Who is Anton Lesser (The Crown)?
Anton Lesser was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, England, on 14 February 1952 – his zodiac sign is Aquarius and he holds British nationality. He is an actor who is probably best known for his portrayal of Qyburn in the action adventure drama series “Game of Thrones” which aired from 2011 to 2019, and starred Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage and Kit Harington. The story is closely based on two books written by George R. R. Martin, and follows nine noble families who are fighting to control Westeros – the series won 375 awards including one Golden Globe, and was nominated for 607 others.
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Anton is also known for his portrayal of Harold MacMillan in the historical drama series “The Crown”, which has been airing since 2016 and is about Queen Elizabeth II and her reign – it is a huge hit and has won 63 awards including three Golden Globes, while it has been nominated for 161 others.
Anton Lesser may well feel more at home in #Stratford a lot of the time but did you know he began his acting career in…
Posted by Birmingham Bach Choir on Thursday, 5 May 2016
Is he Jewish?
Anton played a Jewish character in a Charles Dickens’ play in 2017, and then stated in an interview that he is Jewish in real life as well.
Childhood and education
Anton was raised as an only child in Birmingham by his father who was an architect, and his mother who was a housewife. Urged by his father, Anton focused on his education, and studied at Moseley Grammar School at which he preferred to read books and watch movies rather than to play sports with his peers. He matriculated in 1970, and then enrolled at the University of Liverpool from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1974. It was during his second year there that he became interested in acting, and so in 1975 Anton enrolled at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), and graduated with a Master’s degree in theatre in 1977, and also received a Bancroft Gold Medal as the most promising actor of his year.
Roles in theatre plays
Anton is best known for his roles in Shakespearean plays – his first performance in a theatre was in 1980 in “Romeo and Juliet”, starring as Romeo, and two years later he played the titular character in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, performed at Donmar Warehouse in London.
He went on to star in the Shakespeare’s tragedy “Troilus and Cressida” in 1985, and was then cast as Richard III in “The Plantagenets”, which follows the House of Plantagenet that ruled England between 1154 and 1485. Anton also portrayed the lead character, Henry Billingbrook in another Shakespeare play “Richard II”, and a few of his following roles on stage were in “The Taming of the Shrew” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor” both in 1992, and “Art” in 1997.
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When Anton Lesser came up to Manchester last year to record his lines for @tickticktickfilm I was very conscious that with only 7 or so lines as the narrator it’d be over in a flash, so we were trying to give him extra stuff to say and drag the wonderful experience out as long as possible. I wrote Department of Necrosis a long long time ago, and luckily I remembered it. I slipped him the line of dialogue underneath his lines for TICK TICK TICK, and i was a little nervous about doing so too as technically it’s another film, and not one that he technically signed up for. Luckily, as I went into the booth to plea my case he had read the lines and thought they were hilarious. At the time, we had no inkling how or even if we would be able to film DoN, but those audio clips of one of Britain’s most revered actors saying the words was the first loose bits of gravel that slowly gained momentum. When @pjmortlock asked if we had anything to flex off our creative muscles and shake off the corona blues, Anton’s dulcet tones rang in my ears and I thought ‘yes… yes we do’. And here we are now, the Department of Necrosis train chugs on, the snowball becomes the avalanche: footage is with editing superstar @gluedfilms and I can’t wait to see the next stage. I’ve scanned through the dailies, and some of the shots alone had me in stitches. I really hope that translates in the final film! #antonlesser #bafta #gameofthrones #scarfolkcouncil #departmentofnecrosis #1974 #publicinformationfilm
The year 1999 saw him play Elyot in the comedy “Private Lives”, and later appear as Iachimo in “Cymbeline” – amongst his most notable performances is his portrayal of Marcus Brutus in the tragedy “Julius Caesar”.
Three of Anton’s most recent roles in stage plays have been in “The Winter’s Tale” in 2006, “The Vertical Hour” in 2008, and “A Doll’s House” in 2009.
Roles in TV series
Anton has been credited with appearing in roughly 130 movies and TV series, and we are about to mention some of his most notable performances in this article.
He made his debut TV series appearance in 1979, when he portrayed Philip Wakem in two episodes of the drama “The Mill on the Floss” based on the eponymous novel written by George Eliot.
In the same year he guest starred as Orestes in three episodes of the drama “Oresteia”, and subsequently appeared in a few episodes of many series, such as the courtroom drama “Crown Court” in 1982, the biographical series “Freud” in 1984 and the drama “Anna of the Five Towns” in 1985. He made a cameo appearance as The Robber in the episode “Monsignor Quixote” of the anthology series “Great Performances” in 1987 and was then invited to play Stanley Spencer in the drama “Screen Two”.
The year 1994 heard him voice Leontes in the episode “The Winter’s Tale” of the animated series “Shakespeare: The Animated Tales”, and in 1996 Anton voiced Joseph in the same-titled episode of the British-Russian animated series “Testament: The Bible in Animation”.
He gained recognition in 1998 when invited to portray Mr. Pitt Crawley, one of the lead characters in the romantic mini-series “Vanity Fair”, starring Natasha Little, Frances Grey and Philip Glenister, and which is an adaption of William Makepeace Thackeray’s story about Becky Sharp.
A few of Anton’s following roles were in single episodes of both the drama “The Scarlet Pimpernel” in 2000 and the crime drama “Murder Rooms: Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes” in 2001, while the year 2002 saw him appear in three episodes of the docudrama “Dickens”, and two episodes of the police procedural crime drama “Waking the Dead”.
His next notable performance was in 2008, when he starred as Mr. Merdie in seven episodes of the mini-series “Little Dorrit”, starring Claire Foy and Matthew Macfadyen, and which follows Amy Dorrit as she is earning money to support her family.
In 2013, Anton began portraying the lead character Chief Superintendent Bright in the detective drama “Endeavour”, while the following year saw him appear in the episode “The Mysteries of the Rosary” of the period drama “Father Brown”, and the episode “The Homecoming” of the period action drama “The Musketeers”.
Three of Anton’s most recent roles in TV series have been in the drama “Dickensian” in 2015, the historical web drama “The Crown” in 2017, and the drama “The Trial of Christine Keeler” in 2019.
Roles in movies
Anton made his debut film appearance in 1981, when cast to play Trofimov in the drama movie “The Cherry Orchard” while the same year also saw him play the lead character in the film adaption of the Shakespeare’s tragedy “Troilus & Cressida”.
In 1983 he staredr as Edgar in the movie “King Lear” based on Shakespeare’s eponymous play, and a few of his following roles in films were in the drama “Good and Bad at Games” in 1983, the American drama “Sakharov” in 1984 and the drama “The Assam Garden” in 1985. The year 1989 saw him play Karl, one of the lead characters in the biographical war drama “Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story”, which also starred Ben Kingsley, Renee Soutendijk and Craig T. Nelson, and is about Simon Wiesenthal who was a renowned Nazi hunter.
His following notable performance was in the romantic drama “Lorna Doone” as Counsellor Doone in 2000, and the following year saw him play two characters in the drama “Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story”. In 2002, Anton played Sir Gawain in the historical drama “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, based on the Middle English romance written in the late 14th century.
In 2004, Anton appeared as Charles in the drama “Dirty Filthy Love” and he went on to play George in another drama “The Girl in the Café” in 2005. The year 2008 saw him portray Fritz Haber in the film “Einstein and Eddington”, and three years later, Anton guest starred in the historical movie “The Man Who Crossed Hitler”.
Three of his most recent roles in movies have been in the war thriller “Allied” in which he played Emanuel Lombard in 2016, the romantic war movie “The Exception” in which he portrayed General Falkenberg in 2016 as well and the romantic war drama “Disobedience” as Rav Kruschka in 2017.
Anton has recently been cast to appear in three movies: he will play Sid in the thriller drama “Gatecrash”, Dr. Richards in the horror mystery drama “Kindred”, and The Narrator in the short comedy “Seasonal Contract”.
— Endeavour (@EndeavourTV) February 14, 2019
Love life and wife
Anton exchanged wedding vows with his other half, Madeleine Lesser in his early 30s – the two have kept the exact date of their wedding a secret. According to the rumors circulating the internet, the two had known each other for over 10 years before marrying. Madeleine gave birth to their son Harry several months after the wedding, and their daughter Lily followed two years later – Lily has also become an actress, and appeared alongside Anton in two series, “Endeavour” and “Wolf Hall”.
Anton hasn’t talked about any other women he might have been with before Madeleine, and many people believe that she is his first love – as of September 2020, he is married and has two children.
Hobbies and other interests
Anton likes to read books in his spare time – reputedly over 500 – while his favorites are those based on true historical events such as “The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great” by Eva Stachniak, and “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank.
He is keen on collecting old timer cars, and has over 20 in his private collection.
One of Anton’s main hobbies is travelling and he has been all around Europe, and to many US states to shoot for movies and TV series – his dream travel destination is Miami in Florida.
Some of Anton’s favorite actors of today are Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Tom Hanks, and a few of his favorite movies are the trilogy “The Godfather”, “Pulp Fiction” and “Saving Private Ryan”. He also likes to watch animated comedy series – his favorite is “The Simpsons”.
New worth and height
Anton’s age is 68. He has short brown hair and brown eyes, his height is 5ft 5ins (1.66m) and he weighs around 130lbs (59kgs).
As of September 2020, his net worth has been estimated at over $10 million.