Gary Lewis (actor)

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Gary Lewis
Gary Lewis Viennale 2012.jpg
Lewis in October 2012
Gary Stevenson

(1957-11-30) 30 November 1957 (age 61)
Easterhouse, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Years active1994–present

Gary Stevenson (born 30 November 1957), better known as Gary Lewis, is a Scottish actor. He has had roles in films such as Billy Elliot, Gangs of New York, Eragon, and Three and Out, as well as major roles in the television docudrama Supervolcano and the Starz series Outlander.

Early life[edit]

Gary Lewis was born Gary Stevenson on 30th November 1957 in Easterhouse, Glasgow. The middle of three children, his father was a coppersmith whilst his mother worked in a local biscuit factory. After leaving school, he worked a series of jobs including as a street sweeper and in a library. He completed a social science degree at Glasgow College of Technology (now Glasgow Caledonian University), graduating with honours in 1983. Encouraged by his brother, an English teacher at Stonelaw High School in Rutherglen, he read voraciously and decided to pursue a career as an actor.



Although he had pursued amateur theatrics, Lewis was 32 when he committed to acting, joining Robert Carlyle's newly formed Raindog Theatre. His career received a boost when he was befriended by actor-director Peter Mullan, whom he met at a socialist lecture.


Mullan hired Lewis for a role in the short Close which began filming in 1991 but took some three years to complete. By that time, both actors had appeared in Shallow Grave (1994). Lewis went on to act in Mullan's subsequent shorts Good Day for the Bad Guys (1995) and the award-winning Fridge (1996).

Lewis joined director Kenneth Loach's unofficial stock company lending support to his two mentors in separate films: with Carlyle, he co-starred in Carla's Song (1996), while he played a recovering alcoholic alongside Mullan in My Name Is Joe (1998). In between, Mullan cast him as the over-righteous, somewhat dimwitted elder sibling Thomas in Orphans (1998), an examination of a dysfunctional family. He went on to co-star with Max Beesley in The Match (1999; released on video in USA in 2001) before landing his international breakthrough part as the father of a young boy who wants to become a ballet dancer in Billy Elliot (2000). Lewis delivered a multi-layered turn as a man coping with grief over the death of his wife, a violent strike that threatens his livelihood and the struggles of raising two sons. The actor rounded out his banner year teaming with Irish actor Sean McGinley in What Where, a 12-minute short film of Samuel Beckett's play, and supporting Michael Caine as a boxing coach who may or may not have been involved in a murder in Shiner (screened at the San Sebastian Film Festival).

In 2008, Lewis starred in the film Ecstasy based on The Undefeated from Irvine Welsh's best-selling novel Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance.

Lewis starred in British comedy Three and Out released on 25 April 2008.

Lewis appeared in Scottish rom-com Not Another Happy Ending as the father of protagonist Jane Lockhart.


Lewis has appeared in the Scottish comedy Rab C Nesbitt and the criminal drama shows Taggart and Prime Suspect: the Final Act.

In 2010 Lewis appeared as Adam Ingram in the Channel 4 drama Mo a biopic of former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam, a role that saw him nominated for a BAFTA Television Award in the category of Best Supporting Actor.

In 2011 Lewis appeared in episode five of new BBC drama Outcasts playing Patrick Baxter. He also appeared as the enigmatic wizard Alator in two episodes of the BBC fantasy drama Merlin.

In September 2011, Lewis appeared in episode two of the BBC drama The Body Farm, playing Jimmy West, butler to an elderly man accused of murder.

In December 2011, Lewis appeared in the BBC mini-series Young James Herriot, in the role of Prof. Quinton Gunnel.

In May 2012 Lewis appeared in the Rai 1 TV film L'olimpiade perduta, which tells of the XII and XIII Olympic Games, that took place in the Nazi concentration camps. In this TV film, Lewis has the role of the British general Alex, who organized the Olympic Games.

In January 2014 Lewis appeared as DS MacNeil in the Silent Witness two-parter "In A Lonely Place".

In July 2014, Lewis appeared in The Glasgow Girls as a teacher who supported his pupils during their fight to save their classmate from deportation.

In August 2014, Lewis appeared in the recurring role of Colum MacKenzie, laird of the MacKenzie clan, on the Starz series Outlander.[1]

In 2015, Lewis appeared as Bill Williams in the BBC series Death in Paradise (episode 4.7).

In 2016, Lewis appeared in The Level as Gil Devlin.

In 2015 and 2016, Lewis played the role of Colum Mackenzie, Laird of the Mackenzie clan, on the hit series Outlander, based on the book series of the same name by author Diana Gabaldon.


Year Title: Role: Notes
1994 Shallow Grave Visitor
1998 Orphans Thomas Won Best Actor, Gijón International Film Festival
1996 Carla's Song Sammy
1998 My Name Is Joe Shanks
1999 East Is East Mark
2000 One Life Stand Jackie
2000 Rob of the Rovers Rob
2000 What Where Bom/Bim/Bem
2000 Billy Elliot Jackie Elliot Won Best Actor, Flaiano Film Festival
2002 The Escapist Ron
2002 Gangs of New York McGloin
2002 Pure French
2003 Solid Air John Doran
2003 Boudica Magior the Shaman
2004 Gunpowder, Treason & Plot Morgan John Knox
2004 Yes Billy
2004 Ae Fond Kiss... Danny
2005 Supervolcano Jock Galvin
2005 Joyeux Noël Palmer
2005 Goal! Mal Braithwaite
2006 Cargo Herman
2006 True North The Skipper
2006 Eragon Hrothgar
2007 Ecstasy Mr. Cab Driver
2008 Three and Out Callaghan
2008 Valhalla Rising Kare
2010 Neds Teacher
2011 Outcasts Pak
2011–2012 Merlin Alator 2 episodes
2011 Young James Herriot Professor Quinton Gunnel
2012 When the Lights Went Out Father Clifton
2012 Der Fall Wilhelm Reich Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron
2013 Filth Gus Bain
2014 Silent Witness DS MacNeil 2 episodes
2014 Outlander Colum MacKenzie
2014 The Glasgow Girls Euan Girvan
2015 Death in Paradise Bill Williams
2016 The Level Gil Devlin
2018 Frontier Edward Emberly 3 episodes
2019 Trautmann Jock Thompson Post-production


  1. ^ "Starz's Outlander Adds Two To Cast". 4 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2014.

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