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James Wilby

James Wilby
Born (1958-02-20) 20 February 1958
Rangoon, Burma
Occupation Actor
Years active Since 1982
Spouse(s) Shana Louise
Children Four

James Jonathon Wilby (born 20 February 1958) is an English film, television and theatre actor.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
    • Filmography and television work 2.1
  • Personal life 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
    • Interviews 6.1

Early life and education

Wilby was born in Rangoon, Burma to a corporate executive father.[1] He was educated at Sedbergh School in Cumbria, and from there went on to study for a degree in Mathematics at Grey College, University of Durham, and then at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


Wilby's first appearance on screen was in the Oxford Film Company 1982 production Privileged alongside Hugh Grant. He is known to an international audience for roles in Maurice (1987), for which he received Venice Film Festival's Best Actor award with co-star Hugh Grant. Along with Grant, Wilby has always been best known for his regular inclusion in the Merchant-Ivory film 'family' which also boasts Rupert Graves, Helena Bonham-Carter, Emma Thompson, and Anthony Hopkins among its regulars. He then starred in A Handful of Dust (1988), for which he won the Bari Film Festival Best Actor award. Then came A Tale of Two Cities (1989), Howards End (1992), the critically acclaimed Regeneration (1997 film), Ismail Merchant's Cotton Mary (1999), Gosford Park (2001) and Alain Robbe-Grillet's C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle (2006) co-starring Arielle Dombasle which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

On stage, he starred in the 1995 revival of John Osborne's A Patriot for Me by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre.[2] He then appeared in a production of 'Helping Harry' at the Jermyn Street Theatre in 2001; as well, in 2004, he appeared as the title character in a run of 'Don Juan' at the Lyric Theatre. Other, more recent theatre productions James has starred in include a tour of 'Less Than Kind' (2012) by Terence Rattigan, 'On Emotion'(2008) at the Soho Theatre, and 'The Consultant' (2011) by Neil Fleming and the Hydrocracker Theatre Company at Theatre 503 in London.

Filmography and television work

Year Film Role Notes
1982 Privileged Jamie
1984 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Young Barclay TV series (1 episode: "The Crooked Man")
The Bill Higgins TV series (1 episode: "A Friend in Need")
1985 Dutch Girls Dundine TV film
Dreamchild Baker
A Room with a View Party Guest uncredited
1987 Maurice Maurice Hall
1988 A Handful of Dust Tony Last
The Storyteller Prince TV series (1 episode: "Sapsorrow")
A Summer Story Mr. Ashton
1989 A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton TV mini-series
Conspiracy Stringer
Mother Love Christopher "Kit" Vesey TV mini-series
1991 The Siege of Venice Milord Runbiff
Adam Bede Arthur Donnithorne
Screen One Michael Evans TV series (1 episode: "Tell Me That You Love Me")
1992 Howards End Charles Wilcox
Immaculate Conception Alistair
1993 You, Me and It Charles Henderson TV mini-series (3 episodes)
Lady Chatterley Sir Clifford Chatterley TV series (4 episodes)
1994 La partie d'échecs Lord Staunton
Crocodile Shoes Ade Lynn TV mini-series (6 episodes)
1996 The Treasure Seekers Henry Carlisle TV film
Witness Against Hitler Helmuth James von Moltke TV film
Tales from the Crypt Nick Marvin TV series (1 episode: "Horrors in the Night")
1997 The Woman in White Sir Percival Glyde TV film
Original Sin Gerard Etienne TV series
Regeneration 2nd Lt. Siegfried Sassoon
1998 An Ideal Husband Sir Robert Chiltern
1999 The Dark Room Dr. Alan Protheroe TV film
Tom's Midnight Garden Uncle Alan Kitson
Cotton Mary John MacIntosh
2000 Trial & Retribution James McCready TV series (2 episodes)
2001 Jump Tomorrow Nathan
Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years Zippo Montefiore TV series
Gosford Park Freddie Nesbitt
2002 Bertie and Elizabeth King George VI, aka "Bertie" TV film
Westlife: Unbreakable – The Greatest Hits, Volume I High class customer ("Uptown Girl") video
George Eliot: A Scandalous Life George Spencer TV film
2003 Murder in Mind Daniel Morton/Sir Richard Morton TV series (1 episode: "Echoes")
Sparkling Cyanide Stephen Farraday TV film
2004 De-Lovely Edward Thomas
Island at War Sen. James Dorr TV mini-series (3 episodes)
Silent Witness Matt Gibb TV series (2 episodes)
Foyle's War Major Cornwall TV series (1 episode: "They Fought in the Fields")
2005 Jericho Alan Mills TV series (1 episode: "The Hollow Men")
2006 Surviving Disaster David Sheahan TV series (1 episode: "Fastnet Yacht Race")
Agatha Christie's Marple: The Sittaford Mystery Stanley Kirkwood TV film
Gradiva (C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle) John Locke
Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire Ofonius Tigellinus TV series (1 episode: "Nero")
2007 Lewis Hugh Mallory TV series (1 episode: "Expiation")
The Last Days of the Raj Lord Mountbatten TV film
Clapham Junction Julian Rowan TV film
Little Devil Adrian Bishop TV mini-series (1 episode: "Episode #1.3")
Impact Earth Josh Hayden TV film
2008 Lady Godiva Leofric
A Risk Worth Taking Patrick Trenchard TV film
Agatha Christie's Poirot Andrew Restarick TV series (1 episode: "Third Girl")
2009 Shadows in the Sun Robert
2010 Midsomer Murders Edward Milton TV series (1 episode: "The Made-to-Measure Murders")
2011 Secret Diary of a Call Girl Henry TV series (1 episode: "Episode #4.4")
We Need to Talk About Keiran Professor Hugh Merrill post-production
2012 Titanic J. Bruce Ismay TV series, 4 episodes
The Best Possible Taste (BBC TV movie) Wilfred De'Ath post-production
2013 The Great Train Robbery John Wheater TV series

Personal life

He is married to Shana Louise and has four children: Barnaby John Loxley, Florence Hannah Mary, Nathaniel Jerome and Jesse Jack. One of his many hobbies includes yachting.[3] He is also an experienced and well-read wine connoisseur.[4]

See also


  1. ^ James Wilby Biography (1958-)
  2. ^ A Patriot for Me by John Osborne, Barbican Theatre, 1995.
  3. ^ Wylie, Ian. 'Titanic' (production notes), pp.63-64.
  4. ^ The Telegraph, 'Claret's more than just a stage', 21 August 2004.

External links

  • James Wilby at the Internet Movie Database
  • Unofficial James Wilby Online (fan forum)
  • The James Wilby Page at the Wayback Machine (archived October 26, 2009)
  • New York Times biography
  • biography


  • (2002)The GuardianFrom
  • (2004)The TelegraphFrom
  • (2005)The TelegraphFrom
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