Anthony Stewart Head
20 February 1954
|Education||Sunbury Grammar School|
|Alma mater||London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art|
|Partner(s)||Sarah Fisher (1982–present)|
|Relatives||Murray Head (brother)|
Anthony Stewart Head (born 20 February 1954) is an English actor and musician. Primarily a performer in musical theatre, he rose to fame in the UK in the 1980s following his role in the Gold Blend couple television advertisements for Nescafé, which led to major roles in several television series. He is best known for his roles as Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), the Prime Minister in Little Britain (2003–2006), and Uther Pendragon in Merlin (2008–2012), as well as voicing Herc Shipwright in BBC Radio 4's Cabin Pressure.
Head was born in Camden Town, London. His father was Seafield Laurence Stewart Murray Head (1919–2009), a documentary filmmaker and a founder of Verity Films, and his mother was actress Helen Shingler (1919–2019). They had married in 1944 in Watford. His older brother is actor and singer Murray Head. Both brothers have played the part of Freddie Trumper in the musical Chess at the Prince Edward Theatre, London, with Murray a part of the original cast in 1986, while Anthony was in the final cast in 1989.
Head was educated at Sunbury Grammar School and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). In discussing why he chose acting as a career, in an interview in 2013 he said that "When it's in your family, it's a choice, it's there. It's not a jump to say: 'I want to act.' When I was six I was in a little show my mother's friends organised, playing the Emperor in The Emperor's New Clothes. I remember thinking: 'This is the business, this is what I want to do.'"
1970s to 1990s
His first role was in the musical Godspell; this led to roles in television on both BBC and ITV, one of his earliest being an appearance in the series Enemy at the Door (ITV, 1978–1980). In the early 1980s he provided backing vocals for the band Red Box. In the late 1980s, he appeared in a storyline series of twelve coffee commercials with Sharon Maughan for Nescafé Gold Blend. (A version made for North America featured the American brand name Taster's Choice.) The soap opera nature of the commercials brought him wider recognition, along with a part in the Children's ITV comedy drama Woof!
Head played Frank N. Furter in the 1990–91 West End revival of The Rocky Horror Show at London's Piccadilly Theatre, with Craig Ferguson as Brad Majors. In 1991 Head's rendition of "Sweet Transvestite" was released as a single by Chrysalis Records. Head played the role again in the summer of 1995 at London's Duke of York's Theatre, a 3 May 2006 tribute show at London's Royal Court Theatre, and a 14 October 2000 production at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Success on the stage and a number of brief appearances on American television, such as in the short-lived VR.5, led to accepting the role of Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1997. For this role he lived full-time in the United States during the late 1990s and early 2000s, although his family continued to live in the UK. Head left the regular cast of Buffy during the show's sixth season and subsequently appeared several times as a guest star through the conclusion of the series. In many interviews at the time, Head said he left the show to spend more time with his family, having realised that he had spent most of the year outside Britain, which added up to more than half his youngest daughter's life.
In 2002, he co-starred in the BBC Two television series Manchild, a show revolving around four friends approaching their fifties who try to recapture their fading youth and vitality while dealing with life as 'mature' men. He also appeared in guest roles in various other dramas, such as Silent Witness, Murder Investigation Team, and Spooks. He appeared in the 4th series of the British hit sitcom My Family in 2003 playing one of the main characters' (Abi's) father in the episode "May the Best Man Win". He was featured as the Prime Minister in the popular BBC comedy sketch show Little Britain from 2003 to 2005, and guest starred in several episodes of the 2004 series of popular drama Monarch of the Glen.
Outside television work, he has released an album of songs with musician George Sarah entitled Music for Elevators. Early in his career he provided vocals for some of the tracks on the Chris de Burgh album The Getaway and the reading from The Tempest on "Don't Pay the Ferryman".
In 2001, he appeared in a special webcast version of Doctor Who, a story called Death Comes to Time, in which he played the Time Lord Valentine. He also guest starred in the Excelis Trilogy, a series of Doctor Who audio adventures produced by Big Finish Productions, and in 2005 narrated the two-part documentary Project: WHO?, detailing the television revival of the series, for BBC Radio 2 (and released to CD in 2006 by BBC Audio). In April 2006 he appeared as a school's alien headmaster, Mr. Finch, in an episode of the second series entitled "School Reunion". Soon after, he recorded an abridged audio book of the Doctor Who novel The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker. He narrated the third and fourth series of Doctor Who Confidential. He also voiced the character Baltazar, Scourge of the Universe (an evil space pirate searching for the Infinite) in the first ever animated Doctor Who special, "The Infinite Quest". Head had previously auditioned for the role of the Eighth Doctor for the 1996 television film, but lost out to Paul McGann.
In early 2006, he appeared in an episode of Hotel Babylon, a BBC One drama set in a hotel, in which he played a suicidal man who recovers and lands a music deal. The same year he filmed a pilot for a new show entitled Him and Us, loosely based on the life of openly gay rock star Elton John, for American TV channel ABC, co-starring Kim Cattrall. In July he appeared as Captain Hook at the Children's Party at the Palace, a live pantomime staged in the grounds of Buckingham Palace as part of Queen Elizabeth II's 80th birthday celebrations. In October 2006, he voiced Ponsonby, leader of MI6, in Destroy All Humans! 2.
At Comic-Con International in 2007, Joss Whedon said talks were almost completed for a 90-minute Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off, Ripper, as a BBC special, with both Head and the BBC on board. In 2007, he portrayed Stockard Channing's gay brother in the English film Sparkle and appeared as Mr. Colubrine in the ITV1 comedy drama Sold. Head also appeared as Sir Walter Elliot in Persuasion. Head also narrated a BBC behind-the-scenes programme for the American television series Heroes, Heroes Unmasked. He has also been seen as Maurice Riley in the BBC drama The Invisibles alongside Warren Clarke.
After seeing Anthony Head in the Buffy musical episode, "Once More With Feeling", Saw director Darren Lynn Bousman cast him in his 21st century rock opera, Repo! The Genetic Opera. Head portrays an organ repossessor, employed by a fictional dystopian medical firm; "Anthony Head was my number one choice for Repo Man from the very beginning", said Bousman in an interview shortly before the film's release on 7 November 2008. The film also stars Sarah Brightman and Paris Hilton.
Head has also performed for radio, taking two of the lead roles—arch-villain Mr. Gently Benevolent, and his descendant, journalist Jeremy Sourquill—in the BBC Radio 4 comedy series, Bleak Expectations (five series, 2007–12). He also had a significant recurring role in the last two series (2011–13) of the Radio 4 sitcom Cabin Pressure as Hercules Shipwright, a romantic interest for the airline CEO played by Stephanie Cole, and returned for show's two-part finale in 2014.
Head also provides voice-over work in the Nintendo Wii video game Flip's Twisted World, developed by Frozen North Productions. For his acting in the film Despite the Falling Snow he won the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2016 Prague Independent Film Festival. In July 2018 Head was added to the cast of long-running BBC radio soap-opera The Archers, playing Robin Fairbrother, member of a family with several past and current connections to the Archers themselves.
|1981||Lady Chatterley's Lover||Anton|
|1987||A Prayer for the Dying||Rupert|
|1988||La Collina del diavolo||Michael Toyle|
|1992||Woof Again! Why Me?||Direct-to-video release|
|2003||I'll Be There||Sam Gervasi|
|2005||Framing Frankie||Dennis Folley|
|2005||Imagine Me & You||Ned|
|2006||Little Britain Live||Prime Minister||Direct-to-video release|
|2007||The Magic Door||George||Direct-to-video release|
|2007||Amelia and Michael||Michael||Short|
|2007||Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street||Gentleman in Street||Uncredited role|
|2008||Repo! The Genetic Opera||Nathan Wallace/Repo Man|
|2011||The Great Ghost Rescue||Prime Minister|
|2011||The Inbetweeners Movie||Will's Father|
|2011||Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance||Benedict|
|2011||The Iron Lady||Geoffrey Howe|
|2013||Underdogs||Adult Flash||Voice role|
|2013||Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters||Chiron|
|2014||Flying Home||Mr. Montgomery|
|2016||Despite the Falling Snow||Old Misha|
|2016||A Street Cat Named Bob||Jack Bowen|
|2018||Batman: Gotham by Gaslight||Alfred Pennyworth||Voice role|
|1978||Enemy at the Door||Clive Martel||2 episodes|
|1978||Lillie||William Le Breton||ITV miniseries|
|1978||Accident||Simon Lovell||Episode: "The Figures Man"|
|1979||Jackanory Playhouse||Spare||Episode: "The Christmas Cuckoo"|
|1979||The Mallens||Weir||2 episodes|
|1979||Secret Army||Hanslick||Episode: "A Safe Place"|
|1980||Love in a Cold Climate||Tony Kroesig||3 episodes|
|1981||Crown Court||Timothy Preston-Berry||Episode: "Hen Party"|
|1981||Bergerac||Bill||Episode: "See You in Moscow"|
|1981||BBC2 Playhouse||Chief Hook||Episode: "The Grudge Fight"|
|1984, 1988||The Comic Strip Presents...||Ricki
Recording Studio Engineer
|Episodes: "Slags", "More Bad News"|
|1985||C.A.T.S. Eyes||James Sinden||Episode: "Goodbye, Jenny Wren"|
|1985||Howards' Way||Phil Norton||5 episodes|
|1987||Boon||Richard Rathbone||Episode: "Day of the Yoke"|
|1988||Pulaski||Dudley Fielding||Episode: "The Price of Fame"|
|1988||Rockliffe's Babies||Chris Patterson||Episode: "A Trip to the Zoo"|
|1989||Hard Cases||DC 'Spider' Webb||Episode #2.6|
|1993||The Detectives||Simon||Episode: "Acting Constables"|
|1993||Highlander: The Series||Allan Rothwood||Episode: "Nowhere to Run"|
|1994||Royce||Pitlock||Showtime television film|
|1995||VR.5||Oliver Sampson||10 episodes|
|1995||Ghostbusters of East Finchley||Terry||Episode #1.5|
|1995||NYPD Blue||Nigel Gibson||Episode: "Cold Heaters"|
|1996||Roger Roger||Jimmy Price||Television film|
|1997||Jonathan Creek||Adam Klaus||Episode: "The Wrestler's Tomb"|
|1997–2003||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Rupert Giles||121 episodes; (main 1997–2001, Special Guest 2002–03)|
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television
|1999||Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place||Dr Staretski||Episode: "Two Guys, a Girl and a Mother's Day"|
|2000||Best Actress||Colin Truemans||E! television film|
|2001||Silent Witness||Henry Hutton||Episode: "Two Below Zero"|
|2002||Spooks||Peter Salter||Episode: "Traitor's Gate"|
|2002||Fillmore!||Professor Third||Voice role|
Episodes: "Red Robins Don't Fly", "A Cold Day at X"
|2003, 2005||My Family||Richard Harper / Himself||2 episodes|
|2003||And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself||William Benton||HBO television film|
|2003||Reversals||Andrew Barton||ITV television film|
|2003–2006||Little Britain||Michael Stevens||23 episodes|
|2004||True Horror with Anthony Head||Presenter||5 episodes|
|2004||New Tricks||Sir Tim||Episode: "Painting on Loan"|
|2004||Monarch of the Glen||Chester Grant||4 episodes|
|2005||Murder Investigation Team||Stewart Masters||Episode #2.2|
|2005||Rose and Maloney||David Terry||Episode: "Annie Johnson"|
|2006||Hotel Babylon||Mr. Machin||Episode #1.2|
|2006||Doctor Who||Mr. Finch||Episode: "School Reunion"|
|2006||Children's Party at the Palace||Captain Hook||BBC television special|
|2006||Him and Us||Max Flash||Unsold television pilot|
|2007||Comic Relief 2007: The Big One||Various||Television special|
|2007||Persuasion||Sir Walter Elliot||Television film|
|2007||Totally Doctor Who||Baltazar||Voice role in The Infinite Quest|
|2007||Sensitive Skin||Tom Paine||Episodes: "The Signals", "Here I Am"|
|2007||Sold||Mr. Colubrine||6 episodes|
|2007–2008||Heroes Unmasked||Narrator||Series 1 & 2|
|2007–2009||Doctor Who Confidential||Narrator||30 episodes|
|2008||Freezing||Lindsay Posner||Episode #1.2|
|2008–2012||Merlin||Uther Pendragon||43 episodes|
|2008||The Invisibles||Maurice Riley||BBC One series|
|2009||Free Agents||Stephen Caudwell||Channel 4 TV series|
|2011–2012||Free Agents||Stephen||NBC TV series (US remake of the Channel 4 series of the same name)|
|2013||Dancing on the Edge||Donaldson||BBC Two series|
|2013–2014||Warehouse 13||Paracelsus||4 episodes|
|2013–2015||You, Me & Them||Ed Walker||UKTV Gold series|
|2014–2015||Dominion||David Whele||Main cast|
|2015||Galavant||Galavant's Father||Episode: "My Cousin Izzy"|
|2015–2016||Yonderland||Nigel Maddox||3 episodes|
|2016||Drunk History||Admiral Horatio Nelson, Alexander Graham Bell||2 episodes|
|2016||Guilt||James Lahue||5 episodes|
|2017||Still Star-Crossed||Lord Silvestro Capulet||Series regular|
|2017||Shadowhunters||Angel Raziel||Voice role|
Episode: "Beside Still Water"
|2018||The Split||Oscar Defoe||6 episodes|
|2018||Vanity Fair||Lord Steyne||3 episodes|
|2019||Jack Ryan||Rupert Thorne||2 episodes|
|2020||The Stranger||Ed Price||8 episodes|
|2020||The Big Night In||Michael Stevens||TV special|
|2020||Robot Chicken||Rupert Giles||Voice role|
|2020||Ted Lasso||Rupert Mannion||4 episodes|
|2021||Back||Charismatic Mike||Episode #2.2|
|2021||Feel Good||George Senior||2 episodes|
|2007–2012||Bleak Expectations||Gently Benevolent & Jeremy Sourquill|
|2010||Ghost Stories by Walter de la Mare||The Reader||First broadcast on BBC Radio 7 – Mon 27 December 2010 Subsequent repeats on Radio 4 Extra
Episode 4 of 5: "A Recluse"
|2011–2014||Cabin Pressure||Herc Shipwright||Episodes: "Newcastle", "Ottery St Mary", "Rotterdam", "Vaduz", "Yverdon-Les-Bains", "Zürich, Part 1", "Zürich, Part 2"|
|2018||The Archers||Robin Fairbrother|
|1990–1991||The Rocky Horror Show||Dr. Frank-N-Furter||As part of the 1990-91 West End revival production at the Piccadilly Theatre|
|2005||Otherwise Engaged||Jeff Golding||Directed by Simon Curtis, also starring Richard E. Grant and David Bamber|
|2010||Six Degrees of Separation||Flan Kittredge||Also starring Lesley Manville and Obi Abili|
|2015||Ticking||Edward (Simon's father)|
|2017||Love In Idleness||Sir John Fletcher||Also starring Eve Best|
|2018||The Muppets Take the O2||Himself||Head attempts to read William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud", but joins a dance party with Pepe the King Prawn instead; he also joined the cast for a rendition of "Rainbow Connection".|
- Face in the Window – EP (1983 album) with his band Two way
- "Sweet Transvestite" (1991 single) Chrysalis Records, 7″ single, 12″ single, CD single, and shaped picture CD
- Music for Elevators (2002 album) in collaboration with George Sarah
- Once More, with Feeling (2001 album) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- "Cry" (2012 single) written by Marina Florance for the Oldie Composers Competition
- Staring at the Sun (2014 album) solo album of both covers and original work
- "Official Anthony Stewart Head FAQ". The Official Anthony Head Site. Archived from the original on 2 June 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2008.
- "Anthony Head: Why I'm happy Eve Myles is my 'girlfriend'". Metro newspaper. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "LewisSlade.com". lewisslade.com. Archived from the original on 27 October 2007.
- McHorse, Shawn (1997–2011). "Anthony Stewart Head". RockyMusic.
- "Television News, Reviews and TV Show Recaps – HuffPost TV". The Huffington Post.
- "Persuasion 2007 Casting News". AustenBlog. 29 August 2006.
- "Darren Lynn Bousman: Repossessed". SuicideGirls.com. 7 November 2008. Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
- "Richard Wilson and Anthony Head lead cast in Merlin, a fantasy drama for BBC One". bbc.co.uk. 17 March 2008. Archived from the original on 23 March 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
- Gladney, Mitch (10 August 2010). "Flip's Twisted World Developer Diary: The Story of Flip's Twisted World". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- "A trio of awards for Despite The Falling Snow". Enlightenment Productions. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- "Disney General Entertainment Content Press".
- "Production of Yonadab". Theatricalia. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- David Hutchison (11 October 2015). "Anthony Head: 'We're the only artists in the world who don't practise'". The Stage. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- Paul Taylor (13 April 1994). "THEATRE / Murder most horrid: Paul Taylor finds chilling parallels in Keith Baxter's production of Patrick Hamilton's Rope at Wyndham's". The Independent. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- Michael Billington (1 November 2005). "Otherwise Engaged". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- Dominic Cavendish (23 December 2009). "Six Degrees of Separation at the Old Vic". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- Paul Taylor (15 October 2015). "Ticking, Trafalgar Studios, theatre review: Let's just get this execution on the road". The Independent. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- Sarah Crompton (20 March 2017). "Review: Love in Idleness (Menier Chocolate Factory)". WhatsOnStage.com. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- Bruce Dessau (6 July 2018). "News: David Tennant, Kylie Minogue, Adam Hills Join The Muppets". Beyond The Joke. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anthony Stewart Head.|
- BFI.org, Anthony Head at the British Film Institute
- Anthony Head at IMDb
- Watch Anthony Head in the short film Amelia and Michael
- Anthony Head at British Comedy Guide
Articles and interviews