Peter Dougan Capaldi
14 April 1958
|Alma mater||Glasgow School of Art|
|Relatives||Lewis Capaldi (second cousin once removed)|
Peter Dougan Capaldi (/kəˈpældiː/; born 14 April 1958) is a Scottish actor and director. He portrayed the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor in the science fiction series Doctor Who (2013–2017) and Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It (2005–2012), for which he received four British Academy Television Award nominations, winning Best Male Comedy Performance in 2010. When he reprised the role of Tucker in the feature film In the Loop, Capaldi was honoured with several film critic award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.
Capaldi won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Short Film for his 1993 short film Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life. He went on to write and direct the drama film Strictly Sinatra and directed two series of the sitcom Getting On. Capaldi also played Mr Curry in the family film Paddington (2014) and its sequel Paddington 2 (2017), voiced Rabbit in the Disney film Christopher Robin (2018) and portrayed supervillain the Thinker in the DC Extended Universe film The Suicide Squad (2021).
Capaldi was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to Nancy (née Soutar) and Gerald John Capaldi. His paternal grandfather was Italian, while the rest of his ancestry is Scottish and Irish. His parents ran an ice cream business in the Springburn district, where they were neighbours and acquaintances of the family of Armando Iannucci, creator of The Thick of It, although the two men did not know each other as children. He was educated at St Teresa's Primary School in Possilpark, St Matthew's Primary School in Bishopbriggs, and St Ninian's High School, Kirkintilloch, before attending the Glasgow School of Art.
Capaldi displayed an early talent for performance by putting on a puppet show in primary school. While at high school, he was a member of the Antonine Players, who performed at the Fort Theatre in Bishopbriggs. As an art student, he was the lead singer and guitarist in a punk rock band called The Dreamboys, whose drummer was future comedian Craig Ferguson. The pair also performed a cabaret act together as Bing & Dean Hitler and wrote an alternative pantomime of Sleeping Beauty. Capaldi went on to perform musical comedy cabaret in the guises of "bank clerk about town" Gavin Meekie and as one half of husband-and-wife TV evangelists Tom & Sammy Jo.
Capaldi has appeared in over 40 films and television shows since his appearance as Danny Oldsen in Local Hero (1983). He played Beatles member George Harrison in John and Yoko: A Love Story (1985), had roles in The Lair of the White Worm (1988) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988), and was featured as Ozzy in a 1985 episode of Minder. In 1992 he auditioned for, but did not get, the role of Benjamin Sisko in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Capaldi's first starring role on television was as Luke Wakefield, a strange man who imagines he has witnessed a crime, in the BBC drama series Mr Wakefield's Crusade. He played fictional Songs of Praise producer Tristan Campbell in two episodes of the sitcom The Vicar of Dibley, and a transgender woman in ITV's Prime Suspect. In Neil Gaiman's gothic fantasy Neverwhere, he portrayed the angel Islington.
Capaldi is also an audiobook narrator, and his many titles include several of the works of Iain Banks. He starred as Rory in the 1996 television version of Banks's The Crow Road.
In the 1999 Channel 4 series Psychos, he played a mathematician with bipolar disorder. Capaldi made an appearance as a university professor in the sitcom Peep Show, and played a prime suspect in the 2007 series of Waking the Dead. He voiced Chief Petty Officer Grieves in the BBC Radio Ministry of Defence comedy Our Brave Boys. In 2007, Capaldi appeared as Mark Jenkins (Sid's dad) in the E4 teen comedy drama series Skins. He returned for a second series in 2008 although his character died in the third episode. He appeared in the Midsomer Murders episode "Death in Chorus" and ITV1's Fallen Angel. He also appeared in the 2007 British comedy film Magicians.
He appeared as King Charles I in the Channel 4 series The Devil's Whore, aired in 2008. Capaldi provided his voice for the animated film Haunted Hogmanay in 2006. He played Balthazar, one of the Biblical Magi, in the 2010 BBC adaptation of The Nativity.
In November 2011, he began playing Professor Marcus in The Ladykillers at the Liverpool Playhouse, which then transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in London till April 2012. He appeared in The Field of Blood as Dr Pete, for which he received a BAFTA Scotland nomination in the TV actor/actress category; he was beaten by his co-star Jayd Johnson. He had a small role as a therapist in Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, written by and starring his Getting On co-star Ricky Grover. In 2012, Capaldi played Randall Brown, the new Head of News, on the BBC2 drama The Hour. He appeared as a WHO doctor in World War Z (2013), and had a role in Maleficent (2014), but his part in the latter film was cut during post-production.
He starred in Inside the Mind of Leonardo, a documentary about Leonardo da Vinci. In 2013 he portrayed Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian in The Fifth Estate. In 2014 he starred in a new adaptation of The Three Musketeers as Cardinal Richelieu on BBC One.
He appeared as Paddington Bear's neighbour Mr Curry in the family comedy film Paddington and its sequel Paddington 2. In 2018, he voiced Rabbit in the Disney film Christopher Robin. In 2022, he voiced Seamus McGregor in the Netflix series Big Mouth.
Prior to taking over the lead role in Doctor Who, Capaldi was best known for playing spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in the Armando Iannucci-written BBC sitcom The Thick of It, which he played from 2005 to 2012. Tucker is said to be largely, if loosely, based upon Tony Blair's right-hand man Alastair Campbell, although Capaldi has said that he based his performance more on Hollywood power players, such as the often abrasive Harvey Weinstein. A film spin-off from The Thick of It called In the Loop (in which Capaldi returned to the role of Tucker), was released in 2009.
The role of Tucker won Capaldi several awards. In 2006, 2008 and 2010 he was nominated for the BAFTA and RTS Best Comedy Actor Awards. He won the 2010 BAFTA Television Award for Male Performance in a Comedy Role. He also won the 2010 and 2012 British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor. He received another BAFTA Award nomination in 2013.
Capaldi was revealed in 2013 as the Twelfth Doctor in the BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who, succeeding Matt Smith in the role. Capaldi first appeared as the Doctor in a cameo in the 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor", before appearing in the 2013 Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor". A lifelong fan of the series, Capaldi had previously played Lobus Caecilius in the 2008 episode "The Fires of Pompeii" with the Tenth Doctor and his companion Donna Noble, as well as playing civil servant John Frobisher in the 2009 spin-off Torchwood: Children of Earth.
Before taking the role, Capaldi stated that he had to seriously consider the increased level of visibility that would come with the part. He revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he had been invited to audition for the role of the Eighth Doctor in 1995 prior to the production of the 1996 TV film, stating: "I didn't go. I loved the show so much, and I didn't think I would get it, and I didn't want to just be part of a big cull of actors."
In 2014, Capaldi voiced the Doctor on the CBBC website's game The Doctor and the Dalek and in 2015 voiced him in Lego Dimensions. In 2016, Capaldi reprised his role as the Twelfth Doctor in the Doctor Who spin-off programme Class, written by young-adult author Patrick Ness.
On 30 January 2017, in an interview on BBC Radio 2, Capaldi confirmed that the tenth series would be his last. His final episode was the 2017 Christmas special, "Twice Upon a Time", in which he was succeeded by Jodie Whittaker.
Director, presenter and writer
In 1992, Capaldi wrote and starred in the road movie Soft Top, Hard Shoulder, which won the audience award at the London Film Festival. In 1995, he won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film for his film Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life, which was tied with fellow nominee Trevor, leading to both films being announced as joint winners, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Short Film a year before that. He also wrote and directed Strictly Sinatra in 2001, and in 2009 he wrote and presented A Portrait of Scotland, a documentary detailing 500 years' history of Scottish portrait painting.
Capaldi directed several episodes of the 2009 BBC Four sitcom Getting On.
In 2012, Capaldi wrote (with Tony Roche), directed and performed in The Cricklewood Greats, an affectionate spoof documentary about a fictitious film studio, which tracks real developments and trends throughout the history of British cinema, including silent movies, horror and bawdy comedy, and a disastrous Terry Gilliam epic.
Capaldi married Elaine Collins in Strathblane near his home city of Glasgow in 1991. Collins is an actress and television producer; they met in 1983 in a touring production for the Paines Plough Theatre Company. Together they have a daughter, Cecily. They live in Muswell Hill, London.
He grew up Catholic but is now an atheist.
On 12 September 2016, Capaldi, with Cate Blanchett, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jesse Eisenberg, Douglas Booth, Neil Gaiman, Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Kit Harington and Stanley Tucci, was featured in a video from the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR to help raise awareness about the global refugee crisis. "What They Took With Them" has the actors reading a poem, written by Jenifer Toksvig and inspired by primary accounts of refugees, and is part of UNHCR's #WithRefugees campaign, which also includes a petition to governments to expand asylum to provide further shelter, integrating job opportunities, and education.
His second cousin once removed is singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi. The two worked together in the video for "Someone You Loved".
Capaldi is a patron of Worldwide Cancer Research, and the Scottish children's charity, the Aberlour Child Care Trust.
In October 2022, he voiced his support for Scottish independence. He told The Daily Telegraph: "It used not to be something I was particularly drawn to. I've lived in London for most of my life, and always loved Cardiff and Manchester and Belfast. But after the relentlessness of the past 12 years, everything we have been put through, it might just be time to go home and be a part of that."
|2021||St. Christopher||Writer, vocals, electric guitar, synths||Produced by Dr. Robert of The Blow Monkeys|
|1980||Dreamboys||"Bela Lugosi's Birthday / Outer Limits / Shall We Dance"||Vocals, guitar|
|2020||Monks Road Social||"If I Could Pray"||Writer, vocals, acoustic guitar||From the album Humanism|
|2021||Peter Capaldi||"St. Christopher (Edit)"||Writer, vocals, electric guitar, synths||Produced by Dr. Robert of The Blow Monkeys|
Awards and nominations
|1993||BAFTA Scotland Award||Best Actor||Soft Top Hard Shoulder||Won|||
|Best Short Film||Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life||Won|||
|Atlantic Film Festival Award||Best Live Action Film||Won|||
|Best Short Film||Won|||
|1994||Angers European First Film Festival Audience Award||Short Film||Won|||
|BAFTA Film Award||Best Short Film||Won|||
|Celtic Media Festival Award||Best New Director||Won|||
|Vevey International Funny Film Festival Award||Prix Schwartz Best Short Film||Won|||
|1995||Academy Award||Best Live Action Short Film||Won|||
|2005||AudioFile Earphones Awards||—||Witch Hunt||Won|||
|2006||RTS Television Award||Best Comedy Performance||The Thick of It||Nominated|||
|BAFTA TV Award||Best Comedy Performance||Nominated|||
|2008||Best Comedy Performance||Nominated|||
|RTS Television Award||Best Comedy Performance||Nominated|||
|2009||BAFTA Scotland Award||Best Acting Performance in Film||In the Loop||Won|||
|British Independent Film Award||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|NYFCO Award||Best Ensemble Cast||Won|||
|LAFCA Award||Best Supporting Actor||2nd place|||
|NYFCC Award||Best Supporting Actor||3rd place|||
|CFCA Award||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|||
|ICP Award||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|||
|VVFP Award||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|||
|Gold Derby Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|||
|2010||OFCS Award||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|||
|COFCA Award||Best Supporting Actor||2nd place|||
|Evening Standard British Film Award||Peter Sellers Award for Comedy||Nominated|||
|OFTA Film Award||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|||
|ICS Award||Best Supporting Actor||2nd place|||
|International Online Cinema Award||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|||
|Best Ensemble Cast||Nominated|||
|ALFS Award||British Actor of the Year||Nominated|||
|Chlotrudis Award||Best Supporting Actor||Won|||
|Best Ensemble Cast||Won|||
|SFX Award||Best Actor||Torchwood||Nominated|||
|BAFTA TV Award||Best Male Comedy Performance||The Thick of It||Won|||
|RTS Television Award||Best Comedy Performance||Nominated|||
|Broadcasting Press Guild Award||Best Actor||Won|||
|Golden Nymph||Outstanding Actor – Comedy Series||Nominated|||
|British Comedy Award||Best TV Comedy Actor||Won|||
|2011||BAFTA Scotland Award||Best Actor – Television||The Field of Blood||Nominated|||
|2012||BAFTA TV Award||Best Comedy (Programme or Series)||The Cricklewood Greats||Nominated|||
|British Comedy Award||Best TV Comedy Actor||The Thick of It||Won|||
|2013||BAFTA TV Award||Best Male Comedy Performance||Nominated|||
|Best Supporting Actor||The Hour||Nominated|||
|Broadcasting Press Guild Award||Best Actor||The Thick of It and The Hour||Nominated|||
|2014||RTS Scotland Award||Special Award||—||Won|||
|GQ Men of the Year Award||TV Personality of the Year||Doctor Who||Won|||
|2015||OFTA Television Award||Best Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|||
|BAFTA Cymru Award||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|TV Choice Award||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|Anglophile Award||Best Actor in a Television Series||Nominated|||
|BTVA People's Choice Voice Acting Award||Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game||Lego Dimensions||Won|||
|BTVA Video Game Voice Acting Award||Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game||Won|||
|BAFTA Scotland Award||Best Actor – Television||Doctor Who||Nominated|||
|2018||Sunday Herald Culture Award||Best Actor – Television||Won|||
|2019||AudioFile Earphones Awards||—||Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth||Won|||
|Voice Arts Award||Audiobook Narration – Classics, Best Voiceover||Nominated|||
|2020||Audie Award||Best Male Narrator||Nominated|||
|IFJA Award||Best Supporting Actor||The Personal History of David Copperfield||Nominated|||
|2021||British Short Film Award||Icon Award||—||Won|||
|2022||BAFTA Scotland Award||Best Actor – Film||Benediction||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Contribution to Film & Television||—||Won|||
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- 1958 births
- Living people
- 20th-century Scottish male actors
- 20th-century Scottish male singers
- 21st-century Scottish male actors
- 21st-century Scottish male singers
- Audiobook narrators
- Best Male Comedy Performance BAFTA Award (television) winners
- British male comedy actors
- Directors of Live Action Short Film Academy Award winners
- Former Roman Catholics
- Male actors from Glasgow
- People educated at St Ninian's High School, Kirkintilloch
- People from Crouch End
- People from Springburn
- People of Lazian descent
- Scottish atheists
- Scottish film directors
- Scottish male film actors
- Scottish male stage actors
- Scottish male television actors
- Scottish male video game actors
- Scottish male voice actors
- Scottish people of Irish descent
- Scottish people of Italian descent
- Scottish screenwriters
- Scottish television directors