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Waddington was born in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, the younger child of Peter Waddington and Averill Stubbs. He attended Lawns Park Primary School and Intake High School, both in Leeds. He acted in school plays and appeared in several Yorkshire Television productions, among them Emmerdale Farm and Eighteen Desperate Hours, sometimes as an extra and sometimes with a few lines of dialogue. Shortly after his eighteenth birthday he won a place at East 15 Acting School in Loughton, Essex.
He finished his training in the summer of 1989 and subsequently joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, first at Stratford and then at the Barbican and on tour in Newcastle. He was cast in his first film, Edward II, after being recommended to Derek Jarman by fellow actor, Nigel Terry, with whom he had worked previously in a production of Pericles at the RSC.
His first film role was as the eponymous king in Derek Jarman's Edward II. Waddington starred as Prasutagus in the 2003 film Boudica as well the Duke of Buckingham (who, coincidentally, was directly related to Edward II) in the Showtime series The Tudors, released on 1 April 2007 in the United States. He also appeared in Tim Burton's 1999 film version of Sleepy Hollow as Mr Killian. He played a lead role as Jeff in Steve Coogan's The Parole Officer (2001).
He more recently appeared in the ITV drama Vital Signs along with Tamzin Outhwaite and starred as King Richard in the Series 2 finale of Robin Hood. Waddington also starred as Wilfred of Ivanhoe in the 1997 BBC/A&E production of Ivanhoe, based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott. Waddington reprised his role as Richard the Lionheart in the BBC/Discovery Channel drama documentary "Heroes and Villains: Richard the Lionheart" (2007).
From April to July 2010 he portrayed canteen head Adam Fleet in Waterloo Road. He featured in two Swedish films. In 2008 he played the role of Arnold of Torroja in the film and mini-series Arn - The Knight Templar and McCullen in Agent Hamilton: But Not If It Concerns Your Daughter in 2012. In 2012 he appeared in the four-part ITV mini-series Titanic.
|1991||Edward II||King Edward II|
|1992||The Last of the Mohicans||Maj. Duncan Heyward|
|1492: Conquest of Paradise||Bartolomeo Columbus|
|1994||Dont get em started||Jerry Hoff|
|Prince of Jutland||Ribold|
|1997||Breakdown||Cowboy in Bank|
|1998||Tarzan and the Lost City||Nigel Ravens|
|1999||Sleepy Hollow||Killian||Midwife Beth Killian's husband.|
|2000||The Unscarred||Travis Moore|
|2001||The Hole||DCS Tom Howard|
|The Parole Officer||Jeff|
|2005||Breakfast on Pluto||Inspector Routledge|
|2007||Airlock, or How to Say Goodbye in Space||Carl Ackland||Short Film|
|Arn – The Knight Templar||Arnold of Torroja|
|2008||Largo Winch||Stephan Marcus|
|2010||Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie||Brother Verenor||Voice|
|The Crossing||Short Film|
|2011||Suicide Tuesday||Bike Cop||Short Film|
|Capture Anthologies: The Dimensions of Self||Carl Ackland||segment: "Airlock or how to say goodbye in space"|
|2012||When the Lights Went Out||Len|
|The Sweeney||Detective Constable Miller|
|Agent Hamilton: But Not If It Concerns Your Daughter||McCullen|
|2014||A Little Chaos||Thierry Duras|
|The Imitation Game||Police Superintendent Smith|
|1996||Ivanhoe||Ivanhoe||TV series, 6 episodes|
|2006||Robin Hood||King Richard||TV series, 1 episode|
|2007||The Tudors||Duke of Buckingham||TV series, 2 episodes|
|2007–08||Heroes and Villains||Richard the Lionheart||TV series, 1 episode|
|2009||Garrow's Law||Forrester||TV series, 3 episodes|
|2010||Waterloo Road||Adam Fleet||TV series, 7 episodes|
|2012||Titanic||Second Officer Charles Lightoller||TV miniseries|
|2013||The Syndicate||Steve||Series 2|
|2014||Halo: Nightfall||Randall Aiken|
|2016||Barbarians Rising||Fritigern||1 episode|
|Medici: Masters of Florence||Cossa||1 episode|
- Profile, hollywood.com; accessed 17 June 2016.
- Press release for Edward II, British Screen and BBC Films, 1991