Max Beesley
Beesley in The Reckoning in 2011
Maxton Gig Beesley Jr.

(1971-04-16) 16 April 1971 (age 53)
Alma materGuildhall School of Music and Drama
Occupation(s)Actor, musician, writer, producer, director, composer
Years active1983–present
SpouseJennifer Noelle

Maxton Gig Beesley Jr. (born 16 April 1971) is an English actor and musician. His television and film credits include The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997), The Match (1999), Hotel (2001), Kill Me Later (2001), The Last Minute (2001), Bodies (2004-2006), The Last Enemy (2008), Survivors (2008–2010), Mad Dogs (2011-2013), Suits (2013), Empire (2015-2016), Ordinary Lies (2015), Jamestown (2017-2019), The Outsider (2020), The Midwich Cuckoos (2022), Operation Fortune (2023) and Hijack (2023). In 2024, he starred as boxing promoter Henry Collins in Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen (2024).

Early life

Beesley was born on 16 April 1971 in Burnage, Manchester.[1][2] His father, Maxton Beesley Sr, is a professional jazz drummer and actor,[2] and his mother was a jazz singer who performed under the stage name Chris Marlowe.[3] He has a step-brother, Jason Milligan, who is also an actor.[4] His middle name was inspired by the American actor Gig Young.[3]

Beesley has studied at the Chetham's School of Music,[5] and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.[6] Beesley is an advocate for method acting,[3] being tutored by Sheila Gray, owner of the independent acting studio in Manhattan.[7]



Beesley came to prominence with his first major acting role in BBC's The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling,[3] a 1997 television mini-series based on the book of the same name. In 1999, he played the lead role of Wullie Smith, in the Scottish comedy film The Match, working with Isla Blair, Samantha Fox and Richard E Grant.[3]

In 2001, he played a bank robber in the film Kill Me Later, alongside Selma Blair.[3] The same year, he starred as Antonio in Mike Figgis' movie Hotel.[3] In 2004, he starred in the ethics challenging BBC Three dark medical drama Bodies,[2] which ran until 2006, and won best drama at the Royal Television Society awards.[3] In 2006, he starred as Charlie, the hotel Deputy Manager in the BBC One series Hotel Babylon.[3]

In June 2007, Beesley starred in the ITV series Talk to Me.[1] He also starred in the film Red Roses and Petrol,[1] alongside Malcolm McDowell, and in the BBC One thriller The Last Enemy,[1] with Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Carlyle. In October 2008, he was one of the lead characters in BBC One's remake of the 1970s drama Survivors,[1] as remorseless former criminal Tom Price. The series consisted of six episodes, with a second series of six episodes transmitted in January 2010. He starred in the ITV drama The Reckoning in April 2011.[1] Beesley gained more exposure with American audiences with a recurring role on Suits,[1] in 2013 and from October 2015 with another recurring role, this time in the US spy drama Homeland,[1] opposite Claire Danes, as ex-British special forces bodyguard Mike Brown. From 2016 to 2018 he starred in Jamestown as Henry Sharrow, depicting the first British settlers to colonise Virginia in 1609.[1]

He was cast as Seale Bolton in The Outsider on HBO in June 2019, which aired from January 2020.[1] In 2021, he starred as Ben Harris in Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, opposite Jason Statham.[1] 2021 also saw him return to television, starring in The Midwich Cuckoos opposite Keeley Hawes for Sky TV.[1] In 2022, Beesley joined the cast of Hijack for Apple TV opposite Idris Elba and Neil Maskell.[1]

In 2024, he starred as boxing promoter Henry Collins in Guy Ritchie's The Gentleman for Netflix, alongside Theo James, Kaya Scodelario, and Ray Winstone.[8][9]

Voice and advertising

Beesley is also a voice over artist and has worked for multiple TV advertisements and documentaries including ITV, NFU Mutual's insurance, Energizer's lithium batteries, and PC World.[10] He also provided the voiceover for Manchester United's season review DVD.[when?] He appeared in a TV campaign for the UK recruitment company Jobsite, and was also featured on their homepage.


Beesley is also a session musician, and solo artist, having had a successful career before becoming an actor. He was a chorister at Manchester Cathedral and studied at Chetham's School of Music.[11] He also studied percussion and classical piano at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with soul singer Omar and toured with the Brand New Heavies on keyboards and percussion. He has also toured or recorded with George Benson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, The JB's and Zero 7. He is also a vibraphone player.[12]

Beesley has performed in concert as a percussionist and pianist for Robbie Williams, Take That, Jamiroquai, and the Paul Weller Movement.[11] He played percussion and piano at Williams' Knebworth gigs in summer 2003 and at Hyde Park for Live 8 London. Williams' first concert of his Close Encounters Tour in Perth on 30 November 2006 saw Beesley as percussionist for the second half of the show. He also played drums during the performance of "Rudebox" at Williams' second Brisbane concert and during a BBC Electric Proms show.

In 1989, at the age of 18, his first ever boss was Paul Weller.[6] In 1993, Beesley was a member of the jazz band Incognito, but in 1994, after an eight-month tour with them, decided to end his music career and start acting.[12] On 28 October 2006, Beesley appeared as a special guest pianist for James Brown during his performance at the Roundhouse in London as part of the BBC's Electric Proms festival.[13] In 2020, he recorded his first solo album titled Groove Spectrum at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles with Grammy-winning producer/mixer Al Schmitt mixing the album. It features Paul Weller, Robbie Williams, Fred Durst, Lisa Stansfield, jazz pianist Christian Sands, Tommy Blaize, Antonique Smith, John Turrell, Omar, and Francci Richards. A multi-instrumentalist, Beesley wrote, played, and scored the album.

He recorded his first solo instrumental album Zeus in January 2023 in Los Angeles with luminaries Steve Gadd, Walt Fowler, Christian Sands, Dean Parks, Luis Conte, and producing collaborator Jerry Meehan on bass. The album will be released towards the end of 2023 through Legere Records and features the vibraphone, one of the instruments Beesley is mainly associated with. He wrote, arranged, mixed, and produced the album under his "Max Beesley’s HIGH VIBES" banner, and will tour the record in 2024 in both Europe and Japan. Critics cite the record as being heavily influenced by the music of Herbie Hancock, The Brecker Brothers, and vibraphonist Roy Ayers.


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Last of the Summer Wine Colin's mate 1 episode
1986 Last of the Summer Wine Passerby 1 episode
1997 The Broker's Man Joe Goodwin 2 episodes
1997 The History of Tom Jones: A Foundling Tom Jones / Reverend Summer 5 episodes
1999 Five Seconds to Spare William
1999 The Match Wullie Smith
2000 It Was an Accident Mickey Cousins
2001 Kill Me Later Charlie Anders
2001 The Last Minute Billy Byrne
2001 Hotel Antonio
2001 Glitter Julian "Dice" Black
2002 Fields of Gold Mark Hurst
2002 Anita and Me Hairy Neddy
2003 The Emperor's Wife Emperor
2003 Red Roses and Petrol Johnny Doyle
2004 Torque Luther [2]
2004 The Porter Porter Short film
2004–2006 Bodies Mr. Rob Lake 17 episodes[2]
2005 Bloodlines DC Jake Bannerman
2005 Hustle Jake Henry 1 episode
2005 Her Name is Carla Jack
2005 Shameless Funeral Director 1 episode
2006–2009 Hotel Babylon Charlie Edwards 22 episodes
2007 Talk to Me Mitch Moore 4 episodes
2007–2008 London Ink Narrator 6 episodes
2008 The Last Enemy Michael Ezard 5 episodes
2008–2010 Survivors Tom Price 12 episodes
2011–2013 Mad Dogs Woody 14 episodes
2011 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Thomas Stewart Series 11, Episode 3: "Blood Moon"
2011 The Reckoning Mark Dobson 2 episodes
2013 Suits Stephen Huntley 7 episodes
2013 Pawn Billy
2015 Ordinary Lies Mike Hill 6 episodes
2015 Strike Back Ray McQueen 2 episodes
2015 Homeland Mike Brown 1 episode
2015–2016 Empire Guy 3 episodes
2017–2019 Jamestown Henry Sharrow
2019 Line of Descent Commissioner Bates Indian film released on ZEE5[14]
2020 The Outsider Seale Bolton 4 episodes
2022 Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre Ben Harris
2022 The Midwich Cuckoos DCI Paul Haynes 7 episodes
2023 Hijack DI Daniel O’Farrel Main role; 7 episodes
2024 The Gentlemen Henry Collins 3 episodes


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Max Beesley Credits". Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Max Beesley - Biography". Hello Magazine. 8 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "BBC - Drama - People Index Max Beesley". Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Jason Milligan (III)". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Max Beesley: 'Why falling in love with Spice Girl Mel B nearly ruined my career'". 12 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b Rich Pelley (13 June 2022). "'I once played drums for Stevie Wonder': Max Beesley's honest playlist".
  7. ^ "Sheila Gray independent acting studio - Client List". Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  8. ^ Megan Bull (7 March 2024). "The Gentlemen's Max Beesley reveals what it's really like working with Guy Ritchie".
  9. ^ Cordero, Rosy (26 June 2023). "Guy Ritchie's Netflix Series The Gentlemen Adds Max Beesley". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
  10. ^ "Press Releases: Julie Graham, Max Beesley, Nikki Amuka-Bird & Paterson Joseph star in Survivors for BBC One". BBC Press Office. 30 May 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2008.
  11. ^ a b "Notable Alumni". Chetham's School of Music. Retrieved 21 July 2011. Ex-Chet's students include [...] actor Max Beesley, who achieved first recognition as percussionist and keyboard player with Jamiroquai, Take That and Robbie Williams
  12. ^ a b "Max Beesley Discography at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  13. ^ Dowden, Neil. "James Brown + The Zutons @ Roundhouse, London". musicOMH. Retrieved 21 July 2011. Max Beesley played piano for JB to sing Ray Charles' Georgia on My Mind
  14. ^ Kay2019-10-21T23:16:00+01:00, Jeremy. "Brendan Fraser New Delhi-set crime thriller 'Line Of Descent' lands at Gravitas Ventures (exclusive)". Screen. Retrieved 30 April 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)