Graham Alexander Shiels was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, December 26th, 1975. In his teens he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. His father, David Shiels, was a Chemical Engineer and his mother, Barbara (Brown), a Radiology Technician. He earned his MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama in 2002 and moved to New York to begin his acting career.
Shiels has worked in theatre, film, and television. His first role was in the world premiere of Howard Korder’s (creator of Boardwalk Empire (2010)) The Hollow Lands at the South Coast Repertory, next performing at the Mark Taper Forum directed by Tony award-winner, Brian Bedford, in The Moliere Comedies. His first major recurring role on television was when Alan Ball cast him as the vampire Liam in the first season of HBO’s True Blood (2008). Opportunities opened up in films, sharing scenes with Jim Carrey and Bradley Cooper in the Warner Brothers feature comedy Yes Man (2008) and the Marvel feature Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
Shiels is known by his fans for his piercing blue eyes. His classical theatre training coupled with his versatile look which stretches from period piece to science fiction have featured him as fantastical villains: a mythical king in Olympus (2015), a DC Comics legend in Arrow (2012), a vampire in True Blood (2008), and an alien in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
He performs long-form improvisational comedy with his Los Angeles-based troupe whenever he gets the chance and is an award winning playwright. His comedy, “Sniffy the Rat,” based on the shock performance art piece of Rick Gibson, who intended on crushing a live rat in front of a media circus and angry mob won the Betty Lambert Memorial Prize.
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