Absolom was born in Lewisham, London. A former pupil of Forest Hill School, he made early appearances in the Sun-Pat peanut butter advertisements before making his acting debut with the 1991 film Antonia and Jane. He followed that with roles in several television series such as: The Bill, Dangerfield, Silent Witness and The Bay.
Absolom joined the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 1997 portraying Matthew Rose. He had few storylines in his first year on the show. The storyline which gained him recognition was the murder of Saskia Duncan which began in February 1999. His character was framed for the murder by the real culprit Steve Owen (played by Martin Kemp). After getting revenge on Steve Owen, his character's last appearance was aired in February 2000, and he won the Best Actor Award at The British Soap Awards that same year.
Since leaving EastEnders, Absolom played the leading role in the 2002 British horror film Long Time Dead and has played supporting roles in ITV television series such as Vincent. He is perhaps best known for his principal role in Doc Martin playing Bert Large's son Al. The part, since the series began, has won him critical acclaim.
Absolom guest starred in The Bill between 1992 and 2009 in different roles, and as Benny, a violent loan shark in Casualty. He appeared as a criminal in the internet crime thriller Girl Number Nine, also starring Tracy Ann Oberman and Gareth David Lloyd. More recently, he played the part of Ivan in the 2013 horror film 'I Spit on Your Grave 2'. He won a celebrity version of TV show Total Wipeout which aired on 18 September 2010, receiving £10,000 for charity. He played the murderer Christopher Halliwell in the ITV drama A Confession in 2019.
Absolom is also a radio actor, and has appeared in a BBC Radio 4 Play of the day "Bringing Eddie Home" by John Peacock, based on a true story of the fight by East End couple Edna and Jack Wallace to get their son's body brought home from Aden, and the ensuing fight for the rights of British Service personnel. Absolom played the role of Eddie Wallace and the play also included other ex EastEnders actors Bill Treacher, Edna Doré, Todd Carty and Tilly Vosburgh.
He married his long-term girlfriend Liz Brown in 2019. They have 3 children together.
|1991||Antonia and Jane||Daniel Nash|
|2002||Long Time Dead||Rob|
|2008||Small Things||Boyd Hilton||Short film|
|One of Those Days||Counter Clerk||Short film|
|2010||The Story Of __||Baz|
|2012||Defining Fay||Higgins||Short film|
|2013||I Spit on Your Grave 2||Ivan|
|1992||The Bill||Kevin Parsons||1 episode: Radio Waves|
|1994||The Bill||Mick||1 episode: King of the Hill|
|1996||The Tenant of Wildfell Hall||Fergus Markham||3 part series|
|The Bill||Tommy Benning||1 episode: Toe the Line|
|1997||Frighteners||Errand Boy||1 episode: If You Meet A Fairy|
|Silent Witness||Kelvin Price||1 episode: Friends Like These|
|Touching Evil||Craig Jones||1 episode: 1.5|
|Dangerfield||Alex Dell||1 episode: Contact|
|1997–2000||EastEnders||Matthew Rose||Series regular|
|2001||Now You See Her||Lewis|
|2002||Stan the Man||Depp||6 part series|
|2003||Unconditional Love||Benjamin Cain|
|Servants||George Cosmo||6 part series|
|Trevor's World of Sport||Scott||Recurring|
|P.O.W.||Drew Pritchcard||6 part series|
|2004||The Long Firm||Tommy|
|2004–2019||Doc Martin||Al Large||Series regular|
|2005–2006||Vincent||P.I. Robert||Series regular|
|2006||New Tricks||Luke Hanson||1 episode: Congratulations|
|2008||The Bill||Mark Lawrence||2 episodes: We Are Family (Parts 1 & 2)|
|Poirot||James Bentley||1 episode: Mrs McGinty's Dead|
|Casualty||Benny||2 episodes: This Will Be Our Year and|
Took A Long Time To Come
|Caught in a Trap||Marcus|
|2009||Personal Affairs||Bob Baxter||5 part series|
|New Tricks||Luke Hanson||1 episode: The Last Laugh|
|Girl Number 9||Boylan||Internet series|
|2010||Ashes to Ashes||Andy Smith||1 episode|
|Total Wipeout||Himself/participant||Celebrity edition|
|71 Degrees North||Himself/participant|
|Thorne: Scaredy Cat||Stuart Nicklin||Three-part series|
|2012||Hatfields & McCoys||Selkirk McCoy||Mini-series|
|2015||Midsomer Murders||Luke Altman||Episode 17.2 "Murder by Magic"|
|Death in Paradise||Aiden Parker||Episode 4.6|
|2016||The Level||Shay Nash|
|2019||A Confession||Christopher Halliwell|
|2021||The Bay||Andy Warren||6 episodes|
- "Joe Absolom Talks About Al Large's Future, Training with the Port Isaac Rowing Team". KCET. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- "When is A Confession on TV? Who's in the cast? What's it about?". Radio Times. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- "Surprises Abound In The New Season Of Doc Martin". Org. 11 February 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- "Absolom interview; EASTENDERS JOE TALKS ABOUT LOVE, FREEDOM ...AND A CLINCH WITH BABS". The Mirror. 9 January 2000. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Kelly, Helen (8 February 2018). "Remember EastEnders' Matthew Rose? What is actor Joe Absolom up to now?". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- S, Ian; well (15 March 2018). "Joe Absolom rules out EastEnders return". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 March 2019.