Ray Fearon

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Ray Fearon
Kathrine Windfeld och Ray Fearon.JPG
Born Raymond Fearon
London, England
Occupation Actor

Early life[edit]

Fearon was born in London, England, the son of West Indian parents, with 7 brothers and sisters. He was a promising junior tennis player in his early teens.



After studying drama at Rose Bruford College of speech and drama, Fearon went on to make his reputation as a stage actor, working at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre; Manchester Contact Theatre; Manchester Royal Exchange; Oxford Playhouse; Barn Theatre, Kent; The Almeida; The Crucible, Sheffield; The Donmar Warehouse; The Royal Shakespeare Theatres in Stratford and the National Theatre. He has also toured in the United States and Europe and the Far East.

He starred in Othello — opposite Gillian Kearney's Desdemona — in Liverpool at the age of 24, becoming the first black actor to play Othello on RSC main stages for over 40 years.[1][2] His other early stage roles included Charles Surface in The School for Scandal; Betty/Martin in Cloud Nine; Longaville in Love's Labour's Lost; Ferdinand in The Tempest; and Pete in Blues for Mr Charlie.

His early theatre work in London included Hugo/Frederick in Ring Round the Moon at the Lilian Baylis Theatre; the title role in The Invisible Man (his one-man show) at the Bridewell Theatre; and Pierre in Venice Preserv'd at the Almeida.

He has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company in their Stratford and London theatres and on tour. He was the first black actor to play the title role in "Othello" in the main Royal Shakespeare theatre (director Michael Attenborough, 1999) giving a powerful and sexy performance alongside Richard McCabe's strong and repressed Iago.[3] They also played opposite one another in 1996's The White Devil (Deborah Warner, Swan theatre) where he played Brachiano and McCabe the villain Flamineo. Fearon was directed by Attenborough also as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (RSC, Swan Theatre, 1997) alongside Zoe Waites as Juliet.

Other RSC roles have included the First Knight and First Tempter in Murder in the Cathedral (Swan, 1993), Stubb in Moby Dick (TOP, 1993), the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice (RST, 1994), Paris in Troilus and Cressida (Ian Judge, RST, 1996), the Marquis of Posa in Don Carlos (1999), Pericles in Adrian Noble's Pericles, Prince of Tyre (RST and Roundhouse, 2002) and Mark Antony in Julius Caesar (2012).

In 2003 he played Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre. In 2004 he appeared in as Jean Kiyabe in World Music by Steve Waters at the Donmar Warehouse, and in the same year at the National Theatre as Mark in Sing Yer Hearts Out for the Lads by Roy Williams.

In 2010 he starred as Walter Lee Younger in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. This critically acclaimed production was directed by Michael Buffong at the Royal Exchange, Manchester.

In July 2013 he played Macduff opposite Kenneth Branagh (Macbeth) and Alex Kingston (Lady Macbeth) in Macbeth at Manchester International Festival. His performance was broadcast to cinemas on 20 July as part of National Theatre Live.[4]

Television, film and radio[edit]

Fearon played Nathan Harding in Coronation Street and appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (as Firenze the centaur). He had a minor role as a sentry in Kenneth Branagh's film version of Hamlet.

He was in the 2006 series of Strictly Come Dancing, partnered by Camilla Dallerup, and was voted out in week 6.

He also appeared as a fictionalised version of historical figure Carlo de' Medici on the Starz series Da Vinci's Demons.

In the BBC's 2003 radio adaptation of His Dark Materials, Fearon appeared as the narrator and as the angel Balthamos.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Fearon has a daughter, Rosa May.


Film, television and radio
Year Title Role Notes
1995 Prime Suspect Mark Whitehouse "Scent of Darkness"
1996 Hamlet Francisco!
1997 Band of Gold Paul 2 episodes
1997 Bill, TheThe Bill Foley Marsh 1 episode
1999 Clandestine Marriage (film), TheThe Clandestine Marriage (film) Brush
2000 Christmas Carol, AA Christmas Carol Jacob Marley TV film
2001 EastEnders Lennie 1 episode
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Firenze Voice
2002 Bill, TheThe Bill Paul Sharpe 1 episode
2002 As If Riggs 10 episodes
2003 His Dark Materials (BBC Radio 4 Dramatisation) Balthamos, Narrator All episodes
2003 Keen Eddie Georgie Pendergast 1 episode
2003 Waking the Dead Miles Patterson 1 episode
Doctors Malcolm Tumelo 19 episodes
2004 In Search of Shakespeare various characters 4 episodes
2005 Revelations Benjamin 1 episode
2005 Coronation Street Nathan Cooper 75 episodes
2006 Strictly Come Dancing Himself 6 episodes
2006 Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two Himself 6 episodes
2006 Audience with..., AnAn Audience with... Coronation Street Himself/performer 1 episode
2008 Chef's Letter, TheThe Chef's Letter The Sous Chef
2009 Lulu and Jimi Jimi
2009 Missing Karl Hughes 1 episode
2010 Raw Paul 3 episodes
2010 Sommer in Kapstadt, EinEin Sommer in Kapstadt Gabriel Swat TV film
2010 Morlocks Tyrell
2011 Beate Uhse - Ich will Freiheit für die Liebe Jeff
2011 Death in Paradise Curtis 1 episode
2012 Silk Roland Boyce QC 1 episode
2012 Hamilton: I Nationens Intresse Benjamin Lee
2012 Julius Caesar (TV Movie) Mark Antony
2013 National Theatre Live (TV Series) MacDuff Stage Production of MacBeth
2013 Movin' On (TV Series) Steve 1 episode
2014 Da Vinci's Demons Carlo de' Medici 8 episodes
2014 The Hooligan Factory Midnight
2016 New Blood David Kumalah 2 episodes
2017 Beauty and the Beast Père Robert
2017 The Foreigner Commander Richard Bromley


External links[edit]