Date of Birth 22 August 1971, Leicester, Leicestershire, England, UK
Birth Name Richard Crispin Armitage
Height 6′ 2½” (1,89 m)
He is best known internationally for his role as dwarf prince and leader Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit. However, Armitage first gained fame in Britain for his portrayal of John Thornton in the British television programme North & South (2004). He is also known for his roles as John Standring in the TV movie Sparkhouse, Guy of Gisborne in the TV drama Robin Hood, Harry Kennedy in the TV comedy The Vicar of Dibley, Lucas North in the TV drama Spooks and John Porter in the TV drama Strike Back.
After graduating from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Armitage initially sought theatre work and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). But he turned to film and television roles when he noticed that leading stage roles went to actors with name recognition who could bring in patrons to fill venues. After twelve years away and having earned that name recognition, Armitage returned to the stage in 2014 taking his first leading role in a major production. He played John Proctor in the highly successful and critically acclaimed production of The Crucible at The Old Vic, and earned an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor.
One of Armitage’s trademarks is his baritone voice, which he has employed as a voice actor since 2006. While working on the TV show Robin Hood, he was asked to record audiobooks for the first season of that series. Since then, Armitage has recorded many notable audiobooks as well as worked as a narrator on many TV and radio shows and adverts. His flair for speaking in a multitude of dialects, accents and voices has garnered Armitage numerous accolades for his narration skills, including the 2014 Best Audiobook of the Year Award from Audible.com for his recording of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel.
To get into character as Lee, his role in Cold Feet (1997), he took up aqua aerobics.
He plays the cello, guitar, and flute.
His parents are John, an engineer, and Margaret, a secretary. Coincidentally, he played the character John Thornton in ‘North & South’, and his love interest was Margaret Hale.
At 17, joined a circus in Budapest for six weeks to get his Equity card.
Previous jobs include packing boxes in a warehouse, worked at a laser gun place and took front-of-house jobs in the theatre but continued to go to drama classes.
Started acting career in musical theatre.
At age 14, he persuaded his parents to send him to a vocational school in Coventry where he could develop his musical talents.
Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at age 28 for 18 months.
His older brother’s name is Chris.
Was named after King Richard III, as he was born on the anniversary of the day the King was killed in battle.
Completed filming a two-part series called “Malice Aforethought” set in 1920s, where he played misogynist Bill Chatford. [November 2004]
Shot the second series of Robin Hood, reprising his role as Guy of Gisbourne. [April 2007]
Completed filming a detective fiction,”Gently’s Last Case”, in which he played the character of Ricky, a Geordie biker. [December 2006]
Shot the 7th series of Spooks in London. [March 2008]
Shot “Marie Lloyd” in the role of her first husband Percy Courtenay. [February 2007]
Filmed new Jimmy McGovern’s project “Moving On” (working title) in Liverpool. [December 2008]
Shot Sky1 6-part series “Strike Back” in South Africa. [August 2009]
Filmed the Hobbit – 1 and 2 in New Zealand. [March 2011]
Filmed the BBC Drama, Robin Hood, in Hungary, where he played Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff of Nottingham’s evil henchman. [May 2006]
Filmed series 8 of “Spooks” in London. [April 2009]
Shot Miss Marple and then returned to shooting Guy of Gisbourne in the second series of Robin Hood. [February 2007]
Shot the third series of Robin Hood in Hungary. [July 2008]
Filmed some scenes of Spooks Series 7 in Moscow. [August 2008]
Shot series 8 of Spooks (MI5). [July 2009]
Shot series 9 of Spooks (MI5). [February 2010]
Shot the BBC comedy, The Vicar of Dibley Christmas Special 2006 as Harry, Geraldine’s love interest. These were the last two episodes of this popular series. [October 2006]
Shot the 7th series of Spooks in London. [February 2008]
Was the youngest actor to audition for the role of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit.
Is a fan of Damages – Im Netz der Macht (2007).
Nominated for WhatsOnStage Best Actor in a Play Award – for his role in The Crucible.
Nominated for an Olivier Best Actor Award for his role in The Crucible.
Suffers from aquaphobia (specifically, fear of drowning) stemming from an incident in which his stroller fell into a neighbor’s pond when he was a toddler. This has not stopped him from taking aqua aerobics classes to prepare for the role of Lee in Cold Feet, allowing himself to be water-boarded twice (In Spooks and Strike Back), swimming at least 50 laps a day to prepare for the role of Heinz Kruger in Captain America, and allowing himself to be submerged in a well for a considerable length of time while shooting an episode of Robin Hood.
source: IMDb & Wikipedia