Reece Shearsmith

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Reece Shearsmith
Reece Shearsmith.jpg
Shearsmith in October 2003
Born Reeson Wayne Shearsmith
27 August 1969 (age 47)
Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Nationality British
Education Bretton Hall College
  • Actor
  • writer
  • comedian
  • producer
  • director
  • magician
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Jane Shearsmith (m. 2001)
Children 2

Reeson Wayne "Reece" Shearsmith (born 27 August 1969) is an English actor, writer, comedian, producer, director, and magician. He created, wrote, and acted in the sitcom/sketch show The League of Gentlemen, along with fellow performers Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss, and Jeremy Dyson. He played over 30 characters. He and Pemberton also created, wrote, and acted in another award-winning series, Psychoville. In 2010 Reece had reunited with Steve for Inside No. 9.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Reece was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire and went to Bretton Hall College.


The League of Gentlemen initially began as a stage act in 1995, transferred to BBC Radio 4 as On the Town with The League of Gentlemen in 1995 and then arrived on television on BBC Two in 1999. The latter saw Shearsmith and his colleagues awarded a British Academy Television Award, a Royal Television Society Award and the prestigious Golden Rose of Montreux.

He has appeared in other comedy projects including Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere as well as playing the insane villain Tony in the Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer comedy Catterick. He also appeared in two episodes of the award-winning pop-culture comedy Spaced as robot-wars obsessed TA soldier Dexter, and played neurotic doctor Flynn in the BBC Two sitcom TLC which was written by The Weakest Link creator Fintan Coyle. His ability for talking 'gibberish' lends itself to playing his more macabre characters like Papa Lazarou.[3]

From March 2006 to January 2007, he appeared in the West End as Leo Bloom in The Producers.[4]

In the 2008 English language DVD release of the cult 2006 Norwegian animated film Free Jimmy, Shearsmith voiced the character of "Ante", a heavy-set, bizarrely-dressed biker member of the "Lappish Mafia". In this his voice is used along with the other actors of League of Gentlemen such as Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss. The dialogue was written by Simon Pegg and other actors.[5]

Psychoville aired June 2009 and marked his return to BBC2. It was co-written by Shearsmith and his League of Gentlemen cohort Steve Pemberton. Both Shearsmith and Pemberton star in the series and play numerous characters. In 2010 Shearsmith appeared in John Landis' black comedy Burke and Hare.[6]

In 2010 Shearsmith played the lead character in Ghost Stories, written and directed by Jeremy Dyson and magician Andy Nyman.

In 2011, Cameron Mackintosh's new musical Betty Blue Eyes opened in the west end, in which he played downtrodden husband Gilbert Chilvers (a chiropodist) alongside Sarah Lancashire. In May of that year, Psychoville returned to TV with a second series, where once again he starred beside Pemberton and numerous other names including Imelda Staunton.

In 2012, he starred in Bad Sugar, a comedy series written by Sam Bain & Jesse Armstrong, along with Olivia Colman and Julia Davis.

In November 2013, he played Patrick Troughton in An Adventure in Space and Time, a docu-drama about the conception and making of Doctor Who, which was written by Mark Gatiss. He met with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer again for the final episode in the first series of House of Fools as a ghost called 'Martin'.

In 2014, Shearsmith stars as Malcolm Webster in the ITV drama series The Widower. In June of that year, it was announced that Shearsmith would play Nathan Steele in Ben Wheatley's upcoming film High-Rise.[7] Also in 2014, Shearsmith starred as Detective Sergeant Stone in Chasing Shadows, an ITV drama series about missing persons.[8]

In February 2015, Shearsmith was interviewed by Adam Buxton on BBC Radio 4's Chain Reaction. 17 July 2015 cast announcement: Shearsmith cast in Hangmen By Martin McDonagh, Directed by Matthew Dunster at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from Thursday 10 September to Saturday 10 October 2015.[9] In 2015, Shearsmith appeared as Gagan Rassmussen in the Series 9 Doctor Who episode Sleep No More.[10] In February 2016 Reece starred in the dark comedy thriller Stag.

Personal life[edit]

Reece is married to Jane Shearsmith, and they have two children together.


Year Title Role
1995 Alas Smith and Jones Actor
The League of Gentlemen Stage Show Writer/Actor
P.R.O.B.E. The Devil of Winterborne
1996 Friday Night Armistice Performer
P.R.O.B.E. The Ghosts of Winterborne
1997 In the Red Performer
Mash and Peas do U.S. Actor
Auton Actor
On The Town With The League Of Gentlemen Writer/Actor
1998 Lenny Henry Goes to Town Actor
In the Red Actor
Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round Actor
1999 The League of Gentlemen, Series 1 Writer/Actor
This Year's Love Actor
2000 A Local Show For Local People Writer/Performer
The League of Gentlemen, Series 2 Writer/Actor
The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special Writer/Actor
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Actor
The League of Gentlemen - A Local Book For Local People Writer
2001 Spaced Actor
Coming Up Birthday Girl
A Local Show for Local People (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane) Writer/Performer
2002 The League of Gentlemen, Series 3 Writer/Actor
TLC Actor
The League of Gentlemen, The Making Of Series 3 Presenter
'Art' (Whitehall Theatre) Performer
Robbie the Reindeer: Legend of the Lost Tribe Voice Actor
2003 Mash and Peas Actor
2004 Catterick Actor
Shaun of the Dead Actor
The All Star Comedy Show - Monkey Trousers Performer
Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere Actor
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Voice Actor
The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse Writer/Actor
Wyndham's Theatre Presents Shakespeare's As You Like It Performer
The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You (various venues) Writer/Performer
2006 The Producers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane) Performer
2007 Miss Marple: Ordeal by Innocence Actor
The Abbey (TV series) Actor
Modern Men Performer
Ladies and Gentlemen: Comedy Showcase Actor
Christmas at the Riviera Actor
2008 Coming Up Lickle Bill Um
The Cottage Actor
The Common Pursuit at the Menier Chocolate Factory Performer
Free Jimmy Ante (voice)
2009 Psychoville Actor/Writer
Comedians at the Lyric Hammersmith Performer
Would I Lie to You? Performer

2010 The First Men in the Moon Actor
Burke and Hare Actor
The Bear Actor
Good Boy Actor
2011 Betty Blue Eyes(The Novello Theatre) Performer
2012 Comedy Showcase - The Function Room Actor
Swiftcover SwiftBrothers Advertising Campaign Voice Actor
Absent Friends Performer
Henry IV Actor
Him Indoors Actor
Silent Night of the Living Dead Actor
2013 A Field in England Actor
Comedy Showcase - Bad Sugar Actor
An Adventure in Space and Time Actor, as Patrick Troughton
The World's End Actor
2014–present Inside No 9 Actor/Writer/Director
2014 The Widower Actor
Chasing Shadows DS Sean Stone
Dead Funny: Horror Stories by Comedians Writer
2015 Peter Kay's Car Share Ray the Fishmonger
Hangmen by Martin McDonagh - The Royal Court Theatre Syd Armfield [11]
High-Rise Nathan Steele
Doctor Who Gagan Rassmussen
2016 Galavant Neo of Sporin
Stag Wendy
Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge Jasper Jones
2016-present Diddy TV Mr. Stockholm


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