James Frain

Last updated

James Frain
James Frain 2010 (cropped 2).jpg
Frain at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con
Born (1968-03-14) 14 March 1968 (age 53)
Education Newport Free Grammar School
Alma mater University of East Anglia
Central School of Speech and Drama
Years active1993–present
Marta Cunningham
(m. 2004)

James Dominic Frain is an English stage and screen actor. His best known television roles include Thomas Cromwell in the Showtime/CBC historical drama The Tudors (2007–2009), Franklin Mott in the HBO drama True Blood (2010), Warwick the Kingmaker in the BBC drama serial The White Queen (2013), John Sumner in the Sky/Canal+ crime drama The Tunnel (2013), Ferdinand Chevalier in the BBC/Space sci-fi thriller Orphan Black (2015–2017), Theo Galavan/Azrael in Fox's Gotham (2015–2016), and Sarek in Star Trek Discovery (2017–present). He also played leading roles in the BBC dramas Armadillo (2001), The Buccaneers (1995) and The Mill on the Floss (1997).


In film, he is best known for playing Daniel Barenboim and Álvaro de la Quadra in the biographical dramas Hilary and Jackie and Elizabeth , respectively (both 1998), Bassianus in the Shakespeare adaptation Titus (1999), and Gérard de Villefort in the historical drama The Count of Monte Cristo (2002).

Early life

Frain was born in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, and brought up in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, the eldest of eight children of a teacher mother and a stockbroker father. He was educated at Newport Free Grammar School, studied Drama and Film at the University of East Anglia and trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. [1]


While in his final year of drama school, he made his film debut in Shadowlands (1993) after being spotted by Richard Attenborough. He was nominated for Best Actor at the 1995 Venice Film Festival for his performance as a Northern Irish terrorist in Thaddeus O'Sullivan's film, Nothing Personal (1995), and for Best Supporting Actor at the Genies in Toronto for his performance in István Szabó's Sunshine (1999).

He has been a regular on the stage in the United Kingdom, appearing with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal Court Theatre, as well as on the West End. He has also appeared on Broadway and was a recipient of the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performances along with the rest of the cast of The Homecoming (2007). [ citation needed ]

He has appeared in a number of television series, such as Soldier Soldier (1993); Armadillo (2001); 24 (2005); Invasion (2006); and The Closer (2006). His more recent roles include Thomas Cromwell in Showtime's The Tudors ; the villainous billionaire 'Chess' in the NBC superhero/crime drama series The Cape ; heroic Templar Sir Gregory in the Syfy original film Dark Relic (2010); and vampire Franklin Mott in the HBO drama True Blood . In season 2 of Grimm , Frain joined the cast as a mysterious recurring character named Eric Renard.

He appeared in the second season of Gotham as Azrael. He currently portrays Sarek, the father of Spock, on Star Trek: Discovery , the second prequel TV series in the Star Trek franchise.

Personal life

In 2004, Frain married director Marta Cunningham; they have two children. [2] He is an amateur artist.


Film roles
1993 Shadowlands Peter Whistler
1995 An Awfully Big Adventure John Harbour
1995 Nothing Personal Kenny
1996 Loch Ness Adrian Foote
1995Bruised FruitDanShort film
1997Red MeatVictor
1997 Robinson Crusoe Robert
1998 What Rats Won't Do Jack
1998 Hilary and Jackie Daniel Barenboim
1998 Elizabeth Álvaro de la Quadra
1998Vigo: A Passion for Life Jean Vigo
1999 Sunshine Gustave Sonnenschein
1999 Titus Bassianus
2000Zero EightShort film
2000 Reindeer Games Nick Cassidy
2000 The Miracle Maker Thomas (voice)
2000 Where the Heart Is Forney Hull
2002 The Count of Monte Cristo J.F. Villefort
2004 Spartacus David
2005 Into the Blue Reyes
2006 The Front Line Eddie Gilroy
2008 Quid Pro Quo Father Dave
2009 Everybody's Fine Tom
2010 Tron: Legacy Jarvis
2011 Water for Elephants Rosie's Caretaker
2012 Transit Marek
2012 Bert and Dickie Jack Beresford
2013 All Things to All Men Attorney General
2013 The Lone Ranger Barret
2013Alpha AlertAndrews
2014Born of WarSimon
2015Olivia Martha IlseWilliam BaileyShort film
2016 The Architect Miles Moss
2019 Against the Clock Dr. A
Television roles
1993 Soldier Soldier Lt. Giles ChapmanEpisode: "Disintegration"
1993 Prime Suspect 3 Jason BaldwinMiniseries
1995 The Buccaneers Julius FolyatMiniseries
1995Devil's AdvocateDoctor VestiTV Movie
1996 Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny Prince Felix Yusupov TV Movie
1996 Tales from the Crypt ElliotEpisode: "Report from the Grave"
1996StrangersDirkEpisode: "Ceremony"
1997 The Mill on the Floss Philip WakemTV Movie
1997Macbeth on the EstateMacbethTV Movie
2000 Arabian Nights Schahzenan/Harun al-Rashid Miniseries
2001 Armadillo Lorimer BlackMiniseries
2001 The Vice Gordon EllisEpisode: "Trade"
2002 Path to War Richard N. Goodwin TV Movie
2002The ProjectHarveyTV Movie
2003Leonardo Cesare Borgia Miniseries
2004 Spartacus DavidMiniseries
2004 Pilot Season Jeremy PilodesMiniseries
2005 24 Paul Raines 10 episodes
2005 Strong Medicine Art Gallery PainterEpisode: "Clinical Risk"
2005 Empire Marcus Junius Brutus Miniseries
2005 Medium CalleyEpisode: "Light Sleeper"
2005 Threshold Reverend LavoryEpisode: "Revelations"
2006 Invasion Eli SzuraRecurring
2006 The Closer Paul AndrewsEpisode: "Critical Missing"
2007 Numbers Allister McClairEpisode: "The Janus List"
20072009 The Tudors Thomas Cromwell Main role; 24 episodes
2008 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Dean HolidayEpisode: "Vanishing Act"
20082009 Fringe Salmon Kohl2 episodes
2009 In Plain Sight Phillip Ashmore/Phillip AndrewsEpisode: "Once a Ponzi Time"
2009 Grey's Anatomy Tom CrowleyEpisode: "I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watchin' Me"
2009 Lie to Me Lance McClellanEpisode: "Grievous Bodily Harm"
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Martin GoldEpisode: "Users"
2009 Californication Paul RiderEpisode: "Mia Culpa"
20092010 FlashForward Dr. Gordon Myhill2 episodes
2010 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Jeffrey HughesEpisode: "Sin City Blue"
2010 Dark Relic Sir GregoryTV Movie
2010 Miami Medical BrianEpisode: "Man on the Road"
2010 Leverage John Douglas KellerEpisode: "The King George Job"
2010 True Blood Franklin Mott [3] 8 episodes
2010 CSI: Miami Richard EllisonEpisode: "Sudden Death"
2011 The Cape Peter Fleming/ChessMain cast
2011 Burn Notice James ForteEpisode: "Eye for an Eye"
2012 The Mentalist Terry MurphyEpisode: "At First Blush"
20122013 Grimm Eric Renard8 episodes
2013 The White Queen Warwick the Kingmaker Miniseries
2013 Sleepy Hollow RutelidgeEpisode: "The Sin Eater" [4]
2013 The Tunnel John SumnerMain role; 4 episodes
2014 Reckless Stanford AshbyEpisode: "When the Smoke Clears"
2014 Intruders Richard ShepherdMain cast
2015 Agent Carter Leet Brannis 2 episodes
2015 True Detective Kevin BurrisMain role; 7 episodes
20152016 Gotham [5] Theo Galavan/Azrael [6] Main role; 16 episodes
20152017 Orphan Black Ferdinand Chevalier [7] 8 episodes
2017 Hawaii Five-0 Sebastian WakeEpisode: "Kama' oma' o ka 'aina huli hana"
2017present Star Trek: Discovery Sarek [8] Recurring role
2019 The Twilight Zone Agent AllendaleEpisode: "Point of Origin" [9]
2019 Elementary Odin Reichenbach [10] 7 episodes
2020 What We Do in the Shadows Black PeterEpisode: "Witches"
Video game role
2010 Tron: Evolution Zuse

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  1. "James Frain". Empire. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "The Tudors James Frain joins True Blood recurring Role". DreadCentral. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  4. "Sleepy Hollow Exclusive: True Blood Baddie to Butt Heads With Ichabod". tvline.com.
  5. http://en.yibada.com/articles/103973/20160213/don-t-watch-gotham-season-2-episode-12-mr-freeze.htm
  6. Nellie Andreeva (24 June 2015). "'Gotham' Casts James Frain As Regular, Will Play New Villain & Tigress' Brother". Deadline Hollywood . Penske Media Corporation . Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  7. "'Orphan Black' Adds 'Shameless' Alum Justin Chatwin, James Frain For Season 3". variety.com.
  8. "James Frain Joins Discovery As Sarek". Startrek.com. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  9. Petski, Denise (7 February 2019). "'The Twilight Zone': Ginnifer Goodwin To Star In Episode Of CBS All Access Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  10. Rudolph, Ileane (20 June 2019). "'Elementary' Sneak Peek: Is James Frain's Odin the Newest Foe to Holmes & Watson? (VIDEO)". TVInsider. Retrieved 5 May 2021.