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Will Keen

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Will Keen
William Walter Maurice Keen

(1970-03-04) 4 March 1970 (age 54)
Years active1994–present
María Fernández Ache
(m. 2002)
ChildrenDafne Keen

William Walter Maurice Keen (born 4 March 1970)[1][2] is an English stage, television, and film actor. He has worked in theatre and television in both Britain and Spain. He was a trustee of the James Menzies Kitchin Award, an award set up for young theatre directors in memory of the director with whom Keen collaborated early in his career.

Early life[edit]

Keen was born in Oxford, the son of Charles William Lyle Keen and Lady Priscilla Mary Rose Curzon, daughter of Edward Curzon, 6th Earl Howe.[3] His sisters are the poet Alice Oswald and the author Laura Beatty.[4][5] He studied at Eton College and has a first class degree in English literature from the University of Oxford.


Some of his notable British theatre credits include Ghosts, Waste, Tom & Viv, Five Gold Rings, Patriots (Almeida Theatre), Huis Clos (Trafalgar Studios), Macbeth, The Changeling (Cheek by Jowl, Barbican and international tours), The Arsonists (Royal Court Theatre), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Donmar Warehouse), The Rubenstein Kiss (Hampstead Theatre), Hysteria, Don Juan, Man and Superman (Theatre Royal, Bath), Pericles, The Prince of Homburg (Lyric Hammersmith), The Duchess of Malfi, The Coast of Utopia, Mary Stuart, Hove (National Theatre), The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Tempest, The Winter's Tale, Dido, Queen of Carthage (Shakespeare's Globe), The Seagull, Present Laughter, The Tempest (West Yorkshire Playhouse), and Quartermaine's Terms, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Elton John's Glasses (West End).[citation needed]

His TV credits include Wolf Hall, The Musketeers, Midsomer Murders, Silk, Sherlock, The Impressionists, Wired, Casualty 1907, Elizabeth I, New Tricks, Titanic, Foyle's War, The Colour of Magic, and The Refugees. His film credits include Nine Lives of Tomas Katz and Love and Other Disasters.

In 2016, he played the role of the Queen's longtime Private Secretary, Michael Adeane, in the Netflix series The Crown. In 2019 he appeared in the BBC TV series His Dark Materials, based on the critically acclaimed book trilogy by Philip Pullman, as Father MacPhail (his daughter, Dafne, is the series' lead actress), whilst in 2021 he appeared as David Epstein in Ridley Road. In 2022, he played Vladimir Putin in the opening run of Peter Morgan's play Patriots, about the life of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, at the Almeida Theatre in London.[6]

In Spain, he has performed plays in Spanish, Traición (Betrayal) and Cuento de Invierno (The Winter's Tale) as well as directing Hamlet and Romeo y Julieta. In the musical field, he has recorded the "Seven Scenes from Hamlet" by the Spanish composer Benet Casablancas, in collaboration with the Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid, conducted by José Ramón Encinar (Stradivarius, 2010).[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Spanish actress, theatre director, and writer Maria Fernandez Ache with whom he has a daughter, Dafne Keen, who is also an actress.



Year Title Role Notes
2008 New Tricks

Series 5, ep 8 “Mad Dog”

Ronnie Glazebrooke
2015 Wolf Hall Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury
2019–2022 His Dark Materials Father MacPhail Main role


Year Title Roles Notes
2022-2023 Patriots Vladimir Putin Almeida Theatre/Noël Coward Theatre


  1. ^ Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition, vol. 2, Burke's Peerage, Ltd, 2003, p. 1987.
  2. ^ Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 148th edition, Debrett's Peerage Ltd, 2011, p. 799
  3. ^ Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition, vol. 2, Burke's Peerage, Ltd, 2003, p. 1987
  4. ^ Armitstead, Claire (22 July 2016). "Alice Oswald: 'I like the way that the death of one thing is the beginning of something else'". The Guardian.
  5. ^ Dehn, Georgia (10 October 2015). "Mary Keen interview: 'people have accused me of being too traditional'". The Telegraph.
  6. ^ "Patriots review – Peter Morgan's compelling study of Russian dissidence". The Guardian. 13 July 2022. Retrieved 16 August 2022.

External links[edit]