Jim Broadbent

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Jim Broadbent
JimBroadbent07TIFF cropped.jpg
Broadbent in 2007
Born James Broadbent
(1949-05-24) 24 May 1949 (age 69)
Holton cum Beckering, Lincolnshire, England
Education London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Occupation Actor
Years active 1972–present
Anastasia Lewis (m. 1987)

James Broadbent (born 24 May 1949) is an English actor.[1] He won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for his supporting role as John Bayley in the feature film Iris (2001), as well as winning a BAFTA TV Award and a Golden Globe for his leading role as Lord Longford in the television film Longford (2006).

Broadbent received four BAFTA Film Award nominations and won one for his performance in Moulin Rouge! (2001). He was also nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Broadbent portrayed Horace Slughorn in the fantasy films Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011). He joined the cast of the television series Game of Thrones, playing a role of Archmaester Ebrose, in the seventh season (2017). His other notable roles were in Topsy-Turvy (1999), The Gathering Storm (2002), And When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007), Another Year (2010), and The Iron Lady (2012).

Early life[edit]

Broadbent was born in Holton cum Beckering,[2] in Lincolnshire, the second son of Doreen "Dee" Broadbent (née Findlay), a sculptor, and Roy Laverick Broadbent, an artist, sculptor, interior designer and furniture maker.[3] Broadbent's parents were both amateur actors who co-founded the Holton Players acting troupe at Holton.[4] The two have been described by the BBC as conscientious objectors who "worked the land" rather than participate in World War II.[3] In Wickenby, a former Methodist Chapel was purchased in 1970 by Holton Players, who converted it into a 100-seat theatre, named Broadbent Theatre in memory of Roy Broadbent, who designed the conversion.

Jim Broadbent had a twin sister who died at birth. Broadbent was educated at Leighton Park School, a Quaker school in Reading,[5] and briefly attended art college before transferring to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He graduated in 1972.[6] His early stage work included appearances as Patrick Barlow's assistant in the mock National Theatre of Brent.


Broadbent's early stagework included a number of productions for The National Theatre of Brent as the downtrodden assistant Wallace to Patrick Barlow's self-important actor/manager character Desmond Olivier Dingle. Broadbent and Barlow played many male and female character roles in comically less-than-epic tellings of historical and religious stories, such as The Complete Guide to Sex, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Revolution!!, and All The World's A Globe. These were hits at the Edinburgh Fringe, in London, and on tour. Later stage work included the original productions of Kafka's Dick (1986) and Our Country's Good (1988) at the Royal Court Theatre and work for the Royal National Theatre including "The Government Inspector". Work on the stage with Mike Leigh includes Goosepimples and Ecstasy.

He had worked with Stephen Frears in The Hit (1984) and Terry Gilliam in Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985) before establishing himself in Mike Leigh's Life Is Sweet (1990). He proved his ability as a character actor in films including The Crying Game (1992), Enchanted April (1992), Bullets over Broadway (1994), The Borrowers (1997), and Little Voice (1998) before taking a leading role in another Mike Leigh film, Topsy-Turvy (1999), playing dramatist Sir William S. Gilbert. He played "The Shy Doctor" in the 1999 Comic Relief parody Doctor Who sketch, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death. In 2001, Broadbent starred in three of the year's most successful films: Bridget Jones's Diary; Moulin Rouge!, for which he won a BAFTA; and Iris, for which he won an Oscar for his portrayal of John Bayley.[7]

Broadbent voiced Madame Gasket in the 2005 film Robots. Broadbent also appeared as DCI Roy Slater, an associate character in the enormously popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses. The character appeared in three episodes over an eight-year period. He had originally been offered the lead role of Del Boy in the series, but he turned it down due to other commitments. He has also played a role in the Inspector Morse series. Other comic roles include the lead role in the sitcom The Peter Principle and occasional guest appearances in Not The Nine O'Clock News, Only Fools and Horses, and Victoria Wood As Seen on TV. He portrayed Don Speekingleesh in "The Queen of Spain's Beard" in the first series of The Black Adder in 1983. He also played the role of Prince Albert in Blackadder's Christmas Carol, first broadcast in 1988. He joined Rowan Atkinson in his Spider-Man spoof Spider-Plant Man, as a disgruntled Batman, jealous of Spider-Plant Man's success.

Broadbent played the lead role of the TV film Wide-Eyed and Legless.[8] Based on a true story, the drama tells of Deric Longden's wife, Diana, and her fight against a mysterious wasting illness which turned out to be myalgic encephalomyelitis. It began as a type of flu but it grew progressively worse. She was subject to blackouts and became so debilitated that she could barely get out of her wheelchair. It led to years of pain and paralysis that ended in her death.

Broadbent portrayed the title role in the Channel 4 drama Longford in October 2006, earning a BAFTA TV Award, a Golden Globe, and a 2007 Emmy nomination for his performance as Frank Pakenham (1905–2001), Earl of Longford, which was centred on Longford's ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the parole of Myra Hindley from her life imprisonment for the Moors Murders.

Broadbent appeared as Inspector Frank Butterman in Hot Fuzz in 2007.

The Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby, Lincolnshire, named after Roy Broadbent, father of Jim. Photographed 2006.

He appeared in the original radio production of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, playing the character Vroomfondel. Forty years later, he took the role of Marvin in the Hexagonal Phase radio series.[9] He was also a regular in Stephen Fry's radio comedy show Saturday Night Fry, which aired on BBC Radio 4 in 1988.

Broadbent played Dean Charles Stanforth in the fourth film in the Indiana Jones series, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; King William IV in The Young Victoria; and Horace Slughorn in the sixth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as well as the final movie in the series Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.[10] In 2008, he starred as pro-Newtonian physicist Sir Oliver Lodge in the fact-based single drama Einstein and Eddington for the BBC.

In 2009, he portrayed Sam Longson, chairman of Derby County football club in the 1960s and 1970s, in the film The Damned United; the starring character in the film was football manager Brian Clough, played by Michael Sheen.

In 2010, he provided the voice for the character Major Mouse in a series of radio advertisements and one produced for television for an energy company, E.ON, for their eonenergyfit.com website campaign. He also starred as the older Logan Mountstuart in the TV adaptation of William Boyd's novel Any Human Heart.

He had a lead role in Exile, a BBC One drama, starring John Simm and written by Danny Brocklehurst.[11]

In 2012, he played Denis Thatcher opposite Oscar-winner Meryl Streep as the former Prime Minister in The Iron Lady.

In 2016, he was cast in the seventh season of the HBO series Game of Thrones.[12][13]

On 28 May 2018 he is due to play Gloucester in the BBC Two's of King Lear.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Broadbent has been married to painter and former theatre designer Anastasia Lewis[15] since 1987. He is an atheist.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Go-Between Spectator at Cricket Match Uncredited[17]
1978 The Life Story of Baal Woodcutter
The Shout Asylum Fielder
1979 Long Distance Information Mackaness
The Passage German Soldier Uncredited
1980 Breaking Glass Station Porter
Games Without Frontiers Stewart
1981 The Dogs of War Film crew
Time Bandits Compere
1983 Birth of a Nation Geoff Fig
Dead on Time Priest Short film
1984 The Hit Barrister
1985 Brazil Dr. Jaffe
The Good Father Roger Miles
1987 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Jean Pierre Dubois
Running Out of Luck
1988 Vroom Donald
1989 Erik the Viking Ernest the Viking
1990 Life Is Sweet Andy
1992 Enchanted April Frederick Arbuthnot
The Crying Game Col
1993 Wide-Eyed and Legless Deric Longden
Prince Cinders Ugly Brother Voice
1994 Bullets over Broadway Warner Purcell
Princess Caraboo Mr. Worrall
Widows' Peak Con Clancy
1995 Richard III The Duke of Buckingham
The Last Englishman Col. Alfred D. Wintle
Rough Magic Doc Ansell
1996 The Secret Agent Chief Inspector Heat
1997 The Borrowers Pod Clock
Smilla's Sense of Snow Dr. Lagermann
1998 The Avengers Mother
Little Voice Mr. Boo
1999 Topsy-Turvy W. S. Gilbert
2001 Bridget Jones's Diary Colin Jones
Moulin Rouge! Harold Zidler
Iris John Bayley
2002 Gangs of New York Boss Tweed
Nicholas Nickleby Mr. Wackford Squeers
2003 Bright Young Things Drunk Major
Anna Spud Dad Short film
2004 Around the World in 80 Days Lord Kelvin
Vanity Fair Mr. Osborne
Tooth The Rabbit Voice
Vera Drake Judge
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Colin Jones
2005 Robots Madame Gasket Voice
Valiant Sergeant Voice
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Professor Kirke
The Magic Roundabout Brian Voice
2006 Art School Confidential Jimmy
2007 Hot Fuzz Inspector Frank Butterman
And When Did You Last See Your Father? Arthur Morrison
2008 Free Jimmy Igor Stromowskij English dub
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Dean Charles Stanforth
Inkheart Fenoglio
Tales of the Riverbank G.P. Voice
2009 The Young Victoria King William IV
The Damned United Sam Longson
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Horace Slughorn
Perrier's Bounty Jim McCrea
2010 Another Year Tom
Animals United Winston English dub
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Horace Slughorn
Arthur Christmas Malcolm "Santa" Claus Voice
The Iron Lady Denis Thatcher
2012 Cloud Atlas Captain Molyneux
Vyvyan Ayrs
Timothy Cavendish
Korean Musician
Prescient 2
2013 Closed Circuit Attorney General
Filth Dr. Rossi
Le Week-End Nick Burrows
The Harry Hill Movie Bill the Cleaner
The Phone Call Stanley Voice
Short film
2014 Postman Pat: The Movie Mr. Brown [18][19] Voice
Paddington Samuel Gruber
Get Santa Santa Claus
Big Game Herbert
2015 Brooklyn Father Flood
The Lady in the Van Underwood
The Weather Inside Britischer Botschafter
2016 Eddie the Eagle BBC Commentator
The Legend of Tarzan British Prime Minister
Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods[20] Julius Caesar English dub
Bridget Jones's Baby Colin Jones
Ethel & Ernest Ernest Briggs Voice
2017 The Sense of an Ending Tony Webster
Paddington 2[21] Samuel Gruber
Mary and the Witch's Flower Doctor Dee English dub
2018 Black 47 Lord Kilmichael
Magik Lewis Clark Voice
2019 The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1979 Not the Nine O'Clock News Union negotiator Sketch: "Final Demands"
1982 Objects of Affection Cemetery Attendant Episode: "Our Winnie"
1982 Bird of Prey DI Stanley Richardson Episode: "Input Classified"
1982 Walter Joseph (Orderly) Television film
1983 The Black Adder Don Speekingleesh Episode: "The Queen of Spain's Beard"
1983 Walter and June Joseph (Orderly) Television film
1983, 1985
Only Fools and Horses Det. Chief Insp. Roy Slater 3 episodes
1984 Crown Court Robert MacBride Episode: "Whisper Who Dares: Part 1"
1985 Happy Families Dalcroix 3 episodes
1985 Silas Marner Jem Rodney Television film
1986 Screen Two Gutling Episode: "The Insurance Man"
1987 Victoria Wood as Seen on TV the Doctor Television special
1988 Tales of the Unexpected Mr. Lovejoy Episode: "The Facts of Life"
1988 Theatre Night Maitre Jacques Episode: "The Miser"
1988 Dramarama Uncle Keith Episode: "Making Waves"
1988 Blackadder's Christmas Carol Prince Albert Television special
1989 Revolution!! Wallace Television film; also writer
1989 Victoria Wood Alan Hammond Episode: "Staying In"
1990 Omnibus Postman Roulin Episode: "Van Gogh"
1991 Gone to the Dogs Jim Morley 6 episodes
1991 Murder Most Horrid Selwyn Proops Episode: "A Determined Woman"
1991 Performance Carmello Episode: "Nona"
1991, 1993 Screen One Deric Longden / Grocer 2 episodes
1992 A Sense of History The 23rd Earl of Leete Television film; also writer
1992 Inspector Morse Charlie Bennett Episode: "Absolute Conviction"
1993 The Comic Strip Presents George Episode: "Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown"
1994 Perpetual Motion - The Ford Transit Narrator Voice
1995–2000 The Peter Principle Peter Duffley 13 episodes
1996–1999 Percy the Park Keeper Percy Voice
18 episodes
1997–1998 Brambly Hedge Basil Voice
2 episodes
1999 Doctor Who: Curse of Fatal Death Credited as The Shy Doctor Television special
2002 The Gathering Storm Desmond Morton Television film
2003 The Young Visiters Alfred Salteena Television film
2003 And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself Harry Aitken Television film
2004 Pride Eddie Voice
Television film
2005 Spider-Plant Man Batman Television short
2006 The Street Stan McDermott 3 episodes
2006 Longford Lord Longford Television film
2008 Einstein and Eddington Sir Oliver Lodge Television film
2008 Lost and Found Narrator Voice
Television film
2010 Any Human Heart Logan Mountstuart (older) 4 episodes
2011 Exile Sam Ronstadt 3 episodes
2013 The Great Train Robbery Tommy Butler Television film
2015 London Spy Scottie 5 episodes
2015 The Go-Between Old Leo Colston Television film
2015–present Teletubbies Trumpets Voice
2016 War & Peace Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky 5 episodes
2017–present Game of Thrones Archmaester Ebrose 4 episodes
2018 King Lear Earl of Gloucester Television film

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Title Award
1998 Little Voice Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1999 Topsy-Turvy
2001 Moulin Rouge!
2002 Nicholas Nickleby National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
The Gathering Storm
2003 The Young Visiters
2006 The Street
2007 Nicholas Nickleby
2009 The Damned United Nominated—British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2010 Any Human Heart
Another Year
2011 The Iron Lady

Other awards and honours[edit]

Broadbent was offered an OBE in 2002, but he declined it, stating that there were more deserving recipients than actors and that the British Empire was not something he wanted to “celebrate”.[22][23]


  1. ^ "Jim Broadbent". MovieActors.com. 24 May 1949. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "It's a Golden Globe for Jim Broadbent", Louth Leader, 14 January 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2011
  3. ^ a b "BBC – Lincolnshire – History – Famous Yellowbelly – Jim Broadbent". Bbc.co.uk. 24 August 2005. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Broadbent Theatre Member Profile: Roy Broadbent". Broadbent.org. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Home. "An in-depth look at your favourite celebrity personalities – hellomagazine.com, HELLO!". Hellomagazine.com. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Newsmakers, Issue 4. Gale, 2008
  7. ^ "The 74th Academy Awards (2002) Nominees and Winners, Sunday, 24 March 2002". Oscars.org. 24 March 2002. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Wide-Eyed And Legless". 
  9. ^ "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase - S4". Radio Times. Retrieved 2018-04-28. 
  10. ^ "Broadbent on "Potter" & "Indy 4" (17 September 2007)". Darkhorizons.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "BBC news entertainment-arts". Bbc.co.uk. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  12. ^ Hibberd, James (August 31, 2016). "Game of Thrones casts Jim Broadbent in first season 7 role". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  13. ^ "'Harry Potter' star joins 'Game Of Thrones' cast for season seven". NME. 2016-09-01. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  14. ^ https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/anthony-hopkins-emma-thompson-star-king-lear-amazon-bbc-1046025
  15. ^ Walden, By Celia. "Jim Broadbent: 'I love being someone else'". 
  16. ^ Jim Broadbent: the heartbreak kid
  17. ^ Singh, Anita (29 September 2014). "Jim Broadbent's forgotten role in The Go-Between". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  18. ^ "Postman Pat to make movie debut". BBC. UK. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Postman Pat to Hit the Big Screen in 3D". ComingSoon. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods set for UK release in August". 21 June 2016. 
  21. ^ "Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson Join Paddington 2". 18 October 2016. 
  22. ^ Eden, Richard (8 January 2012). "Oscar-winning star Jim Broadbent says 'rogue' actors should reject honours". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "Broadbent Snubbed Obe". contactmusic.com. 5 March 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 

External links[edit]