Richard Armitage (actor)

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Richard Armitage
Armitage at the 2014 WonderCon
Born
Richard Crispin Armitage

(1971-08-22) 22 August 1971 (age 52)
EducationLondon Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Occupation(s)Actor, author
Years active1988–present

Richard Crispin Armitage (/ˈɑːrmətɪ/; born 22 August 1971) is an English actor and author. He received recognition in the UK with his first leading role as John Thornton in the British television programme North & South (2004).[1] His role as dwarf king and leader Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson's film trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit[2] brought him international recognition.

Other notable roles include John Proctor in Yaël Farber's stage production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Francis Dolarhyde in the American TV series Hannibal,[3] Lucas North in the British TV drama Spooks,[4] John Porter in the British TV drama Strike Back,[5] Daniel Miller in the EPIX spy series Berlin Station[6] and Guy of Gisborne in the British TV drama Robin Hood.[4] He voiced Trevor Belmont in the Netflix adaptation of Castlevania. In 2020, he played the lead role in the Netflix miniseries The Stranger.

After graduating from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Armitage initially sought theatre work and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). He turned to film and television roles when he noticed that leading stage roles went to actors with name recognition who could bring in patrons to fill venues. After twelve years away and having earned that name recognition, Armitage returned to the stage in 2014, taking his first leading role in a major production. He played John Proctor in the successful and critically acclaimed production of The Crucible at The Old Vic,[7][8] and earned an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor.[9]

One of Armitage's trademarks is his baritone voice, which he has employed as a voice actor since 2006. While working on the TV series Robin Hood, he was asked to record audiobooks for the first season of that series. Armitage has recorded several audiobooks and has worked as a narrator on TV, radio shows, and adverts. In 2022, he ventured into video games for the first time, providing the voice of the Daemon Prince Be'lakor in Total War: Warhammer III.[citation needed]

Early life and education[edit]

Armitage was born in Leicester, England, the younger son of Margaret, a secretary, and John Armitage, an engineer. He has an older brother named Chris.[10]

He attended Huncote Community Primary School in Huncote, Blaby District, Leicestershire,[citation needed] and began secondary school at the local comprehensive school, Brockington College in Enderby. At Brockington, Armitage pursued his interest in music – playing the cello in school and local orchestras, and learning how to play the flute. By the age of 14, having secured a grant from the Leicestershire Authority, he successfully persuaded his mother to allow him to transfer to Pattison College in Coventry, an independent boarding school specialising in the performing arts, so that he could focus on drama and dance.[11][12][13]

Armitage has expressed gratitude for the lessons and opportunities Pattison College provided, saying "It... instilled me with a discipline that has stood me in good stead – never to be late, to know your lines and to be professional."[14] By the time he finished school, he had achieved A Levels in music and English,[15] and acting experience in local amateur and professional productions such as Showboat, Half a Sixpence, Orpheus and the Underworld (as Bacchus), and The Hobbit (as an elf) at the New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham.[14]

Career[edit]

1988–2003: Early work[edit]

After completing the programme at Pattison College in 1988, Armitage joined the Nachtcircus in Budapest for six months to obtain his Equity Card, a requirement at the time for entertainment professionals to work in the UK.[16][17] Returning to the UK, he pursued a career in musical theatre – working as an assistant choreographer to Kenn Oldfield and performing in various productions, including the ensembles of 42nd Street, My One and Only, Nine, Annie Get Your Gun and as Admetus and Macavity in Cats.[18] Armitage was also pursuing acting in dramatic theatre productions, including The Real Thing, Six Degrees of Separation and Death of a Salesman.

By 1992, he began to doubt if musical theatre was the right career path, so he enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in 1993 to further study acting.[19][20] "I needed to do something a bit more truthful than musical theatre. For me it was a bit too theatrical and all about standing on stage and showing off. I was looking for something else, so that's why I went back to drama school."[21]

After completing LAMDA's three-year programme, he returned to the stage as a supporting player with the Royal Shakespeare Company's productions of Macbeth and The Duchess of Malfi, as well as Hamlet and Four Alice Bakers with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre while taking a series of small roles in television and films.[22] In 2002 he starred in the Charm Offensive's production of Use Me As Your Cardigan.[23]

That same year, Armitage appeared in his first major television role, as John Standring in the BBC drama Sparkhouse (2002).[24] "It was the first time I went to an audition in character. It was a minor role but it was something I really got my teeth into... I couldn't go back. I knew I had to approach everything the same way."[25] After this he took supporting roles in the TV productions of Between the Sheets,[26] Cold Feet (series 5),[27] and Ultimate Force (series 2).[15][26]

2004–2010: Television success[edit]

In 2004, Armitage landed his first leading role as textile mill owner John Thornton in the BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South.[28] The director and producers took a chance casting a little-known actor for their leading man. He was the first actor to audition for the role and the last person cast.[29] North & South was an unexpected success.[30] The BBC message boards crashed shortly after the telecast as a result of chatter about him[19] and he was hailed as the new "Mr. Darcy"[31][32] (referring to Colin Firth's "Mr Darcy" whom many regard as the definitive romantic leading man). Armitage did not perceive John Thornton as the ideal romantic leading man role and was surprised by the response.[33] Instead, he said that he felt personally drawn to the role, as his father's family had been weavers. He cited Thornton's dualism as drawing him to the character. "The dichotomy between the powerful, almost monstrous, entrepreneur and this kind of vulnerable boy is exciting for me to look at."[29]

Armitage at the 2010 BAFTA TV Awards

In 2005, he played Peter MacDuff in Macbeth in the BBC's ShakespeaRe-Told series and appeared as a recovering gambling addict in one episode of Inspector Lynley Mysteries.[34] He starred in The Impressionists, playing the young Claude Monet,[35] and as Dr Alec Track in ITV's The Golden Hour, a medical series based on the London Air Ambulance.[36] His first substantial role in movies was in the independent film Frozen.[37]

In 2006, Armitage was cast as Guy of Gisborne in the BBC series Robin Hood, which was filmed in Hungary.[19] "In order to sustain the character of Guy, you have to find the conflict within him. He's constantly pulled between good and evil, between who he wants to be and who he actually is. He could have been a good man, but he is forever dragged down by his fatal flaw – that he wants glory at all costs."[38] Approaching the third series, he said, "I do love playing him, but with a character like Gisborne, if you give him what he needs, then in a way, it's over. That character is only interesting when he isn't getting what he wants, whether it's power, money or the girl."[39] The third and final series of Robin Hood started on 28 March 2009.

Armitage appeared in a two-part 2006/07 Christmas/New Years special of The Vicar of Dibley, as Harry Kennedy, the vicar's new love interest (and eventual husband). He reprised the role in 2007 for Red Nose Day. On 8 April 2007, he played biker Ricky Deeming in the detective drama George Gently with Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby. On 9 May 2007, he appeared in the BBC Four production of Miss Marie Lloyd – Queen of The Music Hall playing Marie Lloyd's first husband, Percy Courtenay. He also appeared in the Granada TV production of Agatha Christie's novel Ordeal by Innocence as the character Philip Durrant.

Armitage joined the cast of Spooks as the character Lucas North for series 7, which began on 27 October 2008 in the UK.[4] Armitage notes that the character, who spent eight years in a Russian prison, has a personable exterior, but is psychologically damaged. "I love films with a combination of action and good characters. That's why Lucas is interesting as I get to play someone with a complex psychology who goes out there and tries to save the world."[40] During the filming of series 7 Armitage allowed himself to be subjected to waterboarding to film a flashback sequence.[41] In July 2010, Armitage completed filming of series 9, his final series.[42]

On 20 May 2009, Armitage appeared in the BBC1 drama Moving On as John Mulligan.

In May 2010, Armitage starred as former SAS trooper John Porter in Strike Back (also known as Chris Ryan's Strike Back) for Sky1.[5] Filmed in South Africa, Armitage found the main challenge of the role was to show how the character resolved being a trained killer with having a family and home life.[43] "In the end it was the character I was attracted to, the story of a man who makes a decision under pressure and that decision has a knock-on effect on his whole life," he said. "He goes in search of atonement still believing he did the right thing even though it cost the lives of three of his friends... There's anger and there's injustice. It's like, 'I did the right thing, with the wrong outcome.'"[44] By the time Sky1 and Cinemax decided to commission a second series of Strike Back called Strike Back: Project Dawn, Armitage had committed to The Hobbit and was unable to continue in the series. However, he appeared as a guest star in the first episode to resolve John Porter's fate.[45][46]

It was his role as John Porter that led to his casting in Captain America: The First Avenger. American casting agents noticed posters of him as John Porter in London. Although unknown to them, they offered him the role of Nazi spy Heinz Kruger because he looked the part. Armitage accepted and shot his scenes in the autumn of 2010, after filming wrapped on Spooks, series 9. The film was released in July 2011.[47][48]

2010–present: film success and beyond[edit]

On 21 October 2010, Peter Jackson announced Armitage was cast as Thorin Oakenshield in the three-film production of The Hobbit.[2] Principal photography in New Zealand ran from March 2011 to July 2012, broken into three filming blocks with breaks in-between, and pick-ups were shot in the summer of 2013.[49] All three films were released in December, starting with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 2012, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 2013 and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in 2014. Armitage thought it was a wonderful opportunity, as he grew up reading the books. Coincidentally, one of his first stage roles was playing an elf in a production of The Hobbit at the Alex Theatre in Birmingham.[50] He describes the character of Thorin as being complex and flawed, "somebody that had doubts and that had fears, and there was a gentle side to him and a very perhaps lonely side to him."[51] He notes the scene with Balin in Bag End shows the character's inner sensitivity and fear of failure, "failing where his father and his grandfather had failed as well."[51]

After filming had been completed on The Hobbit, Armitage flew to Detroit, Michigan to film Into the Storm from July to September 2012.[52][53] He starred as Gary Fuller, a high school vice principal and football coach with two teenage sons.[54] The film from New Line was released in August 2014.[55]

In March 2014, Armitage began the eight-week shoot of an adaptation of Bernard Hare's memoir Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew in Leeds, UK.[56][57][58] He played "Chop" (the author's nickname), an ex-social worker, drunk and drug addict in Britain's lowerclass who befriends the hardened young delinquent Urban.[56][59] Armitage explained his attraction to this role: "it ticks a few boxes for me: it"s based on a really interesting piece of literature, but also based on living people, who have been working with us on set."[60] Urban and the Shed Crew premiered at the Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) on 7 November 2015.[61]

Armitage next appeared as John Proctor in The Old Vic's production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Directed by Yaël Farber and performed in the round, the play ran from 21 June to 13 September 2014.[62] The production drew an unprecedented number of 5-star reviews and was a commercial success. For his performance, Armitage was awarded Best Leading Actor in a New Production of a Play by Broadway World:UK Awards 2014[63] and a Best Actor nomination for an Olivier Award.[9] Due to worldwide demand to see the production, Digital Theatre captured the live performance to bring The Crucible to cinemas and for digital download. It was screened at cinemas on 4 and 7 December 2014 in the UK and Ireland, with further screenings in other selected territories in February and March 2015.[7][8] Copyright issues prevented the film from being screened at North American cinemas.[64] Digital Theatre made the digital download available worldwide on 17 March 2015.[65]

In a September 2014 interview, Armitage revealed he would film his cameo role of King Oleron in Alice Through the Looking Glass in London after The Crucible closed.[66][67] The film was released in May 2016.

Armitage spent four weeks in October 2014 filming Sleepwalker in the greater Los Angeles area. In this psychological thriller, Armitage plays Dr. Scott White, a senior MD at a sleep research center. Released on February 4, 2017.[68][69]

DeLaurentiis Company tweeted on 13 January 2015 that Armitage was cast as Francis Dolarhyde in the TV production of Hannibal,[70] written and co-produced by Bryan Fuller. Dolarhyde is a serial killer, a character type which Armitage had expressed interest in portraying.[71] He filmed the series in Toronto, Canada from January[72] to April,[73] and the series aired from 4 June to 29 August 2015.[74] Armitage appeared in the last six episodes of season 3,[75][76] earning high praise, wide acclaim[77][78][79] and several award nominations, including two wins.[80][81][82]

After wrapping on Hannibal in late April 2015, Armitage joined his fellow Pilgrimage castmates[83] who had already begun filming in Connemara, Ireland two weeks prior.[84] He plays Sir Raymond De Merville, a 13th-century French Norman who is intent on foiling a group of monks escorting a sacred relic from Ireland to Rome.[85][86] The cast and crew later moved to the Ardennes region of Belgium to complete filming,[87] with Armitage wrapping one week earlier than the film wrap at the end of May.[88][89]

News broke on 13 May 2015 that Armitage would star in Clearance, the first English language film by Finnish director Aku Louhimies and set to film in South Africa in November 2015.[90] It is an action drama about a hardened mine expert named Ray (Armitage) and his pregnant partner (Naomie Harris) who are kidnapped in South Sudan.[90][91]

In a June 2015 interview,[92] Armitage mentioned his next projects included an Edith Wharton film and a true Irish tragic drama. Per agent David Higham, Bridget Cleary is likely the Irish drama.[93]

On 12 July 2015, Armitage revealed he was about to start filming Brain on Fire in Vancouver, Canada.[94] Subsequent news outlets provided more details about his role as "Big Man" Tom Cahalan, father of the protagonist in the true-life story of young journalist Susannah Cahalan's sudden descent into inexplicable madness and the eleventh-hour diagnosis by one doctor.[95] Filming began 13 July 2015. Brain on Fire premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on 14 September 2016.[96]

Armitage landed the lead role of Daniel Miller in Berlin Station, an original spy series for Epix. His character, a cerebral analyst from Langley, is a newly anointed undercover CIA officer tasked with finding a mole in Berlin. Filmed in Berlin from November 2015 to April 2016, with some additional filming in the Canary Islands, the series premiered on Epix in the autumn of 2016.[6][97]

On 13 July 2016, Roundabout Theatre Company announced Armitage was cast as Kenneth in the American premiere of Love, Love, Love by playwright Mike Bartlett. Love, Love, Love marks Armitage's first leading role in a theatrical play on an American stage. The off-Broadway play ran from 22 September to 18 December 2016 at the intimate Laura Pels Theater in New York City.[98]

Armitage co-starred in the heist comedy Ocean's 8 (2018).[99]

In February 2017, it was announced that Armitage had joined the cast of Julie Delpy's film My Zoe.[100] In it he will play the role of James, the ex-husband of Delpy's character Isabelle. Their toxic marriage may be over but they are still in contact with each other as they co-parent their daughter Zoe. But when tragedy strikes this fractured family, Isabelle takes matters into her own hands. In February 2018, Armitage joined the cast of The Lodge, which began filming in early February.[101] Armitage plays the leading role of Adam Price in Netflix's 2020 mystery thriller miniseries, The Stranger, which is based on the Harlan Coben novel of the same title.[102] The series has been critically acclaimed, with a rating of 89% from Rotten Tomatoes.[103]

In 2022, Armitage gave his first performance in a video game, appearing as the Daemon Prince Be'lakor in Creative Assembly's real-time strategy game Total War: Warhammer III. In October that year, Armitage's debut novel, Geneva, a thriller, was published by Audible. Armitage and former Spooks co-star Nicola Walker narrate the audiobook.

Voice work[edit]

Armitage was introduced to voice work while working on the TV drama Robin Hood in 2006. The BBC was publishing novels of the first four episodes of series one and asked Armitage to record the audiobook versions. In recent years, Armitage has also performed a great deal of voice work, such as reading poetry for various radio programs and starring as Robert Lovelace in BBC Radio 4's production of Clarissa: A History of a Young Lady in April 2010. He has recorded many audiobooks: six based on BBC's Robin Hood, Bernard Cornwell's The Lords of the North, three Georgette Heyer novels for Naxos AudioBooks (Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle, Venetia, and The Convenient Marriage), David Copperfield by Charles Dickens for Audible Studios and Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel. He has narrated television documentaries such as Homes from Hell, Empire's Children, Too Poor for Posh School?, The Great Sperm Race, Forest Elephants: Rumble in the Jungle, Surgery School, and Elsa: The Lioness That Changed the World. In 2011, he provided the narration for a series about the Royal Navy flagship HMS Ark Royal,[104] 125 Years of Wimbledon: You Cannot Be Serious, and Fraud Squad. He has also provided the voice-over for many TV and radio advertisements, and stars as lead character Trevor Belmont in the Netflix animated series Castlevania. He has also voiced the title character in the scripted podcast Marvel's Wolverine, and voiced Rassilon in the Doctor Who audio spin-off Gallifrey.

Richard III connection[edit]

Armitage was hoping to star in a drama based on Richard III. Armitage was born on the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth Field, where Richard III was killed and has said "I believe it is a great story, a socio-political thriller, a love story and a dynastic tragedy."[105] He thinks the story has the potential to be told as a twenty-episode miniseries. A script has been in development since 2010 and "a lot of people... are interested [in producing it], but there is no one that will step on the gas."[106]

Acting style[edit]

Armitage has described himself as a method actor. "Yeah, I suppose I am. In a way it's slightly lazy because it means you don't have to pretend – you just have to believe. As much as it's possible to be like that I suppose I kind of do step in and out, I'm not one of these people that can't talk to other people because I'm in my character, but I kind of do stay with the character, yeah. He's always there. It's like marinating something – you're sitting in a marinade the whole time."[107] He has also spoken of dreaming in character while playing John Porter and Thorin Oakenshield.[108][109] However, recently he rejected the label of "method actor." "I think I'm a concentrating actor. So in order to do my work in the course of a day, particularly with a character like this I have to concentrate. So it's about staying in the scene, staying with my head in the scene and attempting to keep the character with me. It doesn't mean I can't have a conversation or go and make a cup of coffee. But I actually stay with the character for 18 months."[110]

He frequently speaks of developing and being drawn to dualism in his characters.[106] "If I'm offered the role of the hero, I immediately look for the antihero within!... I see everything in terms of an outer skin and an inner skin."[111] He creates "character diaries" with entire biographies for the characters he plays. "It was important to me to put in a background for my character that would be useful for the whole journey. A lot of that is secret and no one gets to read that. It's what is useful to me. If you are playing something long-running and a role that has a future [beyond the initial series], it's almost like you have to plant a garden which you will need to come back to at some point. If you don't put in early, it can jar with you."[21]

Personal life[edit]

In 2023, on the subject of his sexuality, he revealed that he came out to his family at the age of 19.[112] However, it was only recently that he felt comfortable enough to come out publicly.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1999 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Naboo fighter pilot (Uncredited) [113]
Staged Daryl Newman Short film [114]
This Year's Love Smug Man at Party
2005 Frozen Steven [37]
2011 Captain America: The First Avenger Heinz Kruger [48]
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Thorin Oakenshield [2]
2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [2]
2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Win—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in a film [2]
Into the Storm Gary Fuller [52]
The Crucible John Proctor Film capturing live stage performance of the production at The Old Vic [115]
2015 Urban and the Shed Crew Chop Win - Best Actor award at the NIFF [59]
2016 Alice Through the Looking Glass King Oleron
Brain on Fire Tom Cahalan [95]
2017 Sleepwalker Dr. Scott White [69]
Pilgrimage Sir Raymond De Merville [85]
2018 Ocean's 8 Claude Becker [99]
2019 The Lodge Richard [101]
My Zoe James [100]
2021 Space Sweepers James Sullivan South Korean film on Netflix [116]
2022 The Man from Rome Father Quart
2023 The Boy in the Woods Jasko [117]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1992 Boon Man in pub Episode: "Message in a Bottle";
Uncredited
1999 Cleopatra Epiphanes Television miniseries
2001 Macbeth Angus Television film
Doctors Dr. Tom Steele Episodes: "Good Companions", "Cat's Out of the Bag" [118]
Casualty Craig Parker Episode: "Playing with Fire"
2002 Spooks Armed police officer Episode: "Traitor's Gate" [119]
Sparkhouse John Standring BBC drama;
Television film
[24]
2003 Cold Feet Lee Preston 6 episodes [27]
Ultimate Force Capt. Ian Macalwain 5 episodes [15]
Between the Sheets Paul Andrews ITV miniseries [26]
2004 North & South John Thornton BBC miniseries [28]
2005 The Inspector Lynley Mysteries Philip Turner Episode: "In Divine Proportion" [34]
Malice Aforethought William Chatford ITV drama;
Television film
The Golden Hour Dr. Alec Track 4 episodes [36]
ShakespeaRe-Told Peter Macduff Episode: "Macbeth"
2006 The Impressionists Young Claude Monet BBC docudrama;
Miniseries
[35][120]
[121][122]
CBeebies: Bedtime Hour Himself / Storyteller BBC children's series;
5 episodes
[123][124][125]
[126][127]
2006–2009 Robin Hood Guy of Gisborne 37 episodes [128]
2006–2007 The Vicar of Dibley Harry Kennedy Christmas Special: "The Handsome Stranger", "The Vicar in White",
Comic Relief Special: "Wife Swap"
[129]
2007 Inspector George Gently Ricky Deeming Episode: "Gently Go Man" [130]
Miss Marie Lloyd Percy Courtenay BBC drama;
Television film
[131]
Agatha Christie's Marple Philip Durrant Episode: "Ordeal by Innocence" [132]
2008–2010 Spooks Lucas North 25 episodes [119]
2009 Moving On John Mulligan Episode: "Drowning not Waving" [133]
2010 Chris Ryan's Strike Back John Porter Lead (first Season, 6 episodes) [5]
2011 Strike Back: Project Dawn 1 episode [46]
2015 Hannibal Francis Dolarhyde 6 episodes;
Win—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on a television series and Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for Best TV Supporting Actor
[3][80][81]
2016–2019 Berlin Station Daniel Miller [6]
2017–2021 Castlevania Trevor Belmont
(voice)
32 episodes
2020 The Stranger Adam Price Miniseries
2021 Stay Close Ray Levine
2023 Obsession William Farrow
2024 Fool Me Once Joe Burkett 8 episodes

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Playwright Venue Notes Ref.
1995 The Long and the Short and the Tall Macliesh Willis Hall Actors' Centre's Tristram Bates Theatre
1995 The Real Thing Henry Tom Stoppard Old School Manchester
1995 Six Degrees of Separation Flan John Guare Old School Manchester
1995 Death of a Salesman Biff Arthur Miller Old School Manchester
1998 Hamlet Bernardo William Shakespeare Birmingham Repertory Theatre Opened on 22 September 1998 for three-week run. [135]
1999 The Four Alice Bakers Young Richie Baker Fay Weldon Birmingham Repertory Theatre Ran from 23 February to 13 March 1999. [136]
1999–2000 Macbeth Angus William Shakespeare Swan Theatre (Stratford); Theatre Royal, Brighton; Theatre Royal, Bath; The Globe Tokyo; Young Vic; Long Wharf Theatre Royal Shakespeare Company
Opened 2 November 1999 in Stratford; Brighton (24-29 Jan 2000); Bath (1-5 Feb 2000); Tokyo (24 March to 8 April 2000); London (10 April to 3 June 2000); New Haven, USA (15–25 June 2000).
[137]
[138]
2000–2001 The Duchess of Malfi Delio John Webster Barbican Theatre; various UK theatres; Royal Shakespeare Theatre Royal Shakespeare Company
Opened 10 November 2000 in London; UK tour; Stratford (6 February to 3 March 2001).
[139]
2002 Use Me As Your Cardigan Jez Samantha Ellis Jacksons Lane Ran from 19 February to 9 March 2002. [23]
2010 The Twenty Four Hour Plays Celebrity Gala: The Third Wish Dennis/Himself Stephen Beresford The Old Vic Fundraising event. The first of six short plays performed on 21 November 2010. [140]
2014 Pinter/PROUST: Remembrance of Things Past Swann, Journalist, Brothel Patron Harold Pinter and Marcel Proust 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center Staged reading. Performed on 16 January 2014 as part of the centenary celebrations commemorating the publication of Swann's Way. [141]
2014 The Crucible John Proctor Arthur Miller The Old Vic Ran from 21 June to 13 September 2014.
Win—Broadway World:UK Awards for Best Leading Actor in a New Production of a Play
[62][63]
2016 Love, Love, Love Kenneth Mike Bartlett Laura Pels Theater Ran from 22 September to 18 December 2016. [98]
2020 Uncle Vanya Astrov Anton Chekhov Harold Pinter Theatre From January 2020.

Discography[edit]

Year Title Role Author Notes
2006 Robin Hood: Will You Tolerate This? Narrator Kristy Neale First published 13 October 2006 by BBC Audiobooks
2006 Robin Hood: Sheriff Got Your Tongue? Narrator Kay Woodward First published 6 November 2006 by BBC Audiobooks
2006 Robin Hood: Who Shot The Sheriff? Narrator Jacqueline Rayner First published 6 November 2006 by BBC Audiobooks
2006 Robin Hood: Parent Hood Narrator Mandy Archer First published 6 November 2006 by BBC Audiobooks
2007 The Lords of the North Narrator Bernard Cornwell First published July 2007 by Chivers Audiobooks
2009 Robin Hood: The Witch Finders Narrator Rebecca Levene First published April 2009 by Big Finish Productions
2009 Robin Hood: The Siege Narrator Simon Guerrier First published 30 June 2009 by Big Finish Productions
2009 Sylvester Narrator Georgette Heyer First published 1 July 2009 by Naxos Audiobooks
2010 Venetia Narrator Georgette Heyer First published 1 April 2010 by Naxos Audiobooks
2010 The Convenient Marriage Narrator Georgette Heyer First published 2 August 2010 by Naxos Audiobooks
2014 Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel Narrator A. J. Hartley and David Hewson First released 20 May 2014 by Audible Originals
Win—Audible Award for Best Audiobook of the Year
2015 Classic Love Poems Narrator William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and more First released 9 February 2015 by Audible Studios
2015 The Chimes Narrator Charles Dickens First released 11 December 2015 by Audible Studios
2016 David Copperfield Narrator Charles Dickens First released 9 February 2016 by Audible Studios
2016 Introduction to The Turn of the Screw Co-narrator Henry James First released 15 March 2016 by Audible Studios
2016 Romeo and Juliet: A Novel Narrator David Hewson First released 6 December 2016 by Audible Originals
2017 The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Narrator Robert Louis Stevenson First released 24 October 2017 by Audible Studios (Part of The Monster Collection)
2018 The Martian Invasion of Earth Co-narrator HG Wells First released 2 February 2018 by Big Finish Classics audiobooks
2018 Wanderlust Co-narrator Lauren Blakely First released 6 February 2018 by Audible Originals
2018 The Tattooist of Auschwitz Narrator Heather Morris First released 20 February 2018 by Bolinda Publishing
2018 The Bloody Chamber Co-narrator Angela Carter First released 15 March 2018 by Audible Studios
2018 Their Lost Daughters Narrator Joy Ellis First released 29 May 2018 by Audible Studios
2018 The Man from St. Petersburg Narrator Ken Follett First released 23 August 2018 by Macmillan Digital Audio
2018 The Murderer's Son Narrator Joy Ellis First released 16 October 2018 by Audible Studios
2018 The Snowman Narrator Raymond Briggs First released 18 October 2018 by Penguin Books
2018 The Other Queen Co-Narrator Philippa Gregory First released 1 November 2018 by HarperCollins
2018 Heads You Win Narrator Jeffrey Archer First released 6 November 2018 by Macmillan Digital Audio
2018 The Fourth Friend Narrator Joy Ellis First released 6 December 2018 by Audible Studios
2018 The Christmas Hirelings Narrator Mary Elizabeth Braddon First released 10 December 2018 by Audible Studios
2019 The Taking of Annie Thorne Narrator C.J. Tudor First released 21 February 2019 by Penguin Audio
2019 A Nearly Normal Family Co-narrator M.T. Edvardsson First released 25 June 2019 by Pan Macmillan
2019 Meditations Narrator Marcus Aurelius, Diskin Clay, Martin Hammond First released 26 September 2019 by Penguin Audio
2019 Voices of History: Speeches That Changed the World Co-narrator Simon Sebag Montefiore First released 1 October 2019 by Orion Books (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
2019 The Stolen Boys Narrator Joy Ellis First released 31 October 2019 by Audible Studios
2020 The Other People Narrator C.J. Tudor First released 28 January 2020 by Penguin Audio
2020 His & Hers Co-narrator Alice Feeney First released 28 May 2020 by HQ
2020 The Jane Austen Society Narrator Natalie Jenner First released 28 May 2020 by Orion Books
2020 The Chekhov Collection of Short Stories Narrator Anton Chekhov First released 11 June 2020 by Audible Studios
2020 Bedlam Narrator LJ Ross First released 7 July 2020 by Whole Story Audiobooks
2020 They Disappeared Narrator Joy Ellis First released 30 July 2020 by Audible Studios
2021 Gallifrey: Time War - Volume Four Rassilon Lisa McMullin, Lou Morgan, David Llewellyn & Matt Fitton First released February 2021 by Big Finish Productions
2022 Gallifrey: War Room 1 - Allegiance Lou Morgan, David Llewellyn, Alfie Shaw & Sophie Iles First released August 2022 by Big Finish Productions

Radio[edit]

  • 2007: BBC Radio 4: The Ted Hughes Letters, as Ted Hughes (29 October 2007)
  • 2007: BBC Radio 2: A War Less Ordinary, narrator (10 November 2007)
  • 2010: BBC Radio 4: Clarissa: The History of a Young Lady, as Robert Lovelace (14 March 2010)[142]
  • 2010: BBC Radio 3: Words and Music: Symphony of a City as narrator (12 September 2010)

Voice-over[edit]

  • 2007: Channel 4: Empire's Children, as narrator (2 July 2007)
  • 2009: ITV1: Homes from Hell, as narrator (3 March 2009)[143]
  • 2009: Channel 4: The Great Sperm Race, as narrator (23 March 2009)[144]
  • 2010–11: Voice-over for Santander TV and radio adverts
  • 2010: BBC 2: The Natural World, Forest Elephants: Rumbles in the Jungle, as narrator
  • 2010–2011: Voice-over for Sky Sports HD TV and radio adverts
  • 2010: Voice-over for General Election 2010 Leaders' Debates radio adverts
  • 2010: Voice-over for BBC Winter Olympics TV and radio adverts
  • 2010: Voice-over for Alfa Romeo Mito TV advert
  • 2010: Voice-over for John Bull Jewelers radio adverts
  • 2010: ITV: Surgery School, as narrator
  • 2010: Voice-over for Hyundai ix20 TV advert
  • 2010: BBC: Lost Land of the Tiger, as narrator
  • 2011: BBC: Elsa: The Lioness That Changed the World, as narrator
  • 2010: Voice-over for ActionAidUK TV advert
  • 2011: Voice-over for Pilsner Urquell TV advert
  • 2011: Discovery Channel UK: HMS Ark Royal, as narrator
  • 2011: Eden Channel: Trouble in Lemur Land: Phantoms of the Forest, as narrator
  • 2011: BBC2: 125 Years of Wimbledon: You Cannot Be Serious, as narrator
  • 2011: Voice-over for LG Optimus 3D Smartphone TV advert
  • 2011: ITV: Fraud Squad, as narrator
  • 2011: National Geographic Wild: Leopards of Dead Tree island, as narrator
  • 2012: ITV: Fraud Squad, series two, as narrator

Podcast shows[edit]

Video games[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Award Category Result Ref.
2009 Spooks Golden Nymph Awards Outstanding Actor – Drama Series Nominated
2009 Spooks TV Quick Awards Best Actor Nominated
2011 Venetia Audie Awards Best Audiobook Adaptation Nominated [145]
2013 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey SFX Awards Best Actor Nominated
2014 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Empire Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated [146]
2014 Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel Audible Best of 2014 Audiobook of the Year Won [147]
2014 The Crucible Broadway World: UK Awards Best Leading Actor in a New Production of a Play Won [63]
2015 The Crucible What's On Stage Awards Best Actor in a Play Nominated [148]
2015 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies SFX Awards Best Actor Nominated [149]
2015 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Empire Awards Best Actor Nominated [150]
2015 Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel Audie Awards Best Solo Narration – Male Nominated [151]
2015 The Crucible Olivier Awards Best Actor Nominated [9]
2015 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor in a film Won [152]
2016 Hannibal Critics' Choice Awards Best Guest Actor/Actress in a Drama Series Nominated [82]
2016 Hannibal Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best TV Supporting Actor Won [81]
2016 Classic Love Poems Audie Awards Best Male Narrator Nominated [153]
2016 Hannibal Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on a television series Won [80]
2018 Urban and the Shed Crew Newcastle International

Film Festival

Best Actor Won

Honours[edit]

Armitage was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) by the University of Leicester on 22 July 2022.[154]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]