John Noble is an Australian actor, theatre director, producer, and voice and acting teacher who is known worldwide for playing the role of Denethor in Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'. He is also well recognized for playing Dr. Walter Bishop on the Fox network sci-fi series 'Fringe'. His other notable television roles include Dr. John Madsen on the Australian medical drama 'All Saints', Henry Parish/Jeremy Crane on Fox's supernatural drama series 'Sleepy Hollow', and Morland Holmes on the procedural drama series 'Elementary'. A prominent theatre actor, he became the head of drama at Brent Street School of Arts in Sydney in 1997 and served in that position until 2000. He has also conducted master classes at various prestigious organizations and provides private coaching as well. After being diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2012, he launched the charity 'Noble Bones', which helps in raising awareness about the disease.
John Noble began his professional career in theatre and was involved in South Australia’s cultural explosion in the 1970’s and 80’s due to his position as the Artistic Director of the Stage Company of South Australia from 1977 to 1987. During this period, he performed with all the state's major arts companies. He was the chairman of the inaugural Australian Drama Festival in Adelaide in 1982. The same year, he commissioned and directed 'Percy and Rose' for the Adelaide Festival of Arts, which became enormously successful and was subsequently performed at the National tour. For the 1984 Festival of Arts, he produced four different pieces, including the memorable 'Masterclass'. Also in 1984, the Premier of South Australia, Mr. John Bannon, nominated him as 'Young Australian of the Year' for his work in the Arts.
In 1985, he was invited as a cultural guest in Texas as part of Sea’s sesquicentennial sister-state celebrations, and the next year, he represented Australia at the New Zealand Playwrights Conference in Christchurch. He directed David Williamson’s 'Sons of Cain' in London's West End and acted in an award winning production Rob George's 'Errol Flynn’s Great Big Adventure Book For Boys' at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. For eight years, he was a Trustee at the Adelaide Festival Centre, during which time he was associated in the Australian productions of 'Cats' and 'Les Miserables'. While he has produced over 70 new Australian plays, he is particularly known for putting up over 240 performances of Ron Blair's one man play 'The Christian Brothers'.
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Film & Television Career
John Noble's theatre roles eventually led to television and film roles in the late 1980s starting with films such as 'The Dreaming', 'A Sting in the Tale', and 'Call Me Mr. Brown'. In the 1990s, his few acting credits included guest appearances on television shows such as 'Police Rescue', 'Time Trax', 'Big Sky', and 'Water Rats', and a role in the film 'The Nostradamus Kid'.
In 1998, he was cast in the recurring role of Dr. John Madsen on the fourth season of the Australian medical drama 'All Saints', which he portrayed until 2004. During this period, he appeared in a couple telefilms, made a few guest appearances, and acted in films such as 'The Monkey's Mask'. He also had recurring roles on shows like 'Home and Away' and 'Young Lions'. His biggest role came in 2003 when he played Denethor in Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King', which went on to earn him several prestigious awards as part of the ensemble cast. It was followed by roles in films such as 'Fracture', 'Running Scared', and 'One Night with the King', telefilms like 'The Mystery of Natalie Wood', and guest appearances on television series 'Stargate SG-1', 'The Unit', '24', and 'Pirate Islands: The Lost Treasure of Fiji'.
From 2008, he began appearing in the main role of Dr. Walter Bishop on the television series 'Fringe'. In 2011-12, he hosted the science knowledge series 'Dark Matters: Twisted But True'. A talented voice actor and coach, he voiced Dragon Spirit in 'The Last Airbender', Unicron in the series 'Transformers: Prime' and the telefilm 'Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising', and Brainiac in 'Superman: Unbound'. His latest film role was in the crime comedy movie 'The Mule' in 2014. On television, he played Henry Parish/Jeremy Crane on 'Sleepy Hollow' and Morland Holmes on 'Elementary'.
Family & Personal Life
John Noble was born on August 20, 1948, in Port Pirie, Australia. He studied theoretical physics. He is married to Penny Noble, with whom he has three children named Samantha, Daniel and Jess. His daughter Samantha Noble is a notable film and television actress who also appeared on one episode of his television series 'Fringe'.