Childhood & Early Life
Joseph Morgan was born Joseph Martin on May 16, 1981 in London, England, to painter Nick Martin and Sarah as their oldest child. He has one sister Crystal and one brother Jack.
During his early years, he lived in Morriston, Swansea. He studied at the ‘Morriston Comprehensive School’ located in Cwmrhydyceirw, Wales. Thereafter, he attended ‘Gorseinon College’ (presently called ‘Gower College Swansea’) where he took up a course in BTEC Performing Arts.
During his late teens he went back to London to study acting and attended the ‘Central School of Speech and Drama’, a constituent of the ‘University of London’.
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Morgan made his acting debut in the early 2000s. His initial acting endeavours included performing in bit or minor roles. These included playing Reverend Parr in the British TV series ‘Spooks’ (2002); Thomas Culpepper in the British TV series ‘Henry VIII’ (2003); and Matthias in the BBC TV film ‘Eroica’ (2003).
While striving to make a mark in television, he forayed into the big screen. The Academy Awards winning all male cast American film ‘Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’ that released on November 14, 2003 saw him playing the supporting role of William Warley, Captain of the Mizzentop.
In 2004, he featured as Philotas, yet another supporting role, in the Oliver Stone directed and Colin Farrell starrer epic historical drama flick ‘Alexander’, a film on ‘Alexander The Great’. That year he also played Troy in the British TV series ‘Hex’ that in general received positive reviews.
He continued performing in minor and supporting roles in different TV series in the ensuing years. These included playing Callum in ‘William and Mary’ (2005); Jasper in the miniseries ‘The Line of Beauty’ (2006); Matthew Williams in ‘Silent Witness’ (2007); Mick Mabley in ‘Doc Martin’ (2007); and Tony/Tony Reece in ‘Casualty’ (2008-2009).
The BBC Four television play ‘Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!’ that released on March 13, 2006 saw him playing the role of Alfie. The following year he became part of the British TV film ‘Mansfield Park’ playing the role of William Price.
His first starring role came in 2010 with the TV miniseries ‘Ben Hur’. The series that was based on the 1880 novel ‘Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ’ by Lew Wallace saw Morgan playing the titular role of a wealthy Jerusalem merchant Judah Ben-Hur/Sextus Arrius.
After almost a decade in show business, in 2011 Morgan landed up with his breakthrough role of Klaus Mikaelson in the American supernatural TV series ‘The Vampire Diaries’ that was based on L. J. Smith’s popular book series bearing the same title.
He remained a part of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ that aired on ‘The CW’ and its recurring cast in season 2, in its main cast during seasons 3 and 4 and as guest star in its 5th and 7th season.
His outstanding performance in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ not only earned him accolades and fame complimented with a TV Guide Award in the category of Choice TV Villain in 2013 apart from many other nominations, but also an opportunity to reprise the role in its spin-off titled ‘The Originals’, that too as a lead character.
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He featured as Lysander in the 2011 epic-fantasy-adventure-action blockbuster film ‘Immortals’ and as Rusty in the American-Canadian independent drama film ‘Angels Crest’ released on December 30 that year.
He marked his debut as writer and producer with the 2011 short film ‘With These Hands’ where he also essayed the role of George. That year he was ranked number 84 in the BuddyTV’s list of ‘TV's Sexiest Men of 2011’.
He then went on to write and direct the short film ‘Revelation’ in 2013. That year he also featured in the starring role of Nathan in the suspense film ‘Open Grave’ and in the lead role of A.J. Budd in the supernatural psychological thriller ‘Armistice’.
‘The Originals’ that premiered on ‘The CW’ on October 3, 2013, revolves around the character of Morgan that is Klaus Mikaelson and his family. The role that he portrays with brilliance till present has garnered him People's Choice Awards in 2014 in the category of ‘Favorite Actor In A New TV Series’ as also several other award nominations including the ones from ‘Teen Choice Awards’.
Besides playing Klaus Mikaelson in ‘The Originals’, Morgan also directed two of its episodes namely ‘Behind the Black Horizon’ that aired in season 3 on April 8, 2016 and ‘Keepers of the House’ that aired in season 4 on April 7, 2017.
Meanwhile, he starred as James Hogg in the Luke Massey directed 2014 Scottish drama film ‘500 Miles North’.
In 2016 crime drama thriller ‘Desiree’, Morgan played the starring role of Eric Ashworth while the titular character was played by Nicole Badaan.
Personal Life & Legacy
He met American actress Persia White while filming for TV series ‘The Vampire Diaries’ where the latter featured in a recurring role of Bonnie’s mother. The two started dating in 2011 and got engaged in 2014, eventually getting married on July 5 of that year in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Morgan has a step daughter, Mecca White, through Persia.
He advocates for the international development charity ‘Positive Women’ and also strives in raising fund for the charity by urging his fans in donating for the cause in acknowledgement of his birthday.