Martin Jarvis (actor)
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4 August 1941|
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, U.K.
London, England, U.K.|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, voice actor|
Rosalind Ayres (m. 1974)
Martin Jarvis, OBE (born 4 August 1941) is an English actor and voice actor. After a varied career in film and television, he has become particularly noted for his voice acting for radio and audiobooks.
Jarvis trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (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 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 has been satirised in the radio show Dead Ringers by Mark Perry, highlighting his seeming ubiquity in 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 later appeared in that show then as the scientist Dr. Butler in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, and as the beleaguered governor of the planet Varos in Vengeance on Varos in 1985.) He became a familiar face on television when he played Jon in the BBC's landmark 1967 adaptation of The Forsyte Saga, the title role in a BBC serialisation of Nicholas Nickleby (1968) and Uriah Heep in the 1974 BBC version of David Copperfield, and when he was 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 a BBC adaptation of Scarlet and Black. He also appeared in the 2002 BBC children's miniseries Bootleg.
Jarvis was the subject of BBC television's This Is Your Life in 1999.
Jarvis appeared in a 2014 episode of Law & Order: UK as Eric Chandler, a man arrested and charged with murder.
Among his work, Jarvis did the voiceovers for the 2010 BBC series Just William and voices the animal characters, as well as Voltaire the wise Weather-Cock, in the 1994 children's television series Fourways Farm. He has also voiced various characters in animated series such as The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and The Life and Times of Juniper Lee. In the former, he inherited the role of the character Nergal from his Titanic co-star David Warner. In 2000, Jarvis 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 has also lent his voice to audiobooks of P.G. Wodehouse's works, and has won the Audie Award for these. He is the narrator of the 2011 audiobook of The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. Further work in 2011 includes an audiobook of the Wilbur Smith novel The Leopard Hunts in Darkness. He has also appeared in Jubilee, a Doctor Who spin-off audio drama by Big Finish Productions, alongside his wife. In film, Jarvis appeared in Disney's 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph as Saitine, one of the video game villains who attends the Bad Anon self-help groups with Ralph (John C. Reilly).
Jarvis has also performed voiceovers for video games, beginning in 2007 as 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). Also in 2011, Jarvis also performed a voice-over part for the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. Jarvis also voiced Alfred Pennyworth in the Batman: Arkham series of video games. He first voiced the character in the 2011 video game Batman: Arkham City and would reprise for the 2013 video game Batman: Arkham Origins and the 2014 DC Universe animated movie Batman: Assault on Arkham, and the 2015 video game Batman: Arkham Knight.
Jarvis married Rosalind Ayres on 23 November 1974 in Ealing; he has two sons by a previous marriage. He met Ayres when they played in Hamlet together; she played Ophelia. Together with his wife, Jarvis runs the radio production company "Jarvis & Ayres Productions", frequently used by BBC Radio 4.
He has houses in London and Los Angeles.
- Secrets of a Windmill Girl (1966) - Mike, Windmill Stage Manager
- The Last Escape (1970) - Lt. Donald Wilcox
- Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) - Jeremy Secker
- The Bunker (1981) - Johannes Hentschel
- Buster (1988) - Inspector Mitchell
- Emily's Ghost (1992) - Papa
- Police Story 4: First Strike (1996) - Australian Group #8
- Titanic (1997) - Sir Duff Gordon
- Beginner's Luck (2001) - Old luvvie
- Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War (2002) - JB
- Framed (2008) - Richard
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) - Birger
- Neander-Jin: The Return of the Neanderthal Man (2011) - Peter Blodnik
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) - Birger
- Wreck-It Ralph (2012) - Saitine (voice)
- United Passions (2014) - Sir Stanley Rous
- Doctor Who The Web Planet (1965) (TV)
- The Forsyte Saga (1967) (TV)
- Jackanory (1967) (TV)
- The Pallisers (1974) (TV BBC)
- Doctor Who Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974) (TV)
- Rings on Their Fingers (1978) (TV BBC)
- Breakaway (1980) (TV)
- Mr Palfrey of Westminster (1984) (TV)
- The Black Tower (1985) (TV)
- Doctor Who Vengeance on Varos (1985) (TV)
- The Reluctant Dragon (1987)
- Huxley Pig (1989-1990) (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)
- Extreme Ghostbusters (1997) (TV) (voice)
- Max Steel (2000–2003) (TV) (voice)
- Jackie Chan Adventures (2000) (TV) (voice)
- The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (Episode: "Well Schooled in Murder") (2002)
- The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (2003–2008) (TV) (voice)
- The Life and Times of Juniper Lee (2005) (TV) (voice)
- Stargate: Atlantis (2007) (TV) Davos
- NUMB3RS (2007) (TV) Taylor Ashby
- EastEnders (2010)
- Endeavour Henry Broom (2013) (TV)
- By Any Means (2013) (TV)
- Dead Man's Folly (2013) (TV)
- Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown (2003) (Video game) (voice)
- 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)
- Mass Effect 2 (2010) Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib (Video game)
- Batman: Arkham City Alfred Pennyworth (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) (voice)
- Batman: Arkham Origins Alfred Pennyworth (2013) (Video game)
- Batman: Assault on Arkham Alfred Pennyworth (2014) (Animated film)
- Batman: Arkham Knight Alfred Pennyworth (2015) (Video game)