David Morrissey

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David Morrissey (2015)

David Morrissey (born June 21, 1964 in Kensington , Liverpool , England ) is a British actor , producer and director .


Training and acting debut

David Morrissey was born in Liverpool in 1964 and grew up there as the youngest of four children. Morrissey was inspired to take up the acting profession by Ken Loach's film Kes (1969) and began working on theatrical productions while at school. He left school at 16 and joined Everyman's Youth Theater. In 1983 he had his breakthrough in the lead role of Billy Rizley in the five-part television series One Summer , a Channel 4 production of two Liverpool youths who escape to northern Wales . After this television success, Morrissey left Liverpool and moved to London , where he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). This was followed by a two-year engagement at the Royal Shakespeare Company , after which he moved to the National Theater in London . After his cinema debut in Peter Greenaway's tragic comedy Drowning by Numbers (1988), Morrissey appeared increasingly in British television films and series, but was also seen in several cinema productions. In 2018 he played Mark Antony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in a sensational production at the newly founded Bridge Theater in London .

1997 was Morrissey, who seemed to be subscribed to the role of police officer or soldier because of his height of 1.91 m, in Adrian Shergold's eight-part television series Holding On . There he played a London tax auditor whose life got out of hand with the death of a young woman. Holding On received BAFTA for Best Dramatic Television Series in 1998 , and Morrissey was nominated for Best Television Actor by the Royal Television Society . After a leading role in Arnand Tucker's Oscar- nominated drama Hilary & Jackie about the relationship between the cellist Jacqueline du Pré and her sister Hilary, John Madden's Corelli's mandolin followed in 2001 . In the less successful war drama he took on the role of the German captain Weber, the opponent of the Italian captain Corelli, who was played by Nicolas Cage .

Success in television and cinema

David Morrissey 2010

David Morrissey celebrated his greatest success on British television with leading roles in David Yates 'six-part television series Murder on Page One ( State of Play ) and Stephen Frears ' television film The Deal , both of which were produced in 2003. In Murder on Page One , he played the English MP Stephen Collins , who got caught in the media crosshairs with the death of his assistant and a young black man. In The Deal , which takes on a fictional meeting of the leaders of the British Labor Party ( "New Labor" ), he played alongside Michael Sheen, the then incumbent British Prime Minister Gordon Brown . For The Deal , Morrissey received the Royal Television Society Prize, and for Murder on Page One he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Television Actor. In 2004, the glamorous entrepreneur Ripley Holden starred in the television series Blackpool , who opened an arcade in his hometown of Blackpool . The BBC production, which alternates between crime, mystery, drama and romance, was nominated for the Golden Globe in 2006 in the category of Best TV Series and Best TV Film.

In 2005 Morrissey got the lead role in Michael Caton-Jones ' film Basic Instinct - New Game for Catherine Tramell , the sequel to Paul Verhoeven's hit thriller Basic Instinct (1992). He is there in the role of the English criminal psychologist Dr. Michael Glass takes on the suspected femme fatale Catherine Tramell, who is again played by Sharon Stone . That same year, Morrissey starred in supporting roles in Stephen Woolley's Stoned , a biography of the Rolling Stones ' co-founder Brian Jones , and in the thriller Derailed , in which Clive Owen , Jennifer Aniston and Vincent Cassel were his film partners. In 2006 he starred opposite Hilary Swank in Stephen Hopkins ' horror film The Reaping . In 2012 and 2013 he played the lead role of the governor Philip Blake in the American TV series The Walking Dead .

Work as a producer and director

In the late 1990s he founded the independent production company Tubedale Films with his brother Paul and his wife Esther Freud. With her, he co-produced Andy Shelley's 12-minute short film The Tail and Patrice Leconte's award-winning tragic comedy The Second Life of Monsieur Manesquier, starring Johnny Hallyday and Jean Rochefort . Before that, Morrissey had tried to succeed as a director with short films. After the short film Barber Shop , for which he wrote the screenplay and which he also produced, he made the two 35 mm short films A Secret Audience and Bring Me Your Love in 1998 and 2000 respectively . While A Secret Audience was staged in London's West End , Bring Me Your Love was shown in British cinemas as the supporting film for Simon Cellan Jones ' comedy Some Voices , in which Morrissey himself stars. His second short film has been shown at several international film festivals, including the Edinburgh International Film Festival .

A year after Bring Me Your Love was created for the BBC Sweet Revenge , on the filming of which he worked with fellow actor Paul McGann . For the story of a London history professor (McGann) who helps people get revenge on a part-time job, Morrissey was nominated for the 2002 BAFTA Award for best television director. In 2004 he directed the two-part Passer-By, also produced for the BBC . With the drama about a London X-ray assistant (played by James Nesbitt ), who provides important information in a rape case, Morrissey built on his earlier successes as a filmmaker.

David Morrissey, who plays the diatonic harmonica in his spare time and does sports such as boxing , darts and fencing , is married to the writer Esther Freud , Sigmund Freud's great-granddaughter and daughter of the painter Lucian Freud . The couple live in London and have three children, a daughter and two sons.


Actor (selection)


  • 1998: A Secret Audience (short film)
  • 2000: Bring Me Your Love (short film)
  • 2001: Sweet Revenge (TV)
  • 2004: Passer By (TV)
  • 2009: Don't Worry About Me


  • 2009: Don't Worry About Me


British Academy Television Award

  • 2002: Nominated for Best New Television Director for Sweet Revenge
  • 2004: Nominated for Best Television Actor for Murder on Page One

Royal Television Society

  • 1998: Nominated for Best Actor for Holding On
  • 2004: Best Actor for The Deal

Broadcasting Press Guild

  • 2010: Nominated for Best Actor for Yorkshire Killer

TV Guide Award

  • 2013: nominated as Favorite Villain for The Walking Dead

Saturn Award

Web links