Firth at the 2009 BAFTA Awards ceremony, with fellow Spooks cast member, Miranda Raison.
27 October 1953 |
Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK.
Peter Firth (born 27 October 1953) is an English actor. He is best known for his role as Sir Harry Pearce in the BBC One show Spooks, of which he is the only actor to have starred in every episode of the show's ten-series lifespan. He is also known for playing a variety of starring roles in film and on television from the 1970s to present day.
Early career 
Firth was a leading child actor by mid-1970, starring in The Flaxton Boys as Archie Weekes and the Here Come the Double Deckers series, which featured child actors in the leading roles. Firth played Scooper, the leader of the gang.
In July 1973, he appeared at Laurence Olivier's National Theatre, starring in the stage version of Peter Shaffer's play Equus, playing a teenager being treated by a psychiatrist, and in October 1974 repeated the role in the Broadway production, receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Alan Strang.
His first major role as an adult was in the title role in a 1976 BBC Television Play of the Month adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The adaptation was based on a stage adaptation by John Osborne and also starred Jeremy Brett and John Gielgud. That same year saw the release of the World War I film Aces High which featured Firth as the inexperienced RFC pilot Lt. Stephen Croft.
Firth played the lead role in the unsuccessful film adaptation of Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews (1977). That same year, he starred in the film adaptation of Equus, with Richard Burton. The film was only a moderate box office success, but earned Firth a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe award in the same category. Further film work quickly followed, most notably Roman Polanski's Tess (1979).
In May 1981, he appeared on Broadway again in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart replacing Tim Curry. Shaffer had offered him the role in the original London production, but he was unavailable due to film commitments.
Other film work has included roles in Diamonds on Wheels (1973); When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? (1979); Lifeforce (1985); Letter to Brezhnev (1985); Northanger Abbey (1986), playing Henry Tilney; The Hunt for Red October (1990); White Angel (1993), playing mild mannered dentist Leslie Steckler; Amistad (1997); Pearl Harbor (2001); and The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005), playing Lord Northcliffe).
In parallel to his film career, Firth has continued to appear in various television productions, with several notable credits in various high-profile dramas. He starred in two science-fiction episodes of the BBC's Play for Today anthology series as the eponymous time traveller in the romantic The Flipside of Dominick Hide (1980), and its sequel, Another Flip for Dominick (1982). In 1994, in the Fourth Season of Heartbeat, he played Dr. Radcliffe who partnered with Dr. Rowan (Niamh Cusack) in Whitby. He also portrayed the Emperor Vespasian in "The Jewish Revolt" episode of the BBC series Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire.
For many years he had played a primary role as senior MI5 officer Harry Pearce in the BBC's popular spy drama series Spooks (2002–2011), and played Fred Hoyle in Hawking, a BBC dramatisation of the early career of Stephen Hawking. He was also Snaith in the 3 part series South Riding in 2011. Firth has also appeared on American and Canadian television, on programmes such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Total Recall 2070, as well as in television films such as The Incident starring Walter Matthau.
Firth is also a narrator of audio books. He has been responsible for performances reading Pat Barker's Regeneration, The Ghost Road and The Eye in the Door, Suspicion by Robert McCrum, Maurice by E. M. Forster, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong and Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
Personal life 
He has been married twice: to the Irish dancer Maya, who later had an affair and resultant son born with Jason Dawes, the son of Diana Dors; and actress Lindsey Readman (1990 - ?) with whom he has three children, Amy, Alex and James Firth.
On 17 July 2009, he was awarded an Honorary degree by the University of Bradford as a Doctor of Letters for his services to acting, having been nominated by the School of Computing, Informatics & Media; he received his award during the school's degree ceremony.
|1972||Brother Sun, Sister Moon|
|1972||Daniel and Maria|
|1973||Diamonds on Wheels||Robert 'Bobby' Stewart||TV Movie|
|1975||King Arthur, the Young Warlord||Corin|
|1976||Aces High||Lt Stephen Croft|
|1976||The Lady of Camellias||Armand|
|1977||Joseph Andrews||Joseph Andrews|
|1979||When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?||Stephen Ryder|
|1982||Fire and Sword||Dinas|
|1984||Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight||Sir Gawain||Voice; Uncredited|
|1984||White Elephant||Peter Davidson|
|1985||Lifeforce||Col Colin Caine|
|1985||Letter to Brezhnev||Peter|
|1986||A State of Emergency||Dr Kenneth Parrish|
|1987||Born of Fire||Paul Bergson|
|1988||Prisoner of Rio||Clive Ingram|
|1989||Tree of Hands||Terence|
|1989||Trouble in Paradise||Adriaan|
|1990||Blood Royal: William the Conqueror||William Rufus||TV movie|
|1990||The Hunt for Red October||Ivan Putin|
|1990||The Incident||Geiger||TV movie|
|1990||The Rescuers Down Under||Red||Voice|
|1991||Prisoner of Honor||Maj Henry|
|1992||The Pleasure Principle||Dick|
|1993||El marido perfecto||Franz|
|1994||White Angel||Leslie Steckler|
|1995||An Awfully Big Adventure||Bunny|
|1996||Merisairas||1st Officer Ronald Jensen|
|1997||The Garden of Redemption||Nazi Commandant||TV movie|
|1997||Marco Polo: The Missing Chapter||Rusticello|
|1997||Gaston's War||Major Smith|
|1998||Mighty Joe Young||Garth|
|1999||Chill Factor||Colonel Andrew Brynner|
|2000||The Magicians||Simon Magus||TV movie|
|2001||Pearl Harbor||Capt. Mervyn Bennion|
|2002 - 2011||Spooks||Harry Pearce|
|2005||The Greatest Game Ever Played||Lord Northcliffe|
- Peter Firth at the Internet Movie Database
- "National Theatre: 1970s". Rob Wilton Theatricalia. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- "Peter Firth Biography (1953–)". Film Reference Library. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- "Diana's Demons". Daily Mail (London: Mail Online). 5 May 2004. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
- "Honorary graduations at the University of Bradford". University of Bradford. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
- Peter Firth at AllRovi
- Peter Firth at the Internet Broadway Database
- Peter Firth at the Internet Movie Database
- Peter Firth at Yahoo! Movies