Damian Lewis

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Damian Lewis
Born(1971-02-11) 11 February 1971 (age 42)
St. John's Wood, London, England, UK
Alma materEton College
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
OccupationActor, film producer
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)Helen McCrory (m. 2007); 2 children
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Damian Lewis
Born(1971-02-11) 11 February 1971 (age 42)
St. John's Wood, London, England, UK
Alma materEton College
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
OccupationActor, film producer
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)Helen McCrory (m. 2007); 2 children

Damian Watcyn Lewis (born 11 February 1971) is an English actor and producer. His roles include Soames Forsyte in the ITV remake of The Forsyte Saga, Detective Charlie Crews in the NBC drama Life and Major Richard Winters in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He starred as Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody in the Showtime series Homeland, a performance which has earned him an Emmy and Golden Globe.[1]

Personal life[edit]

I went to English boarding schools and grew up around people very much like Soames and in a milieu very much like the Forsytes'.

— Damian Lewis (2002)[2]

Lewis was born in St John's Wood, to Charlotte Mary (née Bowater) and J. Watcyn Lewis, a city broker.[3][4] His paternal grandparents were Welsh.[5]

His maternal grandfather was Lord Mayor of London Sir Ian Bowater and his maternal grandmother's ancestors include Lord Dawson of Penn (a doctor to the royal family) and philanthropist Alfred Yarrow.[3][6]

Lewis made several visits to the United States to visit relatives during his summers as a child.[7][8] He first decided to become an actor at age 16.[4] He was educated at the independent Ashdown House School in the village of Forest Row in East Sussex and at Eton College and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1993, after which he served as a stage actor for the Royal Shakespeare Company. During his time with the RSC, he played Borgheim in Adrian Noble's production of Henrik Ibsen's Little Eyolf, as well as Posthumus in William Shakespeare's Cymbeline. He has also starred in another of Ibsen's plays, as Karsten Bernick in Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre in November 2005.[9]

On 4 July 2007, Lewis married actress Helen McCrory; the couple have two children.[10]


Lewis once worked as a telemarketer selling car alarms, a job he detested.[11] He appeared in Robinson Crusoe (1997) as Patrick Conner. He appeared in Jonathan Kent's production of Hamlet, playing Laertes. This production was seen by Steven Spielberg, who later cast Lewis as Richard Winters in Band of Brothers, his first role of several that required a credible American accent.[7]

Subsequently, Lewis has played Soames Forsyte in the ITV series The Forsyte Saga which earned him rave reviews and further exposed him to a US audience.[12] He returned to the US to star in Dreamcatcher, a Stephen King film about a man who becomes possessed by an evil alien. The character is American but when possessed he takes on a British accent.[7] On the heels of this role, he starred in Keane as a Manhattanite with a fragile mental state who is searching for his missing daughter. Despite the film's poor box-office performance, the role won Lewis rave reviews.[13][14][15]

He played Jeffrey Archer in the satirical TV special Jeffrey Archer: The Truth. Since 2004, he has appeared in a number of films, as well as the 2005 BBC TV adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing, as part of the ShakespeaRe-Told season. Lewis played the role of Yassen Gregorovich in the film Stormbreaker. In 2006 he appeared in Stephen Poliakoff's BBC drama Friends and Crocodiles. He has appeared on BBC's Have I Got News For You as guest host several times; on 10 November 2006, 1 May 2009, 18 November 2010, 27 April and 9 November 2012.

In 2008, Lewis starred as the main character Charlie Crews in the US television series Life on NBC. The show premiered in the US on 26 September 2007 and was affected by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Only half of the first season's shows were produced. Regardless, the show won a 2008 AFI Award for best television series.[16] Although the show received critical acclaim, when it returned the following television season, it was shuffled from night to night, and eventually cancelled by NBC to clear its time slot for the less expensive[clarification needed] nightly programme, The Jay Leno Show.[citation needed]

Lewis appeared, the following year, in the lead role in The Baker, a film directed by his brother, Gareth. Damian took a supporting role of Rizza in The Escapist, which he also helped produce. He led the cast in Martin Crimp's version of Molière's comedy, The Misanthrope, which opened in December 2009 at the Comedy Theatre, London.[17] Other cast members included Tara Fitzgerald, Keira Knightley and Dominic Rowan.

Since 2010 Lewis has played British Tory Prime Minister Simon Laity in two seasons of Number 10 on BBC Radio 4.[18][19]

From 2011-2013, Lewis had a starring role as Sergeant Nicholas Brody in the Showtime psychological thriller series Homeland.[20] In 2013, he narrated poetry for The Love Book App, an "an interactive anthology of love literature developed by Allie Byrne Esiri".[21]

Charity work[edit]

In March 2010, he became a trade justice ambassador for Christian Aid, a UK charity. In 2006, he was a player for England in Soccer Aid in late May, and golfed for Europe in the All*Star Cup, in late August, both shown on ITV. He is involved with a number of charities, including being one of three patrons of the London children's charity Scene & Heard.[22] He again participated in Soccer Aid 2010, which supported the charity UNICEF. During the first half he hit the crossbar after lobbing former Arsenal and German national goalkeeper Jens Lehmann with a shot from 25 yards. He scored in the penalty shoot-out. Lewis himself is a devoted Liverpool F.C. fan, attending as many games as his schedule allows. He played the role of "Gareth", the father of an 11-year old Liverpool fan ("Will"), in Will, a 2011 film.[23]



1997Robinson CrusoePatrick
2003DreamcatcherGary "Jonesy" Jones
2004KeaneWilliam KeaneNominated - Gotham Award for Breakthrough Performance
2004NyfesNorman Harris
2005ChromophobiaMarcus Aylesbury
2005An Unfinished LifeGary Winston
2006The SituationDan Murphy
2006StormbreakerYassen Gregorovich
2008The BakerMilo
2008The EscapistRizza
2011Your HighnessBoremont
2012The SweeneyFrank Haskins
2013Romeo and JulietLord Capulet
2015Queen of the DesertFilming
2008The BakerProducer


1993Micky LoveClive
1995"Hickory Dickory Dock" in Agatha Christie : PoirotLeonard Bateson
1996"Deep Waters" in A Touch of FrostAdam Weston
1999WarriorsLt. Neil Loughrey
2000Life ForceKurt Glemser
2000Hearts and BonesMark Rose
2001Band of BrothersMaj. Richard D. WintersBiarritz International Festival Award for Best Actor - Series and Serials
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
2002The Forsyte SagaSoames Forsyte
2002Jeffrey Archer: The TruthJeffrey Archer
2003The Forsyte Saga: To LetSoames Forsyte
2005ColditzCpl/Lt. Nicholas McGrade
2005Friends and CrocodilesPaul
2005Much Ado About NothingBenedick
2006–presentHave I Got News for YouHimself (Guest host)5 episodes
2007–2009LifeCharlie CrewsMain Role
2011StolenD.I. Anthony Carter
2011–2013HomelandNicholas BrodyPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
Dorian Award for TV Performance of the Year - Actor (2013)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2012)
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2012)
Nominated—Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Drama Actor (2012, 2013)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama (2011)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2013)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2012)
Nominated—TV Guide Award for Favorite Actor (2012)

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Winners at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards". USA Today. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "An Interview with Damian Lewis". Public Broadcasting Service. 2002. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Profile at thePeerage.com; accessed 14 January 2009.
  4. ^ a b Interview with The Sunday Express, 25 May 2003; accessed 22 December 2008.
  5. ^ Mottram, James. Damian Lewis interview with Marie Claire, 25 February 2008. accessed 14 January 2009.
  6. ^ Fascinating Fact 4144. Contact Music, 21 October 2007; accessed 14 January 2009.
  7. ^ a b c Iannotti, Lauren. "Esquire Style". Esquire, April 2003, 139 (4):120.
  8. ^ "Fighting Talk". New Woman, November 1999. republished at Damian-Lewis.com. accessed 22 December 2008.
  9. ^ http://d1wf8hd6ovssje.cloudfront.net/documents/Pillars.pdf
  10. ^ "Actors Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory welcome a son". People. 
  11. ^ Prato, Alison. "Out on the Town with This Season’s Breakout Stars", Maxim (October 2008); accessed 15 December 2008.
  12. ^ Kelleher, Terry (2002-10-14), "The Forsyte Saga". People. 58 (16):36
  13. ^ Rozen, Leah (2005-09-19), "Keane". People. 64 (12):40
  14. ^ Kauffmann, Stanley (2005-09-19), "Heights and Depths". New Republic. 233 (12):28–29
  15. ^ Travers, Peter (2005-10-06) "Keane". Rolling Stone. (984):164
  16. ^ "AFI Awards 2008". American Film Institute. 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  17. ^ The Misanthrope's London production
  18. ^ Staff. "BBC Media Centre Programme Information - Afternoon Drama: Number 10". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  19. ^ "Radiolistings.co.uk". Radiolistings.co.uk. 6 January 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (21 December 2010). "Damian Lewis Cast As The Male Lead In Showtime's Pilot 'Homeland'". Deadline. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  21. ^ The Love Book App profile
  22. ^ "Scene & Heard". sceneandheard.org. 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  23. ^ "Why we chose LFC and Istanbul". 2 November 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 

External links[edit]