Martin Jarvis OBE is one of Britain’s most versatile leading actors. His distinguished career continues to encompass just about every aspect of the entertainment industry: film, television, theatre, radio and audio recording. He is also the author of two bestselling books: a hilarious autobiography Acting Strangely and a compelling account of his award-winning time on Broadway in 2001: Broadway, Jeeves – The Diary of a Theatrical Adventure, both published by Methuen. In 2010 he starred as Vincent Hogg in a new production of Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Cracked in ITV/WGHB’s popular ‘Miss Marple’ series. In 2009, he starred in BBC2’s comedy/drama Taking the Flak, receiving outstanding reviews for his performance as national treasure tv journalist David Bradburn. He stars in the feature film Neander Jin – Return of the Neanderthal Man (US/ Germany co-production, 2010) as Peter Blodnik, network mogul. Alongside his screen and theatre career he is a prolific director of radio drama and, with his wife, actress/director Rosalind Ayres, produces plays and readings for BBC. His award-winning productions include Shadowlands, David Mamet’s Keep Your Pantheon, Ayckbourn’s Man of the Moment and Ian Fleming’s Dr No. He has homes in London and Los Angeles. He trained at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England), where he won the Vanbrugh Award and the Silver Medal. He is an Associate of RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England). He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the British Empire) in the 2000 Queen’s New Years Honors List for his services to drama. In 2006, he appeared at the Santa Fe Arts Festival in New Mexico in Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost with Shirley Maclaine and Ali McGraw. Earlier in the same year, he starred in Honour at Wyndham’s Theatre, London giving an acclaimed performance opposite Dame Diana Rigg. On screen that year he played Leonard in BBC-TV’s modern version of “Much Ado About Nothing” and (in 2005) starred as “Malvolio” in “Twelfth Night” at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. He received a Theatre World Award on Broadway in 2001 for his title role performance in “By Jeeves” which he also filmed. His West End, National, Almeida and Donmar theatre appearances include works by Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Michael Frayn, Harold Pinter CH, Somerset Maugham, Sir George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. He played Jack Worthing opposite Dame Judi Dench’s Lady Bracknell in Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the National Theatre in the 1980s directed by Sir Peter Hall, and premiered Pinter’s “Other Places” in the National’s Cottesloe Theatre. Pinter directed him in the leading role of Hector in Giraudoux’s “The Trojan War Will Not Take Place.” He met Sir Alan Ayckbourn at the National and subsequently went on to star in his “Woman in Mind,” “Henceforward,” “Just Between Ourselves” and “By Jeeves.” His Screen credits include leading roles in the British/Australian mini-series “Bootleg,” “Inspector Lynley Mysteries,” “Lorna Doone,” Frayn’s “Make and Break,” “Ike – The War Years” (with Robert Duvall) and “The Bunker” (with Sir Anthony Hopkins.) He was “Linus” in Sir Richard Eyre’s film, “Absence of War written by Sir David Hare. He has guest starred (very often as villains) in “Inspector Morse,” “Frost,” “Lovejoy,” “Casualty,” “Murder Most Horrid,” “Dr Who,” “Space Above and Beyond,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “Walker: Texas Ranger” in the US. He played monstrous Neil Biddle in “Sex ‘N’ Death” and was a memorable television Uriah Heep in “David Copperfield” on British television. First major screen role: ‘Jon’ in the multi-award winning “The Forsyte Saga.” He followed this with many ‘classic serials’ including “The Way of All Flesh (in which he starred as Ernest Pontifex), “Nicholas Nickleby” (title role), “The Moonstone,” “Little Women” and “The Pallisers.” His feature films include the psychological thriller “Framed” (2007), “Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War,” James Cameron’s “Titanic,” “Kid With the X-Ray Eyes,” “Buster,” “The Last Escape,” and “Taste the Blood of Dracula.” His voice can be heard in numerous television animation series as well as feature films including “Flushed Away” and “Eragon.” He has narrated “Peter and the Wolf at the Barbican” and appeared with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra as Narrator for Egmont and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” At the Chichester Festival Theatre he starred with Sir John Gielgud in “Paradise Lost,” with Googie Withers CBE and Susan Hampshire OBE in “The Circle” and with concert pianist Lucy Parham in “Beloved Clara.” Jarvis & Ayres Productions, which he founded with his wife, Rosalind Ayres, has produced many award-winning dramas and readings for BBC Radio, National Public Radio in America and for audio books. Their work includes outstanding interpretations of plays by Sir George Bernard Shaw, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Harold Pinter CH, Michael Frayn, David Mamet, Hugh Whitemore, Robert Shearman, Tennessee Williams, Oscar Wilde, and many more. British and American stars who have been associated with J&A productions include, in the UK: Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Diana Rigg, Alfred Molina, Richard E. Grant, Michael York OBE, Richard Briers CBE, Pauline Collins OBE, Janie Dee, Fiona Shaw CBE, Miriam Margolyes OBE, Patricia Hodge, Twiggy Lawson, Natascha McElhone, Martin Freeman, Barry Humphries CBE, Phil Collins and in the US: Brendan Fraser, Elaine Stritch, Teri Garr, Stacy Keach, Shirley Knight, Hector Elizondo, Bruce Davison, Matthew Wolf, Eric Stoltz, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ed Begley Jr, Ed O’Neill and Gregory Peck. Directors of J&A dramas include: David Mamet, Michael Grandage, David Grindley, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Pete Atkin, Rosalind Ayres. Their productions have received Audie and Earphone awards in the US. In September 2006, he directed Teri Garr, Michael York OBE and Alfred Molina in an acclaimed production of “Pack of Lies” for BBC Radio 4. He and Fiona Shaw CBE starred for five years in the popular BBC series “Our Brave Boys.” His Just William audio and radio recordings are world wide best sellers. He was the subject of BBC TV’s This Is Your Life in 1999.
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