Tom Riley Biography

Tom Riley is an English actor and showrunner. Check out this biography to know about his birthday, childhood, family life, achievements, and fun facts about him.

Quick Facts

Birthday: April 5, 1981

Nationality: British

Famous: Actors British Men

Age: 39 Years, 39 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Aries

Born Country: England

Born in: Maidstone, England

Famous as: Actor

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Lizzy Caplan (m. 2017)

City: Kent, England

More Facts

education: Maidstone Grammar School, University of Birmingham, LAMDA

Continue Reading Below

Tom Riley is an English actor and showrunner best known for portraying Leonardo Da Vinci in the Starz/Fox historical fantasy series ‘Da Vinci's Demons’. He has also appeared in several films and stage productions. Originally from Kent, Riley studied at the University of Birmingham and later at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, he set up the theatre company Article 19, and during his time at the LAMDA, he started performing with the Royal Court Theatre company. He made his screen debut in 2006 in the French-Italian film ‘A Few Days in September’. His television debut came later that year in the telefilm ‘Casualty 1906’. He had his Broadway debut in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre’s production of ‘Arcadia’ a few years later. ‘Da Vinci's Demons’ premiered in 2013 and ran for three seasons before concluding in 2015. The show’s popularity helped him firmly establish himself in the industry. For his performance in ‘Da Vinci's Demons’, Riley received the BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Actor. In 2018, he portrayed the lead protagonist in the ITV crime-drama series ‘Dark Heart’.

  • During his time at the LAMDA, Tom Riley performed with the Royal Court Theatre Company in their production of ‘The Woman Before’. In 2008, he worked in another Royal Court Theatre production, David Hare’s ‘The Vertical Hour’. He appeared in Riverside Studios’ production of ‘Hurts Given and Received’ in 2010.
  • In 2006, he appeared in his first film, Santiago Amigorena’s spy thriller ‘A Few Days in September’. That year, he also made his first small-screen appearance in the telefilm ‘Casualty 1906’. In 2007, he starred in the sex comedy ‘I Want Candy’ and the direct-to-DVD horror thriller ‘Return to House on Haunted Hill’.
  • In 2008, he was featured in two episodes of ‘Casualty 1906’s sequel series, ‘Casualty 1907’. He was cast as George Wickham in the ITV adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, titled ‘Lost in Austen’. He then portrayed the male lead opposite Sally Hawkins in the 2009 romantic comedy ‘Happy Ever Afters’. In the adventure comedy film ‘St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold’, he worked with the likes of Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, David Tennant, and Talulah Riley.
  • Riley essayed the role of Gavin Sorenson in the 2010 adaptation of Andrea Newman’s 1969 novel, ‘Bouquet of Barbed Wire’. In the following year, he made his first Broadway appearance in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre’s production of ‘Arcadia’. He performed as Septimus Hodge alongside Margaret Colin's Lady Croom, Billy Crudup's Bernard Nightingale, and Raúl Esparza's Valentine Coverly. The production received positive feedback from both the critics and audience and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Riley has also appeared in Almeida Theatre’s 2011 production of ‘My City’ and Hampstead Theatre’s 2018 production of ‘Dry Powder’.
  • Between 2011 and 2012, he portrayed anaesthetist Dr Lawrence Shepherd in two seasons of the ITV medical drama series ‘Monroe’. Riley bagged the role of the legendary polymath Leonardo Da Vinci in the historical fantasy series ‘Da Vinci's Demons’ which aired on Starz (US) AND Fox (UK) for three seasons between 2013 and 2015. The show won two Emmys for Outstanding Main Title Design and Outstanding Main Title Theme Music at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
  • In 2014, he played Robin Hood in an episode of BBC’s long-running sci-fi adventure series ‘Doctor Who’. He returned to the big screen in 2015 in the dark comedy crime thriller film ‘Kill Your Friends’. In the Amazon Prime period drama series ‘The Collection’ (2016), he essayed the role of Claude Sabine, an artistic, introverted, misanthropic, gay man living in the post-World War II era Paris. Riley shared the screen space with Joanne Froggatt in Bill Clark’s 2016 drama film ‘Starfish’. In 2017, he was part of the cast of the romantic comedy, ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’.
  • In November 2016, Riley had his first outing as DI Will Wagstaffe in the pilot episode of the crime-drama series ‘Dark Heart’. After it received a strong audience response, ITV ordered a full season, which aired between October and November 2018. He is set to star in the upcoming HBO sci-fi drama ‘The Nevers’.
  • Riley produced most episodes of ‘Da Vinci's Demons’ and serves as an associate producer on ‘Dark Heart’.
You May Like
Continue Reading Below
Family & Personal Life
  • Born on April 5, 1981, in Maidstone, Kent, England, Tom Riley developed an interest in performing quite early in his life. He became involved in his first drama project when he was four years old. He was a student at Maidstone Grammar School and wrote and directed plays throughout his school days. He attended the University of Birmingham, from where he obtained an undergraduate degree with first-class honours in English literature and drama in 2002. That year, after he left Birmingham and before he joined the LAMDA, Riley established Article 19, a relatively small theatre company. He completed a three-year course at the LAMDA in 2005.
  • Riley met American actress Lizzy Caplan in January 2015 in London. She was there for work. They subsequently began dating and made their first appearance on the red carpet at the Prague Opera Ball in February 2016. The couple got engaged in May 2016 in New York and they got married on September 2, 2017.
  • Tom Riley’s favorite actor is Tom Hanks.

Follow Tom Riley On:

How To Cite

Article Title
- Tom Riley Biography
- Editors,
Tom Riley

People Also Viewed

Lizzy Caplan
Daniel Radcliffe
Henry Cavill
Robert Pattinson

Richard Madden
Jamie Bell
Sam Claflin
Freddie Highmore