Richard McCabe

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For those of a similar name, see Dick McCabe (disambiguation).

Richard McCabe (born William McCabe, 1960) is a Scottish actor who has specialised in classical theatre. He is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

Personal life[edit]

William McCabe was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to a Scottish father and a French mother. Following the early death of his father and his mother's remarriage, he grew up in Sussex, where he still lives with his partner, stage/film designer Fotini Dimou. He studied at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and adopted Richard as his Equity professional name as a tribute to an inspirational English teacher at secondary school.


On 7 June 2015, McCabe won the Tony award for Best Featured Actor in the Broadway production of Peter Morgan's 2013 play The Audience, starring Dame Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II. Mirren won Best Actress award.[1][2] He also won awards for Outstanding Featured Actor (Outer Critics' Circle Awards) and Distinguished Performance (Drama League Awards).[citation needed]

On 28 April 2013, McCabe won an Olivier Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role as PM Harold Wilson in the original production of The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre.[3] He had previously been nominated for an Olivier Award in 1994 for his role as Autolycus in the 1992 RSC production of The Winter's Tale.[citation needed]

McCabe is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), best known for his roles, ranging from comedy (Puck, Autolycus, Thersites, Apemantus) to drama (Iago, Flamineo). He essayed the title role in King John. He established his reputation as a classical actor mainly through performances with the RSC. He first gained major attention as Puck in the 1989 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with a production that featured punk fairies and a scrapyard set. As Autolycus, McCabe entered Act III in The Winter's Tale, hanging from a bunch of huge balloons (1992–93; RST, Barbican, UK and international tour).His first leading part was creating the role of Christopher Marlowe in Peter Whelan's School of Night, a new play commissioned by the RSC to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Marlowe's death in 1993. (1993–94).Other major roles with the RSC have been the title role in King John (2006; Josie O’Rourke, Swan); Iago opposite Ray Fearon in Othello (1999-2000; Michael Attenborough, RST & Barbican); Flamineo in John Webster’s White Devil (1996–97; Gale Edwards, Swan & The Pit).[citation needed]

In September and October 2012, he played an older Romeo opposite Kathryn Hunter's Juliet in Ben Power's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, called A Tender Thing (2009), directed by Helena Kaut-Hausen. He also played Hamlet over a period of three years (1999-2001) for Birmingham Rep's production directed by Bill Alexander. This included appearing at the Hamlet Festival at Elsinore Castle in Denmark in 2001.

Since 2005, McCabe has been associated with Chichester's Festival Theatre playing a range of contrasting roles including the title role in Scapino or The Trickster by Moliere (Festival Theatre 2005), directed by Silviu Purcarete. In 2010, McCabe played the critic Moon in The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard, and Mr. Puff in The Critic by Sheridan in a double bill at the Minerva theatre directed by Jonathan Church). Since 2008 McCabe has been playing Sven Nyberg in Wallander.[citation needed]


Described by Michael Billington of The Guardian as "One of our finest actors" and Charles Spencer of The Daily Telegraph as "One of the best actors of his generation", McCabe has received Olivier and Tony awards.[citation needed]

McCabe has recently played Frank Gresham Senior, owner of Greshamsbury Park, in Julian Fellowes' adaptation for ITV of Anthony Trollope's novel "Dr. Thorne". (Broadcast in March 2016.)

In 2015 McCabe played Prime Minister Lord North in the BBC2 drama "The Scandalous Lady W", based on the book "Lady Worsley’s Whim" by Hallie Rubenhold on which David Eldridge’s screenplay was based. It was broadcast in UK on 18 August 2015.

Other films include Cinderella (Kenneth Branagh, 2015); The Invisible Woman (Ralph Fiennes, 2013); The Duchess (2008); Master and Commander: the far side of the world (Peter Weir, 2003) and Notting Hill (Roger Michell, 1999). all films:

Awards and honours[edit]

  • 1994, nominated as Best Supporting Actor, Olivier Award[3]
  • 2013, won Best Supporting Actor, Olivier Award
  • 2015, won Best Featured Actor in a Play, Tony Award[4]


  1. ^ "The Audience – Awards". Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "BWW TV: THE AUDIENCE's Richard McCabe on His Tony Win - 'It's a Good Award When It's Got Some Weight to It' Video". Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Olivier Awards with MasterCard". Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  4. ^ "Richard McCabe Wins Tony Award: Best Featured Actor in a Play 2015". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 December 2015.