Ricky Whittle Biography


Birthday: December 31, 1981 (Capricorn)

Born In: Oldham, Lancashire, England

Ricky Whittle is an English actor, who is popular for his notable TV roles. Born in England with dark skin, he had to face frequent bullying at his predominantly white school throughout his childhood. A talented sportsman, he wanted to become a professional footballer during his school days. But a series of freak accidents forced him to abandon his athletic dreams and look for other avenues instead. While studying law at the ‘Southampton University’, he began modeling, becoming the face of Reebok at the age eighteen. He debuted on television at the age of twenty and developed a celebrity status by the age of twenty-five. Five years later, he moved to Los Angeles to try his luck in the American entertainment industry. He soon got an important role on the TV show ‘The 100’ and developed a dedicated fan base, thanks to his excellent portrayal of a grounder. He starred in the role of Shadow Moon in the fantasy drama show ‘American Gods,' for three seasons. He also starred in 'Dream Team,' from 2002 to 2007.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In December

Also Known As: Richard Whittle

Age: 42 Years, 42 Year Old Males


father: Harry Whittle

Born Country: England

Models Actors

Height: 6'1" (185 cm), 6'1" Males

Notable Alumni: Southampton Solent University

City: Oldham, England

More Facts

education: Southampton Solent University

Childhood & Early Years

Ricky Whittle was born on December 31, 1981, as Richard Whittle in Oldham, England. His father Harry Whittle, an African-Caribbean from Jamaica, served in the Royal Air Force. His mother Maggie née Godwin is a Caucasian from England. He has two younger siblings; Chris and Debbie.

He never stayed in one place for more than 3 years because of his father’s job. His family lived at different RAF bases around the world throughout his childhood. However, he was primarily raised in Northern Ireland.

Whittle was often taunted and bullied at school due to his dark skin. The remarks ranged from innocent questions like ‘Are you a chocolate boy?’ to more racist comments, often making him wish that he had white skin so that he could fit in with his predominantly white schoolmates.
When he told his mother that he wanted to be white, she told him that would appreciate his unique skin color when he grew up. Eventually, he learned to take remarks about his skin color casually, without getting hurt.
A keen sportsman, Whittle excelled in various sports, especially football. After he graduated from school, he was scouted to play professional football by both Arsenal and Celtic football clubs. But a series of injuries put an end to his ambition of becoming a professional footballer.
Possibly in 1999, he enrolled in the ‘Solent University’, Southampton to study law and criminology. During his four years there, he continued to excel in sports and eventually became a football team captain. Around this time, he also started modeling and became the face of Reebok campaign in 2000.
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Ricky Whittle began his acting career in 2002, after being cast as Ryan Naysmith in the sixth season of ‘Dream Team’, a British television series about a fictional football team. Shortly after that, he left the university to concentrate on his acting career.

Concurrently with playing Ryan Naysmith in ‘Dream Team’, he continued to play football. While participating in a charity football match, he broke his legs. He had to take a long break after that to recover fully. To accommodate him, the storyline of ‘Dream Team’ was adjusted, and he soon returned to set to continue playing the role of a ladies’ man.

He remained with ‘Dream Team’ until May 2006, completing its ninth season. Meanwhile in 2004, he had appeared as David Richards in the ‘You Can Choose Your Friends’ episode of ‘Holby City’, a British medical series that aired on BBC One.

In 2006, Whittle was cast as police officer Calvin Valentine in ‘Hollyoaks’, a popular British soap opera that aired on Channel 4. Beginning on July 17, 2006, he remained with the show until February 16, 2011, appearing in 238 episodes in total.

In 2009, he participated in the seventh season of the popular television dance contest, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. He partnered with Natalie Lowe for the competition, eventually becoming the runner-up. During this period, he also appeared as a guest star in numerous other shows.

After quitting ‘Hollyoaks’, Whittle appeared as Eddie Shannon in an episode of ‘Candy Cabs’, which aired on April 12, 2011, on BBC One. In the same year, he debuted in films, appearing as Samuel in a short film called ‘Losing Sam’.

In 2011, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the American entertainment industry. Soon after his arrival, he was signed by the LA talent manager Ken Jacobson, who helped him get cast as Captain George East in the TV series ‘Austenland’. He returned to England to begin shooting for the show in the summer of 2012.
In 2012, Whittle played the role of Charles in eight episodes of the American television show ‘Single Ladies’. It was followed by the police procedural television series ‘NCIS’, in which he appeared as Lincoln in its ‘Detour’ episode, which aired on February 26, 2013.
In 2014, he was cast as Lincoln in the science fiction drama series 'The 100' and as Daniel Zamora in the ABC’s prime time drama series ‘Mistresses’. He continued appearing in both of the productions until 2016. He later quit 'The 100' after the creator of the show started “bullying” him by sidelining his character.

Whittle played the leading role of Shadow Moon in the fantasy drama series ‘American Gods’. Meanwhile in 2018, he appeared as Clint in the Netflix original movie ‘Nappily Ever After’.

Major Works
Ricky Whittle first came to prominence for his role as Calvin Valentine in ‘Hollyoaks’. He became so popular for his portrayal that he was featured on the Hollyoaks Hunks calendar for three consecutive years on popular demand. His other notable works are ‘Single Ladies’, ‘Mistresses’, ‘The 100’ and ‘American Gods’.
Family & Personal Life

Ricky Whittle was in a relationship with actress Kirstina Colonna from 2016 to 2018.

He dated his ‘Hollyoaks’ co-star Carley Stenson between 2007 and 2009. Despite parting ways, the two have managed to remain close friends.

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