Ian Kelly (actor)

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Ian Kelly (born 16 January 1966)[1] is a British writer and actor. His works include historical biographies, stage and screenplays.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Cambridge, England, in 1966, Kelly is the second son of Professor Donald Kelly and Patricia Ann Kelly. He was brought up in Philadelphia, Bristol, and the Wirral.

Kelly studied at Cambridge University and UCLA Film School. His play 'Mr Foote's Other Leg', directed by Sir Richard Eyre and starring Simon Russell Beale, opened at Hampstead Theatre in 2015 before transferring directly into the West End, Theatre Royal Haymarket, playing 2015-2016

He played Hermione Granger's father in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1. He has appeared in The Pitmen Painters at the National Theatre on Broadway and in the West End and A Busy Day in London's West End and in New York in his own one-man plays and also in the US premiere of Ron Hutchinson's Beau Brummell in the title role. He was nominated for Best Actor for his work in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia (Manchester Drama Awards), and for Alexei Balabanov's Voyna (War), shot in Chechnya and the Caucasus, he was nominated for Best Actor at the Montreal International Film Festival.

Kelly has published biographies of Antonin Careme, Beau Brummell and Casanova, and Samuel Foote (Mr. Foote's Other Leg, 2012) and written for most of the British broadsheets and the New York Times. He is a contributing editor of Food Arts Magazine. His biography of Vivienne Westwood, written with Dame Vivienne, came out in October 2014.

The BBC Television drama Beau Brummell: This Charming Man was based on his biography. Other TV work includes Dennis Potter's Cold Lazarus, Drop the Dead Donkey, Silent Witness, Just William, Catherine Cookson's The Moth, Sensitive Skin, and Time Trumpet.

Kelly's film work includes Closed, Creation, Merchant-Ivory's Howards End, Richard Attenborough's In Love and War, and the Russian film Admiral.

His biography of Beau Brummell was shortlisted for the Marsh Biography Award.

His biography of Giacomo Casanova was the Sunday Times Biography of the Year 2008-9. It was read by Benedict Cumberbatch on BBC Radio 4 in 2008 as a Book of the Week abridged by Amber Barnfather,[2] repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra,[3] then published by BBC Worldwide as an audio book in May 2015.

His biography of Samuel Foote, Mr. Foote's Other Leg, was named Best Theatre Book by the Society for Theatre Research in May 2013. He adapted it as a play under the same title in 2015 and appeared in the premiere production himself as George III.


  • Kelly, Ian (25 September 2003). Cooking for Kings: The Life of the First Celebrity Chef. Short Books, London (hardcover). ISBN 978-1-904095-20-0.
  • Kelly, Ian (10 October 2005). Beau Brummell: The Ultimate Dandy. Hodder & Stoughton (hardcover). ISBN 978-0-340-83698-9.
  • Kelly, Ian (26 June 2008). Casanova: Actor Lover Priest Spy. Hodder Paperbacks (hardback). ISBN 978-0-340-92214-9.
  • Kelly, Ian (11 October 2012). Mr Foote's Other Leg; Comedy, Tragedy and Murder in Georgian England. Picador PanMacmillan, London (hardcover). ISBN 033051783X.


  1. ^ KELLY, Ian Francis, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014
  2. ^ Casanova - BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week
  3. ^ Ian Kelly - Casanova - BBC Radio 4 Extra

External links[edit]