Talk:Ian McDiarmid

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Former good article Ian McDiarmid was one of the Media and drama good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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First Squabbles[edit]

McDiarmid is primarily a very successful stage actor and director (he was joint artistic director of London's Almeida theatre for 11 years). The article doesn't mention the theatre at all - it should really be rewritten.

Why don't you add it yourself?

Only known actor[edit]

I removed the following from the article (with added emphasis):

"Ian McDiarmid is the only known actor to have portrayed an older version of a character at a young age, and a younger version of a character at an older age."

This is undoubtedly an unusual twist of fate, but I think it's debatable that he's the only actor to have done this. (Think sci-fi with time travel, for example.) --Mrwojo 01:34, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Anthony Hopkins did this with Hannibal Lecter. Harrison Ford did it with Indiana Jones (Temple of Doom was a prequel). I'm sure there are many, many other examples of this. john k 07:10, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
OK, I see. It just seemed at first to be such an odd thing for a person to do, I couldn't remember anyone else doing something like it. Though now that you mention those movies, I remember. The Wookieepedian 11:08, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Empire Strikes Back[edit]

Isn't it more approriate to attribute this role to 2004, considering that was the first release in which McDiarmid was actually in the movie? Before that it was another actor and the footage of McDiarmid was only shot more recently to make the movie consistent with the other Star Wars movies. His role in the film was a 2004 role, he had nothing to do with the film until then.

Yeah, I think it needs noting. I just felt that somehow we needed to oput in the table that he acted for that scene in ESB. The Wookieepedian 21:12, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

"With this addition to The Empire Strikes Back, McDiarmid has now appeared in every film version in which Palpatine appears" - well, duh. What an odd way to phrase this.

And yes, of course this role was in 2004.

Star Wars[edit]

This section could use some editing. I don't care much for the flow. I might work on it later. Feel free to beat me to it. b_cubed 20:15, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Just took care of most of the things that bothered me. Intro could be expanded a bit. I really only can write about his Star Wars role, as that's the extent of my Ian McDiarmid knowledge. b_cubed 05:20, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
The Palpatine article states that Ian McDiarmid was reedited into the 2004 version of "the Empire strikes back" this other article states he was hired back in the old movie, which of the articles is right? Apparently the Palpatine article got a foot note on that regard: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vexorian (talkcontribs) 13:50, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

This section is a mess - see above. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Usefull Links (i think)[edit]

I found this in a google search. It could really help out the article.,,546925,00.html


Improvement needed[edit]

I am reviewing for the GA selection. I think the article is fine in its prose sections. I would like to have the lists cleaned up. No need to mention all his stage and film credits, only those that are notable. Compare with GA articles Dylan and Cole Sprouse or Kevin Spacey.

I suggest that red linked films and films that "no-one has ever heard" be removed. I also suggest that the list of stage credits be integrated with the section "Theatrical work", with only the most important stage credits be mentioned, for example "He has starred in several Shakespare plays, including Hamlet (1972), Much Ado About Nothing (1976), Macbeth (1976) [etc]".

I'd also prefer to have the list of Awards and nomination be turned into prose.

I'll try and find a guideline to reference my suggestions with.

Fred-Chess 09:04, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Found a reference, please see Wikipedia:Embedded list.

Fred-Chess 00:04, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Finally got around to editing the "filmography" and "theatrical work" sections, both of which I revised into "selected ...". I took your advice and removed the red linked films. Then I wiki-linked all the plays under "theatrical work" and removed all the red linked plays. I know that you suggested that I only mention the most important stage credits, however, I did not feel that I could do this fairly--as I'm not really a fan of the theatre. I found that most of the plays that did wiki-link were considered important plays (according to their self-respective articles) for various reasons. Let me know if you approve.
Lastly, I know that you wanted me to prosify the list of Awards and nomination section. This is going to be a beast. You wouldn't have any actual good examples that I could look at (other than the embedded list of course)? b_cubed 07:13, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
I just tried to rewrite some of the awards in. I was able to put one in about both McDiarmid and Kent sharing an award but if I try to incorporate the others it simply ruins the prose. This was my best attempt:

McDiarmid is renowned for his work in British theatre, having won plaudits as an actor and director from a wide variety of sources. He has received the most success through his role as Teddy in Brian Friel's The Faith Healer (first in 2001 at the Almeida and again in a revival in 2006 on Broadway). For his role as Teddy, McDiarmid has won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (2006), a London Critics Circle Award for Best Theatre Actor twice (2001 & 2006), as well as the Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Actor (2002). For his part in the revival of Faith Healer on Broadway he has also won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance, and been nominated for both the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play.
McDiarmid has also been the recipient of the following awards for best actor: the Laurence Olivier Award (1982), the Manchester Evening News Award (1995), and the Theatre Management Associations Theatre Award (2005). McDiarmid has won the Time Out Award for Directing twice; first in 1985 and then again in 1990.
One theatrical performance of note is his portrayal of the lead character Harry Hackamore in Sam Shepard's play Seduced. By McDiarmid's own description, Hackamore was a Howard Hughes-type character. To play the part, he was made-up in prosthetics, including a false beard and long fingernails, to resemble Hackamore. McDiarmid was only 37 at the time, and this convinced George Lucas and Richard Marquand that he could convincingly play a much older character in extreme cinematic close-up, which helped him land the role of Palpatine.[1]

b_cubed 08:44, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

This article has been on hold for over a week, but Fred, I'd like to know, you want the awards to be in prose, but right now it appears to be in a chart rather than a list :/. Homestarmy 15:16, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I have been waiting for other reviewers. Not much good in trying to push my own comments too far, as we've seen.
I think the award list is OK but I think the list of all stage credit is redundant.
Fred-Chess 17:06, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I got rid of the list and incorporated a few plays into the prose. Let me know if something else needs to be done for a GA. b_cubed 18:58, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
That appears to be everything, i'll promote the article then. 15:37, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

"films that "no-one has ever heard" " (sic - oh, dear) is a highly subjective statement, and utterly absurd here. Who is to judge what films people interested in films have seen or not seen? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:31, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Awards and nominations[edit]

I corrected a few mistakes.
a) Faith Healer didn't play in London in 2005, hence the London Critics Circle Award 2006 is wrongly listed. I deleted it.
b) It's Theatrical Management Association, not Theatre Management Association, source:
c) In 2004, McDiarmid wasn't only nominated for the TMA award, but won it, source:
d) Ben Jonson's play is called Volpone, not Valpone.
OeilletRouge 21:24, 1 December 2006 (UTC)


The article lists that he has performed in Hamlet, Henry V etc. Would anyone be able to inform me/the page who he played?--TimothyJacobson (talk) 16:54, 10 December 2008 (UTC)


"While he had previously achieved little recognition for this role, due to the extensive prosthetics used for the character which made him unrecognizable"

When I saw the prequel I recognized that he was the emperor on his mouth. Is that really "unrecognizable"? A weird statement. Isn't it so that he got little recognization because it wasn't really a big part, sitting in a dark hood and hissing at Darth Vader? -- (talk) 11:47, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Ian McDiarmid/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

As part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles' Project quality task force ("GA Sweeps"), all old good articles are being re-reviewed to ensure that they meet current good article criteria (as detailed at WP:WIAGA.) I have determined that this article needs some work to meet current criteria, outlined below:

  • There are large sections of the article that are unreferenced; aside from the obvious WP:BLP issues, these need to be reliably sourced. Among them:
    • "He also played the part of Ivanov in Tom Stoppard's play Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at the Mermaid Theatre in 1978."
    • "He has appeared most recently in the title role of John Gabriel Borkman, running at the Donmar Theatre in London."
    • "After a minor part in the film Dragonslayer, McDiarmid was cast by George Lucas in Return of the Jedi as Emperor Palpatine, the principal villain. Sixteen years after appearing in Return of the Jedi, he reprised the role as a younger Senator and Chancellor in the Star Wars prequel films. He attributes the opportunity to reprise his role to having been much younger than his character the first time he played the part."
    • "With this addition to The Empire Strikes Back, McDiarmid has now appeared in every film version in which Palpatine appears."
    • "He has also worked with the Star Wars Expanded Universe in which he reprised his role as Palpitine/Darth Sidious in the video game versions of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi:Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and most recently Star Wars: Battlefront: Elite Squadron"
    • "McDiarmid took an early role as Mickey Hamilton, a killer intent on avenging the death of his wife and child in The Professionals for Granada. He played the role of police detective Porfiry Petrovich in the BBC's 2002 TV adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, also starring in an episode of Inspector Morse several years earlier, as psychopathic conman Hugo DeVries. In 2003 McDiarmid took the role of the Stuart statesman Edward Hyde, in the BBC series Charles II: The Power and The Passion."
    • "Recently, he played the writer and pioneer of policing, Henry Fielding, in the Channel 4 historical drama series City of Vice and Denis Thatcher in 2009's Margaret. McDiarmid played intelligence chief LeClerc in a 2009 BBC Radio dramatisation of John LeCarre's The Looking Glass War‎."
  • What makes the following sources reliable?, (page is dead),
  • A paragraph has at minimum of three sentences; there are lots of one or two-sentence groupings throughout the article that need to be cut, merged, or expanded.

I am putting the article on hold for seven days, longer if significant progress is made on the above. Please keep me appraised of progress on this page. Thanks, Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 17:37, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

As no progress has been made on the above, I am delisting. Please direct any comments or queries to my talk page—I don't have these reviews on my watchlist. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 15:46, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Acclaimed for role in prequels?[edit]

Article claims "he received widespread attention and critical acclaim for his expanded role in the prequels" but the citation is to an archive of a page that doesn't mention this anywhere. Seems unlikely that anyone would receive critical acclaim for anything to do with the prequels, and it seems like at least an exaggeration and is subjective. CrocodilesAreForWimps (talk) 17:52, 29 September 2015 (UTC)


All of a sudden a number of editors seem to have a problem with the word "diabolical", to describe his performance as the Emperor in Star Wars, which has been in there for years. The word is perfectly correct to describe a character that is designed as the embodiment of evil in the saga, is hidden under a hood, grins and threatens etc... It is also essential to this passage, which points out that the character is split in the prequels. So please discuss rather than remove it, thanks. Mezigue (talk) 13:32, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Hi. I don't have a problem with the word, simply its placement. Right now, as the sentence is constructed, it is a commentary on McDiarmid's performance. If it's meant to describe tha character, " he re-created his interpretation of the diabolical Palpatine", would be more appropriate. See the difference, in the current version diabolical is tied with intepretation, in my suggested change it's tied with the character. The only reason I took a look at it was that some ip had changed it to "poor", which is simply vandalism. But after I reverted that, I took a look and made the further change. It's a miniscule matter, but I think it should be changed. Onel5969 TT me 15:46, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
I agree that if the sentence is reworded, the word should be able to stay. If it is talking about how the character is interpreted, I think that we can keep the word. The word would only needs to go if we are stating that the character is diabolical as 100% fact, because good and evil are just a matter of opinion and point of view. DarkKnight2149 23:00, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Most famous[edit]

I noticed that an anonymous user removed the claim that Sheev Palpatine is Ian McDiarmid's most famous role, on the grounds that it is unverifiable. Although a couple of users have already re-added it, I think that the IP user has a point. How are we supposed to verify such a claim? Where is the proof? DarkKnight2149 21:54, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

The person currently using that IP is a very long-term problem user nicknamed Best known for for their long-running crusade against that phrase. They have been blocked numerous times (read the log and weep) and ignore all rules on Wikipedia and for that reason many users prefer to systematically revert their edits. I think that is not always wise but to be frank it generally is because many of their edit wars stem from absurdly psychorigid views. The phrase "best known for" is a good example of this. It's a common phrase that is convenient for introducing the main features of the topic and does not require specific sourcing if the article generally supports it. In the case of Ian McDiarmid, it is a no-brainer that he is best known for his part in one of the highest-grossing film series of all times. Mezigue (talk) 23:16, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Although I don't think the user is completely wrong in terms of the verifiability of the phrase, I went ahead and reverted myself. This type of unacceptable vandalism is something I do not wish to encourage and this topic seems to apply to a large number of biography articles besides just this one. DarkKnight2149 23:27, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Not just regarding this page, but all biographies in general, a larger discussion about this topic was just started by a user at WP:ANI. You can click here to contribute. DarkKnight2149 22:00, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Ian McDiarmid/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article needs citations. More biographical data would be helpful. A list of his stage work would be good. I feel it's well-written, it simply needs little improvements here and there. b_cubed 16:26, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 16:26, 19 August 2006 (UTC).

Substituted at 18:42, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Ian McDiarmid at the Internet Movie Database; last accessed August 26 2006.