Sneha Girap (Editor)

Gary Lewis (actor)

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Full Name
Gary Stevenson


Gary Lewis

Years active


Maarten Stevenson

Gary Lewis smiling and wearing a gray shirt

30 November 1958 (age 57) (

British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor

Movies and TV shows
Similar People
Graham McTavish, Jamie Draven, Jamie Bell, Lotte Verbeek, Julie Walters

Gary lewis about scottish actors at bafta scotland rus sub

Gary Stevenson (born 30 November 1957), better known as Gary Lewis, is a Scottish actor. He has had roles in films such as Billy Elliot, Gangs of New York, Eragon, and Three and Out, as well as a major role in the television docudrama Supervolcano.


Gary Lewis wearing a black shirt

Early life

Gary Lewis smiling while wearing a black coat and brown long sleeves

Lewis was born and raised in the Easterhouse area of Glasgow. He has described in interviews the dichotomy of his upbringing: his parents stressed the value of education, yet the quality of his formal studies was lacking. When he left school, he lacked a sense of purpose and took a job as a road sweeper to earn a living. Later, he found employment in the local library. Encouraged by his brother, an English teacher at Stonelaw High School in Glasgow, he read voraciously and decided to pursue a career as an actor.


Graham McTavish smiling with Gary Lewis at the "Outlander" mid-season New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theater

Although he had pursued amateur theatrics, Lewis was 32 when he committed to acting, joining Robert Carlyle's newly formed Raindog Theatre. His career received a boost when he was befriended by actor-director Peter Mullan, whom he met at a Socialist lecture.


Gary Lewis smiling while wearing a black coat and white long sleeves

Mullan hired Lewis for a role in the short Close which began filming in 1991 but took some three years to complete. By that time, both actors had appeared in Shallow Grave (1994). Lewis went on to act in Mullan's subsequent shorts Good Day for the Bad Guys (1995) and the award-winning Fridge (1996).

Graham McTavish hugging Gary Lewis at the "Outlander" mid-season New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theater

Lewis joined director Kenneth Loach's unofficial stock company lending support to his two mentors in separate films: with Carlyle, he co-starred in Carla's Song (1996), while he played a recovering alcoholic alongside Mullan in My Name Is Joe (1998). In between, Mullan cast him as the over-righteous, somewhat dimwitted elder sibling Thomas in Orphans (1998), an examination of a dysfunctional family. He went on to co-star with Max Beesley in The Match (1999; released on video in USA in 2001) before landing his international breakthrough part as the father of a young boy who wants to become a ballet dancer in Billy Elliot (2000). Lewis delivered a multi-layered turn as a man coping with grief over the death of his wife, a violent strike that threatens his livelihood and the struggles of raising two sons. The actor rounded out his banner year teaming with Irish actor Sean McGinley in What Where, a 12-minute short film of Samuel Beckett's play, and supporting Michael Caine as a boxing coach who may or may not have been involved in a murder in Shiner (screened at the San Sebastian Film Festival).

Gary Lewis smiling while wearing a black coat, white long sleeves, and black neck tie

In 2008, Lewis starred in the film Ecstasy based on The Undefeated from Irvine Welsh's best-selling novel Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance.

Lewis starred in British comedy Three and Out released on 25 April 2008.

Lewis appeared in Scottish rom-com Not Another Happy Ending as the father of protagonist Jane Lockhart.


Lewis has appeared in the Scottish comedy Rab C Nesbitt and the criminal drama shows Taggart and Prime Suspect: the Final Act.

In 2010 Lewis appeared as Adam Ingram in the Channel 4 drama Mo a biopic of former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam, a role that saw him nominated for a BAFTA Television Award in the category of Best Supporting Actor.

In 2011 Lewis appeared in episode five of new BBC drama Outcasts playing Patrick Baxter. He also appeared as the enigmatic wizard Alator in two episodes of the BBC fantasy drama Merlin.

In September 2011, Lewis appeared in episode two of the BBC drama The Body Farm, playing Jimmy West, butler to an elderly man accused of murder.

In December 2011, Lewis appeared in the BBC mini-series Young James Herriot, in the role of Prof. Quinton Gunnel.

In May 2012 Lewis appeared in the Rai 1 TV film L'olimpiade perduta, which tells of the XII and XIII Olympic Games, that took place in the Nazi concentration camps. In this TV film, Lewis has the role of the British general Alex, who organized the Olympic Games.

In January 2014 Lewis appeared as DS MacNeil in the Silent Witness two-parter "In A Lonely Place".

In July 2014, Lewis appeared in The Glasgow Girls as a teacher who supported his pupils during their fight to save their classmate from deportation.

In August 2014, Lewis appeared in the recurring role of Colum MacKenzie, laird of the MacKenzie clan, on the Starz series Outlander.

In 2015, Lewis appeared as Bill Williams in the BBC series Death in Paradise (episode 4.7).

In 2016, Lewis appeared in The Level (TV series) as Gil Devlin.


  • Shallow Grave 1994 (visitor)
  • Orphans 1998 (Thomas)Won Best Actor, Gijón International Film Festival
  • My Name is Joe, 1998 (Shanks)
  • One Life Stand, 2000 (Jackie)
  • Rob of the Rovers, 2000 (Rob)
  • What Where 2000 (Bom/Bim/Bem)
  • Billy Elliot, 2000 (Jackie Elliot)Won Best Actor, Flaiano Film Festival
  • The Escapist, 2002 (Ron)
  • Gangs of New York, 2002 (McGloin)
  • Pure, 2002 (French)
  • Solid Air, 2003 (John Doran)
  • Boudica (Magior the Shaman)
  • Gunpowder, Treason & Plot, 2004 (John Knox)
  • Yes (Billy) 2004
  • Ae Fond Kiss..., 2004 (Danny)
  • Supervolcano, (TV) 2005 (Jock Galvin)
  • Joyeux Noël, 2005 (Palmer)
  • Goal!, 2005 (Mal Braithwaite)
  • Cargo, 2006 (Herman)
  • True North, 2006 (The Skipper)
  • Eragon, 2006 (Hrothgar)
  • Ecstasy, (2008) (Mr. Cab Driver)
  • Three and Out, 2008 (Callaghan)
  • Valhalla Rising, 2009 (Kare)
  • Neds, 2010 (Teacher)
  • Outcasts, 2011 (Pak)
  • Merlin, 2011, 2012 (Alator) - 2 episodes
  • Young James Herriot, 2011 (Professor Quinton Gunnel)
  • When the Lights Went Out, (2012) (Father Clifton)
  • Der Fall Wilhelm Reich, (2012) (Dr. Cameron)
  • Filth, 2013 (Gus Bain)
  • Outlander, 2014 (Colum MacKenzie)
  • The Glasgow Girls, 2014 (Euan Girvan)
  • Trautmann ,TBA
  • References

    Gary Lewis (actor) Wikipedia