Robert Lindsay (actor)

Robert Lindsay (actor)

Infobox actor
name = Robert Lindsay

caption =
birthname = Robert Lindsay Stevenson
birthdate = birth date and age|1949|12|13|df=yes
birthplace = Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England
occupation = Actor, Presenter, and Singer
yearsactive = 1973-present
spouse = Rosemarie Ford (2006-present)
Cheryl Hall (1974-1980)
baftaawards = Best Television Actor
1992 "G.B.H."
laurenceolivierawards = Best Actor
1984 "Me and My Girl"
1997 "Oliver!"
tonyawards = Best Actor In a Musical
1987 "Me and My Girl"

Robert Lindsay (born 13 December 1949) is an award-winning English actor who is best known for his television work, especially his roles in "Citizen Smith", "My Family", and "Hornblower".


Early life

Born Robert Lindsay Stevenson in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, the son of Norman and Joyce Stevenson, after leaving school, Lindsay enrolled in the drama department of a technical college in Nottingham, and intended to become a drama teacher. However, friends at Nottingham Playhouse encouraged him to apply to Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), and in 1968 he was accepted there with the aid of a government grant. [cite news | author=Staff writers | url= | title=Robert Lindsay Biography | work=BBC Derby| date=17 January 2003| accessdate=2008-06-07] After he graduated, he took a job as a dialect coach for a repertory company in Essex, and then joined a regional theatre group.

Lindsay first came to prominence as the cockney layabout Jakey Smith in ITV comedy series "Get Some In!", and he appeared in the fourth series of the BBC sitcom "The Good Life". He was then given the starring role as incompetent revolutionary Wolfie Smith in the BBC sitcom "Citizen Smith". He followed this with roles in a number of the BBC Television Shakespeare productions, including Benedick in "Much Ado About Nothing", and as Edmund in "King Lear" opposite Lord Laurence Olivier in 1984. However it is notable he did take part in an obscure Radio 4 show, "What Are You Talking About?", in the early 1980s between Television Shakespeare productions, in an attempt to establish a comedy career.

tage career

Lindsay enjoyed a successful stage career, especially during the 1980s, including lead roles in several significant Shakespearean productions. He starred in the 1984 revival of "Me and My Girl" in London and on Broadway, netting a Laurence Olivier Award and a Tony Award in the category of Best Actor in a Musical (against competition that included Colm Wilkinson and Terrence Mann in "Les Mis" in both cases). He won another Olivier Award in the same category in 1997, for his portrayal of Fagin in the revival of "Oliver!". He starred in a production of "The Entertainer" at the Old Vic in 2007.

1970s, 1980s and 1990s

Lindsay became famous in the UK in his role as incompetent revolutionary Wolfie Smith in the BBC sitcom Citizen Smith. Earlier, a young Lindsay appeared on The Good Life in the 1977 series 4 episode entitled "Our Speaker Today". Lindsay's success on Broadway and in the West End led to the starring role in the film "Bert Rigby, You're a Fool", although it was not a commercial success. However, he continued to enjoy success on television, and in 1991 played the leading role in Alan Bleasdale's dark comedy serial "G.B.H.", for which he won a BAFTA for his performance. He also starred in the surreal Channel 4 sitcom "Nightingales", and appeared in the films "Fierce Creatures" and "Divorcing Jack". In 1998 he was cast in the recurring role of Captain Pellew in the ITV mini-series "Hornblower", based on the novels of C.S. Forester. He was also the original choice for the lead role in the drama "Cracker", but turned the part down as he didn't want to become too associated with heavyweight, darker drama characters. He later appeared as Fagin in the 1999 ITV "Oliver Twist" miniseries.


Lindsay has become familiar to a new generation of viewers as Ben Harper in the popular BBC sitcom "My Family" since 2000.

In October 2005 he starred in a new ITV drama series "Jericho", about a Scotland Yard detective investigating murder and kidnapping in London's Soho in the 1950s. In January and February 2006, he appeared as Sneath in two loosely linked Stephen Poliakoff dramas, "Friends and Crocodiles" and "Gideon's Daughter", shown on BBC One. He was the only actor to appear in both productions.

He has also portrayed Prime Minister Tony Blair in the Channel 4 satires "A Very Social Secretary" and "The Trial of Tony Blair". [cite news | url= | title=The Trial of Tony Blair | work=Channel 4 |date=2008 | accessdate=2008-06-07] In 2003, he made a guest appearance in an episode in "Absolutely Fabulous" and also provided his voice as the narrator for the BBC documentary series "Seven Wonders of the Industrial World".

Lindsay appeared in the 8th Ricky Gervais Video Podcast, where Gervais announced Lindsay would be starring in the second series of "Extras". He appeared in the last episode of the second series playing an egotistical, pushy version of himself.

Lindsay also sings the recorded version of Derby County Football Club's song "Steve Bloomer's Watching", played and sung by the fans at the beginning of every home game, and usually at the start of the second half and after a good win.

Lindsay is due to appear in season seven of award-winning drama Monk.

Personal life

Lindsay married "Citizen Smith" co-star Cheryl Hall in 1974. They divorced in 1980, when he started a long term relationship with the actress Diana Weston, with whom he has a daughter Sydney Laura Lindsay (born Hammersmith, London, 1988), who co-starred with him in three episodes of "My Family". Since acting as Admiral Pellew in the Hornblower series, Lindsay has become good friends with the real Pellew family.

He then left Weston for actress/presenter Rosemarie Ford. The couple have two sons, both born in Hillingdon, London: Samuel Lindsay Stevenson (born 18 November 1999) and James Lindsay Stevenson (born 8 April 2003). The couple married on 31 December 2006. [cite news | url=,,2-2007000104,00.html | title=My Family's legit as Rob weds | work=The Sun | date=2 January 2007| accessdate=2008-06-07]

Lindsay researched his family tree in the third series of "Who Do You Think You Are?", and his episode was aired on 13 September 2006, and he travelled to his hometown and to Turkey, where his grandfather Raymond Dunmore had taken part in the Gallipoli campaign during World War I.

Lindsay has always been known for his left-wing politics. He used to describe himself as a staunch socialist, and has marched in the past in support of the miners. But he was furious with Blair over Iraq, and describes himself now as politically disillusioned. []


External links

* [ Robert Lindsay official website]
* [ Biography on BBC site]
* [ Robert Lindsay on "Who Do You Think You Are?"]
* [ Births England and Wales 1984-2006]

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