the Dog.
A sponsor of numerous charities, he has made a short online film with Stephen Fry about HIV discrimination for the Terrence Higgins Trust. He also, in October 2007, filmed a Christmas advert for the Born Free Foundation. He has been involved in Comic Relief which funds Survival International and African Initiatives, two organisations working with the Maasai on indigenous land rights issues
- Lives opposite the Globe Theatre in London.
- One daughter, Emily (1999)
- Attended Royal Russell School.
- Cousin of 'Jeremy Brett' (qv).
- Is a keen camper-van driver.
- Son of actor 'Alec Clunes' (qv)
- Is one of the young men in Gilbert and George's 1983 photo-sculpture 'The World'.
- Attended kindergarten with 'Peter Morgan (I)' (qv).
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