Richard Coyle

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Richard Coyle
Born (1972-02-27) February 27, 1972 (age 49)
Sheffield, United Kingdom[1]
Years active1998–present
(m. 2003; div. 2010)

Richard Coyle is an English actor.[2]

Early and personal life[edit]

Coyle was born in Sheffield, England on 6 February 1974.[1][3] Coyle is the second youngest of five sons. Their father was a builder.[3] He began his acting career after a stint working on a ferry entertaining passengers, where he was told by a theatre director that he had a talent and should pursue it further.[4] He graduated in Languages and Philosophy from the University of York in 1995[5] and was then accepted into the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School,[1] graduating in 1998, the same year as his close friends Dean Lennox Kelly and Oded Fehr.

Coyle was married to actress Georgia Mackenzie.[3] He was in a relationship with actress Ruth Bradley from early 2011 though by 2017 this had ended and he was seeing someone else.[4]

Film and television work[edit]

He began by appearing in such television programmes as Lorna Doone, as John Ridd and Evelyn Waugh's wartime saga Sword of Honour, and in Mike Leigh's film Topsy-Turvy. He played Mr Coxe in 1999's BBC version of Wives and Daughters. In 2000, Coyle's big break arrived in the form of the character Jeff Murdock in the comedy Coupling.[6] In 2003 he chose not to return to Coupling for its fourth series, and refused requests to return for a "goodbye episode".[7] In a 2005 interview, Coyle stated this was to avoid typecasting:

I'm very proud to have been part of Coupling and very grateful for the chance to play Jeff but I was very keen that that character didn’t stick with me forever. I’m an actor and I want to be an actor when I’m 60. It’s a lifelong process; why cut it off by boxing yourself into a little pigeonhole early on?[8]

He also starred in the short-lived 2002-2003 BBC show Strange, and had roles in the films Human Traffic, Franklyn, and A Good Year. He appeared in the new special episode of Cracker: Nine Eleven in October 2006 (TV) and starred in The Whistleblowers on ITV. He also starred in the 2001 version of Othello as Michael Cassio.

In 2004, Coyle played the role of Alcock, body servant to John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, in The Libertine alongside Johnny Depp. He appeared in Mike Newell's 2010 movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, playing Jake Gyllenhaal's older brother, the ambiguous Crown Prince Tus.

He was cast as the lead role, Moist von Lipwig, in the film Going Postal, based on the book of the same name by Terry Pratchett.[9] This was broadcast on television in May 2010.

Coyle had a leading role in Renny Harlin's film 5 Days of War, about the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia over the territory of South Ossetia. In September 2011, Coyle appeared as William Winthrop, in Madonna's feature-directorial debut W.E. about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. He appeared as Garda Ciarán O'Shea in Grabbers, the Irish comedy monster movie. Coyle also plays Wallace in Outpost: Black Sun, the sequel to the 2008 British horror film Outpost,[10] and the lead of drug pusher Frank in the 2012 English-language remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 cult classic Pusher.[11]

In 2012, Coyle joined the cast of the USA Network show Covert Affairs as Simon Fischer, an FSB agent and love interest for Piper Perabo's Annie Walker.[12] His character recurred until halfway through season three.[13]

In 2014, NBC began airing the series Crossbones, with Coyle as Tom Lowe, who is assigned to kill the pirate Blackbeard (played by John Malkovich).[14]

In 2018, Coyle was cast as Father Blackwood, a high priest of the Church of Night and Dean of the Academy of the Unseen Arts in the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.[15][16]

In January 2021, Coyle announced via Instagram that he has been cast in the untitled third Fantastic Beasts film, scheduled to be released in 2022. His role has not yet been announced.

Stage roles[edit]

He was cast as the lead in Peter Gill's 2002 stage premiere of The York Realist, and later in the Donmar Warehouse production of the play Proof, in London, alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, and on the success of this he was cast in Patrick Marber's reworking of August Strindberg's play After Miss Julie with Kelly Reilly and Helen Baxendale. From September to November 2004, Coyle played the title role in Michael Grandage's production of Friedrich Schiller's Don Carlos which then transferred to the West End from January to April 2005. The cast also included Derek Jacobi, Peter Eyre and Una Stubbs. The V&A theatre archive has a copy of a film of the production which can be privately viewed. He was in Peter Gill's production of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger at the Theatre Royal, Bath from August to September 2006. In 2008 Richard starred in Harold Pinter's The Lover and The Collection at the Comedy Theatre in London, alongside Charlie Cox and Gina McKee.

In 2010 he played John in Mark Haddon's play Polar Bears at the Donmar Warehouse, London.[17]

His own theatre company was scheduled to debut at the refurbished Arcola Theatre in Dalston, London in March 2013,[citation needed] with Coyle starring alongside his friend and co-founder Rafe Spall in Simon Bent's play The Associate.[citation needed]

In 2014 he played MacDuff in the Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford directed Macbeth at the Park Avenue Armory, New York City.[18]

Coyle originated the role of Larry Lamb in James Graham's new play Ink which opened at the Almeida Theatre directed by Rupert Goold before transferring to the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End. Coyle stars alongside Bertie Carvel who plays Rupert Murdoch.[19]

Other media[edit]

Coyle played Keats in the game Folklore and has also narrated the following audio books: At The Mountains of Madness and The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H. P. Lovecraft, Resistance by Owen Sheers, and the H.I.V.E. series of novels by Mark Walden.



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Macbeth Loon Television movie
1998 The Life and Crimes of William Palmer John Parsons Cook Television movie
1998 What Rats Won't Do Journalist
1999 Human Traffic Andy
1999 Topsy-Turvy Mr Hammond
2000 Hearts and Bones Will Stenner Television movie
2000 Lorna Doone John Ridd Television movie
2001 Sword of Honour Trimmer McTavish Television movie
2001 Young Blades Count Morlas
2001 Happy Now? Joe Jones
2001 Othello Michael Cass Television movie
2003 Blight John Blight Short film
2003 Friday Night In Ben Short film
2004 Gunpowder, Treason & Plot Catesby Television movie
2004 The Libertine Alcock
2006 Ultra Cryptic Man Television movie
2006 The Best Man Michael Sheldrake Television movie
2006 Cracker D.I. Walters Television movie
2006 A Good Year Amis
2007 The History of Mr. Polly Jim Television movie
2008 Franklyn Dan
2008 Blight John Blight
2008 The Pro Tony Kirby Short film
2009 Octavia Gareth Llewellyn Television movie
2010 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Tus
2010 Terry Pratchett's Going Postal Moist Von Lipwig Television movie
2011 5 Days of War Sebastian Ganz
2011 W.E. William
2012 Grabbers Garda Ciarán O'Shea
2012 Outpost: Black Sun Wallace
2012 Pusher Frank
2013 The Food Guide to Love Oliver Byrne


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Hetty Wainthropp Investigates Miles Miller Episode: "A Minor Operation"
1999 Greenstone Sir Geoffrey Halford Unsold TV pilot
1999 Up Rising Martin Marr Unsold TV pilot
1999 Wives and Daughters Mr Coxe 2 episodes
2000–02 Coupling Jeffrey "Jeff" Murdock 22 episodes
2000 Dalziel and Pascoe Martin Hallingsworth Episode: "A Sweeter Lazarus"
2002–03 Strange John Strange 7 episodes
2007 The Whistleblowers Ben Graham 6 episodes
2010 Miami Medical Doctor Pilot episode[4]
2012 Life of Crime Detective Inspector 3 episodes
2012 Covert Affairs Simon Fischer 7 episodes
2014 Crossbones Tom Lowe 9 episodes
2015 A.D. The Bible Continues Caiaphas 12 episodes
2016 The Fall Joe O'Donnell 3 episodes
2016 The Collection Paul Sabine 8 episodes
2017 Born to Kill Peter 2 episodes
2018 Hard Sun Thomas Blackwood 2 episodes
2018–2020 The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Father Blackwood Main cast


  1. ^ a b c North, Madeleine (16 November 2003). "Richard Coyle: Grounded, centred, earthy... it's just a northern thing". The Independent. UK. Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Richard Coyle – Timeline featuring movies and other highlights from his career and personal life". Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Interview: Richard Coyle, actor - News". 23 May 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Maxwell 2017, p. 9.
  5. ^ "Man in Tights". Grapevine. Alumni Office, University of York (Autumn/Winter 2004): 7.
  6. ^ "BBC - Coupling - Richard Coyle". Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  7. ^ "Steven Moffat (Writer/ Creator of Coupling)". Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  8. ^ "The Big Interview: Richard Coyle |". Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Looking Ahead: Coming to Sky1 HD in 2010!". British Sky Broadcasting. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  10. ^ "Outpost: Black Sun – review | cast and crew, movie star rating and where to watch film on TV and online". Radio Times. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  11. ^ Leigh, Danny (11 October 2012). "Pusher returns – again". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  12. ^ Joyce Eng (3 April 2012). "Covert Affairs exclusive: meet Annie's new assignment - a KGB spy!". TV Guide. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  13. ^ Vlada Gelman (4 September 2012). "Covert Affairs post mortem: show bosses on Lena's betrayal and Annie/Auggie's future". Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Richard Coyle To Star In NBC's 'Crossbones'". Deadline. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  15. ^ Petski, Denise (22 February 2018). "Netflix's Sabrina Series Casts Richard Coyle As Father Blackwood". Deadline. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Richard Coyle - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  17. ^ Shenton, Mark. "London's Donmar Warehouse Presents World Premiere of Haddon's 'Polar Bears'" Playbill, April 6, 2010
  18. ^ Fullerton, Jessie. "PHOTO CALL: Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston Star in Immersive 'Macbeth' at Park Avenue Armory" Playbill, June 10, 2014
  19. ^ Ink
  20. ^ "Richard Coyle". Retrieved 18 May 2021.


  • Maxwell, Dominic (19 September 2017). "I never make things easy for myself. I make things tough". The Times - T2. London: The Times. ISSN 0140-0460.

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