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Ioan Gruffudd
Ioan Gruffudd at the 2011 Comic-Con International.jpg
Gruffudd at 2011 Comic-Con International
Born (1973-10-06) 6 October 1973 (age 50)
Aberdare, Wales
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Education Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Occupation Actor
Years active 1986–present
Alice Evans
(m. 2007; sep. 2021)
Children 2

Ioan Gruffudd (Welsh: [ˈjɔan ˈɡrɪfɪð]; /ˈjɑːn ˈɡrɪfɪθ/born 6 October 1973) is a Welsh actor. He first came to public attention as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in Titanic (1997), and then for his portrayal of Horatio Hornblower in the Hornblower series of television films (1998–2003). Subsequent roles have included Lancelot in King Arthur (2004), Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic in Fantastic Four (2005) and its 2007 sequel, William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace (2006), and Tony Blair in W. (2008).

His other film credits include 102 Dalmatians (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), The Gathering (2003), Fireflies in the Garden (2008), The Secret of Moonacre (2008), Sanctum, Horrible Bosses, Foster (all 2011), The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (2014), and San Andreas (2015).

On television, Gruffudd has starred in the CW series Ringer (2011–2012), the ABC drama Forever (2014–2015), the Lifetime series UnReal (2016), Sundance/ITV's Liar (2017–2020), and the Australian series Harrow (2018–present).

Early life and education

Gruffudd was born on 6 October 1973 in Aberdare, the eldest of three brothers. His parents, Gillian (née James) and Peter Griffiths (Ioan uses Gruffudd, the more traditional Welsh version of the surname), were both teachers.

His father was headmaster at two Welsh-language comprehensive schools in South Wales, first at Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari (in Llanharry, Rhondda Cynon Taf) then later at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen (in Rhydfelin). He has a brother, Alun, two years younger, and a sister, Siwan, who is seven years his junior. The Gruffudd siblings were raised in a Protestant non-conformist household.

During his childhood, his family moved to Cardiff. Gruffudd attended Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdar (Ynyslwyd; now located in Cwmdare), Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd (in Whitchurch, Cardiff), and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf (in Llandaff North).

He was an accomplished oboist in his teens, achieving a Grade 8 level in the ABRSM music examinations and playing in the South Glamorgan Youth Orchestra for several years, but gave it up once acting took up most of his time. He won prizes for his high baritone singing while at school, including one at the National Eisteddfod. He has said, "As a Welshman, I grew up in a culture of singing and performing with music, and I think it was through this performing that I got my confidence as an actor."

Gruffudd's parents are committed Christians, and in his early 20s he was a member of the London Church of Christ, but his mother later came to London to "sort [his] head out". In June 2007, he said that he "wouldn't describe myself as a deeply religious man".


E3 2005 Fantastic Four's Ioan Gruffudd (cropped)
Gruffudd in 2005

Gruffudd started his acting career at the age of 13 in a Welsh television film, Austin (1986), and later moved on to the Welsh language soap opera Pobol y Cwm (People of the Valley) from 1987 to 1994. He also played football with the Pobol y Cwm football team Cwmderi FC alongside co-stars Hywel Emrys, Gwyn Elfyn and Ieuan Rhys. During this time, he was also active on stage, in-school performances, and in the 1991 Urdd Eisteddfod production of Cwlwm.

In 1992, aged 18, he began attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. However, he was only given small parts in the academy's productions, and feeling isolated and directionless, almost dropped out several times. However, in 1995 in his final year, he was cast in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler as George (Jörgen) Tesman, the husband of Hedda, the lead character. This performance led to his being offered the role of Jeremy Poldark in the 1996 TV remake of Poldark.

After playing Oscar Wilde's lover John Gray in 1997's Wilde he took a role as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in James Cameron's film Titanic. He later landed the role of Horatio Hornblower in Hornblower, the Meridian production of the C. S. Forester novels (1998–2003), shown on ITV and A&E. He has said: "It was quite something for an unknown actor to get the lead. So I will always be grateful to Hornblower. ... I would love to play this character through every stage of his life. I think it would be unique to have an actor playing him from the very early days as a midshipman, through till he's an Admiral. So, I would love to play this character till he perishes."

His television work includes playing the character Pip in the BBC TV production of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1999), Lt. John Feeley in BBC One's Warriors (1999) and architect Philip Bosinney in ITV's adaptation of The Forsyte Saga (2002). He has starred in the films 102 Dalmatians (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001) and King Arthur (2004).

Gruffudd in 2007

In 2007, he starred in the historical drama Amazing Grace as William Wilberforce, the British abolitionist, receiving critical acclaim for the role. Gruffudd has also portrayed characters of both Marvel Comics and DC Comics, having appeared as Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic in Marvel's Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and provided the voice of Mister Miracle in DC's Justice League Unlimited (2004–06).

In 2008, he appeared in the Julia Roberts-Ryan Reynolds film, Fireflies in the Garden. In 2008, he also appeared in The Secret of Moonacre. In 2009, he starred alongside Josh Brolin in W., a biopic about the life of US President George W Bush, in which Gruffudd played Tony Blair. In 2011, he played the financier of a cave dive in Sanctum.

Gruffudd débuted his new male lead of Dr Andrew Earlham, a respected surgeon and widowed father of a teenage son, on 11 September 2017, in ITV's new 6-part thriller miniseries, Liar. ..... Liar also began airing in the US on SundanceTV on 25 September 2017.

In 2018, Gruffudd was cast as forensic pathologist Dr. Daniel Harrow in the Australian TV show Harrow airing on the ABC. The show is set and filmed in Brisbane and focuses on Gruffudd's character Dr. Harrow a forensic pathologist with a total disregard for authority and an unfailing empathy for the dead which helps him to solve the most bizarre of cases. The series was a ratings hit in Australia and overseas and was renewed for a second series in 2019 and third series in 2020.

Apart from television and film work, he starred in the music video of Westlife's version of "Uptown Girl" (2001) alongside Claudia Schiffer. On 7 July 2007 he was a presenter at the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium, London.

Gruffudd is a native Welsh speaker. He was inducted into the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain (the Bardic Order of Great Britain) at the highest rank of druid in the National Eisteddfod at Meifod, mid-Wales, on 4 August 2003, with the bardic name "Ioan".

In July 2008, he featured in a promotional trailer in Welsh for BBC Wales, alongside fellow Welshmen Matthew Rhys and Gethin Jones, publicising BBC coverage of the 2008 National Eisteddfod of Wales in Cardiff. In early 2014, Gruffudd was among the stars of Wales in a short film from the BBC to mark the centenary of the birth of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

Personal life

On 14 September 2007, he married actress Alice Evans, whom he met during the production of 102 Dalmatians.

One of Gruffudd's best men and speechmakers at the wedding was fellow Welsh actor Matthew Rhys, his long-time friend and former flatmate of eight years. Both are patrons of Trust PA, a UK spinal injuries charity.

Gruffudd and Evans have two daughters, born in 2009 and 2013. Evans announced the couple's separation in January 2021. On 1 March 2021, Gruffudd filed for divorce.

On 14 February 2022, Gruffudd filed for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against Evans. This included the protection of his girlfriend Bianca Wallace. On 2 August 2022, Gruffudd was granted a three-year Permanent Domestic Violence Restraining Order against Evans.



Title Year Role Notes
Wilde 1997 John Gray
Titanic 1997 Harold Lowe
Solomon & Gaenor 1999 Solomon Levinsky
Great Expectations 1999 Pip
102 Dalmatians 2000 Kevin Shepherd
Another Life 2001 Freddy Bywaters
Very Annie Mary 2001 Hob
Happy Now? 2001 Sgt. Max Bracchi
Black Hawk Down 2001 Lt. John Beales
Shooters 2002 Freddy Guns
Gathering, TheThe Gathering 2002 Dan Blakeley
This Girl's Life 2003 Daniel
King Arthur 2004 Lancelot
Fantastic Four 2005 Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team (with Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis)
TV Set, TheThe TV Set 2006 Richard McAllister
Amazing Grace 2006 William Wilberforce
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer 2007 Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Dance
Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (with Jessica Alba)
Stories USA 2007 Simon
Agent Crush N/A Agent Crush Voice role, never released
The Meant to Be's 2008 The Man Television film
Fireflies in the Garden 2008 Addison
Secret of Moonacre, TheThe Secret of Moonacre 2008 Sir Benjamin Merryweather
W. 2008 Tony Blair
The Kid 2010 Teacher
Horrible Bosses 2011 Wetwork Expert Cameo
Sanctum 2011 Carl Hurley
Foster 2011 Alec Also titled Angel in the House
The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box 2013 Charles Mundi
Eddie 2013 The Killer Short
Playing It Cool 2014 Stuffy
San Andreas 2015 Daniel Riddick
Keep Watching 2017 Carl Mitchell
Buttons 2019 William Kingsley
The Professor and the Madman 2019 Henry Bradley
Ava 2020 Peter

Video games

Title Year Role Notes
Fantastic Four 2005 Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic Based on the film of the same name
Diablo III 2012 Necromancer (male)


Title Year Role Notes
Austin 1986 Dafydd
Pobol y Cwm 1987–1994 Gareth Wyn Harries
Poldark 1996 Jeremy Poldark
Hornblower: The Even Chance 1998 Midshipman Horatio Hornblower
Hornblower: The Examination for Lieutenant 1998 Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower
Warriors 1999 Lt. John Feeley
Hornblower: The Duchess and the Devil 1999 Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower
Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters 1999 Lt. Horatio Hornblower
Great Expectations 1999 Pip
Hornblower: Mutiny 2002 3rd Lt. Horatio Hornblower
Hornblower: Retribution 2002 3rd Lt. Horatio Hornblower
Man and Boy 2002 Harry Silver TV movie
Forsyte Saga, TheThe Forsyte Saga 2002 Phillip Bosinney
Hornblower: Loyalty 2003 Commander Horatio Hornblower
Hornblower: Duty 2003 Commander Horatio Hornblower
Century City 2004 Lukas Gold
Justice League Unlimited 2005 Mister Miracle Voice role
Ben 10: Alien Force 2010 Devin Levin Voice role
Batman: The Brave and the Bold 2010 Armor/Red Ryan Voice role
Ringer 2011–2012 Andrew Martin
Family Guy 2012 Prince Charles Episode: "Family Guy Viewer Mail #2"
The British 2012 Narrator
Monday Mornings 2013 Dr. Stewart Delaney Guest role
Castle 2013 Erik Vaughn Season 5, Episode 21: "The Squab and the Quail"
Necessary Roughness 2013 Nolan Powers Guest role
Glee 2013 Paolo San Pablo 2 episodes ("Love, Love, Love"; "The End of ...")
Under Milk Wood 2014 Mog Edwards TV movie
Forever 2014–2015 Dr. Henry Morgan Lead, 22 episodes
UnReal 2016 John Booth
Liar 2017–2020 Andrew Earlham Lead, 12 episodes
Harrow 2018–present Dr. Daniel Harrow Lead role


Title Year Location Role
Hedda Gabler 1995 London (RADA) George (Jörgen) Tesman
Trouble Sleeping 1995 National Theatre Studio, London Unknown
The Decameron 1995 Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, London Unknown
The Play What I Wrote 2001 Wyndham's Theatre, London Mystery Guest

Music video

Title Year Performer Album Ref.
"Uptown Girl" 2001 Westlife World of Our Own

See also

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