Mark Williams (actor)

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Mark Williams
Born (1959-08-22) 22 August 1959 (age 62)
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England, UK
Occupation Actor, presenter, screenwriter
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Dianne Williams[1]
Children 1

Mark Williams (born 22 August 1959) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter and presenter. He is best known as Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter films, one of the stars of the popular BBC sketch show The Fast Show, as well as his role as Olaf Peterson in Red Dwarf. More recently he has appeared as the title character in the BBC series Father Brown.

Early life

William was educated at North Bromsgrove High School and Brasenose College, Oxford. He performed with Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS). Having made a career as a theatre actor and working for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre along the way, Williams came to wider public attention through his appearances on the BBC television sketch programmes Alexei Sayle's Stuff and The Fast Show.[2] Williams has described the huge popularity of the latter show as a "double-edged sword" as it has led to his being seen by the public as a comedian rather than as an actor.[2]


Williams made his film début alongside fellow débutants Hugh Grant and Imogen Stubbs in the Oxford University Film Foundation production Privileged in 1982.

His most famous cinema role is as Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter film series, which began in 2002. Other high profile appearances include the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Stardust alongside Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro and Claire Danes in 2007 and a 2012 role in Doctor Who as Brian Williams, father of the Doctor's companion, Rory.[3]

Since 2013 he has appeared as the lead role in the BBC costume drama Father Brown.

Since 2014, he has presented the BBC daytime game show The Link. The show is currently in its second series

Aside from his acting work, Williams has also presented several documentary programmes: Mark Williams' Big Bangs on the history of explosives, a follow-up to previous series Mark Williams on the Rails, Industrial Revelations and More Industrial Revelations.

He is a supporter of both Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion football clubs (he lives in Brighton).[4]

Interviewed in 2014 by the Lancashire Evening Post, when asked if some people still saw him as a comedy actor, Williams replied, "Well, it’s only a few people in the BBC. In America they see me as a major British character actor, but unfortunately the BBC is pretty parochial and people are institutionalised here."[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Privileged Wilf
1987 Out of Order PC
1988 High Season Benny
1994 Prince of Jutland Aslak
1996 101 Dalmatians Horace
1997 The Borrowers Exterminator Jeff
1998 Shakespeare in Love Wabash
1999 Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? Roland Thornton
2000 High Heels and Low Lifes Tremaine
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Arthur Weasley
2002 Anita and Me The Reverend 'Uncle' Alan
2002 The Final Curtain Declan Farrell
2004 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Inspector Crescent
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Arthur Weasley
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Arthur Weasley
2006 A Cock and Bull Story Ingoldsby
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Arthur Weasley
2007 Stardust Billy the Innkeeper
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Arthur Weasley
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Arthur Weasley
2010 Flutter Raymond
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Arthur Weasley
2011 Albert Nobbs Sean


Year Title Role Notes
1988 The Storyteller Fearnot's brother Episode "Fearnot"
Red Dwarf Olaf Petersen Three episodes:"The End", "Balance of Power" & "Stasis Leak"
Alexei Sayle's Stuff First series, six episodes
1989 Tumbledown Lumpy
1990 Kinsey Danny
Making Out Manfred Episodes 1 and 2
KYTV Episode "Launch"
1991 Merlin of the Crystal Cave Cerdic
Bottom Boris Episode "Accident"
1993 The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer Don Powell Seven episodes 1993–1995
1994 Health and Efficiency Steven Episode "Cinderella Rockafeller"
The Fast Show 23 episodes 1994–2000
Chef! Policeman 2 Episode "Masterchef"
1995 The Big Game Tommy Hollis
Searching Gerald
Peak Practice Roland Grogan Episode "Life and Soul"
1998 The Fast Show Live
The Canterbury Tales Chanticleer Episode "Leaving London" – voice
Ted & Ralph Confirmed Bachelor
1999 Hunting Venus Peter
2000 Gormenghast Professor Perch
The Strangerers Cadet Flynn Nine episodes
2001 Fun at the Funeral Parlour Larry Nazareth Episode "The Jaws of Doom"
Industrial Revelations Himself Two series (as presenter)
2002 Shackleton Dudley Docker[citation needed]
2003 Grass Ben Six episodes
2004 Mark Williams on the Rails Himself Presenter
Carrie and Barry Kirk Two episodes
2006 Mark Williams' Big Bangs Himself Presenter
Saxondale Deggsy One episode
2007 A Room with a View Mr Beebe
2008 Sense and Sensibility Sir John Middleton
2009 Inspector George Gently Joe Bishop Episode "Gently in the Night"
Blood in the Water Jerry Hourihan
Agatha Christie's Marple Claud Evans Episode "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?"
New Tricks David Beaumont Episode "The Truth is out There"
2010 Merlin voice of goblin[6] Episode "Goblin's Gold"
The Indian Doctor Richard Sharpe[7] Five episodes
2011 Frankenstein's Wedding Alphonse Frankenstein
2012 Being Human Regus
Hustle Dale Ridley
Doctor Who Brian Williams[8] Season 7; Episode 2 (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship) and Episode 4 (The Power of Three)
2013 Blandings Sebastian Beach Six episodes
Still Open All Hours Planter's Salesman
2013— Father Brown Father Brown Title character, 45 episodes
2014— The Link Presenter BBC daytime game show


  1. "Harry Potter: The Exhibition". Heart.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Mark Williams: I'm not a comedian". 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2013-01-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. [1][dead link]
  4. "Mark Williams: Captain of industry". The Independent, 21 September 2005. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  5. "I'm a British character actor – not a comedian".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Merlin – Goblin's Gold". Retrieved 2013-01-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Ian Wolf. "The Indian Doctor – Production Details". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 18 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Doctor Who Magazine - Issued March 8, 2012.

External links