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Lawson, Denis

Denis Lawson
Photo from BBC
Denis Stamper Lawson was born on September 27, 1947, in Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland, where his parents ran/owned the Crieff Watchmakers shop, he has an older sister (Ewan McGregor's mom). In the early 70's Lawson was a bit of a theatrical hippie, which is one of the aspects of Lawson that his nephew, Ewan, remembers most...the flares, the furry waistcoat...the whole bit. Lawson enjoyed watching the comedy of Jerry Lewis, Danny Kaye and the Marx Brothers and feels that they are still his greatest influences for comedic acting.

Lawson studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland, with Ian McDiarmid, and made his way to London, through a production of the musical Hair in Amsterdam, continuing his pursuit of acting. Part of his training was years of jazz and tap dance which made him perfect for the title role in Pal Joey on stage.

Lawson is best known in England as a musical comedy star but his talents push far beyond comedic and musical entertainment.

Lawson has a son, Jamie, from a relationship with actress British actress Diane Fletcher. He was married to noted British actress, Sheila Gish (Rachel Ellenstein in Highlander), in 2004, they met in 1984 while filming An Uncertain Feeling, she had two daughters from a previous relationship, actress Lou Gish and actress Kay Curram. Lawson and Gish shared a home in Chalk Farm, England until Ms. Gish died in March of 2005.

The Machine~2013 - Thomson
The Wee Man~2013 - Willie
Broken~2012 - Mr. Buckley
Perfect Sense~2011 - Boxx
Enid: Deleted Scenes~2009 (V) - uncredited Kenneth Waters
Dolls~2006 (short) - Monsieur Nicholas
The Ride (Joy-Rider)~2003 - Tommy
Leonard~2002 (short) - Leonard
The Base Player~2001 (short) -
The Fabulous Bagel Boys~2001 - Morris Rose
Acting Out~1996
The Zip~1988 (short) - Eric
Bitter Cherry~1985 (short)
The Chain~1985 - Keith (see Actor Connections - Film)
Local Hero~1983- Gordon Urquhart
Star Wars-EP VI-Return of the Jedi~1983 - Wedge Antilles - Red Leader
Star Wars EP V-The Empire Strikes Back - Wedge Antilles - Rogue 3

Providence~1977 - Dave Woodford
Holocaust 2000~1977 - Second Journalist
Star Wars~1977 - Wedge Antilles - Red 2


Film Director
Solid Geometry~2002 (see Actor Connections - Film)
The Bass Player~2000

Film Writer
Solid Geometry~2002 (see Actor Connections - Film)
Bass Player, The~2000

Death in Paradise~2018 - Philip Marston in Murder from Above
Victoria~2017 - Duke of Atholl in The King Over the Water
In Plain Sight~2016 - Laurence Dowdell in 1.2
The Life of Rock with Brian Pern~2016 - Barry Patmore in 3.3
New Tricks~2012-2015 - Steve McAndrew (37 episodes)
Inside No. 9~2014 - Gerald in A Quiet Night In
Parade's End~2012 - Sir Reginald in 1.1-1.2
Them from That Thing~2012 - Various in 1.1
Candy Cabs~2011 - Kenny Ho in 1.1-1.3
Marchlands~2011 - Robert Bowen in 1.1-1.5
Hustle~2011 - Benny in Benny's Funeral
Just William~2010 - Headmaster in:
     William Holds the Stage
     The School Report
Above Their Station~2010 - Chief Constable Keith Boone
Mister eleven~2009 (mini) - Len in 1.1-1.2
Criminal Justice~2009 - DCI Bill Faber in 2.1-2.5
Enid~2009 - Kenneth Waters
Law & Order: UK~2009 - Philip Woodleigh in Sacrifice
Breaking the Mould~2009 - Alexander Fleming
No Holds Bard~2009 - Miekel
Mumbai Calling~2008 - Phillip Glass in All That Glitters Is Not Glass
The Passion~2008 - Annas in 1.1-1.3
Robin Hood~2007 - Winchester in For England...!
Jekyll~2007 - Peter Syme (6 episodes)
Agatha Christie's Marple~2007 - Leo Argyle in Ordeal by Innocence
Feel the Force~2006 - Gordon Campbell in Wanted
Daziel and Pascoe~2006 - John Barron in The Cave Woman: Parts 1 & 2 (11.1 & 2)
The Thieving Headmistress~2006 - Father Plunkett
Sensitive Skin~2006 - Al Jackson (6 episodes)
Denis Lawson and Joanna Lumley
Daziel and Pascoe~1996 - mid-Yorkshire Chief Constable
The Thieving Headmistress~2006 - Father Plunkett
Bleak House~2005 - John Jarndyce (15 episodes) (see Actor Connections - TV)
The World's Worst Century~2004 - Narrator
Richard & Judy~2004 - Himself
Breakfast~2004 - Himself/guest
A World in Arms~2003 - Narrator
The South Bank Show~2003 - Himself in Ewan McGregor (26.25)
Holby City~2002-2004 - Tom Campbell-Gore (58 episodes)
Leonard (New Found Land: Leonard)~2002 (short) - Leonard
Lucky Jim~2002 - Julius Gore-Urqhart
The Real Hughie Green~2001 - Narrator
Real Hughie Green, The~2001 - Narrator
The Fabulous Bagel Boys~2001 - DI Morris Rose
Liberace: Too Much of a Good Thing Is Wonderful~2000 - Narrator
Bob Martin~2000 - Greg
Other People's Children~2000 - Tom in 1.2-1.3
Bob Martin~2000 - Greg
Holby City~2002-2004 - Dr. Tom Campbell-Gore (#100), Tom Campbell-Gore: Cardio-Thoracic Consultant Surgeon

Cold Feet (UK)~1999 - Alexander Welcht in 1.4
The Ambassador~1998-1999 - John Stone (12 episodes)
The Round Tower~1998 - Arthur Brett
Horatio Hornblower: The Examination for Lieutenant~1999 - Captain "Dreadnought" Foster in:
     The Duchess and the Devil
     The Wrong War / The Fire Ships / The Duel
The Round Tower~1998 - Arthur Brett
The Ambassador~1998 -
A Royal Scandal~1997 - Henry Brougham
Pie in the Sky~1997 - Nick Spencer in In the Smoke
Royal Scandal, A~1996 - Henry Brougham
Tales From the Crypt~1996 - Frank in Smoke Wrings (7.9)
Screen One~1989-1992 -
     Victor Grace in Born Kicking
     Bernard in One Way Out
Boon~1990 - James Marian in Bully Boys (5.6)
El C.I.D~1992 - Malcolm in My Brother's Keeper
Natural Lies~1992 (mini series) - Towne
Bejewelled~1991 - Alistair
Die Kinder~1990 - Film Boffin in The Gathering Storm
Boon~1990 - James Marian in Bully Boys
The Justice Game~1989 - Dominic Rossi in 1.1-1.4
One Way Out~1989 - Bernard
Love After Lunch~1989 - Miles
Dead Head~1986 (mini series - Eddie Cass in:
     The Patriot
     The War Room
     Anything for England
     Why Me?
That Uncertain Feeling~1985 - mini-series as John Aneurin Lewis
Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV~1985 Philip in 1.2 and 1.5
Dead Head~1985 - Eddie Cass (see Actor Connections - TV)
The Kit Curran Radio Show~1984 - Kit Curran (pink shirt) (6 episodes) (see Actor Connections - TV)
Bergerac~1983 - Giroux in Miracle Every Week (2.7)
Timewatch~1982 - Narrator
Crown Court~1982 - John Dickens in Talking to the Enemy: Part 1
If Winter Comes~1981 - Ozswath
People From the Forest~1981 - Zhores Medvedev
The Good Companions~1980 - Albert Tuggridge in:
     Stumbling Chronicles
     In Which We Meet the Company
Play For Today~1976-1980 -
     Felix in The Flipside of Dominick Hide (1980)
     Snare in The Jumping Bean (1976)
Justice Game II: The Lady From Rome~1989 - Dominic Rossi
BBC2 Play of the Week~1978 - professor Byron Smith/Ernest Dowson in Fearless Frank
Armchair Thriller~1978 - David Cooper in The Girl Who Walked Quickly Parts 1-4
Providence~1977 - Dave Woodford
Seven Faces of Woman~1977 - Jerome in She: Anxious Anne
Rock Follies of 1977~1977 - Ken Church in:
     The Real Life
     The Divorce
     The Loony Tunes
     The Hype
     The Empire
The Man in the Iron Mask~1976 - Claude
Rock Follies~1976 - Ken Church
Plays for Britain~1976 - Terrorist in The Paradise Run
Death of an Informer~1976 - Robber #1
Survivors~1975 - Norman in The Future Hour
Late Night Drama~1974 - Jerry in Ms. or Jill and Jack
Beryl's Lot~1973 - Peter Jaret in Getting Up
The Merchant of Venice~1973 - Launcelot Gobbo
Dr. Finlay's Casebook~1969 - Andy Donald in Action, Dr. Cameron

Pedigree (dog food)~2003

La Cage Aux Folles~2009 - George

Sensitive Skin~2006 -
A Love Letter to Dan: A Tribute to Dan Crawford~2006 - reader (Kingshead Theatre, Islington, UK) (see Actor Connections - Theatre)
An Enchanted Evening~1999  - guest star/performer in an all-star tribute to West End musicals (Theatre Royal,  London, UK)
Lust~1995 - Horner (Walnut Theatre, Philadelphia, PA)
Lust~1993  - Horner (John Houseman Theater and West End, UK)
Oleanna~1993 - John (Duke of York, )
Valpone~1989/90 - Mosca (Almeida Theatre, London, UK) (see Actor Connections - Theatre)
The Film Society~1988 - (Hampstead Theatre, )
The Importance of Being Earnest~1987 - (Royalty Theatre, )
Ashes~1986 - (Bush Theatre, )
Lend Me A Tenor~1986  - Max (Globe Theater, London, UK)
Have You Met Miss Jones?~ -
Lucky Chance, The~1984 - (Royal Court Theatre, London, UK)
Mr. Cinders~1982/3 - Mr. Jim Cinders (Jim Lancaster)  ...sings "Spread a Little Happiness" (King's Head Theatre Club, London; Fortune Theatre, London, UK)
Pal Joey~1980 -  (Half Moon Theatre; Albery 81 Theatre, London, UK) (see Actor Connections - Theatre)
Greenish Man, The~1979 - Patrick (Bush Theatre, London, UK) (see Actor Connections - Theatre)
Censored Scenes from King Kong~1978 - (Open Space Theatre, )
The Dog Ran Away~1977 - (Hampstead Theatre, )
50 Words~1975/6 - several parts (King's Head Theatre Club, London; Embassy Club, )
She Stoops To Conquer~1974 - (Ashcroft Theatre, Croyden/Cambridge, UK) (see Actor Connections - Theatre)
Candida~1974 - (The Palace Theatre, Watford, UK)
Fears and Miseries of the Third Reich~1974 - (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, UK)
Aunt Sally or The Triumph Over Death~1973 - (Arts Theatre, Cambridge Theatre Company, Cambridge, UK)  (see Actor Connections - Theatre)
Jack and the Beanstalk~1973/4 - (Arts Theatre, Cambridge Theatre Company, Cambridge, UK)
Twelfth Night~1973/4 - Feste, Olivia's clown (Ashcroft Theatre, Croyden, UK) (see Actor Connections - Theatre)
England's Ireland~1972 - (Royal Court Theatre, )
Flowers~1971 -
Metamorphosis~1969 - (Round House Theatre, ; Hampstead Theatre Club, )
???~1969 - *two-man show*
Hair~ - (tour Amsterdam/Oslo)
Sarah B. Divine~ - (Jeanetta Cochrane Theatre, London, UK)
Blow Job~ - (Portable Theatre Group, )
The Royal Hunt of the Sun~ - Felipillo
Jill & Jack~ -
Mrs. Grabowski's Academy~ - (Royal Court Theatre, )
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat~ - (Leeds Playhouse, )
Kidnapped for Christmas~ - (Shaw Theatre, )
We Can't Pay, We Won't Pay~ - (Half Moon Theatre, London, UK)
Cool Million~ - (Half Moon Theatre, London, UK)
Romeo and Juliet~ - Romeo
Leatherhead~ - (Half Moon Theatre; Albery Theatre, London, UK)
The Enemy Within~ - (Thorndike Theatre; Half Moon Theatre; Albery Theatre, London, UK)

Theatre Director
The Anniversary~2005 - (Garrick Theatre, London, UK)
Burning Issues~2000 (see Actor Connections - Theatre)
A Solitary Vice~2000
Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs~1999  1/20 - 3/13/1999 (see Actor Connections - Theatre)

BBC Jazz Awards 2002~2002 - presenter for  Best Album: Brian Kellock Trio – Live At Henry's 7/21/02
Sweet Tooth~1987 - George
Kit Carson Radio Show~1984 - Kit Carson (see Actor Connections - Radio)

Audio Books
Star Wars: Heir To The Empire~1991  - narrator/reader

Video Games
Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2~2001 (voice) -  Wedge Antilles

Awards, Honors, and Nominations
Nom 2006 Best Actor for Bleak House
Barrymore Awards:
Rec'd 1995 Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Lust (Walnut Theatre)
Emmy Awards: (Thanks to Jo!)
Nom 2006 Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for Bleak House
Olivier Award (Society of West End Theatres SWET Award):
Rec'd 1984 Best Actor of the Year in a Musical  for Mr. Cinders
Rec'd 1983 Best Actor in a Musical for Mr. Cinders
Nom 1980 Best Actor of the Year in a Musical for Pal Joey

Vice Patron of The Actors Centre in London, UK.

Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama - Hall of Fame member

Glasgow Film Theatre (Glasgow, Scotland) has seat DO81 dedicated to him and his nephew Ewan McGregor:  "For Ewan McGregor and Denis Lawson. Talent without frontiers"

Was a teacher of Actors Cut and Actors Cut 2 at the Actors Centre in London, UK.

During his filming of Horatio Hornblower, they had to be at sea for 12 hours a day...Lawson said that he was sick nearly all of the time.

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