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James Wilby
Born (1958-02-20) 20 February 1958 (age 65)
Rangoon, Burma, Myanmar
EducationGrey College, Durham University, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1982–present
SpouseShana Louise

James Jonathon Wilby (born 20 February 1958) is an English actor.

Early life and education

Wilby was born in Rangoon, Burma to a corporate executive father.[1] He was educated at Terrington Hall School, North Yorkshire and Sedbergh School in Cumbria (prior to 1974 in West Riding of Yorkshire), and from there went on to study for a degree in Mathematics at Grey College, University of Durham, and then at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


Wilby's first appearance on screen was in the Oxford Film Company 1982 production Privileged alongside Hugh Grant. He is known to an international audience for roles in Maurice (1987), for which he received Venice Film Festival's Best Actor award with co-star Hugh Grant. He then starred in A Handful of Dust (1988), for which he won the Bari Film Festival Best Actor award. Then came A Tale of Two Cities (1989), Howards End (1992), the critically acclaimed Regeneration (1997), Ismail Merchant's Cotton Mary (1999), Gosford Park (2001) and Alain Robbe-Grillet's C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle (2006) co-starring Arielle Dombasle which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

On stage, he starred in the 1995 revival of John Osborne's A Patriot for Me by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre.[2] He then appeared in a production of Helping Harry at the Jermyn Street Theatre in 2001; and in 2004 as the title character in a run of Don Juan at the Lyric Theatre. He has also starred in On Emotion (2008) at the Soho Theatre; The Consultant (2011) by Neil Fleming and the Hydrocracker Theatre Company at Theatre503 in London; and in tours of Terence Rattigan's Less Than Kind (2012) and Patrick Hamilton's Gaslight (2019).[3]

Personal life

He is married to Shana Louise and has four children.[4][5]

From 1994 to 2015, Wilby owned The Laines, an 18th-century country house in Plumpton, East Sussex, near Lewes. It was the childhood home of Queen Camilla.[6]



Year Film Role Notes
1982 Privileged Jamie
1985 Dreamchild Baker
A Room with a View Party Guest Uncredited
1987 Maurice Maurice Hall
1988 A Handful of Dust Tony Last
A Summer Story Mr. Ashton
1989 Conspiracy Stringer
1991 The Siege of Venice Milord Runbiff
Adam Bede Arthur Donnithorne
1992 Howards End Charles Wilcox
Immaculate Conception Alistair
1994 La partie d'échecs Lord Staunton
1997 Regeneration 2nd Lt. Siegfried Sassoon
1998 An Ideal Husband Sir Robert Chiltern
1999 Tom's Midnight Garden Uncle Alan Kitson
Cotton Mary John MacIntosh
2001 Jump Tomorrow Nathan
Gosford Park Freddie Nesbitt
2004 De-Lovely Edward Thomas
2006 Gradiva (C'est Gradiva qui vous appelle) John Locke
2008 Lady Godiva Leofric
2009 Shadows in the Sun Robert
2011 We Need to Talk About Keiran Professor Hugh Merrill
2016 ChickLit Geoffrey
The Swing of It Jim Short film
2017 The Sense of an Ending David Ford
2019 Salt Conrad Short film
2020 The Duke Judge Aarvold
2022 Masquerade Thomas
TBA Vindication Swim Mr. Havers [7]


Year Film Role Notes
1984 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Young Barclay Episode: "The Crooked Man"
The Bill Higgins Episode: "A Friend in Need"
1985 Dutch Girls Dundine TV movie
1988 The Storyteller Prince Episode: "Sapsorrow"
1989 A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton TV mini-series
Mother Love Christopher "Kit" Vesey TV mini-series
1991 Screen One Michael Evans Episode: "Tell Me That You Love Me"
1993 You, Me and It Charles Henderson TV mini-series, 3 episodes
Lady Chatterley Sir Clifford Chatterley 4 episodes
1994 Crocodile Shoes Ade Lynn TV mini-series, 6 episodes
1996 The Treasure Seekers Henry Carlisle TV movie
Witness Against Hitler Helmuth James von Moltke TV movie
Tales from the Crypt Nick Marvin Episode: "Horrors in the Night"
1997 The Woman in White Sir Percival Glyde TV movie
Original Sin Gerard Etienne TV series
1999 The Dark Room Dr. Alan Protheroe TV movie
2000 Trial & Retribution James McCready 2 episodes
2001 Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years Zippo Montefiore 1 episode
2002 Bertie and Elizabeth King George VI, aka "Bertie" TV film
Westlife: Unbreakable – The Greatest Hits, Volume I High class customer ("Uptown Girl") video
George Eliot: A Scandalous Life George Spencer TV film
2003 Murder in Mind Daniel Morton/Sir Richard Morton Episode: "Echoes"
Sparkling Cyanide Stephen Farraday TV movie
2004 Island at War Sen. James Dorr TV mini-series, 3 episodes
Silent Witness Matt Gibb TV series, 2 episodes: "Nowhere Fast"
Foyle's War Major Cornwall Episode: "They Fought in the Fields"
2005 Jericho Alan Mills TV series (1 episode: "The Hollow Men")
2006 Surviving Disaster David Sheahan Episode: "Fastnet Yacht Race"
Agatha Christie's Marple: The Sittaford Mystery Stanley Kirkwood TV movie
Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire Ofonius Tigellinus Episode: "Nero"
2007 Lewis Hugh Mallory Episode: "Expiation"
The Last Days of the Raj Lord Mountbatten TV movie
Clapham Junction Julian Rowan TV movie
Little Devil Adrian Bishop TV mini-series, Episode: "Episode #1.3"
Impact Earth Josh Hayden TV movie
2008 A Risk Worth Taking Patrick Trenchard TV film
Agatha Christie's Poirot Andrew Restarick Episode: "Third Girl"
2010 Midsomer Murders Edward Milton Episode: "The Made-to-Measure Murders"
2011 Secret Diary of a Call Girl Henry Episode: "Episode #4.4"
2012 Titanic J. Bruce Ismay TV series, 4 episodes
The Best Possible Taste Wilfred De'Ath BBC TV movie
2013 The Great Train Robbery John Wheater TV mini-series, Episode: A Copper's Tale
2014 Law & Order: UK Charles Hutton Episode: Bad Romance
Endeavour ACC Clive Deare Episode: Neverland
2015 Death in Paradise Elias Thomson Episode: Stab in the Dark
2015 Strike Back Charles Ridley TV series, 5 episodes
2016–2017 Casualty Archie Grayling 6 episodes
2016 Churchill's Secret Brendan Bracken TV movie
2017–2018 Poldark Lord Falmouth 10 episodes
2018 Father Brown Sefton Scott Episode: "The Cat of Mastigatus"

See also


  1. ^ "James Wilby Biography (1958-)".
  2. ^ A Patriot for Me by John Osborne, Barbican Theatre, 1995. Archived 28 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Ransome, Jeremy (22 October 2019). "THEATRE REVIEW: Gaslight". Spalding Today. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  4. ^ Wylie, Ian. 'Titanic' (production notes), pp.63-64.
  5. ^ The Telegraph, 'Claret's more than just a stage', 21 August 2004.
  6. ^ Thompson, Flora (16 March 2015). "Asking price for Duchess of Cornwall's former home slashed by £100,000". The Argus. Retrieved 14 October 2022.
  7. ^ Yossman, K.J. (28 January 2022). "Elliott Hasler's 'Vindication Swim' Biopic Casts Douglas Hodge, James Wilby (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.