Born In: Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom
Martin Clunes is an English actor, television presenter, director and comedian best known for playing significant roles in series’ such as ‘Doc Martin’ and ‘Men Behaving Badly’. Born in a family with a long history in acting, Martin was interested in becoming an actor ever since he was a kid. Following his education, he began working with a theatrical group called Mercury Theatre, and later worked at the Hampstead Theatre. He made his first breakthrough in acting in 1983 with the TV series titled ‘No Place Like Home’ and later followed with significant roles in series’ such as ‘Inspector Morse’. He became a household name in the UK following his leading appearance in the sitcom titled ‘Men Behaving Badly’, for which he won a BAFTA Award and a British Comedy Award. He further earned critical acclaim for his roles in TV series’ such as ‘Roger and the Rottontrolls’ and ‘Doc Martin’. During the 2010s, he mostly appeared narrating documentary films such as ‘Martin Clunes: Heavy Horsepower’, ‘ Secrets of Growing Old’ and ‘Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia’ among others. In addition to his extensive television work, Martin has also appeared in films such as ‘Staggered’, ‘The Acid House’ and ‘Saving Grace’.
Also Known As: Alexander Martin Clunes
Spouse/Ex-: Philippa Braithwaite, Lucy Aston (m. 1990–1997)
father: Alec Clunes
mother: Daphne Clunes
siblings: Amanda Clunes
children: Emily Clunes
Born Country: England
education: Royal Russell School, Arts Educational Schools
Martin Clunes was born Alexander Martin Clunes, on November 28, 1961, in Wimbledon, London, to Alec and Daphne Clunes. His father Alec was a theatre manager and an actor. Martin grew up as one among two children in the family and had an elder sister growing up.
Martin’s father was an actor and was away from the house at most times. He passed away when Martin was 8 years old. Martin and his sister were raised by his mother Daphne, who worked as a board member of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. His mother, at one point, had also worked as the secretary of the maverick film actor and director Orson Welles.
Since his early years, Martin had been following his father’s footsteps. His grandfather was also an actor and hence, it was something of a tradition in his family, which led Martin treading the same path.
He pursued his education from the Royal Russell School, a boarding school in Croydon and later attended Arts Educational Schools in London. He had somehow always wanted to become an actor, which led him to participate in several theatrical productions while he was in school.
Following his graduation from the arts school, he began working in theatres and joined the theatre group named Mercury Theatre, at Colchester.
While working in the theatre initially, he did not make much while working in the repertory theatre and hence, he did modelling for Gilbert and George. In 1983, he made his television debut playing a small role as Lon in the episode titled ‘Snakedance’ of the series ‘Doctor Who’.
In the same year, he got the first major role of his career, playing a supporting role in the sitcom titled ‘No Place Like Home’. He appeared playing Nigel Crabtree in the first three seasons of the series. For the fourth and the fifth season, he was replaced by actor Andrew Charleson. He followed with another supporting role in the sitcom titled ‘All at �No 20’.
In the early 1990s, he further appeared playing small roles in series’ such as ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ and ‘Inspector Morse’.
In addition to his early film and television appearances, Martin was also working in the theatre rather frequently, with the Hampstead Theatre. Popular English actor and comedian Harry Enfield saw one of his performances and they became good friends. Harry had a television sketch comedy show, which was quite popular. Martin became associated with the show and frequently played rugby player in many of the sketches.
It was Harry who recommended him to the producers of the show called ‘Men Behaving Badly’, a sitcom where Martin was hired to play the lead character Gary Strang. The sitcom debuted in 1992 and became a rage among the youth of the country. The show was heavily criticized for showing the young British men heavily indulged in alcohol and irresponsible behaviour.
Despite being politically incorrect, the show was very popular and the show’s final episode, which was telecasted in 1998, drew a viewership of 13.9 million viewers. The series also helped its main actors, who were mostly newcomers, find a good footing into the industry. Martin ended up winning two major awards for his performance, a BAFTA Award and a British Comedy Award.
In 1996, he appeared playing another key role as Group Captain �Barker in the comedy drama mini-series titled ‘Over Here’. The series received some good reviews and was a success, however, it was criticized for its historical inaccuracy.
In the early 1990s, he also began his film career, with the 1990 film titled ‘The Russia House’, which was met with good reviews. He followed it with supporting roles in films such as ‘Carry on Columbus’ and ‘Dancing Queen’.
However, he remained more active in television throughout the 1990s. In The early 1990s, he further appeared in TV series’ such as ‘Demob’, ‘Lovejoy’ and ‘Under the Hammer’.
In 1996, he joined the team of children’s television series titled ‘Roger and the Rottontrolls’, in which he appeared as the narrator. In the next year, he appeared in another children’s animated series titled ‘Kipper’, wherein he played the voice actor behind the titular character Kipper the Dog.
In the late 1990s, he appeared playing a supporting role as Nick Wood in the television film titled ‘Touch and Go’.
In the early 2000s, Martin appeared playing supporting roles in the series’ ‘Doc Martin’ and ‘A is for Acid’. In 2003, he appeared playing the lead role as William Shawcross in ‘William and Mary’, a romantic drama series based in London. The series was a huge critical and commercial success and had Martin getting nominated for many awards, including a British Comedy Award and a National Television Award.
In 2004, he was hired to play the lead role in the medical comedy drama series titled ‘Doc Martin’, where he appeared playing Doctor Martin Ellingham. Since its first season, the series has been a huge critical and commercial success, also bagging many awards and nominations. In 2004, Martin won the Best TV Comedy Award for his performance in the lead role. The show is running presently and is still one of the most successful television shows on the British television.
In 2007, he appeared playing the lead role in the critically acclaimed film titled ‘The Man Who Lost His Head’ and later appeared as the presenter of the three part documentary series titled ‘Islands of Britain.
In 2009, he further appeared playing the lead role in the sitcom titled ‘Reggie Perrin’. The series received negative reviews and ran for 2 seasons and 12 episodes.
In the early 2010s, he appeared playing key roles in the series’ titled ‘A Mother’s Son’ and ‘The Town’.
Since 2013, he has also been serving as the narrator of the factual documentary TV show titled ‘Secret Life Of’. In the recent years, Martin has acted in dramatic roles sparsely and has been working as a narrator for documentary films such as ‘Carry on Forever’, ‘Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia’ and ‘Tommy Cooper Forever’.
In the late 2010s, he appeared playing key roles in the drama series’ such as ‘Vanity Fair’ and ‘Manhunt’.
In 2019, he appeared playing the titular lead role in the sitcom titled ‘Warren’. The sitcom was heavily criticized for making the audience ‘uncomfortable’ and the producers denied the possibility of a second season.
As for his film career, in the 2000s, he has played significant roles in film such as ‘Saving Grace’, ‘Global Heresy’ and ‘Goodbye, Mr. Chips’.
In 2015, Martin was honoured with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Martin Clunes married actress Lucy Aston in 1990, which ended in divorce in 1997. In the same year, Martin met Philippa Braithwaite and had a daughter with her in 1998.
In 2011, Martin became the president of the British Horse Society. He has also been running a heavy horses farm in Dorset.
Martin has also been associated with several charities, such as Terrence Higgins Trust and the Born Free Foundation.
|1996||Best Comedy Performance||Men Behaving Badly (1992)|