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Tom Burke Biography: Mastering Roles in Film and Television

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Real Name: Tom Burke
Profession: Actor
Birthplace: England
Age: 42

Tom Burke (born 30 June 1981) is an English actor. He played Athos in the 2014–2016 BBC TV series The Musketeers, Dolokhov in the 2016 BBC literary-adaptation miniseries War & Peace, the eponymous character Cormoran Strike in the BBC series Strike, and Orson Welles in the 2020 film Mank.

Tom Burke Biography
Tom Burke Biography
Born 30 June 1981 (age 42)

London, England
Occupations Actor
Nationality England
Years active 1999–present
Parents David Burke (father)
Anna Calder-Marshall (mother)
Relatives Arthur Calder-Marshall (grandfather)

Early life (Tom Burke Biography)

Burke was born in London and grew up in Kent. His parents, David Burke and Anna Calder-Marshall, are also actors, as were his godparents, Alan Rickman and Bridget Turner. His maternal grandparents were writers Arthur Calder-Marshall and Ara Calder-Marshall. Burke was born with a cleft lip and had reconstructive surgery.

Tom Burke always wanted to become an actor. He attended the National Youth Theatre, the Young Arden Theatre in Faversham, and the Box Clever Theatre Company performing at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, and participated in the plays his parents staged in their hometown.

As a child, Burke was diagnosed with dyslexia and struggled academically. He left school before his A-levels because he “couldn’t stand the idea of that” and thought he “wouldn’t survive it”. As soon as he left school at 17. He wrote to an acting agency and got the first role he auditioned for. He attended dance school before being accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London when he was 18.

Career (Tom Burke Biography)

Burke’s first role was as Roland in 1999’s Dragonheart: A New Beginning, a direct-to-video sequel of the 1996 film Dragonheart. That year he appeared in an episode of the series Dangerfield and the television film All the King’s Men. After graduating from RADA, he started working steadily in television, film and theatre.[citation needed]

Television (Tom Burke)

His first television part after drama school was Syd in the Paul Abbott thriller series State of Play, starring John Simm, Bill Nighy and James McAvoy. In 2004, he played Lee in the television film Bella and the Boys. In 2005, he played the 20-year-old version of Giacomo Casanova’s son, Giac, in the television adaptation of Casanova, starring David Tennant and Peter O’Toole.

In 2006, he played Dr. John Seward in the television film Dracula. In 2007, he played Napoleon Bonaparte in an episode of the BBC’s docudrama Heroes and Villains and had a small part as a book publisher in the satirical drama The Trial of Tony Blair. In 2009, he played Lieutenant Race in an episode of the 12th series of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. In 2011, he played Bentley Drummle in two episodes of the BBC’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

In 2012, he became a regular cast member in the second series of BBC Two’s The Hour as journalist Bill Kendall. From 2014 to 2016, he played Athos on the BBC One series The Musketeers, an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. He also plays Cormoran Strike in the BBC miniseries Strike, based on the detective novels of Robert Galbraith; and Rebrov in Sky TV’s The Lazarus Project which will air in the U.S. on the TNT cable network. He played Father Derek ‘Dazzle’ Jennings, Princess Margaret’s friend, in The Crown.


In 2004, Burke had his first cinema part in The Libertine. In 2007, he played an aspiring filmmaker who ends up directing a porn film in the comedy I Want Candy. In 2008, he played Bluey in Donkey Punch, a horror thriller that debuted at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. In 2009, he played Geoff Goddard in Telstar: The Joe Meek Story, and had a small part in Stephen Frears’ Chéri. In 2010, he played Davy in Third Star, a drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch, JJ Feild and Adam Robertson which follows a trip four friends, one of them terminally ill, make to Barafundle Bay in Wales.

In 2012, he played Mark in Cleanskin. In 2013, he played Billy, the older brother of Ryan Gosling’s character in Only God Forgives, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. That year he had a supporting role in the Ralph Fiennes-directed film The Invisible Woman.

In 2020, he played American filmmaker Orson Welles in David Fincher’s Netflix original film Mank, opposite Gary Oldman as Herman J. Mankiewicz. He also starred in English director and photographer. Mitch Jenkins’s 2020 film The Show (written by Alan Moore) as private investigator Fletcher Dennis. In November 2021, Burke joined Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth in the Mad Max: Fury Road spinoff film Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, replacing Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.


As a theatre actor, Burke has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has appeared in plays at Shakespeare’s Globe. Playing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet in 2004; at the Old Vic in Noël Coward’s Design for Living opposite Andrew Scott and Lisa Dillon in 2010; and at the Almeida Theatre playing Greg in reasons to be pretty in 2011. In 2002, he played Hamlet in Howard Barker’s Gertrude – The Cry. A reworking of Shakespeare’s Hamlet which focuses on the character of Gertrude, the protagonist’s mother.

In 2006, he worked with Ian McKellen in the play The Cut. In 2008, he played Adolph in Creditors at the Donmar Warehouse. Actor Alan Rickman, Burke’s godfather, staged the play which earned Burke an Ian Charleson Award. The play subsequently premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York in 2010. In 2012, he played Louis Dubedat in The Doctor’s Dilemma at the National Theatre.

Tom Burke Biography

Filmography (Tom Burke Biography)


Denotes works that have not yet been released
Year Film Role Notes
2000 Dragonheart: A New Beginning Roland Direct-to-video
2003 The Burl Connor Short film
2004 Squaddie Andy Short film
2005 The Libertine Vaughan
2006 The Enlightenment Daniel Clay Short film
2007 I Want Candy John ‘Baggy’ Bagley
Supermarket Sam Sam Short film
The Collectors Edgar Short film
2008 Donkey Punch Bluey
2009 Telstar Geoff Goddard
Chéri Vicomte Desmond
Roar Mick Short film
2010 The Kid Mr. Hayes
Third Star Davy
2011 The Sweethearts Janek Short film
2012 An Enemy to Die For Terrence
Cleanskin Mark
2013 Only God Forgives Billy
The Invisible Woman Mr. George Wharton Robinson
2014 The Hooligan Factory Bullet
2019 The Souvenir Anthony
2020 The Show Fletcher Dennis
Mank Orson Welles
2021 The Souvenir Part II Anthony
True Things Blond
2022 Living Sutherland
The Wonder William Byrne
Klokkenluider Chris (aka Kevin)
2024 Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Praetorian Jack
TBA Winter of the Crow  Ambassador Post-production
Black Bag  TBA Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Dangerfield Gavin Kirkdale Episode: “Something Personal”
All the King’s Men Private Chad Batterbee Television film
2003 State of Play Syd 4 episodes
The Young Visiters Horace Television film
POW Robbie Crane Episode #1.3
2004 Bella and the Boys Lee Television film
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries Julian Britton Episode: “In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner”
2005 Casanova Giac, aged 20 Episode #1.3
The Brief Dan Ottway Episode #2.2
Jericho Edward Wellesley Episode: “A Pair of Ragged Claws”
All About George Paul 5 episodes
2006 Number 13 Edward Jenkins Short film
Dracula Dr. John Seward Television film
2007 The Trial of Tony Blair Book Publisher Television film
Heroes and Villains Napoleon Bonaparte Television film
2008 In Love with Barbara Ronald Cartland Television film
2009 Agatha Christie’s Poirot Lieutenant Colin Race Episode: “The Clocks”
2011 Great Expectations Bentley Drummle 2 episodes
2012 The Hour Bill Kendall 6 episodes
2013 Heading Out Ben Episode #1.6
2014 Utopia Philip Carvel Episode #2.1
2014–2016 The Musketeers Athos 30 episodes
2016 War & Peace Fedya Dolokhov 6 episodes
2017–present Strike Cormoran Strike Main role
2020 The Crown Derek ‘Dazzle’ Jennings Episode: “The Hereditary Principle”
2021 Modern Love Michael Episode: “On a Serpentine Road, With the Top Down”
2022–2023 The Lazarus Project Denis Rebrov 11 episodes
Tom Burke Biography

Theatre (Tom Burke Biography)

Year Title Role Location Notes
2002 Gertrude – The Cry Hamlet Riverside Studios
2003 The Wax King (Henry VI, Part 3) Lord Clifford The Dreaming Will Initiative part of the documentary film How Do You Know My Daughter?
Fragile Land Fidel Hampstead Theatre
The Monument Stetko Finborough Theatre
2004 Romeo and Juliet Romeo Shakespeare’s Globe
2005 Macbeth Malcolm Almeida Theatre
The Incarcerator Liddle Old Red Lion Theatre
2006 The Cut Stephen Donmar Warehouse
2007 Scenes from an Execution Carpeta Hackney Empire
Glass Eels Kenneth Hampstead Theatre
Don Juan Comes Back From the War Don Juan Belgrade Theatre
2008 I’ll Be The Devil Dermot Tricycle Theatre
Excerpt from The Poisoned Atmosphere Soho Studio Director
Creditors Adolph Donmar Warehouse
2009 Restoration Robert Merivel Salisbury Playhouse
2010 Design for Living Otto The Old Vic
2011 reasons to be pretty Greg Almeida Theatre
2012 The Doctor’s Dilemma Louis Dubedat National Theatre
2016 Reasons to be Happy Greg Hampstead Theatre
The Deep Blue Sea Freddie Page National Theatre
2018 Don Carlos Posa / The Grand Inquisitor Northcott Theatre
2019 Rosmersholm Johannes Rosmer Duke of York’s Theatre

Awards and nominations

Year Award Work Result
2008 Ian Charleson Award Creditors at Donmar Warehouse Won
2019 British Independent Film Award for Best Actor The Souvenir Nominated
2022 British Independent Film Awards for Best Ensemble The Wonder (film) Nominated
2023 London Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor The Wonder (film) Nominated

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