|Born||17 October 1966|
Sedgefield, County Durham, England
|Alma mater||Bretton Hall College of Education|
|Occupation(s)||Actor, screenwriter, television producer, comedian, novelist, director|
Mark Gatiss (/ˈɡeɪtɪs/ (listen); born 17 October 1966) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, director, producer and novelist. His work includes writing for and acting in the television series Doctor Who, Sherlock, Game of Thrones and Dracula. Together with Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Jeremy Dyson, he is a member of the comedy team The League of Gentlemen.
Gatiss was born in Sedgefield, County Durham, England, to Winifred Rose (née O'Kane, 1931–2003) and Maurice Gatiss (1931–2021). He grew up opposite the Victorian psychiatric hospital there, and later in Trimdon, before his father, a colliery engineer, took a job as engineer at the School Aycliffe Mental Hospital in Heighington. His family background is working class. His passions included watching Doctor Who and Hammer Horror films on television, reading Sherlock Holmes and H.G. Wells, and collecting fossils. All those interests have influenced his creative work.
One of his early forays into theatre was in Darlington in March 1983, playing Dad, in The Waiting Room by Tony Stowers, a macabre and surreal Pinteresque comedy, which explores a disintegrating family unit. In July of the same year, he would have acted in Stowers' follow-up, A Sense of Insecurity, but was unable to take the role because his father insisted he take his exams instead.
Gatiss attended Heighington Church of England Primary School, and Woodham Comprehensive School in Newton Aycliffe. At the latter, he was two years ahead of Paul Magrs, who also went on to write Doctor Who fiction. Gatiss then studied Theatre Arts at Bretton Hall College, an arts college affiliated to the University of Leeds.
Gatiss is a member of the sketch comedy team The League of Gentlemen (along with fellow performers Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and co-writer Jeremy Dyson). He first met his co-writers and performers at Bretton Hall, Yorkshire, a drama school which he attended after finishing school and having spent a gap year travelling around Europe.
The League of Gentlemen began as a stage act in 1995, which won the Perrier Award at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1997. In the same year the show transferred to BBC Radio 4 as On the Town with the League of Gentlemen, and later arrived on television on BBC Two in 1999. The television programme has earned Gatiss and his colleagues a British Academy Television Award, a Royal Television Society Award and the prestigious Golden Rose of Montreux.
In 2005, the film The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse was released, to generally positive reviews.
Shearsmith and Pemberton reunited in 2009 to create a similarly dark BBC sitcom, Psychoville, which featured an episode guest-starring Gatiss. The three reunited again in 2012 to film a series of sketches for the fourth series of CBBC show Horrible Histories.
Outside The League, Gatiss' television work has included writing for the 2001 revival of Randall & Hopkirk and script editing the popular sketch show Little Britain in 2003, making guest appearances in both. In 2001 he guested in Spaced as a villainous government employee modelled on the character of Agent Smith from The Matrix film series. In the same year he appeared in several editions of the documentary series SF:UK. Other acting appearances include the comedy-drama In the Red (BBC Two, 1998), the macabre sitcom Nighty Night (BBC Three, 2003), Agatha Christie's Marple as Ronald Hawes in "The Murder at the Vicarage", a guest appearance in the Vic & Bob series Catterick in 2004 and the live 2005 remake of the classic science fiction serial The Quatermass Experiment. A second series of Nighty Night and the new comedy-drama Funland, the latter co-written by his League cohort Jeremy Dyson, both featured Gatiss and aired on BBC Three in the autumn of 2005. He appeared as Johnnie Cradock, alongside Nighty Night star Julia Davis as Fanny Cradock, in Fear of Fanny on BBC Four in October 2006, and featured as Ratty in a new production of The Wind in the Willows shown on BBC One on 1 January 2007. He wrote and starred in the BBC Four docudrama The Worst Journey in the World, based on the memoir by polar explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard.
Gatiss has also made three credited appearances in Doctor Who. In 2007, he played Professor Lazarus in "The Lazarus Experiment". In 2011, he returned in the Series 6 episode "The Wedding of River Song" as a character known as Gantok, and in the 2017 Christmas special "Twice Upon A Time" as "The Captain".
Also in 2007, he appeared as Robert Louis Stevenson in Jekyll, a BBC One serial by his fellow Doctor Who scriptwriter Steven Moffat. In 2008, he appeared in Clone as Colonel Black.
In 2010, he portrayed Malcolm McLaren in the BBC drama Worried About the Boy which focused on the life and career of Boy George, and also appeared as Mycroft Holmes in the BBC drama Sherlock, which he co-created with Steven Moffat. He adapted H.G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon into a television film of the same name for the BBC, also playing Professor Cavor. He also made a three-part BBC documentary series entitled A History of Horror, a personal exploration of the history of horror cinema. This was followed on 30 October 2012 with a look at European horror with the documentary Horror Europa.
On 25 December 2013, a version of the ghost story "The Tractate Middoth" by M. R. James and adapted by Gatiss was broadcast on BBC Two as part of the long-running A Ghost Story for Christmas series. It starred Sacha Dhawan, John Castle, Louise Jameson, Una Stubbs, David Ryall, Eleanor Bron, Nick Burns and Roy Barraclough. It was followed on 25 December 2013 by a screening on BBC2 of a new documentary by Gatiss titled M. R. James: Ghost Writer. The programme saw Gatiss explore the work of James and look at how his work still inspires contemporary horror today.
He appeared in season four of Game of Thrones in 2014 playing Tycho Nestoris and reprised this role in season five and season seven.
In the BBC's 2015 series Wolf Hall, Gatiss played King Henry VIII's secretary Stephen Gardiner. He also appeared in Channel 4's Coalition in 2015.
Gatiss appears as the Prince Regent (later George IV) in the eight-part historical fiction television drama series Taboo (2017) first broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 7 January 2017 and in the United States on FX on 10 January 2017.
He appeared as a modern-day incarnation/descendant of Count Dracula's servile companion Renfield in the series of his own co-creation, Dracula in the third and final episode, "The Dark Compass".
In April 2022, Gatiss starred as Lawrence in the seventh series opener of Inside No. 9.
Gatiss appears frequently in BBC Radio productions, including the science fiction comedy Nebulous and The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes story The Shameful Betrayal of Miss Emily Smith. In 2009, he was The Man in Black when BBC Radio 7 revived the character (originally played by Valentine Dyall and Edward de Souza) to introduce a series of five creepy audio dramas. He is also involved with theatre, having penned the play The Teen People in the early 1990s, and appeared in a successful run of the play 'Art' in 2003 at the Whitehall Theatre in London. In film, he has starred in Sex Lives of the Potato Men (2004) and had minor roles in Birthday Girl (2001), Bright Young Things (2003), Match Point (2005) and Starter for 10 (2006). The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, a film based on the television series, co-written by and starring Gatiss, was released in June 2005. He also plays the recurring character of Gold in the audio revival of Sapphire and Steel produced by Big Finish Productions. Gatiss also appeared in Edgar Wright's fake trailer for Grindhouse, Don't, a homage to 1970s' Hammer Horrors.
In the 2008 English language re-release of the cult 2006 Norwegian animated film Free Jimmy, Gatiss voiced the character of "Jakki," a heavy-set, bizarrely dressed biker member of the "Lappish Mafia." In this his voice is used along with the other actors of League of Gentlemen such as Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. The dialogue was written by Simon Pegg and other actors included Pegg himself, Woody Harrelson and David Tennant, who worked with Gatiss on Doctor Who.
He appeared in the stage adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother at the Old Vic in London from 25 August-24 November 2007. He won much critical acclaim for his portrayal of the transgender character Agrado.
He was scheduled to perform in Darker Shores by Michael Punter, a ghost story for all the family, at Hampstead Theatre 3 December 2009 – 16 January 2010 but had to withdraw after a serious family illness. Tom Goodman-Hill took over his role.
In March 2010, he was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme on BBC Radio 3.
From December 2010 to March 2011, Gatiss was playing the role of Bernard in Alan Ayckbourn's Season's Greetings at the Royal National Theatre in London alongside Catherine Tate.
In December 2011, he appeared in an episode of The Infinite Monkey Cage in an episode entitled The Science of Christmas, alongside Brian Cox, Robin Ince and Richard Dawkins.
In January 2012, he took the role of Brazen in The Recruiting Officer at the Donmar Theatre, London. From 18 October – 24 November that year he was Charles I in the Hampstead Theatre production of 55 Days by Howard Brenton, a play dramatising the military coup that killed a King and forged a Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell.
In December 2013, Gatiss joined the cast of the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus as Senator of Rome, Menenius. The play went from 6 December 2013 through 13 February 2014. For his performance, Gatiss received a nomination for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
In May 2017, Gatiss began a recurring role on The Secret History Of Hollywood, a series of podcast biopics on Golden Age-era Hollywood. Its 11-part series, Shadows tells the story of Val Lewton's life and career, with Gatiss providing the introductions for each episode.
In November 2018, Gatiss appeared as the lead in a revival of The Madness of George III at Nottingham Playhouse. The production was broadcast live to cinemas as part of National Theatre Live.
In October 2021, Gatiss wrote and appeared as Jacob Marley in a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story by Charles Dickens at the Nottingham Playhouse before transferring to the Alexandra Palace in December 2021.
In May 2022, Gatiss directed The Unfriend, a new play by Steven Moffat at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, starring Amanda Abbington, Frances Barber and Reece Shearsmith. The play transferred to London's West End Criterion Theatre in January 2023. In February 2023, Gatiss will direct The Way Old Friends Do a new play by Ian Hallard at the Birmingham Rep.
In April 2023, Gatiss played as Sir John Gielgud in The Motive and the Cue, a new play written by Jack Thorne and directed by Sam Mendes at London's National Theatre. The story of how Richard Burton (played by Johnny Flynn) and Gielgud clashed as they staged Hamlet on Broadway in 1964, the play has received good reviews, particularly the two leads. 
At the age of eleven, Gatiss won a school literary competition with a short science fiction story "The Anti-Noise Machine", published in a booklet by Darlington Borough Council. Gatiss had a childhood interest in the BBC science-fiction show Doctor Who and devoted much of his early writing to the series, despite its 1989 cancellation. Gatiss's earliest published work as a professional writer was a sequence of novels in Virgin Publishing's New Adventures series of continuation stories and novels. In these works, he tried to correct the problems which had led to the show's decline in the late 1980s.
The first television scripts Gatiss wrote were for a BBV direct-to-video series called "P.R.O.B.E." Gatiss's four scripts each featured a different actor who had played Doctor Who's titular character of the Doctor: Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. The videos have since been released on DVD despite Gatiss once commenting that he would not authorise their re-release, as he regarded them as a learning exercise.
His other early contributions to the Doctor Who franchise included four novels, two audio plays for BBV and two audio plays for Big Finish Productions.
Gatiss has written nine episodes for the 2005 revival of the show. His first, "The Unquiet Dead," was the third episode of the revived series in 2005; the second, "The Idiot's Lantern," aired the following year in the second series. Although he acted in the third series and proposed an ultimately unproduced episode for the fourth, involving Nazis and the British Museum, it took until 2010 for Gatiss to return as writer. He wrote "Victory of the Daleks" for that year's fifth series and went on to contribute "Night Terrors" for series 6, "Cold War" and "The Crimson Horror" for series 7 and "Robot of Sherwood" for series 8. He also wrote "Sleep No More" for series 9 and "Empress of Mars" for series 10.
He has also contributed to the franchise outside the main show. His early work (see above) was primarily Doctor Who expanded media, and Gatiss wrote and performed in the comedy spoof sketches The Web of Caves, The Kidnappers and The Pitch of Fear for the BBC's "Doctor Who Night" in 1999 with David Walliams.
He penned the 2013 docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time, a drama depicting the origins of the series, to celebrate the show's fiftieth anniversary. It ended with a cameo by Gatiss's League of Gentleman castmate Reece Shearsmith, portraying Patrick Troughton, who played the Second Doctor. A "Making Of" feature about this programme, narrated by Gatiss, was made available on the BBC Red Button service, and also posted on the BBC's official YouTube channel.
He has written for Doctor Who Magazine, including a column written under the pseudonym "Sam Kisgart," which he was originally credited as in the Doctor Who Unbound audio play Sympathy for the Devil for his role as the Master. "Sam Kisgart" is an anagram of "Mark Gatiss", and is also the name under which he was credited for his cameo in Psychoville.
With Steven Moffat, with whom Gatiss worked on Doctor Who and Jekyll, he also co-created and co-produced Sherlock. Premiering in 2010, the series is a modernised adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories, in which Gatiss plays the role of Sherlock's brother Mycroft. Gatiss has influence on all episodes as producer and he has written four episodes, one for each series: the finale, "The Great Game," for the first series, "The Hounds of Baskerville" for the second, "The Empty Hearse" for the third and "The Six Thatchers" for the fourth. He also co-wrote "Many Happy Returns," a mini-episode released in late December 2013 which acts as a prelude to the third series, with Steven Moffat; the episode "The Sign of Three" with Moffat and Steve Thompson; and "The Abominable Bride", a special episode released in early January 2016, with Moffat. Finally, he co-wrote the final episode of Sherlock, "The Final Problem", with Moffat, released in January 2017.
Gatiss has written several non-fiction works, including a biography of the film director James Whale and the documentary M.R. James: Ghost Writer, which Gatiss also presented. The documentary followed Gatiss's directorial debut with an adaption of one of James's stories, "The Tractate Middoth", for BBC Two, which was broadcast on Christmas Day 2013. Gatiss also wrote, co-produced and appeared in Crooked House, a ghost story that was broadcast on BBC Four during Christmas 2008.
His first non-Doctor Who novel, The Vesuvius Club, was published in 2004, for which he was nominated in the category of Best Newcomer in the 2006 British Book Awards. A follow-up, The Devil in Amber, was released on 6 November 2006. It transports the main character, Lucifer Box, from the Edwardian era in the first book to the roaring Twenties/Thirties. A third and final Lucifer Box novel, Black Butterfly, was published on 3 November 2008 by Simon & Schuster.
In 2017, Gatiss and Steven Moffat re-teamed to write three episodes for TV miniseries Dracula. The series premiered on BBC One on 1 January 2020, and was broadcast over three consecutive days. The three episodes were then released on Netflix on 4 January 2020. In June 2021, a new adaptation of The Ghosts by Antonia Barber, written and directed by Gatiss for Sky One, was announced. It broadcast on 24 December.
Gatiss is gay and was featured on The Independent on Sunday's Pink List of influential gay people in the UK in 2010, 2011 and 2014. He married actor Ian Hallard in 2008 in Middle Temple, in the City of London. Gatiss once built a Victorian era laboratory in his north London home, as the fulfilment of a childhood dream. Gatiss is an atheist. The University of Huddersfield awarded him an honorary doctorate of letters in 2003.
|1994||P.R.O.B.E.: The Zero Imperative||Dr. William Bruffin||Video; also writer|
|1995||P.R.O.B.E.: The Devil of Winterborne||Georgie||Video; also writer|
|1996||P.R.O.B.E.: Unnatural Selection||Mr. Emerson||Video; also writer|
|2003||Bright Young Things||Estate agent|
|2004||Sex Lives of the Potato Men||Jeremy|
|2004||Shaun of the Dead||Radio Presenter With 'Spaceship' Theory / Wildlife voiceover (voice)||Uncredited|
|2005||The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy||Additional Vogon voices||Collectively credited as "The League of Gentlemen"|
|2005||Match Point||Ping pong player|
|2005||The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse||Various characters / Himself||Also writer|
|2005||Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit||Miss Blight (voice)|
|2006||Starter for 10||Bamber Gascoigne|
|2006||The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You!||Various|
|2007||Grindhouse||Eye Gouging Victim||Segment: Don't|
|2008||Free Jimmy||Jakki (voice)||English dub|
|2016||Dad's Army||Colonel Theakes|
|2016||Our Kind of Traitor||Billy Matlock|
|2016||Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie||Publisher|
|2016||Denial||Robert Jan van Pelt|
|2018||The Mercy||Ronald Hall|
|2018||Christopher Robin||Giles Winslow|
|2020||The Father||The Man|
|2021||The Sparks Brothers||Himself|
|2021||A Silent Imprisonment||Mr. Murphy||Short film|
|2021||The Road Dance||Doctor Maclean|
|2021||Operation Mincemeat||Ivor Montagu|
|2023||Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One||Filming|
|1993||Harry||Diner Manager||Episode #1.5|
|1994||Catherine Cookson's "The Dwelling Place"||Bowmer||Episode #1.3|
|1998||In the Red||Junior Detective||3 episodes|
|1998–1999||This Morning with Richard Not Judy||Various voices||18 episodes; uncredited|
|The League of Gentlemen||Various characters||Also co-creator and co-writer|
|2000||Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)||Inspector Large||Episode: "Drop Dead"; also writer|
|2001||Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible||Hang Man Chang||Episode: "Frenzy of Tongs"|
|2002||Robbie the Reindeer in Legend of the Lost Tribe||Viking (voice)||Television film|
|2003||Little Britain||Theatrical Agent||Episode: "Smallest Ant"|
|2004–2005||Nighty Night||Glenn Bulb||10 episodes; also writer|
|2004||Footballers' Wives||Teddy – Agent||Episode #3.7|
|2004||Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures||Kenyon||Television film|
|2004||Agatha Christie's Marple||Ronald Hawes||Episode: "The Murder at the Vicarage"|
|2005||The Quatermass Experiment||John Patterson||Television film|
|2005||Funland||Ambrose Chapfel||4 episodes|
|2006||Fear of Fanny||Johnnie Cradock||Television film|
|2006||The Wind in the Willows||Ratty||Television film|
|2007||Gina's Laughing Gear||Episode: "Stairlift to Heaven"|
|Doctor Who||Professor Lazarus / Danny Boy / Gantok / The Captain||5 episodes; also writer|
|2007||The Worst Journey in the World||Apsley Cherry-Garrard||Television film; also writer|
|2007||Jekyll||Robert Louis Stevenson||Episode #1.5|
|2007||Consenting Adults||PC Butcher||Television film|
|2008||Sense and Sensibility||John Dashwood||Miniseries, 2 episodes|
|2008||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Leonard Boynton||Episode: "Appointment with Death"; also writer|
|2008||Clone||Colonel Black||6 episodes|
|2008||Crooked House||Curator||Miniseries, also creator and writer|
|2009||Psychoville||Jason Griffin||Episode: "David and Maureen"|
|2009||Spanish Flu: The Forgotten Fallen||Ernest Dunks||Television film|
|2010||Midsomer Murders||Rev. Giles Shawcross||Episode: "The Sword of Guillaume"|
|2010||Worried About the Boy||Malcolm McLaren||Television film|
|2010||The First Men in the Moon||Professor Cavor||Television film; also writer|
|2010||A History of Horror||Himself||Documentary; also writer|
|2010–2017||Sherlock||Mycroft Holmes||Also co-creator and writer of 6 episodes|
|2011||The Infinite Monkey Cage||Himself||Episode: "The Science of Christmas"|
|2011||The Crimson Petal and the White||Henry Rackham Junior||Miniseries, 2 episodes|
|2012||Being Human||Mr Snow||2 episodes|
|2012||Inspector George Gently||Stephen Groves||Episode: "The Lost Child"|
|2012||Horror Europa||Himself||Documentary; also writer|
|2013||Psychobitches||Joan Crawford||Episode #1.1|
|2013||Horrible Histories||Hollywood Producer #2||2 episodes; as part of "The League of Gentlemen"|
|2014–2017||Game of Thrones||Tycho Nestoris||4 episodes|
|2014||Mapp and Lucia||Major Benjy||3 episodes|
|2015||Wolf Hall||Stephen Gardiner||4 episodes|
|2015||Coalition||Peter Mandelson||Television film|
|2015||The Vote||Steven Crosswell||Television film|
|2015||London Spy||Rich||Episode: "Blue"|
|2016||Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge||The Partridge Playhouse Players (voice)||Episode: "Foxhunter + Radio Play"|
|2017||Taboo||Prince George||5 episodes|
|2017||Thunderbirds Are Go||Professor Quentin Questa (voice)||Episode: "Volcano!"|
|2017||Gunpowder||Robert Cecil||3 episodes|
|2018||The Dead Room||Radio Announcer (voice)||Television film; also writer|
|2019||Brexit: The Uncivil War||Peter Mandelson (voice)||Television film|
|2019||Good Omens||Harmony||Episode: "Hard Times"|
|2020||Dracula||Frank Renfield||Episode: "The Dark Compass", also co-creator and writer|
|2021||The Amazing Mr. Blunden||Mr Wickens||Television film; also writer and director|
|2022||Inside No. 9||Callum||Series 7 episode 1 |
|P.R.O.B.E.||The Zero Imperative (1994)
The Devil of Winterbourne (1995)
Unnatural Selection (1996)
Ghosts of Winterbourne (1996)
(released direct to video)
|Randall & Hopkirk||"Two Can Play at That Game" (2001)
|The League of Gentlemen||Also co-creator
22 episodes (1999–2002, 2017)
(with Jeremy Dyson, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith)
|The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse||Feature film (2005)
(with Jeremy Dyson, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith)
|Doctor Who||9 episodes;
|The Worst Journey in the World||TV film (2007)||BBC Four|
|Crooked House||Also creator
3 episodes (2008)
|Agatha Christie's Poirot||"Cat Among the Pigeons" (2008)
"Hallowe'en Party" (2010)
"The Big Four" (2013)
|Sherlock||7 episodes, 1 miniepisode, also co-creator (with Steven Moffat);
|The First Men in the Moon||TV film (2010)||BBC Four|
|An Adventure in Space and Time||TV film (2013)||BBC Two|
|A Ghost Story for Christmas||"The Tractate Middoth" (2013)
"The Dead Room" (2018)
"Martin's Close" (2019)
The Mezzotint (2021)
|BBC Two/BBC Four|
|The Lost Man of British Art, John Minton||Writer/Presenter (2018)||BBC|
|Dracula||Miniseries (2020)||BBC One|
|2013||The Tractate Middoth||Short film|
|2018||The Dead Room||Short film|
|2019||Martin's Close||Short film|
|2021||The Mezzotint||Short film|
|2021||The Amazing Mr. Blunden||TV film|
|2009||Darker Shores||Stokes||Michael Punter||Hampstead Theatre, London|
|2012||The Recruiting Officer||Captain Brazen||George Farquhar||Donmar Warehouse, London|
|2015||The Vote||Steven Crosswell||James Graham|
|2015||Three Days in the Country||Shpigelsky||Patrick Marber||Lyttelton Theatre, National Theatre|
|2019||Dark Sublime||Kosley the Computer||Michael Dennis||Trafalgar Theatre 2, West End|
|2023||The Motive and the Cue||Sir John Gielgud||Jack Thorne||Lyttelton Theatre, National Theatre|
There is still a 49% chance that his name will be mispronounced. So please welcome Mark Gatiss not Gatiss.
One Heighington alumnus is actor Mark Gatiss, the star of hit comedies The League of Gentlemen and Little Britain.
Coincidentally, another Doctor Who fan and novel writer, The League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss also went to Woodhall, where he was two years above Magrs and in the same drama group.
The League of Gentlemen star is set for a bonanza 2010. As well as co-creating the BBC's acclaimed Sherlock Holmes reboot, he'll also be seen in his adaptation of HG Wells' First Men in the Moon. An appearance in an Alan Ackybourn revival at the National Theatre is also mooted.
Amid all this activity, Gatiss found time, last spring, to get married. He and Ian have been together for nearly a decade... He and Ian are the devoted 'parents' of Bunsen, a Labrador retriever.