Gwilym Lee

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Gwilym Lee
Lee in 2018
Born (1983-11-24) 24 November 1983 (age 40)
Bristol, England
Alma materCardiff University
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Years active1997–present

Gwilym Lee (born 24 November 1983) is a British actor. He is best known for his roles in Jamestown, Midsomer Murders, Top End Wedding, The Great, and for playing guitarist Brian May in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Early life[edit]

Lee was born in Bristol to Welsh parents, Tom and Ceinwen. He has three older siblings: Geraint, Owen and Rhiannon. When he was young the family moved to Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands,[1] although he identifies strongly with his Welsh heritage.[2][3] He studied English literature at Cardiff University and drama at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he received the Guildhall Gold Medal in 2008.[1] Lee lives in London.[4]


Lee joined a drama group as a teen. He then starred in the 1997-1998 television adaptation of the Animal Ark books. Aged 16 he started working on Richard III with the Royal Shakespeare Company.[4] Lee appeared in a leading role in the final series of Land Girls (2011) and had several guest roles on television (including Ashes to Ashes, Fresh Meat, Monroe and Henry V). He has also worked on radio (The Emerald Tiger, The Silver Turk and in an adaptation of The Cruel Sea).

Lee was commended in the 2008 Ian Charleson Awards for his appearance in the National Theatre's production of Oedipus and in 2009 played Laertes to Jude Law's Hamlet in the Donmar West End season.[5]

He won first prize of the 2011 Ian Charleson Award for his role as Edgar in the 2010 King Lear production at the Donmar Warehouse.[6] In 2012 Lee starred in the Donmar Trafalgar Studios production of Aleksei Arbuzov's The Promise.[7]

At Christmas 2013 Lee began a television starring role as DCI Barnaby's new sergeant, DS Charlie Nelson, in the 16th series of Midsomer Murders, which also included the show's 100th episode, partially shot in Denmark in collaboration with the local national broadcasting corporation, DR.[8] In early 2014 he appeared in Versailles at the Donmar Warehouse.[5]

In April 2016 it was announced by ITV that Lee was not returning for season 19 of Midsomer Murders. Lee, on his Twitter account, indicated he would be involved in an upcoming series Jamestown.[9] Lee played guitarist Brian May in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (2018),[10] which earned him a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards.[11]

In 2018, it was announced that Lee had joined the cast of the Hulu series The Great; on the series airing for three seasons from 2020 to 2023, Lee starred amongst the ensemble cast as Grigory "Grigor" Dymov, a composite character of Catherine the Great's historical lovers Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin, and a childhood friend of Peter III.[12]

In 2023, it was announced that Lee had been cast in the second season of SAS: Rogue Heroes.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Escort Short film
2010 The Tourist Senior Technician Mountain
2011 Isle of Dogs D.C. Block
2017 The Agency Alistair Short film
2018 The Last Witness John Underwood
2018 Bohemian Rhapsody Brian May
2019 Top End Wedding Ned Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2019
2023 Tall Dark and Handsome James Short film
TBD Oddity Ted
2024 Here John Harter


Year Title Role Notes
1997–1998 Animal Ark James Hunter TV series, 13 episodes
2008 Mutual Friends Young Man TV series, episode: #1.5
2009 Lewis Terry Bainbridge Episode: "The Quality of Mercy"
2009 Waterloo Road Steven TV series, episode: #4.11
2009 Ashes to Ashes Young Summers TV series, episode: #2.7
2010 Doctors Anatole Karpski TV series, episode: "Idle Hands"
2011 Land Girls Reverend Henry Jameson TV series, 5 episodes
2012 The Hollow Crown Williams TV Mini-Series, episode: "Henry V"
2012 Fresh Meat Giles TV series, episode: #2.1
2012 Monroe Alex Scholfield TV series, episode: #2.3
2012 Restless Sean Gilmartin TV movie
2013–2016 Midsomer Murders DS Charlie Nelson TV series, 15 episodes
2015 A Song for Jenny James Television film
2017 The Royal House of Windsor Narrator Documentary Series
2017 Jamestown Samuel Castell 8 episodes
2019 The Man Mark Baxter Episode: #1.2
2020–2023 The Great Grigory "Grigor" Dymov Hulu series, main cast
TBD SAS: Rogue Heroes Bill Stirling BBC series, season two


Year Title Role Venue/Company Notes
1999 Richard III Edward, Prince of Wales Royal Shakespeare Company
2008 Oedipus The Messenger and Understudy Oedipus National Theatre with Ralph Fiennes
2009 About Tommy Tommy Southwark Playhouse
2009 Hamlet Laertes Kronborg Castle and Broadhurst Theatre with Jude Law
2009 Hamlet Guildenstern Donmar Warehouse
2010 The Fairy-Queen Demetrius Opera-Comique and Off-Broadway
2010 Danton's Death Lacroix and Understudy Danton National Theatre
2010–2011 King Lear Edgar Donmar Warehouse
2011 Othello Cassio Sheffield Crucible with Lily James, Dominic West
2012 The Promise Leonidik Donmar Warehouse at Trafalgar Studios
2014 Versailles Leonard Donmar Warehouse with Tom Hughes
2017 Diminished Adam Hampstead Theatre

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Cloud Chamber Tom
2015 Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below Psaro the Manslayer English voice
2015 Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Cid English voice
2019 Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Cid English voice
2020 South of the Circle Peter Voice, 3D motion capture
2021 Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Cid English voice

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2008 Guildhall School of Music and Drama Drama Gold Medal Won [14]
Ian Charleson Awards Commendations portraying the Messenger in Oedipus at National Theatre Won [15]
2010 First Prize portraying Edgar in King Lear at Donmar Warehouse Won [15]
2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Bohemian Rhapsody Nominated [16]
2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series The Great Nominated [17]


  1. ^ a b McCrum, Kirstie (13 December 2013). "Actor Gwilym's got murder in mind at Midsomer". Wales Online.
  2. ^ Lee, Gwilym (17 February 2016). "Two contrasting birthday cards from family and friends illustrating the difficulty of growing up Welsh in". @Gwilymlee. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  3. ^ Lee, Gwilym (7 July 2018). "Apparently, it's coming home. (I know I'm Welsh - but just for this one day.....) #itscominghome #worldcup". @Gwilymlee. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b Kebble, Mark (16 December 2013). "Why Gwilym Lee is one to watch". The Resident. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Hamlet at the Donmar Warehouse 2009". Archived from the original on 31 January 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  6. ^ Wise, Louis (19 June 2011). "Award for young actors". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Photo Flash: First Look at Max Bennett, Gwilym Lee and More in Donmar Warehouse's THE PROMISE". 20 November 2012.
  8. ^ Cole, Tom (15 April 2013). "Midsomer Murders: Gwilym Lee joins as Barnaby's new partner". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 18 April 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Twitter". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  10. ^ Queen Pic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Finds Bandmates In Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee & Joe Mazzello, Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  11. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (12 December 2018). "SAG Awards: Full List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  12. ^ Bohemian Rhapsody's Gwilym Lee Joins Hulu Pilot 'The Great', Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  13. ^ Filming begins on SAS Rogue Heroes series two, as new and returning cast are announced, Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  14. ^ "Drama Gold Medal awarded to Gwilym Lee". Guildhall School. 12 December 2018. Archived from the original on 24 September 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  15. ^ a b Wise, Louis. "Award for young actors". Sunday Times. 19 June 2011.
  16. ^ "Screen Actors Guild Props Up Popular Players in Film, Ignores Critical Darlings". Variety. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  17. ^ France, Lisa Respers (4 February 2021). "SAG Award 2021: See the full list of nominees". CNN. Retrieved 4 February 2021.

External links[edit]