Mark Williams (actor)
Mark Williams (born 22 August 1959) is an English actor, screenwriter and presenter. He first achieved widespread recognition as one of the central performers in the popular BBC sketch show The Fast Show. His film roles include Horace in the 1996 adaptation of 101 Dalmatians and Arthur Weasley in seven of the Harry Potter films. He made recurring appearances as Brian Williams in the BBC television series Doctor Who and as Olaf Petersen in Red Dwarf. Since 2013, Williams has portrayed the title character in the long-running BBC series loosely based on the Father Brown short stories by G. K. Chesterton.
Williams was born on 22 August 1959 in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. Educated at North Bromsgrove High School and then Brasenose College, Oxford, where he performed with the Oxford University Dramatic Society, he made a career as a theatre actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. He came to wider public attention through his appearances on the BBC television programmes, Alexei Sayle's Stuff and The Fast Show. Williams has described the huge popularity of the latter show as a "double-edged sword", as it has led to his being seen by the public as a comedian rather than as an actor.
His most famous cinema role is as Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter film series, which began in 2002. Other high-profile appearances include the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Stardust alongside Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro and Claire Danes in 2007 and a 2012 role in Doctor Who as Brian Williams, father of the Doctor's companion, Rory.
Since 2013, he has appeared as the lead role in the BBC costume drama Father Brown. Williams also featured in the first series of Blandings, the BBC TV adaptation of the P. G. Wodehouse Blandings Castle stories, broadcast in 2013, in which he played Beach, the Emsworths' tipsy butler; he did not return for the show's second series, for which he was replaced by Tim Vine.
Aside from his acting work, Williams has also presented several documentary programmes exploring his passion for industrial history: Mark Williams' Big Bangs on the history of explosives, a follow-up to previous series Mark Williams on the Rails, Industrial Revelations and More Industrial Revelations.
Interviewed in 2014 by the Lancashire Evening Post, when asked if some people still saw him as a comedy actor, Williams replied, "Well, it's only a few people in the BBC. In America, they see me as a major British character actor, but unfortunately, the BBC is pretty parochial and people are institutionalised here."
|1988||Coppers||Constable Spud Murphy|
|The Storyteller||Fearnot's brother||Episode "Fearnot"|
|Red Dwarf||Olaf Petersen||Three episodes: "The End", "Balance of Power" and "Stasis Leak"|
|Alexei Sayle's Stuff||First series, six episodes|
|Making Out||Manfred||Episodes 1 and 2|
|1991||Merlin of the Crystal Cave||Cerdic|
|1993||The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer||Don Powell||Seven episodes 1993–1995|
|1994||Health and Efficiency||Steven||Episode "Cinderella Rockafeller"|
|The Fast Show||Various characters||23 episodes 1994–2000|
|Chef!||Policeman 2||Episode "Masterchef"|
|1995||The Big Game||Tommy Hollis|
|Peak Practice||Roland Grogan||Episode "Life and Soul"|
|1998||The Fast Show Live||Various characters|
|The Canterbury Tales||Chanticleer||Episode "Leaving London" – voice|
|Ted & Ralph||Confirmed Bachelor|
|The Strangerers||Cadet Flynn||Nine episodes|
|2001||Fun at the Funeral Parlour||Larry Nazareth||Episode "The Jaws of Doom"|
|Industrial Revelations||Himself||Two series (as presenter)|
|2002||Shackleton||Dudley Docker|
|2004||Mark Williams on the Rails||Himself||Presenter|
|Carrie and Barry||Kirk||Two episodes|
|2006||Mark Williams' Big Bangs||Himself||Presenter|
|2008||Sense and Sensibility (2008 TV series)||Sir John Middleton|
|2009||Inspector George Gently||Joe Bishop||Episode "Gently in the Night"|
|Blood in the Water||Jerry Hourihan|
|Agatha Christie's Marple||Claud Evans||Episode "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?"|
|New Tricks||David Beaumont||Episode "The Truth is out There"|
|2010||The Indian Doctor||Richard Sharpe||Five episodes|
|Merlin||Voice of the Goblin||Episode "Goblin's Gold"|
|2011||Frankenstein's Wedding||Alphonse Frankenstein|
|Doctor Who||Brian Williams||Episodes "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" and "The Power of Three"|
|2013||Blandings||Sebastian Beach||Six episodes|
|Still Open All Hours||Planter's Salesman|
|2013—||Father Brown||Father Brown||Title character, 90 episodes|
|2014–2015||The Link||Presenter||BBC daytime game show|
|2015||Drunk History||Robert Catesby||Episode: "Episode Four"|
|2016||Twirlywoos||Waiter||Television series, "More About This Way, That Way"|
|2016||Lego Dimensions||Arthur Weasley (voice)|
Theme park rides
|2019||Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure||Arthur Weasley||Face capture & voice only (stunt double used in pre-show)|
- Power Rangers Operation Overdrive - Big Mouth Monster (episode "Both Sides Now")
- Merlin - The Goblin (episode "Goblin's Gold")
- Power Rangers Samurai - Eyescar (episode "The Rescue")
- Lego Dimensions - Arthur Weasley
- We're Going on a Bear Hunt - Dad
- Early Man - Barry
- "Mark Williams". IMDb. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- "Mark Williams: I'm not a comedian". Belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 12 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- "Mark Williams". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
- "Other Series 7 stars announced". Tardis Times. 2012. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012.
- "Mark Williams: Captain of industry". The Independent. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
- "I'm a British character actor – not a comedian". Lep.co.uk. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
- [dead link]
- "Stacey Binn". IMDb.com. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
- "Mark Williams: Captain of industry". The Independent, 21 September 2005. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
- Ian Wolf. "The Indian Doctor – Production Details". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 18 November 2010.