Birthday: September 8, 1971
Age: 49 Years, 49 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Virgo
Also Known As: Martin John Christopher Freeman
Born Country: England
Born in: Aldershot, Hampshire, England
Famous as: Actor
Height: 5'7" (170 cm), 5'7" Males
father: Geoffrey Freeman
mother: Philomena Freeman
siblings: Benedict Freeman, Jamie Freeman, Laura Freeman, Tim Freeman
children: Grace Freeman, Joe Freeman
Partner: Amanda Abbington (2000–2016)
City: Aldershot, England, Hampshire, England
education: The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Brooklands College - Weybridge Campus, Salesian School, Cardinal Newman High School
Martin Freeman is a popular English actor. He is known for his performance as ‘Dr. Watson’ in the TV series ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Bilbo Baggins’ in ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy. Martin took interest in theatre at the age of 15 but decided to pursue acting as a career when he was 17. He studied in a performing arts school and has since worked in numerous TV shows and films. He began his career in the film industry in 1998. He went on to deliver powerful performance in the British drama series ‘The Office’ and dark-comedy and crime TV show ‘Fargo.’ Many of his movies, such as ‘Love Actually,’ ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ ‘Nativity,’ and ‘The World’s End’ have been blockbusters, earning huge amount of money at the box office. In a career of over two decades, he has received several nominations and awards, including the prestigious ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ in 2014.
Childhood & Early Life
Martin Freeman was born Martin John Christopher Freeman on 8 September 1971, in Aldershot, Hampshire, England, to Philomena Norris and Geoffrey Freeman. He is the youngest of five siblings.
He belongs to a Roman Catholic family of English and Irish ancestry. His family was close-knit until his parents separated when he was a toddler.
After his parents’ separation, he lived with his father until his father’s death in 1981. His father died of cardiac arrest, after which he moved back in with his mother and step-father James.
Martin grew up alongside his older brothers and sister. His brothers went on to establish a career in the entertainment industry. His brother Tim Freeman became a pop-artist, while Jamie Freeman is now a musician.
Martin attended ‘Salesian School,’ Chertsey, and was a member of the British National Squash Squad until the age of 14. He then took a liking to the entertainment industry like his elder siblings and ended up enrolling at the ‘Central School of Speech and Drama’ at the age of 15.
However, he wasn’t sure of his potential as an actor until he was 17 years old. His passion prompted him to seek admission in ‘Brooklands College.’ He eventually graduated from college with a degree in Media Studies.
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Early Acting Career
He made his first television appearance in the 1997 show ‘The Bill,’ playing ‘Craig Parnell’ in an episode titled ‘Man Trap.’ After appearing in the show, he was bombarded with offers and was seen playing guest roles in TV shows, such as ‘This Life’ and ‘Casualty.’
In 1998, he played ‘Frank’ in a short film called ‘I Just Want to Kiss You.’ He then made another television appearance in the series ‘Picking up the Pieces’ where he played ‘Brendan.’
After appearing in a few other short films, he managed to land recurring roles in the comedy sketch show ‘Bruiser’ wherein he played various characters.
In 2001, he was cast as ‘Jamie’ in the television film ‘Men Only’ and landed his first prominent role in the British mockumentary sitcom ‘The Office.’
An Established Primetime TV & Film Star
In 2003, he landed several television roles; he was seen in the series ‘Hardware’ and TV film ‘Margery and Gladys.’ His feature film career flourished simultaneously and he played a cameo in the movie ‘Shaun of the Dead.’ He then portrayed the character of ‘Arthur Dent’ in the comic sci-fi film ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.’
His career in the film industry saw a leap in 2006. He was signed for major roles in several hit films, including ‘Confetti,’ ‘Breaking and Entering,’ Justin Theroux’s ‘Dedication,’ and the documentary ‘Rembrandt’s J’Accuse.’
Not forgoing his television roots, he starred as ‘Mr. Codlin’ in the TV film ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ and played the lead role of ‘Chris Curry’ in the TV drama ‘Micro Men’ alongside Alexander Armstrong.
The year 2010 happened to be his luckiest year as he landed the role of ‘Dr. John Watson’ in the British crime TV series ‘Sherlock.’ His performance in the series has been his most acclaimed and awarded work to date.
Freeman was signed for the lead role in the epic high fantasy adventure film ‘The Hobbit’ in 2012. His stellar performance as ‘Bilbo Baggins’ in the film was critically applauded worldwide.
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He went on to reprise his character as ‘Bilbo’ in the film’s sequels ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ and ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.’
In 2014, he took up the main role of ‘Lester Nygaard’ in the dark comedy crime-drama TV series ‘Fargo.’ The same year, he also hosted ‘Saturday Night Live.’
In 2015, he acted in another television movie titled ‘The Eichmann Show’ where he played ‘Milton Fruchtman.’ The same year, he voiced ‘Reverend Parris’ in the stop motion sketch comedy TV series ‘Robot Chicken.’
He narrated a documentary film titled ‘Tubby Hayes: A Man in a Hurry’ in 2015. He then played the marvel comic character ‘Everett K. Ross’ in the 2016 film ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ He reprised his role as ‘Everett’ in the 2018 superhero film ‘Black Panther.’
Meanwhile in 2016, Freeman was also cast as ‘FBI Agent Phil Rask’ in the American television series ‘StartUp.’ He then starred in the 2017 TV film ‘Carnage: Swallowing the Past’ as ‘Jeff.’ The next year, he played a consultant cardiologist in a TV film titled ‘To Provide All People.’
He had a leading role in the 2017-released Netflix’s post-apocalyptic horror film ‘Cargo.’ In 2019, he co-starred alongside Diane Kruger in ‘The Operative’ and was also seen in ‘Ode to Joy.’ The same year, he was part of a mini-series titled ‘A Confession.’
In 2020, he was seen playing ‘Graham’ in one of the episodes of ‘Talking Heads.’ The same year, he also started playing ‘Paul’ in an American-British parental comedy TV series titled ‘Breeders.’
The TV series ‘Sherlock’ received critical acclaim for its first season in 2010. Freeman’s performance in the series was praised by critic Victoria Thorpe who termed his portrayal of ‘Dr. Watson’ “dependable.”
Martin is recognized globally for his portrayal of ‘Bilbo Baggins’ in ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy. In fact, Kate Muir from ‘The Times’ rated the first installment of the trilogy four out of five stars, while Empire’s Dan Jolin credited Freeman’s performance as being true to his character.
Awards & Achievements
Freeman received his first award in 2004 from the ‘Washington DC Area Film Critics Association’ for the film ‘Love Actually.’ The same year, he also took home the award for ‘Best Male Comedy Performance’ for his role in the British sitcom ‘Hardware’ from the ‘Rose d’Or’ award ceremony.
In 2012, he was nominated for a ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ under the ‘Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie’ category for playing ‘Dr. Watson’ in ‘Sherlock.’ He went on to win the same award in 2014.
He took home the ‘MTV Best Hero Award’ and ‘Empire Award’ under the ‘Best Actor’ category for the film ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.’ He also won the ‘Stellar Best Actor Award’ for the same film.
Personal Life & Legacy
Even though he comes from a Roman Catholic family, his parents didn’t impose religious practices on him. As a child, he suffered from chronic asthma and underwent a hip surgery for what he describes as a “dodgy leg.”
Freeman started dating actress Amanda Abbington in 2000. The couple lived together in Hertfordshire for over a decade. Unfortunately, his relationship with Amanda ended in the spring of 2016. He has two children with her. His son Joe was born in 2006 and his daughter Grace was born in 2008.