James Faulkner (actor)

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James Faulkner
James Sebastian Faulkner

(1948-07-18) 18 July 1948 (age 70)
EducationRoyal Central School of Speech and Drama
Years active1970–present
Spouse(s)Kate Faulkner

James Sebastian Faulkner (born 18 July 1948) is an English actor. He is best known for playing Pope Sixtus IV in the television series Da Vinci's Demons (2013–2015), Randyll Tarly in the television series Game of Thrones (2016–2017), and Saint Paul in the film Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018).

Early life[edit]

Having trained as a chorister from the age of seven at the Royal College of Church Music at Addington Palace, he was a permanent member of the choir and often called upon as a soloist. He also took part in every house play, school play, choral society concert and ran the Puppet Club alongside its founder, the journalist Roger Wilkes.

On leaving school he worked as Prep schoolmaster, rugby coach, waiter, barman and professional Santa Claus before auditioning for the waiting list of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 1967. After three years of exhaustive training he won the lead role in the final graduation production of Kiss Me Kate. The following day, several theatrical agencies wrote to him and he signed at ICM and joined Prospect Theatre for Much Ado About Nothing, the main event at the 1970 Edinburgh Festival. A season at Chichester Festival Theatre followed with such luminaries as Sir John Gielgud and Dame Edith Evans and he then transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre in the West End with Jean Anouilh's Dear Antoine, meeting the author on the opening night.[1]


Faulkner made his big screen debut as Josef Strauss in The Great Waltz in 1972. He played the arrogant Lieutenant Millington in Anderson's Conduct Unbecoming of 1975 starring with Michael York, Richard Attenborough and Trevor Howard.

He appeared in other films such as Whispering Death and Minder on the Orient Express in which he played gangster Ted Moore. Other film appearances saw him play Lt. Teignmouth Melvill in Zulu Dawn that he co-produced, and as Uncle Geoffrey in both Bridget Jones films.

He played Herod Agrippa in the BBC's 1976 television adaptation of I, Claudius and portrayed Aldous Huxley in 1981's Priest of Love.

In 1988 he portrayed one of the biggest enemies of Sherlock Holmes, Stapleton, in Granada Television's production of The Hound of the Baskervilles, opposite Jeremy Brett.

In 1991, he played Alex Mair, the manager of the Larksoken nuclear power plant, in an Anglia production of the P. D. James novel featuring her character Inspector Adam Dalgliesh, Devices and Desires. He has also portrayed Agent Smith in the film Hitman. He was also the principal antagonist Baron Mullins in the short-lived Anglo-American television show, Covington Cross.

He voiced Severus Snape in the video game version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He also starred as Lord Kenworth in the film Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London.

In 2008 Faulkner played Cardinal Rhades in the German thriller Der Bibelcode (The Bible Code).

Faulkner was cast as Pope Sixtus IV in BBC Worldwide's historical fantasy drama series Da Vinci's Demons in 2013.

He was also cast to play Lord Sinderby in the highly acclaimed Edwardian costume drama Downton Abbey produced by ITV in 2014.

In 2015, Faulkner played the lead antagonist, T.O.M, of philosophical puzzle game The Turing Test.[2]

In 2016 he joined the cast of the HBO series Game of Thrones in Season 6 as Randyll Tarly, the father of Samwell Tarly.[citation needed]

In 2018, Faulkner played Paul in the biblical drama film, Paul, Apostle of Christ.



Year Title Role Notes
1972 The Great Waltz Josef Strauss
1974 The Abdication Magnus de la Gardie
1975 Conduct Unbecoming 2nd Lt. Edward Millington
1976 Whispering Death Terrick
1979 Zulu Dawn Teignmouth Melvill
1980 Flashpoint Africa Ramon Funes
1981 Priest of Love Aldous Huxley
1983 Eureka Roger
1989 The Shadow Trader
1992 Carry On Columbus Torquemada
1992 Lovejoy 'Friends in High Places' Alfredo Pereira
1996 Crimetime Crowley
2001 Burning Down the House Hal Lander
Bridget Jones's Diary Uncle Geoffrey
2003 I Capture the Castle Aubrey Fox-Cotton
2004 Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Uncle Geoffrey
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Lord Duncan Kenworth
2005 Colour Me Kubrick Oliver
2006 The Conclave Cardinal Guillaume D'Estouteville
The Good Shepherd Lord Cooper
2007 Hitman Smith Jamison
2008 The Bank Job Guy Singer
2011 X-Men: First Class Swiss Bank Manager
2016 Bridget Jones's Baby Uncle Geoffrey
2016 Underworld: Blood Wars Cassius
2017 Final Portrait Pierre Matisse
2017 Atomic Blonde Chief C
2018 Paul, Apostle of Christ Saint Paul


Year Title Role Notes
1976 I, Claudius Herod Agrippa TV serial, 6 episodes
1978 Hazel Gordon Gregory 6 episodes
1985 The Bill Sidney Sharman Episode: Burning the Books
1986 First Among Equals Simon Kerslake TV serial
1989 Frederick Forsyth Presents Markus Vogel Just Another Secret (1989)
1998 Taggart Colonel Robert Falkirk Episode: Dead Reckoning (Series 14 Episode 41)
2010 Ben Hur Marcellus TV mini-series, 2 episodes
2013–15 Da Vinci's Demons Pope Sixtus IV 24 episodes
2014 Downton Abbey Lord Sinderby 4 episodes
2016–2017 Game of Thrones Randyll Tarly 5 episodes
2016 Life on Earth: A New Prehistory Narrator 3 episodes
2018 Death in Paradise Frank O'Toole Episode: Written in Murder (Series 7 Episode 3)
2018 Watership Down Frith Episode: The Journey

Video games[2][edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2001 Walking with Beasts: Operation Salvage Voice
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Professor Severus Snape (voice)
2012 Blades of Time Voice
2012 Blades of Time: Dismal Swamp Voice DLC
2014 Dragon Age: Inquisition Cassandra's Associate (voice)
2016 The Turing Test T.O.M (voice)
2018 League of Legends Swain (voice)[3]


  1. ^ "Acclaimed actor James Faulkner". 9 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Moby Games".
  3. ^ Faulkner, James. "James Faulkner on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 18 February 2018.

External links[edit]