Peter Egan

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Peter Egan
Peter Joseph Egan

(1946-09-28) 28 September 1946 (age 73)
Hampstead, London, England
Years active1967–present
Spouse(s)Myra Frances (m. 1977)[citation needed]

Peter Joseph Egan (born 28 September 1946)[citation needed] is a British actor known for his TV roles, including Hogarth in Big Breadwinner Hog, the future King George IV of the United Kingdom in Prince Regent (1979); smooth neighbour Paul Ryman in the sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles (1984–89); and Hugh "Shrimpie" MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire, in Downton Abbey (2012–15). He is married to retired actress Myra Frances.

Early life[edit]

Egan was born in Hampstead, London, the son of Doris (née Pick) and Michael Thomas Egan, who is of Irish descent.[1][2] He was educated at St. George's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School, Maida Vale. He also attended the London Oratory School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Life and career[edit]

Peter Egan's first stage performance was in 'Charlie Girl'. Egan's first television role was as the sex-and-cinema-obsessed Seth Starkadder in a BBC serialisation of Cold Comfort Farm (1968). In 1969 he had come to notoriety as the acid-throwing gangster Hogarth in the controversial Granada TV series Big Breadwinner Hog. Later he had other starring roles as John Everett Millais in the BBC serial The Love School (1975), and as Oscar Wilde in the serial Lillie (1978), starring Francesca Annis as Lillie Langtry; as Magnus Pym in the BBC dramatisation of John le Carré's A Perfect Spy (1987) and another BBC sitcom, Joint Account (1989–90).

He played the title role in the BBC series Prince Regent (1979), and was a sinister immortal Knight Templar in Michael J. Bird's BBC series The Dark Side of the Sun (1983). Egan also played Fothergill in the TV series Reilly, Ace of Spies (1983). In 1986 he had the role of Henry Simcox in the television dramatization of John Mortimer's Paradise Postponed. In 1988 he narrated the Video 125 drivers eye view 1066DC, which was a cab ride in a Network Southeast class 411 4CEP EMU from Hastings to London. He also guest-starred in episodes of The Ruth Rendell Mysteries ("A New Lease of Death," 1991) and A Touch of Frost ("Private Lives," 1999).

Other roles have included the character Michael Cochrane in the programme The Ambassador (1998), and on film as the suave secret agent Meres in TV spin-off Callan (1974), and the Duke of Sutherland in Chariots of Fire (1981). In 2007 he took the role of Victor in the film Death at a Funeral. In 2009 Egan toured as lead Sir Hugo Latymer in Nikolai Foster's revival of Noël Coward's A Song at Twilight.[3] He is the narrator for the US and UK versions of Forza Motorsport 3 and its sequel, Forza Motorsport 4. He also voiced the Witch Trial Judge in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

In 2012, he first appeared as Hugh "Shrimpie" MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire, in the Christmas special episode of ITV's Downton Abbey. On the show's 5th series, Shrimpie became a recurring character; he also briefly appeared in Series 6.

In 2012 he played in Alan Bennett's People alongside Frances de la Tour at the National Theatre.

Animal rights activism[edit]

Egan is a longtime animal lover and vegan. Starting in around 2010, he began to campaign publicly on behalf of animal rights and animal welfare.[4]

He is an ambassador for the dog rescue Saving Suffering Strays in Sarajevo, Bosnia. He and his wife Myra adopted their Bosnian dog Tidus from this dog rescue. They continue to give support to stray street dogs of Sarajevo and their lone rescuer Milena Malesevic.[5]

Egan is an active ambassador for the Animals Asia Foundation, which is a charity that works to end cruelty to animals in Asia.[6] He is also patron of "All Dogs Matter", a dog rescue and rehoming charity in and around London and Norfolk.[7]

In May 2015, Egan became Patron of Chaldon Animal Sanctuary, a charity that offers homes for life for dogs and cats. Egan personally took one of the Bosnian dogs now named Crusoe to the sanctuary in May.[8]

In August 2015, Egan was announced as patron of the science-based campaign For Life On Earth (FLOE), which fights against animal testing in the field of human medical research.[9]

In January 2016, Egan participated in Veganuary, and has remained vegan.[10]


Year Title Role Notes
1971 One Brief Summer Bill Denton
1971 Elizabeth R Earl of Southampton Episode: "Sweet England's Pride"
1973 The Hireling Captain Hugh Cantrip
1974 Callan Toby Meres
1975 Hennessy Williams
1981 Chariots of Fire Duke of Sutherland
1983 The Dark Side of the Sun Raoul Lavallière 6 episodes
1984 A Woman of Substance Adam Fairley 3 episodes
1984 To Catch a King Reinhard Heydrich TV film
1987 A Perfect Spy Magnus Pym BBC, 5 episodes
1997 Bean Lord Walton
2000 2001: A Space Travesty Griffin Pratt
2002 The King's Beard King Cuthbert Voice
2004 The I Inside Doctor Truman
2005 The Wedding Date Victor Ellis
2005 Man to Man Gyllenhaal
2007 Death at a Funeral Victor
2011 The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings King Henselt Video Game, English version, Voice
2012 When the Lights Went Out Peter
2012 National Theatre Live: People Theodore
2012 - 2015 Downton Abbey Hugh 'Shrimpie' MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire 4 episodes
2014 Grantchester Archie Johnson 1 episode
2015 - 2018 Unforgotten Martin Hughes
2018-present Hold the Sunset Mr Dugdale 12 episodes


  1. ^ "".
  2. ^ "Peter Egan Film Reference biography". Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  3. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (2 March 2009). "A Song at Twilight, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  4. ^ PETER EGAN ON ACTING AND ANIMALS, Compassion in World Farming, 17 August 2015
  5. ^ "Saving Suffering Strays - Sarajevo".
  6. ^ "Animals Asia". Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  7. ^ "All Dogs Matter".
  8. ^ "Chaldon Animal Sanctuary".
  9. ^ West, Bradley. "FLOE's Patron Peter Egan". Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Veganuary Chats to Downton Abbey's Peter Egan".

External links[edit]