Ivan Blakeley Kaye
1 July 1961
Ivan Blakeley Kaye (born 1 July 1961) is an English actor and producer. After playing roles in national productions like Bryan in the comedy series The Green Green Grass,his international fame came with roles in historical drama shows like the Duke of Milan in all three seasons of The Borgias , and King Aelle in the first four Seasons of History channel's series Vikings. More recent projects include action thriller Gunpowder Milkshake and the series pilot for Amazon's adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower .
Kaye was born on 1 July 1961 in Northampton, Northamptonshire.His passion for entertainment started in early childhood when he recreated television adverts at age two and performed shows with his friends throughout his childhood. As an eight-year-old boy, a key experience strengthened his enthusiasm and he joined a youth theatre group at age eleven, taking over organizational duties some years later. The only family member to have been involved in the entertainment industry before was Kaye's maternal grandmother who had been a musical star in the 1920s.
As his parents were social workers who moved frequently, Kaye attended thirteen different senior schools and experienced bullying along the way. It was in a school fight that he got his nose broken.As his parents ran hostels for mentally ill people, adolescents and delinquents, Kaye came in contact with various types of behaviours and people from an early age. According to his own appraisal, this experience has been a helpful factor for the development of his wide-ranging repertoire. While earning his degree in English Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury on the insistence of his parents, he performed in as many student plays as possible and started his professional career right afterward, getting an agent after one of his first serious performances in his early twenties and making his first West End theatre appearance early on.
Hence Kaye had a successful theatre career already before starting his television work in his thirties. He decided to leave the theatre and turn to television in order to be able to spend time with his children while they were growing up because theatre performances in the evenings would have meant that he would not have been at home when they returned from school and university.
Kaye made his theatre debut in 1980 at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London as Willie Wonka in a stage version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory .More theatre roles followed throughout the 1980s and 1990s, e.g. at the Royal National Theatre and the Piccadilly Theatre ( The Rocky Horror Show ).
In 1990, he started his television career by guest starring in the crime shows The Paradise Club and The Bill .In 1992 he played the leading part Sam Sterne in ITV's crime show Sam Saturday . Since then he has played almost 50 roles in television and, from 2004, in movies ( Layer Cake , Control ).
Kaye's roles in recent international productions include drug baron Polo Yakur in Assassination Games (2011), the Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza in The Borgias (2011-2013), Joshua Collins, father of the main character Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) in Dark Shadows (2012), famous Viking warrior Ivar the Boneless in Hammer of the Gods (2013), pub landlord Mick Sturrock in BBC One's crime show The Coroner (2015-2016) and the Saxon King Aelle of Northumbria in History channel's period drama Vikings (2013-2017).
Aside from his villain roles as cold-blooded Polo Yakur (a "stand-out performance") and unscrupulous Duke Ludovico it is mainly his portrayal of King Aelle - in Vikings the deadly enemy and nemesis of the legendary hero of the show Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) - that has recently shaped Kaye's international profile. In his Twitter bio he describes himself as "Villain for Hire". His performances in the second part of season 4 of Vikings have been met with increased interest as his character King Aelle is of pivotal importance in the scenes of Ragnar's death and at the centre of attention during his own execution through the blood eagle torture inflicted by Ragnar's sons in revenge for the death of their father. In an interview on his character King Aelle in September 2017, Kaye contested the assessment of this antagonist as a villain - an assessment that had already been subject to disputes between parts of the audience.
Earlier internationally known roles include Reuben Starkadder in the television film Cold Comfort Farm (1995) and Adonija in the German-Italian-French co-production Solomon (1997).Mainly in the United Kingdom, Kaye is also known for his characters Dr. Jonathan Leroy in 27 episodes of the soap opera EastEnders in 2003-2004 and the herdsman Bryan in all of the episodes of the 4 Series television sitcom The Green Green Grass (2005-2009).
Up to 2021, Kaye has performed in four short filmsand, as a voice artist, he has lent his voice to characters in several video games like Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (2003) and Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011) as well as starring as a main character in comedy episodes and short films produced by his own and Douglas McFerran's production company Comedy Ink Productions. From October 2017 to January 2018 he returned to the stage in the role of Tom Kettle in Jez Butterworth's play The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre in London's West End.
In April and May 2018, Kaye came back to the small screen in the UK in his role as Pesca in the five part miniseries The Woman in White , a new BBC adaptation of Wilkie Collins' novel of the same name.A sneak peek review of British independent feature film For Love or Money: An Unromantic Comedy (released in the US on 15 March 2019) has emphasized his outstanding performance as the father of the main female character.
Kaye's more recent projects include Amazon's unreleased but reviewedpilot for an unrealized adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower book series, starting with a prequel about the main character's youth based on book 4 Wizard and Glass and Navot Papushado's new action thriller Gunpowder Milkshake. The former has started filming in Split on 13 May 2019, the latter finished filming in August 2019 in Berlin and has been released in the US and several other countries in July 2021 and in the rest of the world in the following months. Kaye's own Comedy Ink short film Acter has been released in April 2020. In summer 2021, he has returned to a TV series project by joining the cast of the Father Brown spin-off Sister Boniface Mysteries produced by BBC Studios.
Aside from his native language English, Kaye also has knowledge in French and Spanish.As indicated by his first name he has Russian ancestry. Kaye has two adult daughters and lives in London.
By supporting the Hounslow Urban Farm and the animal home The Mayhew, Kaye stands up for the protection of animals and the environment.He also supports the campaign "Justice for Andrew Jones" which aims at bringing the killers of a teenager to court who was killed in 2003 in Liverpool on the street.
|The Paradise Club||Arthur Burns||1990|
|The Bill||Alan Wilcock/David Collier/Watkins||1991–2010|
|Sam Saturday||DI Sam Saturday||1992|
|Men of the World||John||1994|
|Cold Comfort Farm||Reuben Starkadder||1995|
|Faith in the Future||Mark||1998|
|A Dinner of Herbs||Dan Bannaman||2000|
|The Peter Principle||Paulo||2000|
|The Armando Iannucci Shows||2000|
|Bad Girls||Charlie Atkins||2000–2001|
|Lenny Blue||DI Featherstone||2002|
|Trial & Retribution VI||Bob Brickman||2002|
|London's Burning||Jimmy Watts||2002|
|The Eustace Bros.||Dennis Walton||2003|
|Inside the Mind of Paul Gascoigne||Narrator||2005|
|EastEnders||Dr. Jonathan Leroy||2004|
|Layer Cake||Freddie Hurst||2004|
|The Green Green Grass||Bryan||2005–2009|
|Holby City||Jimmy Furnival||2008|
|Injustice||DS Harry Bowman||2011|
|The Borgias||Duke of Milan||2011–2013|
|Assassination Games||Polo Yakur||2011|
|Tortoise in Love||Sean||2012|
|Dark Shadows||Joshua Collins||2012|
|Hammer of the Gods||Ivar||2013|
|Top Hat||The Gentleman||2013|
|Sherlock Holmes Confidential||Sherlock Holmes||2013|
|Vikings||King Aelle of Northumbria||2013–2017|
|The Coroner||Mick Sturrock||2015–2016|
|The Woman in White||Pesca||2018|
|For Love or Money: An Unromantic Comedy||Patrick||2019|
|Cliffs of Freedom||Ghazi Khalif||2019|
|The King||Lord Scrope||2019|
|Acter||Ivan Kaye - Actor||2020|
|The Dark Tower||Mayor Hart Thorin||2020|
|The Dead Collectors||Peter||2021|
|Sister Boniface Mysteries||TBA||2022|
|End of Term||Garth Stroman||TBA|
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