Richard Dormer

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Richard Dormer
Richard Dormer (2009).jpg
Dormer in The Gentlemen's Tea-Drinking Society (2009)
Born (1969-11-11) 11 November 1969 (age 52)
Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland
NationalityNorthern Irish
OccupationActor, playwright
Years active1991–present

Richard Dormer (born 11 November 1969) is an actor, playwright and screenwriter from Northern Ireland. He is best known for his roles as Beric Dondarrion in the HBO television series Game of Thrones and Dan Anderssen in Sky Atlantic's Fortitude.

Early life[edit]

Dormer was born in Portadown, Northern Ireland. He studied at the RADA school of acting in London.[citation needed] After living and working in London, he returned to Northern Ireland. He lives in Belfast and is married to director Rachel O'Riordan.[1]


Dormer gained recognition following his performance as Northern Irish snooker star Alex Higgins in Hurricane in 2003, which he wrote and starred in. Dormer won The Stage award for best actor in 2003.[2][3][4][failed verification] In 2004, Dormer won the Irish Times Best Actor Award for his performance in Frank McGuinness's Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme and in 2005 completed a season with Sir Peter Hall at the Theatre Royal and starred in Bath as Antonio in William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, Jean in August Strindberg's Miss Julie and in a production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.[5]

Since, Dormer has written a number of plays including The Half and Gentleman's Tea Drinking Society which were produced through Belfast's Ransom theatre company. In 2012, Dormer was commissioned by the Abbey Theatre to write a play. Set in Brooklyn in the summer of 1969, Dormer's Drum Belly gives an insight into the dark edgy underworld of New York's Irish gangsters and opened April 2013 to mainly positive reviews and was published by Bloomsbury Publishing[6][7][8][9] Dormer has also provided the voices for over twenty BBC Radio 4 plays, documentaries and advertising campaigns.[10] In 2020, he played the Director of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat in the Sky drama series, COBRA, starring Robert Carlyle as the British Prime Minister.


Following a run of film castings playing secondary characters, he was cast as the lead in the 2012 Good Vibrations which tells the story of Northern Ireland personality and punk rock visionary Terri Hooley. The film premièred at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, was awarded Best Film at the Galway film awards, best screenplay, Dinard and nominated for the Outstanding Debut award at the 2014 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards.[11] The film was well received by critics gaining consistent reviews, most of which highlighted Dormer's performance as a strength.[12][13][14][15] Dormer's portrayal of Terri Hooley saw him nominated in the Best Actor award in the 2013 Irish Film and Television Awards. He has since played roles in Yann Demange's critically acclaimed film '71 alongside Jack O'Connell. In 2019, Dormer portrayed Curtis Welch, town physician of Nome, Alaska, in the Disney film Togo.[16]


Dormer has become a well known television actor, more recently playing key roles in the Cinemax drama series Hunted and BBC One's Hidden.[17][18] 2012 also saw Dormer taking over the role of Lord Beric Dondarrion, known as the "Lightning Lord", the leader of the "Brotherhood Without Banners", for the third season of the HBO series Game of Thrones.[19] In 2016, Dormer reprised his role as Dondarrion in the sixth season of the series and returned for the seventh season, airing in 2017 as well as the eighth and final season, airing in 2019.[20]

Dormer is the voice of the Dad on the children's animated series Lily's Driftwood Bay. The series aired in May on Nick Jr. in the UK and on Sprout in the US. It also airs on RTÉ in Ireland, ABC Australia, KiKa in Germany, MTV in Finland, NRK in Norway, SVT in Sweden, and HOP! in Israel. Broadcasters in Australia and the US are keeping the original voices to the series.[21]

In 2014, Dormer began filming on Sky Atlantic's Fortitude. Described as "their most ambitious project to date", he takes the role of Sheriff Dan Anderssen and stars alongside Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston and The Killing's Sofie Gråbøl.[22] Fortitude aired on 29 January 2015.[23] The series is set in the fictional Arctic Norwegian settlement of Fortitude. On 9 April 2015, Sky Atlantic recommissioned the show for a second series consisting of 10 episodes.

Also in 2015, Dormer starred in the BBC drama We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story as TV producer David Croft.[24] The comedy drama retells the creation of the popular BBC sitcom Dad's Army as well as the relationship between Croft and Jimmy Perry who became successful TV comedy writers.

In 2020, Dormer appeared in the lead role of Captain Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch in the BBC series The Watch, based on the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett.[25] He also has played Fraser Walker, Director of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, in two series of COBRA.



Year Title Role Notes
2000 A Further Gesture Joe
2001 Mapmaker Harry Hawcett
2002 Puckoon Arthur Faddington
The Escapist Denis' Brief
2005 Mrs Henderson Presents Comic
The Mighty Celt Ronan
2006 Middletown Ned
2009 Scapegoat Narrator
Five Minutes of Heaven Michael Featured at Sundance Film Festival
Pumpgirl Hammy
Best: His Mother's Son Ad Director
2010 Ghost Machine Taggert
2012 Jump Johnny
Good Vibrations Terri Hooley Nominated for IFTA best actor award
2013 Dark Touch Henry
S.L.R Mr Verma Short film
2014 Hyena Nick Taylor
Shooting for Socrates Arthur
'71 Eamon
2015 11 Minutes
2019 Togo Dr. Curtis Welch


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Casualty Rick Tomlinson
1992 Soldier Soldier Cpt David Lutchens
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Civilian
2000 Chihuahua Short
2003 Holy Cross Seamus
2007 My Boy Jack Corporal John O'Leary ITV movie with Daniel Radcliffe
2008 Last Man Hanging James Brown
2010 An Crisis Kyle Braid
2011 Brendan Smyth: Betrayal of Trust Chris Moore
Justice George
Hidden Frank Hanna
2012 Hunted Lewis Conroy
Game of Thrones Beric Dondarrion Recurring role
2014 Lily's Driftwood Bay Dad
2015–2018 Fortitude Sheriff Dan Anderssen Lead role
2015 We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story David Croft Documentary TV movie
2016 The Musketeers Christophe
2017 Rellik DCI Gabriel Markham
2020 The Watch Captain Sam Vimes
2020 COBRA Fraser Walker


  1. ^ Hurricane, the story of Alex Higgins, back in Belfast, BBC News, 8 January 2011
  2. ^ "Richard Dormer- Playwright Dramatist". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  3. ^ 20 questions with Richard Dormer. "What's on?". Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  4. ^ Fisher, Phillip. "British Theatre Guide". Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  5. ^ Michael Billington. "Waiting for Godot, Theatre Royal, Bath | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Drum Belly (Modern Plays) Richard Dormer: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Drum Belly (Theatre Review) - The Student Standard". 2 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Drum Belly". The Public Reviews. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  9. ^ Weaver, Jesse (11 May 2013). "Irish Theatre Magazine | Reviews | Current | Drum Belly". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  10. ^ United Artists. "United Artists". Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Bafta Film Awards 2014: NI writers nominated for Good Vibrations". BBC News Online. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  12. ^ Anthony Quinn (28 March 2013). "Film review: Good Vibrations (15) - Reviews - Films". The Independent. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Empire's Good Vibrations Movie Review". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  14. ^ Peter Bradshaw. "Good Vibrations – review | Film". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  15. ^ Andrews, Kernan (19 July 2012). "Good Vibrations scoops Film Fleadh award". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  16. ^ "History vs. Hollywood: Togo". History vs. Hollywood. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  17. ^ "Hunted (2012– )". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  18. ^ "Hidden (2011)". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  19. ^ "'Game of Thrones' Announces Casting and Return Date for Season 3 [Comic-Con 2012] - /Film". 14 July 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  20. ^ Perry, Spencer (6 October 2017). "Game of Thrones Season 8 Filming Will Continue Up Until Summer 2018". SuperHeroHype. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Top actors set sail for Driftwood Bay". Northern Ireland Screen. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  22. ^ Lesley Goldberg (23 January 2014). "Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston to Star in Sky's 'Fortitude'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  23. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (19 December 2014). "Pivot Sets Jan. 29 Premiere for Stanley Tucci Drama 'Fortitude'". Variety. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  24. ^ ."We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story - review". Radio Times. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  25. ^ "IMDb - Richard Dormer". Retrieved 1 July 2021.

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