Tim Pigott-Smith

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Tim Pigott-Smith
Born Timothy Peter Pigott-Smith
(1946-05-13) 13 May 1946 (age 70)
Rugby, Warwickshire, England, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1971–present
Spouse(s) Pamela Miles (1972–present)
Awards Fantasporto
Best Actor
2002 Bloody Sunday

Timothy Peter Pigott-Smith OBE (born 13 May 1946) is an English film and television actor and author.

Early life[edit]

Pigott-Smith was born in Rugby, Warwickshire, the son of Margaret Muriel (née Goodman) and Harry Thomas Pigott-Smith, who was a journalist.[1] He was educated at Wyggeston Boys' School, Leicester, King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon and Bristol University. He trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Acting career[edit]


After a long career in smaller roles, Pigott-Smith got his big break with the leading role of Ronald Merrick in the 1984 television serial The Jewel in the Crown. Other notable appearances include the title role in the crime drama series The Chief (1990–1993), a recurring role in ITV drama The Vice as Ken Stott's nemesis, Vickers, and Bloody Sunday. He has appeared in two separate adaptations of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South; in the 1975 version he played Frederick Hale and in 2004 he played Frederick's father Richard.

He has appeared twice in Doctor Who: in the stories The Claws of Axos (1971) and The Masque of Mandragora (1976).

His distinctive voice has made him a popular narrator of documentary television series. He narrated the Battlefield series, which examines pivotal battles of the Second World War from an operations point of view. More recently, he narrated a series on the British Royal Family, entitled Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work. The series followed Queen Elizabeth II for more than a year, including the 2007 state visit to the United States.

He appeared in Lewis in 2015 as a taxidermist in the episode "One For Sorrow."


His film career has included the 2004 film Alexander, The Four Feathers, Gangs of New York, Johnny English, The Remains of the Day and V for Vendetta. He also made an appearance in the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace. In February 2010 Piggott-Smith played Alan Keen in the television film On Expenses.


Pigott-Smith is a regular stage actor in Shakespearean and Greek roles; for instance, he played Posthumus in John Barton's 1974 production of Cymbeline for the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2011 he took the title role in King Lear at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.[2]

Contemporary works include Enron, playing Ken Lay, for the Chichester Festival Theatre, and then London, in 2009 and Tobias in A Delicate Balance at the Almeida Theatre, London in 2011.[3][4] He returned to the Almeida in 2014 as a post-accession Charles, Prince of Wales in King Charles III,[5] for which he received a nomination for the Olivier Award for Best Actor, and his first Tony Award nomination for its production on Broadway in 2015.


He is also a noted radio actor, appearing in many productions on BBC Radio 4.



During the making of The Jewel in the Crown, Pigott-Smith wrote a diary on his impressions of India. This was published together with an anthology of poetry and prose under the title Out of India.[6]

He has written two children's books in the series The Baker Street Mysteries, featuring the exploits of Sherlock Holmes' Baker Street IrregularsThe Dragon Tattoo (2008) and Shadow of Evil (2009). Smith has played Holmes in a BBC Radio adaptation of The Valley of Fear.


Pigott-Smith was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to drama.[7]


  1. ^ Tim Pigott-Smith Biography (1946-)
  2. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (29 September 2011). "King Lear, West Yorkshire Playhouse". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Sell, Michael (23 July 2009). "Reviews: Enron". The Stage. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Dowell, Ben (13 May 2011). "Reviews:A Delicate Balance". The Stage. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Curtis, Nick (2014-04-03). "What would happen if Prince Charles was made king?". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  6. ^ Oration for award of honorary D.Litt to Timothy Peter Pigott-Smith, University Of Bristol 2008
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 61803. p. N14. 31 December 2016.

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