Ian David McShane
29 September 1942
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Occupation||Actor, producer, director|
Ian David McShane (born 29 September 1942) is an English actor, producer, and director. He is known for his television performances, particularly as the title role in the BBC series Lovejoy (1986–1994), as Al Swearengen in Deadwood (2004–2006) and its 2019 film continuation, and as Mr. Wednesday in American Gods (2017–2021). For the original series of Deadwood, McShane won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama and received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series; for the film, he (as producer) was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie.
His film roles include Harry Brown in The Wild and the Willing (1962), Charlie Cartwright in If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969), Wolfe Lissner in Villain (1971), Teddy Bass in Sexy Beast (2000), Frank Powell in Hot Rod (2007), Captain Hook in Shrek the Third (2007), Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda (2008), Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Winston in the John Wick film series (2014–present).
McShane was born Ian David McShane in Blackburn, Lancashire, on 29 September 1942, the only child of Irene (née Cowley; 1921–2021) and professional footballer Harry McShane (1920–2012). His father was Scottish, from Holytown, Lanarkshire, and his mother, who was born in England, was of Irish and English descent. McShane grew up in Davyhulme, Lancashire, and attended Stretford Grammar School. After being a member of the National Youth Theatre, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), alongside Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt. McShane shared a flat with Hurt, whom he called his "oldest friend in the business", and was still a student at RADA when he appeared (along with Hurt) in his first film The Wild and the Willing (1962). He went on to play Satan in the York Mystery Plays in 1963.
In the United Kingdom, McShane's best known role is antiques dealer Lovejoy in the eponymous series. He also enjoyed success in the United States as British film director Don Lockwood in Dallas. Long before Lovejoy he was a pin-up as a result of appearances in television series, such as Wuthering Heights (1967, as Heathcliff), Jesus of Nazareth (1977, as Judas Iscariot), and Disraeli (1978)—as well as films like Sky West and Crooked (1965) and Battle of Britain (1969).
In the United States, he is known for the role of historical figure Al Swearengen in the HBO series Deadwood, for which he won the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Drama. He was also nominated at the 2005 Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Among science fiction fans, McShane is known for playing the character Robert Bryson in Babylon 5: The River of Souls. In a 2004 interview with The Independent, McShane stated that he wished that he had turned down the role of Bryson as he had struggled with the technical dialogue and found looking at Martin Sheen, who was wearing an eye in the middle of his forehead, to be the most embarrassing experience that he had ever had while acting.
In 1985, he appeared as an MC on Grace Jones' Slave to the Rhythm, a concept album which featured his narration interspersed throughout and which sold over a million copies worldwide.
His other roles include that of armed robber and gangland boss Jack Last in the Minder episode The Last Video Show. As Captain Hook in Shrek the Third, Ragnar Sturlusson in The Golden Compass, Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda (for which he received an Annie Award nomination), and Mr. Bobinsky in Coraline. In live-action, he has performed in Hot Rod, the action/thriller Death Race, and The Seeker. He has appeared in The West Wing as a Russian diplomat. During 2007–08, he starred as Max in the 40th anniversary Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, co-starring Eve Best, Raúl Esparza, and Michael McKean, and directed by Daniel Sullivan, at the Cort Theatre (16 December 2007 – 13 April 2008).
In 2009, he appeared in Kings, which was based on the biblical story of David. His portrayal of King Silas Benjamin, an analogue of King Saul, was highly praised with one critic saying: "Whenever Kings seems to falter, McShane appears to put bite marks all over the scenery."
In 2010, McShane starred in The Pillars of the Earth as Bishop Waleran Bigod. The series was a historical drama set in 12th-century England and adapted from Ken Follett's novel of the same name. That same year, the Walt Disney Company confirmed that McShane would portray Blackbeard in On Stranger Tides.
In 2013, he played King Brahmwell in Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Slayer.
Since 2010, McShane has narrated the opening teases for each round of ESPN's coverage of The Open Championship. In 2012, McShane had a guest role for two episodes as Murder Santa, a sadistic serial killer in the 1960s in the second season of American Horror Story. In 2016, he joined the cast of Game of Thrones in Season 6 as Ray.
McShane announced on 20 April 2017 that a script for a two-hour Deadwood movie had been submitted by creator David Milch to HBO and that a film is as close as ever to happening. "[A] two-hour movie script has been delivered to HBO. If they don't deliver [a finished product], blame them," McShane said. The film began production in October 2018. Deadwood: The Movie was released on 31 May 2019, concluding the story of the series.
McShane married and divorced Suzan Farmer in the 1960s. Then he married model Ruth Post with whom he had two children, Kate and Morgan. In 1977, he began a relationship with Sylvia Kristel after meeting her on the set of The Fifth Musketeer. On 30 August 1980, McShane married Gwen Humble. They live in Venice, California. Through his daughter Kate, McShane has three grandchildren.
He supports Manchester United Football Club.
|1962||The Wild and the Willing||Harry Brown|
|1965||The Pleasure Girls||Keith Dexter|
|1966||Sky West and Crooked||Roibin|
|1969||If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium||Charlie Cartwright|
|Battle of Britain||Sgt. Pilot Andy|
|1970||Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You||Fred C. Dobbs|
|1972||Left Hand of Gemini|
|Sitting Target||Birdy Williams|
|1973||The Last of Sheila||Anthony Wood|
|1975||Journey into Fear||Banat|
|1979||The Great Riviera Bank Robbery||The Brain|
|The Fifth Musketeer||Fouquet|
|Yesterday's Hero||Rod Turner|
|1981||Cheaper to Keep Her||Dr. Alfred Sunshine|
|1985||Ordeal by Innocence||Philip Durant|
|Too Scared to Scream||Vincent Hardwick|
|2000||Sexy Beast||Teddy Bass|
|2003||Agent Cody Banks||Dr. Brinkman|
|Nemesis Game||Jeff Novak|
|We Are Marshall||Paul Griffen|
|2007||Shrek the Third||Captain Hook||Voice|
|Hot Rod||Frank Powell|
|The Seeker||Merriman Lyon|
|The Golden Compass||Ragnar Sturlusson||Voice|
|2008||Kung Fu Panda||Tai Lung||Voice|
|Case 39||Detective Mike Barron|
|44 Inch Chest||Meredith||Also executive producer|
|2010||The Sorcerer's Apprentice||Narrator||Uncredited|
|2011||Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides||Blackbeard|
|2012||Snow White and the Huntsman||Beith|
|2013||Jack the Giant Slayer||King Brahmwell|
|2014||Cuban Fury||Ron Parfitt|
|El Niño||El Inglés|
|2016||Grimsby||MI6 Spy Boss||Uncredited|
|The Hollow Point||Sheriff Leland Kilbaught|
|2017||John Wick: Chapter 2||Winston|
|2018||Here Comes the Grump||The Grump||Voice|
|Bolden||Judge Leander Perry|
|John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Winston|
|2022||My Father's Dragon||Voice; post-production|
|2023||John Wick: Chapter 4||Winston||Post-production|
|1964||Redcap||Sapper Russell||Episode: "Epitaph for a Sweat"|
|1964||Spanner in the Grass Works||Frank Barnes|
|1964||The Sullavan Brothers||David Hemming||1 episode|
|1966||You Can't Win||Joe Lunn||7 episodes|
|1967||Wuthering Heights||Heathcliff||4 episodes|
|1972||Whose Life Is It Anyway?||Ken Harrison||Television play|
|1975||Space: 1999||Anton Zoref||Episode: "Force of Life"|
|The Lives of Jenny Dolan||Saunders||Television film|
|1976||The Fantastic Journey||Sir James Camden||Episode: "The Fantastic Journey"|
|1977||Roots||Sir Eric Russell||Episode: "Part Nine"|
|Jesus of Nazareth||Judas Iscariot||2 episodes|
|Code Name: Diamond Head||Sean Donovan||Television film|
|1978||Will Shakespeare||Christopher Marlowe||Episode: "Dead Shepherd"|
|Disraeli||Benjamin Disraeli||4 episodes|
|The Pirate||Rashid||Television film|
|1980||Armchair Thriller - High Tide||Curtis||4 episodes|
|1981–1982||Magnum, P.I.||David Norman / Edwin Clutterbuck||2 episodes|
|1982||The Letter||Geoff||Television film|
|1982||Marco Polo||Ali Ben Yussouf||2 episodes|
|1983||Bare Essence||Niko Theophilus||11 episodes|
|Grace Kelly||Prince Rainier of Monaco||Television film|
|1985||Evergreen||Paul Lerner||3 episodes|
|Braker||Alan Roswell||Television film|
|1986||American Playhouse||Willy Wax||Episode: "Rocket to the Moon"|
|1987||Grand Larceny||Flanagan||Television film|
|Miami Vice||Esteban Montoya||2 episodes|
|1988||The Dirty Dozen||Lindberger||1 episode|
|War and Remembrance||Philip Rule||4 episodes|
|Chain Letter||The Messenger of Death||Television film|
|1989||Dallas||Don Lockwood||13 episodes|
|Wonderworks: Young Charlie Chaplin||Charles Chaplin Sr.||6 episodes|
|Minder||Jack Last||Episode: "The Last Video Show"|
|Miami Vice||Gen. Manuel Borbon||Episode: "Freefall"|
|Dick Francis Mysteries: Blood Sport||David Cleveland||Television film|
|Dick Francis Mysteries: In The Frame||David Cleveland||Television film|
|Dick Francis Mysteries: Twice Shy||David Cleveland||Television film|
|1990||Perry Mason: The Case of the Desperate Deception||Andre Marchand||Television film|
|Columbo||Leland St. John||Episode: "Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo"|
|Mistress of Suspense||Steven Castle||Episode: "Sauce for the Goose"|
|1994||White Goods||Ian Deegan||Television film|
|1995||Soul Survivors||Otis Cooke||2 episodes|
|1996||Madson||John Madson||6 episodes|
|1997||The Naked Truth||Leland Banks||2 episodes|
|1998||Babylon 5: The River of Souls||Robert Bryson, PhD||Television film|
|1999||D.R.E.A.M. Team||Oliver Maxwell||Television film|
|2001||Thieves||Jack||Episode: "Jack's Back"|
|2002||The West Wing||Nikolai Ivanovich||Episode: "Enemies Foreign and Domestic"|
|In Deep||Jamie Lamb||2 episodes|
|Man and Boy||Marty Mann||Television film|
|2003||Trust||Alan Cooper-Fozzard||6 episodes|
|The Twilight Zone||Dr. Chandler||Episode: "Cold Fusion"|
|2004–2006||Deadwood||Al Swearengen||36 episodes|
Episode: "Dear Vikings"
|2009||Kings||King Silas Benjamin||12 episodes|
|2010||The Pillars of the Earth||Waleran Bigod||8 episodes|
|Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special||Tai Lung||Voice|
|2012||American Horror Story: Asylum||Leigh Emerson||2 episodes|
|2015||Ray Donovan||Andrew Finney||9 episodes|
|2016||Doctor Thorne||Sir Roger Scatcherd||3 episodes|
|Game of Thrones||Brother Ray||Episode: "The Broken Man"|
|2017–2021||American Gods||Mr. Wednesday||24 episodes|
|2019||Deadwood: The Movie||Al Swearengen||Television film; also executive producer|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sir Tobias Moore||Episode: "I'm Going To Make You a Star"|
Episode: "The Last Barfighter"
|2019||John Wick Hex||Winston|
|2004||Television Critics Association Awards||Individual Achievement in Drama||Deadwood||Won|
|2005||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor – Television Series Drama||Won|
|2005||Gotham Awards||Best Ensemble Cast||Nine Lives||Nominated|
|2005||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||Deadwood||Nominated|
|2005||Satellite Awards||Best Actor – Television Series Drama||Nominated|
|2005||Television Critics Association Awards||Individual Achievement in Drama||Nominated|
|2006||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2007||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2009||Annie Awards||Best Voice Acting in an Animated Featured Production||Kung Fu Panda||Nominated|
|2010||San Diego Film Critics Society Awards||Best Ensemble Performance||44 Inch Chest||Won|
|2010||Satellite Awards||Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film||The Pillars of the Earth||Nominated|
|2011||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|
|2011||Golden Nymph Awards||Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries||Nominated|
|2011||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Villain||Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides||Nominated|
|2018||Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Actor in a Drama Series||American Gods||Nominated|
|2019||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Television Movie (as executive producer)||Deadwood: The Movie||Nominated|