John Bell (Scottish actor)

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John Bell
Bell at the Hobbitcon III convention in Bonn, Germany, on 5 April 2015
Born (1997-10-20) 20 October 1997 (age 25)
Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, United Kingdom[1]
Years active2007–present

John Hunter Bell (born 20 October 1997) is a Scottish actor. He has played Bain in two instalments of The Hobbit film series, "Young Ian" Murray in the Starz television series Outlander, Angus in Battleship, Helius in Wrath of the Titans and Toby Coleman in Tracy Beaker Returns.


Bell made his television debut as Creet in Doctor Who's 2007 episode "Utopia", after he won the role in a Blue Peter competition.[2] Two years later he portrayed the lead role of Connor in award winning director Chris Roche's short film Transit.[3][4] That same year Bell would star as young orphan Tomas in his first feature length film A Shine of Rainbows.[5][6] From 2009 to 2010 he portrayed Anthony Weaver in BBC One's comedy series Life of Riley and from 2010 to 2011 he starred as Toby Coleman in the BAFTA winning children's television series, Tracy Beaker Returns.[7][8]

In 2011 Bell appeared in BBC's made for TV movie Hattie as Robin Le Mesurier.[9] In July 2011 he was named, by the now defunct youth casting website Screenterrier, as one of the top 12 British rising stars.[10] The next year he portrayed Helius in the fantasy film Wrath of the Titans[11] and Angus in the science fiction war film Battleship.[12] He then appeared as Billy Bempsy in the History Channel's mini series Hatfields & McCoys.[citation needed] 2013 saw Bell portray Bain, son of Bard the Bowman, in Peter Jackson's epic adventure fantasy films The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.[13] He would revive the role in 2014's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the final instalment of Jackson's interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit.[14] Between the two films, he would portray Jamie Carr in a 2013 episode of ITV's long running series Midsomer Murders.[15] Bell also portrayed Niki in Evergreen Production's 2015 post WWII drama The Man in the Box, though the film has yet to be released.[16][17]

Bell portrays Ian Murray in STARZ's time travel series Outlander. His character first appeared in episode six of season three entitled "A. Malcolm".[18][19]

In early 2022 Bell headlined the revival of Obie winner David Drake's Off-Broadway one-man show The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me.[20][21] The play, set amidst the AIDS epidemic in America, is set to run through February of 2022 at London's New Wimbledon Theatre.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Bell is gay. As a child actor, he worked alongside celebrated gay male actors, which helped him feel accepted in the industry.[23]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 Transit Connor Short film
A Shine of Rainbows Tomas
2012 Wrath of the Titans Helius
Battleship Angus
2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Bain
2014 Tracks Ed Short film
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Bain
2015 Billy the Kid Billy Short film
The Man in the Box Niki In post production
2017 T2 Trainspotting Young Spud


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Doctor Who Creet Episode: "Utopia"
2009–2010 Life of Riley Anthony Weaver 7 episodes
2010–2011 Tracy Beaker Returns Toby Coleman 25 episodes
2011 Hattie Robin Le Mesurier Television film
2012 Hatfields & McCoys Billy Dempsey 3 episodes
2013 Midsomer Murders Jamie Carr Episode: "The Sicilian Defence"
2017 Into the Badlands Gabriel 5 episodes
2017–present Outlander Ian Murray Series regular, 20 episodes


Year Title Role Director Theatre
2022 The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me Performer[20][22] Steven Dexter New Wimbledon Theatre

Audio drama[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2015 The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty: The Dragon And The Raven Young Harold


  1. ^ "John Bell Q&A". 1 March 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Outlander's Young Ian remembers breakout Doctor Who role". Digital Spy. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  3. ^ "TRANSIT". Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Transit | SHORT SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL & ASIA 2015". Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  5. ^ "A Shine of Rainbows". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  6. ^ Doan, Brian. "A Shine of Rainbows Movie Review (2010)". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Life of Riley Cast & Crew". British Comedy Guide. 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Tracy Beaker Returns". Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Hattie". British Comedy Guide. 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "ScreenTerrier". 4 April 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "Film review: The rehash of the 'Titans'". LA Times-Glendale News Press. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Battleship". Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  13. ^ "And So it Begins: First Screen Shot from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug". SciFi Mafia. 18 December 2012. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  14. ^ ""The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" Surpasses $800 Million and Counting". 18 January 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Midsomer Murders -The Sicilian Defence, Part 2". NHPBS. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  16. ^ The Man in the Box (2015), retrieved 6 July 2021
  17. ^ Staff (2021). "Man in a box - 2021 film: release date, clock trailer, actors, news". Letteratura U Cinema (in Maltese). Retrieved 6 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ Petski, Denise (20 September 2016). "'Outlander': John Bell & Wil Johnson Cast As Young Ian & Joe Abernathy". Deadline. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  19. ^ "'Outlander' to return in early 2022 - get a first look at season 6". Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  20. ^ a b Wild, Stephi. "John Bell Will Take the Stage in THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME". Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  21. ^ "Review: The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me at the Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre". Theatre Weekly. 7 February 2022. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  22. ^ a b "Outlander's John Bell to make stage debut in Wimbledon | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  23. ^ Kelleher, Patrick (7 February 2022). "Outlander's John Bell 'had moments of wanting to pray the gay away'". PinkNews. Retrieved 9 February 2022.

External links[edit]