Daniel Mays

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Daniel Mays
Born (1978-03-31) 31 March 1978 (age 43)[1]
Epping, Essex, England
Years active1995–present
Spouse(s)Louise Burton
WebsiteOfficial website

Daniel Mays (born 31 March 1978) is an English actor.

Early life[edit]

Born the third of four boys, Mays was brought up in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, by his electrician father and bank cashier mother. He attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts before going on to win a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).[2]

Acting career[edit]

Mays graduated from RADA in 2000.[3] Mike Leigh cast him in both All or Nothing and Vera Drake and Mays has said that working with Leigh was decisive in making him the kind of actor he wanted to be. "You leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of truthful, believable characters."[4] In 2005 he was cast in the BBC drama Rehab[5] and in 2008 played the role of Michael Myshkin in Channel 4's adaptation of David Peace's Red Riding trilogy.[6]

His appearance in the independent British film Shifty, co-starring Riz Ahmed, earned him a nomination for best supporting actor at the British Independent Film Awards.[7]

Mays starred as Eddie O'Grady in the 2010 film Made in Dagenham. In the same year, he played DCI Jim Keats in the third series of "Ashes to Ashes", in which he portrayed a character that was the antagonist of Philip Glenister's Gene Hunt.[8][9]

Mays appeared in the BBC sci-fi series Outcasts.[10]

He had roles in No One Gets Off in This Town and a supporting role in the Steven Spielberg film The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. He then played a criminal on a curfew after serving a 10-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend when he was 19 in the programme Public Enemies, which aired on BBC One in early January 2012. He played Ronnie Biggs in a 5-part drama called Mrs Biggs.

For much of the latter half of 2013, Mays performed on stage. Performing in Nick Payne's Same Deep Water As Me at the Donmar Warehouse alongside Nigel Lindsay [11] and in the first major revival of Jez Butterworth's debut play Mojo at the Harold Pinter Theatre. He starred alongside Ben Whishaw, Brendan Coyle, Rupert Grint and Colin Morgan.[12]

Mays starred in Series 3 of BBC drama Line of Duty as Sergeant Danny Waldron, an armed response officer whose troubled and abusive childhood comes under investigation following his death in episode one as part of wider investigation of police corruption throughout the serial. He was nominated for a BAFTA Television Award for Supporting Actor for his role.[13]

In 2016 Mays played the part of Aston in Harold Pinter's play The Caretaker directed by Matthew Warchus at The Old Vic Theatre in London opposite Timothy Spall and George MacKay.

Mays portrayed Tivik in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.[14]

He starred as lead investigator Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay in the three-part television drama miniseries Des, about the 1983 arrest of Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen, first screened on ITV on 14 September 2020 in the UK.

Personal life[edit]

Mays has a son and a daughter with makeup artist Louise Burton.[15] As of 2005, he was living in Crouch End, an area in the London Borough of Haringey.[5] A keen football fan, he is a supporter of Leyton Orient.[16]

He is a friend of Grant Nicholas, lead singer of rock band Feeder, and appeared in the 2012 music video for the band's single "Idaho".[17]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Skin Deep Flashback youth Short film
Pearl Harbor Pilot No. 3
2002 All or Nothing Jason
2004 Vera Drake Sid
2005 The Secret Life of Words Martin
The Best Man Pool Guy
2006 Middletown Jim Hunter
A Good Year Bert the Doorman
2007 Atonement Tommy Nettle
2007 Saddam’s Tribe: Bound By Blood Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti
2008 The Bank Job Dave Shilling
Shifty Chris
Bitter Unknown Short film
2009 Mr. Nobody Young Journalist
The Firm Yeti
2010 Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Blenkinsop
Hippie Hippie Shake Widgery Awaiting release
Made in Dagenham Eddie
No One Gets Off in This Town
2011 The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Allan
2012 Byzantium Noel
2013 Welcome to the Punch Nathan Bartnick
2015 Victor Frankenstein Barnaby
2016 Dad's Army[18] Private Walker
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story[19] Tivik Cameo
The Infiltrator Frankie
2017 The Limehouse Golem George Flood
2018 Swimming with Men Colin
Two for Joy Lias
Shaun William
2019 Fisherman's Friends Danny
1917 Sergeant Sanders
2020 The Rhythm Section Dean West


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Fist of Fun Patrick Nuffy Episode 2.5–2.6
2000 EastEnders Kevin Two episodes
2001 In Deep Dave Street Episode 1.5: "Ghost Squad: Part 1"
The Bill Warren Debdale Episode 17.46: "Temptation"
2002 Manchild Mechanic Episode 1.1: "Fiftysomething"
NCS: Manhunt Danny Bird Episodes 1.1 and 1.6
Dead Casual Unknown TV film
Tipping the Velvet Jimmy Burns TV serial
2003 Rehab Adam TV film
2004 Top Buzzer Carlton Appeared in ten episodes
Keen Eddie Ronnie Wiggensey Jr. Episode 1.8: "Sticky Fingers"
2005 Beneath the Skin Moz Burnside TV film
Class of '76 DS Steven Grant TV film
Funland Carter Krantz Appeared in all 11 episodes
2007 Consent Steve TV film
Saddam's Tribe Uday TV film
Half Broken Things Michael TV film
2008 White Girl Steve TV film
Consuming Passion Charles Boon TV film
2009 Plus One Rob Black Appeared in all five episodes
Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983 Michael Myshkin
The Street Mark Episode 3.2
2010 Hustle Mervyn Lloyd Episode 6.5: "Conned Out of Luck"
Ashes to Ashes Jim Keats Appeared in eight episodes
2011 Outcasts Cass Cromwell
Doctor Who Alex Series 6 Episode 9: "Night Terrors"
2012 Treasure Island Doctor Livesey Miniseries
Public Enemies Eddie Mottram
Mrs Biggs Ronnie Biggs
2014 The Great Fire Samuel Pepys TV series 4 episodes
Common Tommy Ward TV film
2016 Line of Duty Sergeant Danny Waldron Series 3
2017 Guerrilla Cullen TV Series
Born to Kill Bill TV Series
Against the Law Peter Wildeblood Docu-drama
2018 Urban Myths: The Sex Pistols Vs. Bill Grundy Mike Housego TV Series 1 episode
My Dinner with Hervé Casey TV Movie
2019 Porters Anthony De La Mer Regular, 6 episodes (Series 2)
Good Omens Arthur Young Miniseries
Temple Lee Simmons 8 Episodes
2020 Des Peter Jay TV miniseries
White Lines Marcus
Code 404 DI John Major


  1. ^ Paddock, Terri; "20 Questions With… Daniel Mays" Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine WhatsOnStage.com, (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  2. ^ Wright, John (1 November 2015). "'£80,000 was my best pay – for a film they didn't release'". Retrieved 28 April 2020 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  3. ^ "Alumni: Who Trained at RADA — Graduate Directory" Archived 19 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine RADA.org (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  4. ^ The Observer Magazine, p.26 12 April 2009
  5. ^ a b "Funland Starts this autumn on BBC THREE" BBC Press Office, 27 September 2005 (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  6. ^ Barnett, David; "Bradford: City gives a backdrop to new drama" Bradford Telegraph & Argus, 9 September 2008 (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  7. ^ "BIFA Nominations — 2008: Best Supporting Actor for Shifty" Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine British Independent Film Awards, (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  8. ^ News, Manchester Evening (28 April 2010). "Ashes To Ashes: Daniel Mays". men.
  9. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Ashes To Ashes series three press pack: Daniel Mays". www.bbc.co.uk.
  10. ^ "Outcasts". BBC One. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Past productions - Donmar Warehouse". Donmar Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Sonia Friedman Productions". Sonia Friedman. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Television: Supporting Actor in 2017". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Rogue One: Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  15. ^ Neville, Ryan (10 January 2016). "Finally, Daniel Mays married his girlfriend Louise Burton, who is also the mother of his children". HitCopy. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  16. ^ "On Soccer AM… This Saturday Gazza joins Max and Helen" SkySports.com, 17 April 2009 (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  17. ^ "Feeder". roughtrade.com. 2020. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Dad's Army film cast announced". Bbc.co.uk. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  19. ^ "Rogue One". Starwars.com. Retrieved 13 October 2017.

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