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Russell Tovey

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Occupation  Actor
Education  Shenfield High School
Role  Actor

Name  Russell Tovey
Years active  1994–present
Siblings  Daniel Tovey
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Full Name  Russell George Tovey
Born  14 November 1981 (age 34) (1981-11-14) Billericay, Essex, England
Parents  George Tovey, Carole Haynes
Movies and TV shows  Being Human, Looking, Him & Her, The History Boys, Grabbers
Similar People  Jonathan Groff, Murray Bartlett, Aidan Turner, Sarah Solemani, Dominic Cooper

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Russell George Tovey (born 14 November 1981) is an English actor with numerous television, film and stage credits. Tovey is best known for playing the role of a werewolf, George Sands in the BBC's supernatural drama Being Human. His other notable roles include Rudge in both the stage and film versions of The History Boys, Steve in the BBC Three sitcom Him & Her, Kevin Matheson in the HBO original series Looking and as Henry Knight on BBC TV series Sherlock. Currently, he stars as Harry Doyle in the drama-thriller series Quantico on the ABC network.


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Russell tovey big questions

Early life

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Tovey is the younger of two children, born to Carole Haynes (formerly Webb) and George Tovey who run a Romford-based coach service taking passengers from Essex to Gatwick Airport. Tovey has an older brother, Daniel. He grew up in Billericay, Essex, and he attended Harold Court School in Harold Wood and Shenfield High School. As a boy, Tovey said he "was an avid collector of various things and prone to participating in fads." His parents supported his efforts, taking him to archeological digs and museums, buying him a metal detector, and going to conventions for mineralologists. For a time he wanted to be a history teacher, but after seeing Dead Poets Society, The Goonies, and Stand By Me, he decided to be an actor. For a time during his teens, he worked as a kitchen assistant in Billericay's King's Head pub.


Russell Tovey Russell Tovey interview Theatre Time Out London

Tovey began his career as a child actor. He joined a local drama club, and garnered the attention of a talent agent. He began acting when he was 11 years old. He worked so steadily and missed so much school that his father suggested his acting career be cut back, but his mother convinced his father to let their son continue. His TV career started in 1994, when he was cast in Mud, a children's series broadcast on CBBC.

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He left high school at the age of 16, and started a BTEC in performing arts at Barking College. He was expelled after a year for refusing a role in the school play in favour of a paying acting job. He acted in plays in Chichester under the direction of Debra Gillett, wife of Patrick Marber. He met Marber through Gillett, and Marber cast him in the play Howard Katz at the National Theatre. He also performed in His Girl Friday and His Dark Materials there.

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In 2004, he took the role of Rudge in Alan Bennett's play The History Boys at the Royal National Theatre as well as touring to Broadway, Sydney, Wellington and Hong Kong and playing the role in the radio and film adaptations. He originally auditioned for the role of Crowther but agreed to act the part of Rudge after Bennett promised to beef up the role. Insecure because he had not attended drama school like many of his peers, he enrolled in numerous workshops and readings offered by the National Theatre.

In spring 2007, Tovey had a recurring role in BBC Three comedy Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive, playing Rob's producer, Ben. He played Midshipman Alonso Frame, in 2007 Doctor Who Christmas Special "Voyage of the Damned". Russell T. Davies, the show's executive producer and lead writer, had suggested Tovey as a future replacement for David Tennant, before it was announced that the Eleventh Doctor would be played by Matt Smith. Tovey reprised his role as Midshipman Alonso Frame in the 2009-10 Doctor Who Christmas special, The End of Time.

Tovey played werewolf George Sands, one of three supernatural housemates in the drama Being Human. The pilot premiered on BBC Three on 18 February 2008. A six-part series was commissioned with the first episode broadcast on 25 January 2009. Tovey left the regular cast of the show at the start of the fourth season on 5 February 2012. In November 2012 AudioGO Ltd released an audiobook version of Mark Michalowski's Being Human tie-in novel Chasers, which is narrated by Tovey.

In a 2008 interview in Attitude, Tovey expressed his desire to play darker roles: "really dark, fucked-up characters... like drag queens, rent boys, someone who has been abused, a rapist", though noting that he does not consider himself "fucked-up".

In March 2009, the actor played a leading role in A Miracle at the Royal Court Theatre as Gary Trudgill, a British soldier returning to Norfolk from abroad. On 8 March 2009 he presented the Award for Best Actress to Margaret Tyzack for her performance in The Chalk Garden at the Laurence Olivier Awards in Grosvenor House.

In 2009, Tovey worked on the film Huge and starred in two television pilots: Young, Unemployed and Lazy (a BBC Three sitcom), renamed to Him & Her in 2010, and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (part of Comedy Showcase), a Channel 4 comedy with Spike Jonze and Will Arnett, written by David Cross and Shaun Pye.

He also appeared in three shorts: Drop (which premièred at the 2009 Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival), Roar, and In Passing. Roar premiered at the Palm Springs Film Festival on 24 June 2009.

In 2011, he became the voice over/narrator for the BBC Three show Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents and its spinoffs, which ran for five series up to July 2015. Tovey has narrated every episode aired.

Tovey played Budgie, one of Gavin's friends, in the BBC comedy-drama Gavin & Stacey. In January 2012, he appeared in the British crime drama Sherlock, playing Henry Knight in the episode "The Hounds of Baskerville". He had a lead role in the ITV sitcom The Job Lot which aired in 2013 and is set in a busy unemployment bureau in the West Midlands.

In 2013, Tovey signed on to appear in the American television series Looking, about a group of gay friends living in San Francisco. Its 8-episode first season broadcast on HBO in 2014. Tovey was promoted to series regular for the second season.

In 2015, Tovey starred in Banished, a historical drama series written by Jimmy McGovern about a group of British convicts in Australia in the 18th century.

In 2016, Tovey was cast in the ABC network thriller drama Quantico for the series regular role of Harry Doyle.

In September 2017, it was revealed that Tovey would be voicing Ray Terrill / The Ray, a reporter who gains light-based powers after being exposed to a genetic light bomb, in the animated web series Freedom Fighters: The Ray on CW Seed. Tovey will appear in "Crisis on Earth-X", the Arrowverse crossover event between Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.


Tovey is also an author, playwright and screenwriter. He has written three plays (all unperformed as of August 2010), and one of his short stories was published in women's magazine Company. He also wrote a short film, Victor, and as of August 2010 was seeking funding to produce the picture.

Personal life

During his adolescent years, Tovey's homosexuality caused friction within his family. Although he says he came out to himself when he was 15 or 16, he properly came out to his parents when he was 18. Tovey and his father subsequently had a falling out, with his father suggesting that, had he known earlier, he would have asked Tovey to take hormones or undergo some other medical treatment to "fix the problem". Tovey says his parents were deeply concerned about the possibility he might contract HIV, which might have contributed to the falling out. The birth of Tovey's nephew Nathan in October 2004 helped them mend their relationship.


Russell Tovey Wikipedia