Peter Dougan Capaldi is a Scottish actor, director, and writer known for his portrayal of the twelfth incarnation of the title character in the British science-fiction television program ‘Doctor Who’. The actor is also known for his role of ‘Malcolm Tucker’ in the British comedy television series ‘The Thick of It’. Peter Capaldi grew up aspiring to become an actor one day and appeared in several school dramas during his childhood. He began his career with minor roles in television series and soon ventured into films as well. The veteran actor now has over one hundred credits to his name as an actor and quite a few as a director and writer. The Academy Award winner has delivered some of his best performances in television shows and films like ‘John and Yoko: A Love Story’, ‘Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life’, ‘The All New Alexei Sayle Show’, ‘The Lair of the White Worm’, ‘Big Fat Gypsy Gangster’, and ‘World War Z’. Besides acting, he has a deep interest in philanthropy and is a patron of Worldwide Cancer Research.
Childhood & Early Life
Peter Capaldi was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on April 14, 1958 to Gerald John Capaldi and Nancy Capaldi. His parents ran an ice cream business in Glasgow.
He went to St Teresa's Primary School in Possilpark, and later attended St Matthew's Primary School in Bishopbriggs. He also attended St Ninian's High School, Kirkintilloch, and then eventually graduated from the Glasgow School of Art.
Peter was interested in drama from a young age and used to organize puppet shows while in primary school. Later in high school, he took part in Fort Theatre in Bishopbriggs. He was also interested in music and was the lead vocalist and guitarist for the ‘Dreamboys’, a punk rock band, during his time at the Glasgow School of Art.
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Peter Capaldi appeared in the stage performance of ‘An Inspector Calls’ at the Fort Theatre in 1974 at the age of 16. He later made his film debut by portraying the role of ‘Joe’ in the film ‘Living Apart Together’ in 1982. He then appeared in films like ‘Local Hero’ (1983) and ‘Bless My Soul’ (1984) and television shows like ‘Crown Court’, ‘Travelling Man’ and ‘The Personal Touch’.
In 1985, he played the role of George Harrison, the legendary member of the classic rock band ‘The Beatles,’ in ‘John and Yoko: A Love Story’. In the same year, he appeared as ‘Ozzie’ in one episode (‘Life in the Fast Food Lane’) of ‘Minder’, a British comedy-drama about the London criminal underworld.
In 1988, he played the important role of Angus Flint in the British horror film ‘The Lair of the White Worm’, alongside Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, and Catherine Oxenberg. He also played the role of ‘Azolan’ in ‘Dangerous Liaisons’, an American historical drama film based on Christopher Hampton's play ‘Les liaisons dangereuse’, in the same year.
After making several appearances on television and films like ‘Shadow of the Noose’, ‘The Ruth Rendell Mysteries’, ‘Agatha Christie's Poirot’, ‘December Bride’, and ‘The Cloning of Joanna May’ in the next decade, he played a very challenging role of a closeted gay man named 'Luke Wakefield’ in the BBC drama series ‘Mr. Wakefield's Crusade’ in 1992.
Peter Capaldi appeared in television films and shows like 'The Secret Agent’ (as Mr. Vladimir), ‘The Comic Strip Presents...’ (as John), ‘Prime Suspect’ (as Vera Reynolds), ‘The All New Alexei Sayle Show’ (various characters), ‘The History of Tom Jones: A Foundling’ (as Lord Fellamar), ‘Horizon’ (narrator), ‘Peep Show’ (as Professor Alistair MacLeish), and ‘The Afternoon Play’ (2005), during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In 2005, Peter Capaldi landed the big role of ‘Malcolm Tucker’ in the British comedy television series ‘The Thick of It’, created by Armando Iannucci. His character of Malcolm was based on Tony Blair's right-hand man Alastair Campbell. Some reports claim that Capaldi drew inspiration for this character from Harvey Weinstein. He acted for over seven years in the series, drawing much appreciation and positive reviews from the critics as well as the audience.
With his growing popularity, he appeared in a series of television shows before bagging the biggest role of his acting career in 2013. He was signed for the role of the twelfth incarnation of ‘The Doctor’ in ‘Doctor Who’. Peter Capaldi was a lifelong fan of the long-running British science-fiction television program and was ecstatic when he landed the role of the title character in the show. He played the role between 2013 and 2017 and won the ‘TV Personality of the Year’ at the GQ Men of the Year Award.
In 1993, Peter Capaldi wrote and directed the BBC Scotland short film ‘Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life.’ He won several accolades for the outstanding work, including the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film and the BAFTA Film Award for ‘Best Short Film.’
He played the character of ‘Malcolm Tucker,’ his first big role on television, in the series ‘The Thick of It’, created by Armando Iannucci. He won several awards for his brilliant portrayal of the comic character, including the BAFTA TV Award for ‘Best Male Comedy Performance’, the Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actor, and the British Comedy Award for ‘Best TV Comedy Actor.’
Peter Capaldi married actress and writer Elaine Collins in June 1991 and has a child with her.
He is involved in several social issues and appeared in a video alongside Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Kit Harington and Cate Blanchett for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to raise awareness about the global refugee crisis. He is also involved with the Aberlour Child Care Trust and the Worldwide Cancer Research.