James Cosmo

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James Cosmo

James Cosmo 2014 (cropped).jpg
James Cosmo MBE at the TGS SpringBreak event in France, in April 2014
James Ronald Gordon Copeland

1947 (age 75–76)
Years active1965–present
Annie Harris
(m. 2000)

James Ronald Gordon Copeland MBE, known professionally as James Cosmo (b. 1947[1]), is a Scottish film and television actor known for his appearances in films including Highlander, Braveheart, Trainspotting, Jagame Thandhiram, Troy, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Ben-Hur and Wonder Woman, as well as television series such as Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy, His Dark Materials and Jack Ryan. He appeared in the nineteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother, finishing in fourth place.

Early life[edit]

Cosmo is the son of actor James Copeland and Helen Goodlet Findlay.[2] He attended Hartfield Primary School in Dumbarton. Through his father, young James played cricket on Hampstead Heath with Sean Connery while his father was in the pub with Peter O'Toole.[3] He also has a sister named Laura.[3] When he was 11, he moved back to Glasgow and later he worked for a time at Arnott Young shipbreakers in Dalmuir.[3]


At the start of his career he adopted Cosmo, the middle name of his mother Helen, as his stage surname. [4] Cosmo is best known for his film roles as Angus MacLeod in Highlander, Campbell in Braveheart and as Father Christmas in the adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[5] Over the years he has also had roles in other films such as Trainspotting, The Last Legion and 2081.[6] He appeared in Troy with future Game of Thrones cast members Sean Bean and Julian Glover.[7] He also appeared in UFO as SHADO operative Lieutenant Anderson, in Take the High Road as Alex Geddes from 1982 until 1983 and in 1984 played Jock McLeish in the Minder episode Senior Citizen Caine.[8][5] He appeared as Lieutenant-Colonel Philip Drysdale in the seventh series of Soldier Soldier.[8] He portrayed Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, in the HBO series Game of Thrones.[9] He was involved in the filming of the thriller Breakdown in which he appeared alongside Craig Fairbrass, Bruce Payne, Emmett Scanlan, Olivia Grant and Tamer Hassan.[10] He played the antagonist in the Indian film, Jagame Thandhiram, which released in 2021.[11] He played a Russian intelligence officer named Luka Gocharov in season 3 of the Amazon show Jack Ryan. [12]

He is a patron of the charity Chance for Childhood.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1969 Battle of Britain Jamie
The Virgin Soldiers Waller
1971 Assault Det. Sgt. Beale
1972 Doomwatch Bob Gillette
Young Winston Officer on train
Sutherland's Law Ian Campbell Television film
The Stone Tape Cliff Dow Television film
1982 Living Apart Together Priest
1985 Operation Julie Longfellow Television film
1986 Highlander Angus Macleod
1988 Stormy Monday Tony
1989 The Nightwatch James Smithson Television film
1990 Treasure Island Redruth Television film
The Fool Mr. Bowring
1995 Braveheart Campbell
1996 Trainspotting Mr. Renton
Emma Mr. Weston
1997 Santa/Claws Santa Claus Short film
1998 Urban Ghost Story Minister
Babe: Pig in the City Thelonius
1999 Sunset Heights MacDonald
The Match Billy Bailey
Billy and Zorba Zorba Short film
Split Second Donald Paterson Television film
One More Kiss Frank
2000 Honest Tommy Chase
Reflections Upon the Origin of the Pineapple Narrator Short film
The Last of the Blonde Bombshells McNab Television film
2001 To End All Wars Lt. Col. Stuart McLean
All the Queen's Men Archie
2002 Once Upon a Time in the Midlands Billy
The Four Feathers Col. Sutch
The Reckoning Lambert
2003 Skagerrak Robert
Man Dancin' Donnie McGlone
Solid Air Finn
2004 One Last Chance Big John
Troy Glaucus
2005 The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby James Brown
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Father Christmas
2006 Half Light Finlay Murray
Slipp Jimmy fri HudMaSpecs English version, voice
The Lives of the Saints Mr. Karva
2007 The Last Legion Hrothgar
The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising Dawson
Where Have I Been All Your Life John Short film
Comet Impact Brenden Kelly Television film
2009 2081 George Bergeron Short film
The Clan Hector McGinley
2010 One Night in Emergency Television film
Outcast Laird
Donkeys Alfie
The Runway Sutherland
The Santa Incident Nick Television film
2011 No Saints for Sinners Murphy
The Glass Man Pecco
2012 Citadel Priest
Songs for Amy Murdo
2013 Get Lucky Mr. Zigic
The Golden Scallop Judge Wellington
Hammer of the Gods King Bagsecg
Justin and the Knights of Valour Blucher voice
The Christmas Candle Herbert Hopewell
Sea Out Old Joe Short film
Dying Light Policeman
2014 The Boogeyman Dr. Harper Short film
We Still Kill the Old Way Arthur
Hole Cooper Short film
2015 Moonwalkers Dawson
Carried Henry Hunter Short film
The Legend of Barney Thomson James Henderson
The Pyramid Texts Ray
Estranged Albert
2016 Project 12: The Bunker Brian Balanowsky
Breakdown Albert Chapman
Mikelis Mikelis Short film
Dark Signal Alan
Ben-Hur Quintus
Whisky Galore! Macalister the Minister
Monochrome Roger Daniels
Eliminators Cooper Post-production
2017 London Heist Ray Dixon
T2 Trainspotting Mr. Renton
Last Respects Philip Drummond (voice) Short film
Wonder Woman Field Marshal Haig
2018 Rogue Trooper: The Quartz Massacre Narrator Short film
In Darkness Niall
Outlaw King Robert Bruce Senior
Ashes in the Snow Mr. Stakas
Malevolent Grandpa Sayers
Tomorrow Mr. Charles
2019 The Hole in the Ground Des Brady
Forget Me Not Benedict
Get Duked! Farmer
Shadow Boxer Eddie Royce Short film, completed
2020 Skylines Grant
2021 Jagame Thanthiram Peter Sprott Tamil film
The Kindred Frank Menzies
2022 Breath Nick
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol Mr. Fezziwig voice; Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1965, 1969 Dr. Finlay's Casebook Private David / Peter Randall 2 episodes
1966 Ransom for a Pretty Girl Charlie Milne TV mini series
This Man Craig Douglas McGrath 1 episode
1967 St. Ives Dalmahoy 2 episodes
The Revenue Men Andrew 1 episode
1968 Detective Det. Sgt. MacGregor 1 episode
1969 Softly Softly McBride 1 episode
1970 The Borderers Hector 1 episode
The Wednesday Play Senior Under Officer Patterson 1 episode
1971 UFO Lt. Anderson 1 episode
The Persuaders! Inspector Williams 1 episode
The View from Daniel Pike Det. Con. Sanderson 1 episode
1973 ITV Playhouse Sgt. Robbins 1 episode
Sutherland's Law Ian Campbell 1 episode
1973–1977 Warship L. / Reg. Fuller 20 episodes
1974 Play for Today Loch 1 episode
1975 Churchill's People Robert Bruce 1 episode
Quiller Hamilton 1 episode
1976 Survivors Lenny Carter 1 episode
Orde Wingate Brigadier Calvert 3 episodes
1977 George & Mildred Keith 1 episode
The Mackenzie Affair James Mackenzie 5 episode
1977–1978 Midnight is a Place Davey Scatcherd 3 episodes
1978 The Standard Harry Bray 1 episode
The Sweeney Det. Sgt. Davy Freeth 1 episode
Kidnapped [de] Beggar TV mini series, 1 episode
1979 Dick Barton: Special Agent Jock Anderson 29 episodes
Thundercloud CPO Hawkins 13 episodes
The Onedin Line Glasgow McDade 1 episode
The Professionals Glover 1 episode
1980 Take the High Road Alex Geddes 1 episode
Hammer House of Horror Willis 1 episode
1981 The Nightmare Man Sgt. Carch 4 episodes
The House on the Hill Bonfield 1 episode
Strangers Det. Sgt. Galbraith 1 episode
1982 King's Royal Colin Lindsay 1 episode
1984 Minder Jock McLeish 1 episode
Murder Not Proven? Sergeant Munro 1 episode
Scarecrow and Mrs. King Dr. Ian McCarran 1 episode
Fairly Secret Army Crazy Colin Carstairs 2 episodes
1985 Lytton's Diary Harry Owen 1 episode
Big Deal McFee 1 episode
1985–1986 C.A.T.S. Eyes Howard / McNeill 2 episodes
1986 Running Scared Detective Inspector McNeil 6 episodes
Lost Empires Inspector Furness TV mini series, 1 episode
1987 Super Gran Mr. McBigg 1 episode
Brond Primo 3 episodes
1988 Codename: Kyril Bonham TV mini series, 1 episode
Taggart Victor Baird 1 episode
1989 Crossbow Anton 1 episode
Winners and Losers Frank Kerr TV mini series, 3 episodes
The Justice Game Glen 4 episodes
Saracen Miekera 1 episode
1989–1993 Casualty Tony / John Breckman 2 episodes
1989, 1999 The Bill Patrick Grainger / D.C.I. Cameron 2 episodes
1990 The Campbells Sgt. Henderson 1 episode
El C.I.D. Sands 1 episode
1991 The Sharp End Carmichael TV mini series, 1 episode
Stay Lucky Bigmac 1 episode
1992 Screaming
Medics Harry Liverege 1 episode
Heartbeat Matthew Chapman 1 episode
Rab C. Nesbitt Teacher 1 episode
1993 Scene Reception Officer TV series documentary, 1 episode
Between the Lines D.C.C. Birman 1 episode
1994 The House of Eliott James Maxton 1 episode
Alleyn Mysteries Major Keith Ballantyne 1 episode
Screen Two Jerry 1 episode
1994–1995 Roughnecks Tom 13 episodes
1996 Bad Boys Tam Devlin 1 episode
1997 Ivanhoe Cedric TV mini series, 5 episodes
Ain't Misbehavin' Malky Fraser 3 episodes
Soldier Soldier Lt. Col. Philip Drysdale 9 episodes
1998 Two Lives Eddie 1 episode
1999 Cleopatra Agrippa 2 episodes
Comedy Lab David 1 episode
2000 The 10th Kingdom Blind Woodsman TV mini series, 1 episode
Tales from the Madhouse The Centurion TV mini series, 1 episode
2000–2001 Rebus Morris Gerald Cafferty / Moris Cafferty 2 episodes
2000 Badger Charlie Maddox 1 episode
2001 Best of Both Worlds William Landucci 1 episode
2004 Biography Narrator TV series documentary, 1 episode
2005 Little House on the Prairie Mr. Scott TV mini series, 4 episodes
2007 Midsomer Murders Jack 'Axeman' McKinley 1 episode
2008 The Colour of Magic Galder Weatherwax TV mini series, 1 episode
2009 Merlin Hengist 1 episode
2010 Castle Finn Rourke 1 episode
FlashForward Philip 1 episode
Sons of Anarchy Father Kellan Ashby 8 episodes
2011–2013 Game of Thrones Jeor Mormont 12 episodes
2012 Silent Witness Arnold Mears 2 episodes
2013 Death in Paradise Roger Seymour 1 episode
Case Histories Len Lomax 1 episode
2014 New Worlds Goffe TV mini series, 1 episode
2015 Magnum Opus Moshe Navon 1 episode
2016 Shetland Arthur McCall 4 episodes
Stag The Gamekeeper 2 episodes
2016, 2018–19 The Durrells Captain Creech 4 episodes
2016 The Collection Jules Trouvier
2017 Celebrity Big Brother Himself Series 19 Finalist and third runner up
SS-GB Harry Woods 5 episodes
2018 Hold the Sunset Bob the Burglar 3 episodes
2019 The Name of the Rose Jorge of Burgos 8 episodes
Chernobyl Miner Episode: 'Open Wide, O Earth'
His Dark Materials Farder Coram
2020 The Bay Bill Bradwell
2022 Jack Ryan Luka Gocharov Season 3


  1. ^ Nelson, Alex. “ Here are the Scottish actors made famous by Game of Thrones”, The Scotsman (12 Apr 2019).
  2. ^ "James Cosmo Biography (1948–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "James Cosmo on Game of Thrones, Whisky Galore and his strange days on Big Brother". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  4. ^ "James Cosmo". TVGuide.
  5. ^ a b "James Cosmo". BFI.
  6. ^ "James Cosmo | Movies and Filmography". AllMovie.
  7. ^ "Troy (2004) - Wolfgang Petersen | Cast and Crew | AllMovie" – via www.allmovie.com.
  8. ^ a b "James Cosmo". www.aveleyman.com.
  9. ^ "Game of Thrones star James Cosmo jokes he 'drew the short straw' with sex scenes". The Independent. 1 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Breakdown (2016)". BFI.
  11. ^ "James Cosmo: 'My friend said: They're going to drink beer out of your skull'". the Guardian. 1 January 2021.
  12. ^ "Every New 'Jack Ryan' Cast Member and What They Mean for the Show". Newsweek. 21 December 2022.
  13. ^ "Our patrons | Chance for Childhood - Children's charity". Chance for Childhood. Retrieved 5 October 2020.

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