Anton Lesser

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Anton Lesser
Anton Lesser (2011).jpg
Lesser in June 2011
Born (1952-02-14) 14 February 1952 (age 67)
Alma mater
Years active1979–present
Spouse(s)Madeleine Lesser

Anton Lesser (born 14 February 1952)[1] is an English actor. He is particularly well known for his roles as Qyburn in the HBO series Game of Thrones, as Thomas More in Wolf Hall, as Harold Macmillan in The Crown, and as Chief Superintendent Bright in Endeavour.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Birmingham, West Midlands, Anton Lesser attended Moseley Grammar School and the University of Liverpool, where he read architecture. He then went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and on graduation in 1977[3] he was awarded the Bancroft Gold Medal as the most promising actor of his year.[4] He is Jewish.[5]

With his wife Madeleine, he has two children, Harry and Lily Lesser. Lily is an actress, who has acted alongside her father in Endeavour and Wolf Hall [6]


As an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Lesser played a considerable number of Shakespeare's great roles, including Troilus (Troilus and Cressida), Edgar (King Lear), Petruchio, Romeo, Henry Bolingbroke, Brutus (Julius Caesar), Leontes (Winter's Tale) and Richard III.[citation needed]

Lesser is a frequent radio contributor and played the title role in the BBC Radio adaptations of the first five Falco mysteries by Lindsey Davis. He has also recorded many audiobooks, including much of the work of Charles Dickens, and his recording of Great Expectations won him a Talkie Award. Other books range from John Milton's Paradise Lost and Homer to contemporary novels by Robert Harris (Fatherland) and Philip Pullman. For two months in 2013, Lesser was heard as a regular cast member playing Robin Carrow in Ambridge Extra, a BBC Radio 4 Extra spin-off from the BBC Radio 4 drama The Archers.[citation needed]

In 2015, Lesser was announced a public supporter of Chapel Lane Theatre Company based in Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK.[7]

Lesser portrayed Thomas More in the BBC mini-series Wolf Hall, and received a nomination for the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.


Year Film Role Notes
1979 The Mill on the Floss Philip Wakem TV series (2 episodes)
Oresteia Orestes TV series (3 episodes)
1981 The Cherry Orchard Trofimov TV film
Troilus & Cressida Troilus TV film
1982 Crown Court TV series (1 episode: "Fair Play: Part 1")
King Lear Edgar TV film (BBC version with Hordern as Lear)

Not to be confused with 1983 TV Film with Olivier as Lear

The Missionary Young Man
1983 Good and Bad at Games Cox TV film
1984 Sakharov Valery Chalidze TV film
Freud Wilhelm Fliess TV series (5 episodes)
1985 Anna of the Five Towns Willie Price TV series (2 episodes)
The Assam Garden Mr Sutton
1987 London Embassy Robert Bronhouse TV series
Great Performances Robber TV series (1 episode: "Monsignor Quixote")
1988 Twelfth Night, or What You Will Feste TV film
Screen Two Stanley Spencer TV series (1 episode: "Stanley Spencer")
A Vote for Hitler A. L. Rowse TV film
1989 Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story Karl TV film
1990 Traitors TV film
1991 The Strauss Dynasty Levi TV series (1 episode: "Episode No.1.1")
1992 Downtown Lagos Mungo Dawson TV series
1994 Guinevere Envoy TV film
Shakespeare: The Animated Tales Leontes TV series (1 episode: "The Winter's Tale")
1995 The Politician's Wife Mark Hollister TV series
Bugs Patrick Marcel TV series (1 episode: "Pulse")
Moses Eliav TV film
1996 Sharman Galilee TV series (1 episode: "Episode No.1.4")
Testament: The Bible in Animation Joseph TV series (1 episode: "Joseph")
1997 Into the Blue Dr John Ockleton TV film
Bodyguards Dusan Mezic TV series (1 episode: "A Choice of Evils")
FairyTale: A True Story Wounded Corporal
The Moonstone Ezra Jennings TV film
1998 Invasion: Earth Lt. Charles Terrell TV series (4 episodes)
Vanity Fair Mr Pitt Crawley TV series (5 episodes, of 6 total)
The Echo Billy Blake TV film
1999 Trial by Fire Brian Redwood TV film
Pure Wickedness Dr Andrew Ward TV film
2000 The Miracle Maker Herod TV film
Esther Kahn Sean
Safe as Houses Mr Dunn TV series
The Scarlet Pimpernel Antoine Picard TV series (1 episode: "Friends & Enemies")
Lorna Doone Counsellor Doone TV film
2001 Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story Vidas Merlinis, Research Scientist TV film
Murder Rooms: Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes Milburn TV series (1 episode: "The White Knight Stratagem")
Uprising TV film
Charlotte Gray Renech
Swallow Paul Valley TV series (3 episodes)
2002 Dickens Charles Dickens TV series (3 episodes)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sir Gawain TV film
Waking the Dead Professor Ray Levin TV series (2 episodes)
The Project Stanley Hall TV film
Foyle's War Austin Carmichael TV series (1 episode: "Eagle Day")
2003 Danielle Cable: Eyewitness Batten TV film
Y Mabinogi Teyrnon TV series
Imagining Argentina General Guzmán
Eroica Sukowaty TV film
Midsomer Murders Eddie Darwin TV series (1 episode: "Birds of Prey")
2004 London Charles Dickens TV film
Silent Witness Marcus Gwilym TV series (2 episodes)
Dirty Filthy Love Charles TV film
Spooks Nicholas Ashworth TV series (1 episode: "Episode No.3.4")
2005 Ahead of the Class Graham Ranger TV film
The Girl in the Café George TV film
E-mc2 Voltaire TV film
River Queen Baine
Class of '76 Martin Gibson TV film
Nova Voltaire TV series (1 episode: "Einstein's Big Idea")
2006 Dalziel and Pascoe Paul Goodman TV series (2 episodes)
Vital Signs Dr Lindsay TV series (3 episodes)
New Tricks Pete Mackintyre TV series (1 episode: "Bank Robbery")
The Outsiders Maurice Heston TV film
A Touch of Frost Dennis Prior TV series (1 episode: "Endangered Species")
Miss Potter Harold Warne
2008 Messiah: The Rapture Samuel Waite TV series
The Palace Archbishop of Canterbury TV series (2 episodes)
Midsomer Murders Reverend Wallace Stone TV series (1 episode: "Talking to the Dead")
Agatha Christie's Poirot Inspector Kelsey TV series (1 episode: "Cat Among the Pigeons")
Einstein and Eddington Fritz Haber TV film
Little Dorrit Mr Merdle TV series (7 episodes)
2009 Deep Sleep short
Casualty 1909 Dr Henry Head TV series (4 episodes)
2010 Primeval: Webisodes Gideon
Holby City Sol Caplin TV series (1 episode: "Faith No More")
Five Daughters Dr Nat Cary TV series (2 episodes)
Garrow's Law John Farmer TV series (4 episodes)
Flutter Bruno completed
2011 Primeval Gideon TV series (5 episodes)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Lord Carteret
The Hour Clarence Fendley TV series (5 episodes)
The Man Who Crossed Hitler Rudolf Olden TV film
2012 The Hollow Crown Exeter TV film (1 episode: Henry V)
2013 Spies of Warsaw Dr Lapp TV film (2 episodes)
Ripper Street Dr Karl Crabb TV series (2 episodes)
The Escape Artist Richard Mayfield, QC TV series (3 episodes)
Atlantis Kyros TV series
2013–19 Game of Thrones Qyburn TV series (22 episodes)
2013– Endeavour Chief Superintendent Bright TV series (26 episodes)
2014 Father Brown Father Ignatius Episode: "The Mysteries of the Rosary"
The Musketeers Emile De Mauvoisin Episode: "The Homecoming"
Closer to the Moon Holban
2015 Wolf Hall Thomas More TV series
Nominated—British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor
2015–16 Dickensian Fagin TV series
2016 The Hollow Crown (series 2) Duke of Exeter BBC2 TV series (2 episodes: Henry VI part I and Henry VI part II)
On Chesil Beach Reverend Woollett
A United Kingdom Prime Minister Attlee
Allied Emmanuel Lombard
The Exception General Falkenberg
2017 Disobedience Rav Kruschka
The Crown Harold Macmillan TV series

Theatre performances[edit]


  1. ^ "Anton Lesser - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Anton Lesser talks Qyburn, Jaime Lannister's Gold Hand, & The Mountain". 5 June 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Anton Lesser - RADA". Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  4. ^ Smurthwaite, Nick (28 May 2019). "Actor Anton Lesser: 'I'd much rather be here than stuck halfway up a mountain'". The Stage. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Jewz in the Newz".
  6. ^
  7. ^ Harvey-Ball, Thom. "New Supporter - Anton Lesser!". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  8. ^ as spelled in The life and death of Richard II programme by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre 1990

External links[edit]