Douglas Henshall

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Douglas Henshall
Douglas James Henshall

(1965-11-19) 19 November 1965 (age 56)[1]
Glasgow, Scotland
Other namesDougie Henshall
Doug Henshall
Years active1989–present
Height1.79m (5 ft 10 in)
(m. 2010)

Douglas “Dougie” James Henshall (born 19 November 1965) is a Scottish television, film and stage actor. He is best known for his roles as Professor Nick Cutter in the science fiction series Primeval (2007–2011) and Detective Inspector Jimmy Pérez in the crime drama Shetland (2013–present).


Henshall's mother was a nurse and his father a salesman. He attended Barrhead High School. While studying there, he joined the Scottish Youth Theatre.[3] After graduation, he moved to London and trained at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Later, Henshall joined the 7:84 theatre company in Glasgow. He later returned to London where he received critical acclaim for his theatre work, notably Life of Stuff at the Donmar Warehouse (1993) and American Buffalo at the Young Vic (1997). He married his partner, Croatian writer Tena Štivičić, in Las Vegas in February 2010.[2]



In 1993, Henshall appeared in Dennis Potter's television adaptation of Lipstick on Your Collar. He also portrayed T. E. Lawrence in a recurring role in the American television series Young Indiana Jones (1992–1996). In 1993 he appeared in series 10 of The Bill. One of his first successful film roles was as Edgar in Angels and Insects (1995) before going on to star in Sharpe's Justice (1997), Orphans (1998), The Man with Rain in His Shoes (1998). He has also starred in many television series and is known for his roles in Psychos (1999) This Year's Love (1999) and Kid in the Corner (1999) (for which he won a gold nymph as best actor in a mini-series at the Monte-Carlo TV festival in 2000).


Henshall appeared in the films Lawless Heart (2001) Gentlemen’s Relish (2001) and Silent Cry (2002). Roles on television include Konstantin Levin in Anna Karenina (2000), and Dan in Loving You (2003). He has also performed in plays for BBC radio, including the role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (1999) and David in The Long Farewell (2002). In the summer of 2002, Douglas returned to the London stage where he performed the role of Michael Bakunin in Tom Stoppard's new trilogy of plays, The Coast of Utopia, at the National Theatre.[2][3]

Henshall played Marcus in the post-production British comedy film French Film, alongside Hugh Bonneville and Anne-Marie Duff. He took the starring role as scientist Professor Nick Cutter in the first three series of the science fiction series Primeval from 2007 to 2009[4] and starred in Dorian Gray (2009) as the doctor Alan Campbell.


He went on to appear in another ITV1 show, Collision, in which he played the investigating officer of a multiple car crash.[5] In 2010, Douglas starred in a BBC1 drama called The Silence.[6] He appeared in Series 5 of Lewis in the episode "The Mind Has Mountains" and as Cradoc in The Eagle (2011).

In summer 2011, Henshall starred in Harold Pinter's Betrayal at the Comedy Theatre in London's West End playing the lover of Emma, played by Kristin Scott Thomas. Her husband was played by Ben Miles and the revival was brought to life by director Ian Rickson. In autumn 2012, he appeared as Oliver Cromwell in the premiere of the new play 55 Days.

In 2012, he starred as Augustus Cribben in The Secret of Crickley Hall, and in the ITV television film of Ian Rankin's novel Doors Open.

Douglas Henshall and author Ann Cleeves at Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival, 2017

In 2013 Henshall began portraying Detective Inspector Jimmy Pérez in the BBC drama Shetland filmed in Lerwick[7] and Glasgow.[8] The story was based on Ann Cleeves' Shetland crime novel Red Bones. A second series of six episodes consisted of three, two-part, stories based on Cleeve's Raven Black, Dead Water and Blue Lightning. It screened in the UK in March and April 2014. A further series was filmed in 2015, screening on BBC1 in the UK during January and February 2016. As of October 2018 the series is ongoing. Henshall won the Bafta Scotland best television actor award in 2016 for his work in the series and the show won the best television drama.[9]

In 2015, Henshall starred as Taran MacQuarrie in the TV series Outlander.

In 2016, he starred in the Scottish three-part television drama series In Plain Sight as the detective William Muncie, who pursued serial murderer Peter Manuel to his conviction and ultimate execution by hanging.[10]

Henshall stars in the film Iona, written and directed by Scott Graham, which opened in March 2016. It is the story of a mother who burns her car and takes her teenage son on a ferry to the island she was named after.[11] In 2019 he appeared as antiquarian book dealer Adam Snow in Susan Hill's Ghost Story - The Small Hand (Channel 5 TV).


Year Film Role Notes
1989 The Bill Manager TV series (1 episode: "Grace of God")
1990 Taggart Motor Cyclist TV series (1 episode: "Love Knot")
Crossing the Line Davie Dawson
Silent Scream News Reporter – 1963, Brixton, Soho
1991 4 Play Eric Shaw TV series (1 episode: "Ball on the Slates")
Jute City Sammy Kerr TV series (2 episodes)
Boon Johnny TV series (1 episode: "The Night Before Christmas")
1992 Van der Valk Joep Huizinga TV series (1 episode: "The Ties that Bind")
Underbelly Haig TV series (1 episode: "Episode #1.4")
Firm Friends Stephen TV series (1 episode: "Episode #1.1")
1993 Lipstick on Your Collar Corporal Berry TV series (6 episodes)
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles T. E. Lawrence TV series (2 episodes)
Screen One Louie Gibbons TV series (1 episode: "Down Among the Big Boys")
1994 The Bill Stewart French TV series (1 episode: "Darkness Before Dawn")
Common as Muck Brian Forget TV series (3 episodes)
Rab C. Nesbitt Donny TV series (1 episode: "More")
Rose Red Man Short
1995 Ghosts Billy TV series (1 episode: "Three Miles Up")
Angels & Insects Edgar Alabaster
1996 Screen Two Clive Colville TV series (1 episode: "Crossing the Floor")
Thief Takers Paul Valera TV series (1 episode: "Nasty Boys")
1997 Sharpe's Justice Wickham TV movie
Kull the Conqueror Ducalon
1998 The Man With the Rain in His Shoes Victor Bukowski AKA Twice Upon a Yesterday
Orphans Michael
1998 This Year's Love Danny
Fast Food Benny
Psychos Dr. Daniel Nash TV series (6 episodes)
Kid in the Corner Alex Letts TV series
2000 Anna Karenina Levin TV series (4 episodes)
2001 Gentlemen's Relish Cromwell Marsh TV movie
Lawless Heart Tim
2002 Silent Cry Daniel Stone
2003 It's All About Love Michael
Loving You Dan TV movie
Unscrew Sam Short
2004 Frances Tuesday Lucas Pilgrim TV movie
2005 Dalziel and Pascoe Tony Watson (including a cameo as Fagin singing in Oliver!) TV series (2 episodes)[12]
The Strange Case of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Conan Doyle TV movie
Ripley Under Ground Derwatt
2006 Free Jimmy Eddie Voice
Dead Long Enough Styx
2007 Flying Lessons Aarto
Sea of Souls Robert Dunbar TV series (2 episodes)
Primeval Nick Cutter (16 episodes: 2007–2009)
2008 French Film Marcus
2009 Primeval Evolved Nick Cutter Video Game
Dorian Gray Alan Campbell
Collision D.I. John Tolin TV series (5 episodes)
2010 The Silence Jim TV mini-series (4 episodes)
2011 The Eagle Cradoc
South Riding Joe Astell TV mini-series (3 episodes)
Lewis Alex Gansa TV series (1 episode: "The Mind Has Mountains")
How I Was Stolen by the Germans Werner Kraus
2012 The Kidnap Diaries Sean Langan TV movie
Playhouse Presents Harker TV series (1 episode: "The Sniper")
The Secret of Crickley Hall Augustus Cribben TV series (3 episodes)
Doors Open Mike Mackenzie TV movie
2013–present Shetland DI Jimmy Pérez TV series, lead role
2014 The Salvation Sheriff Mallick
2015 Outlander Taran MacQuarrie TV series (4 episodes)
Iona Daniel
Black Work DCS Hepburn TV series (3 episodes)
2016 In Plain Sight Sergeant William Muncie TV mini-series, lead role


  1. ^ Douglas Henshall in IMDb
  2. ^ a b c "Interview: Douglas Henshall, actor". The Scotsman. 25 April 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Douglas Henshall, b. 1965. Actor". National Galleries of Scotland. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  4. ^ Sweney, Mark (15 June 2009). "Primeval dropped by ITV". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Douglas Henshall: Life after Primeval for Henshall". The Chester Chronicle. 9 November 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  6. ^ The Silence BBC1
  7. ^ "Street Closed for Filming Television Crime Series". Shetland Times. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  8. ^ "on the perks of filming new BBC crime drama Shetland in & around Glasgow". Daily Record. Glasgow. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Crime drama Shetland triumphs at Bafta Scotland". BBC Scotland. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2017. Actor Television – Douglas Henshall ... Shetland Television Drama – Shetland, ITV Studios/BBC One
  10. ^ Bley Griffiths, Eleanor (21 December 2016). "How historically accurate is in Plain Sight? The true story of serial killer Peter Manuel played by Martin Compston". Radio Times. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  11. ^ Beacom, Brian (21 March 2016). "Interview with Douglas Henshall, star of new film Iona". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  12. ^ "Dust Thou Art". IMDb. Retrieved 2 October 2017.

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