With his gaunt handsomeness and infectious Scottish burr, John Hannah made a memorable impression on audiences on both sides of the Atlantic in his role as Simon Callow's lover in Four Weddings and a Funeral. The popularity of his portrayal was a significant feat for the actor, who, prior to the picture, had only appeared in one small film and numerous television shows in the United Kingdom.
Born in 1962 in East Kilbride, a small town near Glasgow, Hannah worked as an electrician for four years before getting into acting. After training at a Glasgow drama school, the actor headed to London to find work. After his 1990 debut in a generally unheard of film called Harbour Beat, Hannah found work on television. After his breakthrough role in 1994's Four Weddings, he was able to do more film work, appearing the following year in three films, Madagascar Skin, The Final Cut, and The Innocent Sleep. After work in a few forgettable pictures and the title role on the British TV series McCallum, Hannah got his next significant role in Peter Howitt's 1998 romantic comedy Sliding Doors. The film was a relative success and Hannah netted praise for his work as Gwyneth Paltrow's love interest. The film paved the way for him to appear in his first Hollywood blockbuster, The Mummy (1999), in which he was cast against type as a ne'er do well English fop. Despite rotten reviews, the film scored massively at the box office, helping to ensure further work for the talented, versatile actor. Over the next several years, Hannah would remain active as an actor, appearing on shows like MDs, New Street Law, Spartacus, Vengeance, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, and Damages.