Martin Jarvis (actor)
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August 4, 1941 |
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Jarvis trained at RADA, where he won the Vanbrugh Award and the Silver Medal. He has acted in many stage productions in London and abroad, most recently acting alongside Diana Rigg and Natascha McElhone in Joanna Murray-Smith's Honour at London's Wyndham's Theatre until May 2006.
Jarvis has had a long association with the BBC, particularly BBC Radio 4. In the 1980s Michael Frayn's columns for the Guardian and the Observer, described by some as models of the comic essay, were adapted and performed in many voices for BBC Radio 4 by Jarvis. He performs regularly in radio dramas and readings, both comic and serious. In David Mamet's Mind Your Pantheon he played the actor Strabo. He is probably best known for his long series of readings of Richmal Crompton's Just William stories, which show his characteristic and flexible reading voices. He has also narrated the Billy Bunter series, by Frank Richards. As a result of this extensive work Jarvis is satirised by the radio show Dead Ringers by Mark Perry, highlighting his seeming ubiquity on Radio 4 programmes and as a guest in Dictionary Corner on Countdown.
Jarvis's first television appearance was in 1965 in the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who, as Hilio, captain of the butterfly-like Menoptra, in The Web Planet. He became a familiar face on television when he played Jon in the BBC's landmark 1967 adaptation of The Forsyte Saga, the lead in a BBC serialisation of Nicholas Nickleby (1968), Uriah Heep in the 1974 BBC version of David Copperfield and the male lead in the sitcom Rings on Their Fingers (1978–80) with Diane Keen. In 1993 he starred with Ewan McGregor and Rachel Weisz in the BBC adaptation of Scarlet and Black. He also appeared in the 2002 BBC children's miniseries Bootleg.
Jarvis has made several guest appearances in Doctor Who, first appearing as Hilio in The Web Planet in 1965, then as the scientist Dr. Butler in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, and his favorite role as the beleaguered governor of the planet Varos in Vengeance on Varos in 1985. He has also appeared in "Jubilee", a Doctor Who spin off audio drama by Big Finish Productions alongside his wife.
Jarvis has also voiced various characters in animated series such as The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (where he voiced Nergal, replacing David Warner) and The Life and Times of Juniper Lee. An interesting note is that in the former's case, he inherits the role of the character Nergal from his Titanic co-star David Warner. In 2000, he voiced John Dread in the TV series Max Steel. He has also voiced all the characters in the children's stop-motion animated series Huxley Pig and narrated "The Tempest" in Shakespeare: The Animated Tales.
Jarvis was the subject of BBC television's This Is Your Life in 1999.
Martin appeared in a 2014 episode of Law & Order: UK as Eric Chandler, a man arrested and charged with murder.
Jarvis did the voiceovers for the 2010 BBC series Just William. He is the narrator of the 2011 audiobook of The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. In 2007, Jarvis has voiced in video gaming for the first time and plays the role of The Chronicler in the Spyro the Dragon video game series. He also provided the voice of Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib in Mass Effect 2 (2010) and Mass Effect 3 (2012). He also voiced Alfred Pennyworth in the 2011 video game Batman: Arkham City and reprised his role in the 2013 video game Batman: Arkham Origins. Also in 2011, Jarvis also performed a voice-over part for the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Jarvis has also lent his voice to audiobooks on Sir P.G. Wodehouse's works and has won the Audie Award for the same. Further work in 2011 includes the audiobook for the Wilbur Smith novel 'The Leopard Hunts in Darkness'.
In 2014, Jarvis reprised his role as Alfred Pennyworth in the DC Universe animated movie Batman: Assault on Arkham, and again in 2015 for the final installment in the Batman: Arkham series of video games, Batman: Arkham Knight.
He married Rosalind Ayres on 23 November 1974 in Ealing and has two sons by a previous marriage. He met Ayres when playing in Hamlet together, where she played Ophelia. Together with his wife, Jarvis runs the radio production company "Jarvis & Ayres Productions", frequently used by Radio 4.
He has houses in London and Los Angeles.
TV and filmography
- Doctor Who The Web Planet (1965) (TV)
- Secrets of a Windmill Girl (1966)
- The Forsyte Saga (1967) (TV)
- Jackanory (1967) (TV)
- The Last Escape (1970)
- Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
- Doctor Who Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974) (TV)
- Rings on Their Fingers (1978) (TV BBC)
- Breakaway (1980) (TV)
- The Bunker (1981) (TV)
- Doctor Who Vengeance on Varos (1985) (TV)
- The Reluctant Dragon (1987)
- Buster (1988)
- Huxley Pig (1988) (TV) (voice)
- Rumpole of the Bailey (1988) (TV)
- The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship (1990) (voice)
- Inspector Morse (1991)
- Shakespeare: The Animated Tales (1992) (TV) (voice)
- The Tick (1994) (TV) (voice)
- Fourways Farm (1994) (TV) (voice)
- The Queen's Nose (1995) (TV)
- Richie Rich (1996) (TV) (voice)
- Testament: The Bible in Animation (1996) (TV)
- Space: Above and Beyond (1996) (TV)
- A Touch of Frost (1996) (TV)
- Titanic (1997)
- Extreme Ghostbusters (1997) (TV) (voice)
- Max Steel (2000–2003) (TV) (voice)
- Jackie Chan Adventures (2000) (TV) (voice)
- The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (2003–2008) (TV) (voice)
- Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown (2003) (Video game) (voice)
- The Life and Times of Juniper Lee (2005) (TV) (voice)
- Eragon (2006) (Film) (voice)
- Stargate: Atlantis (2007) (TV) Davos
- The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (2007) The Chronicler (Video game)
- The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (2008) The Chronicler (Video game)
- Dragon Age: Origins (2009) (Video game) (voice)
- EastEnders (2010)
- Mass Effect 2 (2010) Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib (Video game)
- Batman: Arkham City Alfred Pennyworth (2011) (Video game)
- Cars 2: The Video Game Finn McMissile (2011) (Video game)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Various Roles (2011) (Video game)
- Mass Effect 3 (2012) Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib (Video game)
- Wreck-It Ralph Satine (2012) (Film) (voice)
- Endeavour Henry Broom (2013) (TV)
- Batman: Arkham Origins Alfred Pennyworth (2013) (Video game)
- By Any Means (2013) (TV)
- Batman: Assault on Arkham Alfred Pennyworth (2014) (Animated film)
- Batman: Arkham Knight Alfred Pennyworth (2015) (Video game)
- Martin Jarvis at the Internet Movie Database
- Guardian Q & A September 2007
- The Times May 2004
- The Actor's Compendium