David Suchet

Active - 1980 - 2017  |   Born - May 2, 1946 in London, England  |   Genres - Mystery, Drama

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Biography by Andrea LeVasseur

Known mostly for portraying Agatha Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot for more than a decade, the short and stocky character actor David Suchet has also enjoyed a lengthy career on stage, screen, and television. Born in London, he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and eventually joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. Throughout the 1970s, Suchet appeared in numerous stage productions and crime dramas on British television. His did his first film in 1980 with A Tale of Two Cities, but didn't play his first detective until the crime comedy Trenchcoat in 1983. For the rest of the '80s, the British actor played a Middle Eastern terrorist in The Little Drummer Girl, a Russian operative in The Falcon and the Snowman, and a French hunter in Harry and the Hendersons. He also occasionally portrayed real-life figures, including Sigmund Freud in the miniseries Freud, news reporter William L. Shirer in the HBO docudrama Murrow, and movie legend Louis B. Mayer in RKO 281. While the Poirot mysteries would dominate his career in the '90s, Suchet also played some other leading roles: double agent Verloc in miniseries The Secret Agent, based on the novel by Joseph Conrad; Aaron in the TNT television special Moses; and downsized New Yorker Oliver in the American independent film Sunday. Some standard Hollywood action thrillers followed with Executive Decision, Deadly Voyage, and A Perfect Murder being just a few. After 2000, he turned to costume dramas to play Napoleon in Sabotage!, Baron von Stockmar in Victoria & Albert, and upper-crust Augustus Melmotte in The Way We Live Now. He resumed the role of Poirot (after a short break from 1998-1999) just as he started up another detective character, DI John Borne of NCS: Manhunt and NCS 2. In 2003, he played gangster Leo Gillette in the action thriller Foolproof.

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  • Maternal grandfather was famed photographer James Jarché; father Jack Suchet was a noted obstetrician and gynecologist.
  • Joined the National Youth Theatre at the age of 18.
  • Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1973.
  • Made his Broadway debut in 1999 in a revival of Amadeus, playing Salieri opposite Michael Sheen's Mozart.
  • Is a council member for LAMDA, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
  • Received a honorary Doctorate from the University of Chichester in October 2008.
  • Awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2009.
  • Awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2011 New Year's Honours List for his services to drama.
  • Played the role of Lady Bracknell in the 2015 West End production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
  • Is the President of pastoral care charity School's Outreach.