Sean Pertwee was born into a famous British theatrical family. He is the son of Jon Pertwee, who was mainly a comedy actor and was known for his starring roles in Doctor Who (1963), Worzel Gummidge (1979), the radio comedy series “The Navy Lark” and appearances in several “Carry On” films. His uncle, Michael Pertwee, and grandfather, Roland Pertwee, were prolific screenwriters and playwrights, and his father’s cousin, Bill Pertwee, was a regular cast member of one of Britain’s most popular sitcoms, Dad’s Army (1968). His sister, Dariel Pertwee, is an actress with several screen roles.
After training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Pertwee began his acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, most notably starring in Titus Andronicus directed by Deborah Warner. After touring for three years, Pertwee continued his classical training by playing Julius Caesar for the BBC and Macbeth for Michael Bogdanov’s production for C4 films. Since then, he has become instantly recognizable for both his film and television work.
On film, Pertwee began on the Joe Orton biopic Prick Up Your Ears (1987), then went on to appear in Paul W.S. Anderson’s Shopping (1994), playing opposite Jude Law, followed by performances in Event Horizon (1997), Soldier (1998), Doomsday (2008), Love, Honor and Obey (2000) and the lead role in Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers (2002). Other notable film credits include Screen Two: Deadly Voyage (1996); Wild Bill (2011); Blue Juice (1995), in which Pertwee played opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones and Ewan McGregor; and Formula 51 (2001) with Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle. Pertwee played opposite Steve Coogan in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013).
Pertwee’s extensive TV work saw him play the iconic role of Lestrade in the CBS show Elementary (2012) with Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes. He has also starred in The Musketeers (2014), Poirot (1989), the award-winning Luther (2010), and had a recurring role in the hugely popular Cold Feet (1997) with James Nesbitt. His other TV credits include Skins (2007), Bodyguards (1996), Jo (2013) with Jean Reno, Chancer (1990), The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992), Clarissa (1991) with Sean Bean, and Camelot (2011) with Joseph Fiennes and Eva Green.
Pertwee appeared as Alfred Pennyworth, the unflappable butler, in the Warner Bros. series Gotham (2014), which follows the story behind Commissioner James Gordon’s rise to prominence in Gotham City in the years before Batman’s arrival. He is a popular voiceover artist and can frequently be heard voicing documentaries, animated films, commercials, TV series, and video games, including Fable, Killzone and Assassin’s Creed.
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