Jonathan Firth

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Jonathan Firth
Born (1967-04-06) 6 April 1967 (age 48)
Essex, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Actor
Years active 1990-present
Parent(s) David Firth (Father)
Shirley Firth (Mother)
Relatives Colin Firth (brother)
Kate Firth (sister)
Awards 2004 CFT Excellence Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Luther

Jonathan Firth (born 6 April 1967) is an English actor best known for his roles in such noted British television productions as Middlemarch, Far from the Madding Crowd, and Victoria & Albert.

Early life[edit]

Jonathan Firth was born in Essex, England.[1] His mother, Shirley Jean (née Rolles), and his father, David Norman Lewis Firth, were both children of Methodist missionaries in India, and both worked as teachers in Nigeria after their marriage.[2] He is the younger brother of actor Colin Firth and voice coach Kate Firth. The family moved many times, from Essex to Billericay and Brentwood, and then to St. Louis in the U.S. for a year when Jonathan was five.[3] Upon returning to England the family settled in Winchester, Hampshire, where his father became a history lecturer at King Alfred's College and his mother was a comparative religion lecturer at King Alfred's College, Winchester (now the University of Winchester).[4] Firth's desire to become an actor surfaced, he said, when he performed in a school play at the age of eleven.[5]

Firth studied at Central School of Speech and Drama and Peter Symonds College in Winchester. His flatmate at one time was actor Rufus Sewell.[6] After graduation, he toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company,[7] where he made his debut at the age of twenty-seven as Henry VI (1994).[8]

Acting career[edit]

In addition to his roles in the theatre, Firth has acted in cinematic films and radio dramas,[9] narrated audiobooks, and has also made notable television appearances, such as Linton Heathcliff in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (1992); Fred Vincy in Middlemarch (1994); Sergeant Troy in Far from the Madding Crowd, for which he received a nomination for best actor;[10] Lord Arthur Goring in An Ideal Husband (2000); and Prince Albert in Victoria & Albert (2001), which he considered one of his most difficult roles.[11] His favorite film location was the Sahara Desert when he portrayed Joshua in the 2000 biblical film, In the Beginning.[12] In 2003, he acted in the BBC's dramatised documentary Pompeii: The Last Day.[13] That same year, Firth played a part in the film Luther, in which he portrayed Cardinal Aleander, the papal advisor who sought Luther's excommunication and death, and for which he received the CFT Excellence Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture.

He has also guest-starred in Inspector Morse (1987); Covington Cross (1992); Poirot (1994); Cadfael (1994); Agatha Christie's Poirot: Hickory Dickory Dock (1995); Tales from the Crypt (1996);[14] Midsomer Murders (1996); Kangaroo Palace (1998), an Australian drama set in the 1960s; The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999); The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2002); Sparkling Cyanide (2003); and Jericho: The Hollow Men (2005).[15] He appeared in The Prince and Me 2: The Royal Wedding (2006), The Prince and Me 3: Royal Honeymoon (2008) and The Prince and Me 4: The Elephant Adventure (2010).

In 2008, Firth starred as the chef in a short film, The Chef's Letter,[16] played Evan in the radio production of Daphne du Maurier's September Tide.,[17] and was also featured as a Houdini style illusionist in episode #118 of the American television series Ghost Whisperer.[18] In 2009 he portrayed Dr. David Fuller in the German film production of Albert Schweitzer.

Personal life[edit]

Firth lives in Islington, North London.[19][20]


  • Eden End (Farrant), Royal Theatre, June 2011[21]
  • Henry VI, Part III (Henry), Royal Shakespeare Co.
  • The Lulu Plays (Schwartz), Almeida Theatre, London
  • Bad Company (Ian), National Theatre Studio

Audio books[edit]

  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Narrator, BBC Audiobooks, 1997
  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Narrator, BBC Radio Collection, 1999
  • Shadows of Glory by William Woodruff. Narrator, 2003
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Narrator, BBC Audiobooks, 2005
  • The Two Noble Kinsmen: Arkangel Complete Shakespeare. Narrator, BBC Audiobooks, 2003
  • Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare. Narrator, 2006
  • Nobody True by James Herbert. Narrator, 2007
  • Sepulchre by James Herbert. Narrator, 2008
  • I'll Never Be Young Again by Daphne Du Maurier. Narrator
  • In Search for Lost Time by Marcel Proust. Narrator, BBC Audiobooks, 2009
  • Short Stories: The Thinking Man's Collection. Narrator, 2010
  • Heathrow Nights by Jan Mark. Narrator, 2011


  1. ^ "Luther Presskit". 
  2. ^ "Courtesy Tiscali Entertainment". Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  3. ^ "Courtesy of Tiscali Entertainment". Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  4. ^ "Courtesy of Tiscali Entertainment". Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  5. ^ Retrieved 7/29/11
  6. ^ "Showcase: Jonathan Firth". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  7. ^ Dunbar, Polly (2011-02-21). "And the Oscar for best supporting brother goes to... If only Colin Firth's younger sibling had put on THAT wet shirt". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  8. ^ "Showcase: Jonathan Firth". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  9. ^ "Radio Roles". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  10. ^ "Jonathan Firth CV". Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  11. ^ "Jonathan Firth FAQ". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  12. ^ "Jonathan Firth FAQ". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  13. ^ Dunbar, Polly (2011-02-21). "And the Oscar for best supporting brother goes to... If only Colin Firth's younger sibling had put on THAT wet shirt". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  14. ^ "Tales from the Crypt". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  15. ^ "Jericho: The Hollow Men". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  16. ^ "The Chef's Letter". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  17. ^ "Jonathan Firth News". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  18. ^ "Jonathan Firth News". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  19. ^ "Firth Among Equals". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  20. ^ "Holding Out for A Hero". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  21. ^

External links[edit]