Charles Edwards (English actor)

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Charles Edwards
Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps.jpg
Jennifer Ferrin and Charles Edwards in the Huntington Theatre Company's The 39 Steps, 2007
Born (1969-10-01) 1 October 1969 (age 48)
Haslemere, Surrey, England, UK
Nationality British
Occupation Actor
Years active 1993–present
Known for Bertie and Elizabeth
Downton Abbey
Holy Flying Circus

Charles Edwards (born 1 October 1969) is an English actor, the youngest of four brothers in his family.[1] He graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1992.



His first professional theatre engagement was in Blithe Spirit at age 24.[1] Since then he has appeared in many shows such as The Duchess of Malfi, Hay Fever, Private Lives and The Apple Cart.

Edwards received acclaim for his Broadway debut performance as Richard Hannay in the 2005 play of The 39 Steps, in the first London production in 2006,[2] and in the first US productions in 2007 (Boston)[3] and 2008 (New York City).[4] He is the only actor from the London production to transfer to the US productions. Edwards concluded his run in the play on 6 July 2008.[5][6]

He has made appearances in a number of Shakespeare plays, including Peter Hall's production of Twelfth Night at the Royal National Theatre (Cottesloe auditorium) as Sir Andrew Aguecheek; as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare's Globe;[7] The Merchant of Venice; and A Midsummer Night's Dream playing Oberon to Judi Dench's Titania.

In 2012, Edwards played the lead role of Bertie in the original stage play of The King's Speech on a nationwide tour and also the West End, gaining positive feedback from critics across the board. Drama critic Michael Billington wrote of his performance, "Edwards, who has been edging towards stardom for several seasons, has now unequivocally arrived."[8]

He was shortlisted along with Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller and Bertie Carvel for Best Actor at the Evening Standard Awards in 2011 for Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, and at the 2011 Whatsonstage Awards for Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night.

Later in 2012, he took on the role of Conservative Whip Jack Weatherill in James Graham's political epic This House at the National's Cottelsloe theatre, alongside actors Philip Glenister and Phil Daniels.

Edwards starred in a Simon Godwin adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer prize winning play Strange Interlude as "Dear Old Charlie" Charles Marsden, playing at the National's Lyttleton theatre.

In 2014, Edwards co-starred in Michael Blakemore's adaptation of Coward's Blithe Spirit, opposite Dame Angela Lansbury. He played Richard II in Simon Godwin's production at Shakespeare's Globe, and Henry Trebell in Harley Granville Barker's play Waste at the National Theatre, both in 2015.

In March 2017, he starred as Henry Higgins in the Brisbane and Melbourne seasons of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady, presented by Opera Australia and John Frost and directed by Dame Julie Andrews.

TV and film[edit]

His film and television credits include Batman Begins, An Ideal Husband, Monarch of the Glen, Mansfield Park, Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes, The Shell Seekers, Colditz and Midsomer Murders.

In 2002, he played David, also known as King Edward VIII, in the feature-length TV drama Bertie and Elizabeth for ITV.

In 2011, he played Michael Palin in Holy Flying Circus, a dramatisation of the controversy surrounding Monty Python's Life of Brian.[9] The film was nominated for a 2012 BAFTA for Best Single Drama.

In October 2012, he appeared in the third season of the widely acclaimed television mini-series Downton Abbey as Michael Gregson, a wealthy London editor and publisher who wins the heart of Lady Edith Crawley (portrayed by Laura Carmichael). He returned for the show's fourth season, appearing in only the first half, as his character mysteriously went missing mid-season. During the fifth season, it was confirmed that Gregson had been met with a violent death.

He appeared in the 2013 film, Diana, charting the final few years of Diana, Princess of Wales. Edwards played her private secretary Patrick Jephson. The film is directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and stars Naomi Watts as Diana. He also made an appearance in BBC series Sherlock, as David Welsborough, on the first episode of the fourth season (aired 1 January 2017), named The Six Thatchers.

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Joe Tropia (17 January 2008). "Charles Edwards (Fresh Face Interview)". Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  2. ^ Dominic Cavendish (18 August 2006). "Irreverent romp down the nostalgia track". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  3. ^ Louise Kennedy (21 September 2007). "Hitch a ride". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  4. ^ Ben Brantley (16 January 2008). "Spies, Blonde and a Guy Go North by Northwest". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  5. ^ Robert Simonson (4 June 2008). "Charles in Charge". Playbill. Archived from the original on 8 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  6. ^ Kenneth Jones (4 June 2008). "Sam Robards Is the Next Pursued Man of Broadway's 39 Steps". Playbill. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2008. 
  7. ^ Billington, Michael (28 May 2011). "Much Ado About Nothing – review". The Guardian. London. 
  8. ^ Billington, Michael (10 Feb 2012). "The King's Speech on stage – review". The Guardian. London. 
  9. ^ "BBC to dramatise Life Of Brian controversy in new film". BBC News. 21 June 2011. 

External links[edit]