Johnny Harris (actor)

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Johnny Harris
Lambeth, London, England, UK
Years active2000–present
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Johnny Harris
Lambeth, London, England, UK
Years active2000–present

Johnny Harris (born 1973) is an English actor. He is most famous for his portrayal as 'Mick' in Shane Meadows' cult series This Is England '86 and This Is England '88. Eoin Murphy once commented on Harris' acting style as 'majestic', 'heroic' and 'mega manly' while ex Spice girls member Mel B once mentioned that Harris is far superior to Stephen Grahams character 'Combo' purely due to his presence and aura in This Is England '88.


Johnny Harris was born in Lambeth, London.

He left Archbishop Michael Ramsey School in Camberwell at 13 years of age with no qualifications to pursue a promising career in boxing and three years later in 1989 He won the Junior ABA National Boxing Title.

At 17 years of age he headed off to Paris, France where he lived for the next three years. Whilst living in Paris he worked as a dishwasher on the Champs-Élysées and during this period he was introduced to literature by a work colleague. The first book he was given to read was The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and years later he would play Jim Vane in Ealing Studios' film adaptation of the same book.

During this period he also developed a passion for cinema. He returned to London at 20 years of age and enrolled in acting classes at his local adult education centre Morley College in Lambeth where he studied for the next three years under the tutelage of Craig Snelling.

Early career[edit]

Harris started his career on stage in the fringe theatres of London. He became a company member of the Union Theatre in Southwark where he performed in many plays over the years.

His first screen role was in Sara Dunlop's short film BIG. Harris played the lead role and the film won the 'Best Film' Award at the Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival.

In 2000 he was cast in his first feature film, Paul McGuigan's Gangster No. 1.

In 2006 Harris was cast in a leading role in Paul Andrew Williams' award-winning and BAFTA-nominated film London to Brighton. Harris received huge critical acclaim for his performance and in an interview in The Independent on Sunday at the time of the films release, celebrated British director Shane Meadows said of Harris' performance in the film: "It's a massively powerful performance, the best I've seen on celluloid for a long time."

Despite being made on a tiny budget, the film went on to be voted into Time Out magazine's 100 Greatest British Movies Of All Time and is now widely regarded as a cult classic.

Recent work[edit]

He has since worked with directors including Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Guy Ritchie, Joe Wright, and Terry Gilliam.

Harris' breakthrough role came in 2010 when Shane Meadows cast him in the multi-award winning This Is England '86. Harris was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA and a Royal Television Society Best Actor Award for his portrayal of abusive father, Mick, in the show.

In 2012 he worked with Shane Meadows again, reprising his role for This Is England '88. The show won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Mini-Series.

In the same year, Harris starred as Neil Valentine in a six-part BBC Three drama The Fades, written by Jack Thorne, who co-wrote This is England '86'. The show won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Drama Series.

In the summer of 2012, Harris appeared as one of the Eight Dwarves, alongside Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan and Brian Gleeson in Snow White and the Huntsman, for Universal Pictures, starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth.

In 2013 he was back on the big screen in Welcome to the Punch a new film by Eran Creevy and co-produced by Ridley Scott, alongside James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Peter Mullen and Andrea Riseborough. In the same year he appeared alongside Liev Schreiber and Elias Koteas in "Last Days on Mars", and also starred in Morning, a short film directed by NFTS student Cathy Brady. The film won the Irish Bafta IFTA and is nominated at the European Film Academy Prix UIP Awards.

In March 2013, Harris was cast in a starring role in "Monsters:Dark Continent", the follow up to the highly acclaimed Gareth Edwards film of 2010. The film was shot in Jordan and will hit cinema screens in September 2014.

He is currently filming "Fortitude", a new 12 part drama for Sky Atlantic starring alongside Sir Michael Gambon, Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol, Chris Ecclestone, and Luke Treadaway. The show is filming on location in Iceland and London.


Select TV work[edit]

External links[edit]