Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Richard Armitage Biography

Birth Name:
Richard Crispin Armitage
Birth Place:
Leicester, England

Fast Facts

  • Learned to tap dance at age 4 in order to correct pigeon toes
  • Played cello with a youth orchestra
  • Ran away to join a Budapest circus at age 17 in order to obtain his Equity Card
  • He stayed for six months, working with the jugglers and trapeze artists
  • Studied musical theater as a young man; appeared in the stage productions Cats, 42nd Street and Annie Get Your Gun before attending drama school
  • Acted with the Royal Shakespeare Company for a year and a half after drama school, appearing in such plays as Macbeth and The Duchess of Malfi
  • Worked an array of jobs before his acting career took off, including as an estate agent and a theatre usher
  • Underwent actual waterboarding (a form of torture) for a scene in the British spy series Spooks (known as MI-5 in the U
  • S
  • )
  • Was named the Romantic Novelists' Association's 2009 Sexiest Thing on Two Legs, beating out such stars as Johnny Depp and Daniel Craig


  • 2015Olivier Awards-Best Actor: nominated


  • Christopher Armitage -- Brother
  • John Armitage -- Father
  • Margaret Armitage -- Mother