Ioan Gruffudd, born October 6, 1973, is a 44-year-old Welsh actor.

Having trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he started off in Welsh language film productions, then came to international attention as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in the film Titanic (1997), and as Lt John Beales in Black Hawk Down (2001). However, he is best known in the UK for playing the role of Horatio Hornblower in Hornblower, the British made-for-TV films (1998–2003) based on C. S. Forester's novels, and to other audiences for playing the role of Dr Reed Richards in the film Fantastic Four and its sequel. In June 2012, Gruffudd filmed the fantasy adventure movie Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box throughout the south-west of England, playing the role of Charles Mundi. The movie is schedule for release in 2013.

Gruffudd's other film roles include Lancelot in King Arthur (2004), Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) in Fantastic Four (2005) and the sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and British anti-slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace (2006). He played Tony Blair in W. (2008). He played the role of Andrew Martin in the US thriller television series Ringer until the show's cancellation in 2012.

He portrayed Paolo, a broadway star on Glee. Paolo played the main character, Nick Arnstein, in the revival of Funny Girl.

Personal life

Gruffudd was born on 6 October 1973 in Llwydcoed, near Aberdare, Cynon Valley, in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales. Gruffudd's parents, Peter and Gillian (née James) Gruffudd, were both teachers. His father was headmaster at two Welsh comprehensive schools in South Wales, first at Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari then later at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen. He has two siblings: a brother, Alun, who is two years younger, and a sister, Siwan, who is seven years younger than he is. Gruffudd was raised in a Protestant non-conformist household.

The popular Welsh name "Ioan" is an equivalent of "John", and "Gruffudd" corresponds to the anglicised "Griffith". He has been quoted as saying, "I'm determined not to lose my name. It's who I am. It has neither aided my progress nor hampered it. It's just who I am. My character... my make-up. My culture and heritage is a very rich one. So what if it's difficult for people to pronounce? We all learned how to say 'Schwarzenegger'."

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). 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". Gruffudd lives with his wife, actress Alice Evans, in Los Angeles, California. The couple met during the production of 102 Dalmatians, and married on 14 September 2007 in Mexico. 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. On 20 April 2009, Gruffudd and his wife announced they were expecting their first child together. Later that year, the couple welcomed daughter Ella Betsi Janet.

Gruffudd enjoys being in Los Angeles because "it's the easiest place in the world to drive, and it's a real pleasure to do that in my black Jag XK8. I've gone all out." According to Gruffudd: "There's a physicality and confidence to Americans; they're very present. That's something I enjoy being around because it rubs off on you. Although an actor friend of mine visited recently and said, 'It's no wonder they write such terrible scripts these days, there's no pain! Everything's so nice you can't be bothered.'"

Gruffudd also holds a Dual citizenship for the UK and the United States.


Gruffudd started his acting career at the age of 13 in a Welsh television film called Austin (1986) and then 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.[citation needed] 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 him being offered the lead role in the 1996 TV remake of Poldark.

After playing Oscar Wilde's lover John Gray in 1997's Wilde he took his first international role as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in the blockbuster 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 ITV1 and A&E. Gruffudd 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."

Since 20 February 2007, Gruffudd has been making plans to obtain rights to the Horatio Hornblower novels in order to produce a film for the big screen. 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).

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 Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) 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 U.S. President George W Bush, in which Gruffudd played Tony Blair. In 2011, he played the financier of a cave dive in Sanctum.

Apart from television and film work, he starred in the music video of Westlife's version of "Uptown Girl" (2001) alongside Claudia Schiffer, and 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.

Gruffudd was the main character on the 2014 ABC series Forever till it's cancellation in 2015.


Year Title Role Notes
1987 Pobol y Cwm Gareth Wyn Harries 1987 - 1994
1995 A Relative Stranger Nigel Fraiman TV movie
1996 Poldark Jeremy Poldark
1997 A Mind to Kill Karl Stranger ("Strange Territory")
Titanic 5th Officer Harold Lowe
Wilde John Gray
1998 Horatio Hornblower: The Duel Midshipman Horatio Hornblower TV Movie
Horatio Hornblower: The Fire Ship Acting Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower TV Movie
1999 Horatio Hornblower: The Duchess and the Devil Acting Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower TV Movie
Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower TV Movie
Warriors Lt. John Feeley TV Movie
Love in the 21st Century Jack ("Masturbation")
Solomon & Gaenor Solomon Levinsky
Great Expectations Pip TV Movie
2000 102 Dalmatians Kevin Sheperd
2001 Black Hawk Down Beales
Happy Now Max Bracchi
Very Annie Mary Hob
Horatio Hornblower: Retribution Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower TV Movie
Hornblower: Mutiny Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower TV Movie
Another Life Frederick Edward Francis Bywaters
2002 Westlife: Unbreakable - The Greatest Hits, Volume 1 High class customer video Uptown Girl
The Forsyte Saga Phillip Bosinney mini-series (#1.1 - #1.4 episodes)
Man and Boy Harry Silver TV Movie
Shooters Freddy Guns
2003 This Girl's Life Daniel
Y Mabinogi King Bendigeidfran voice
Hornblower: Duty Commander Horatio Hornblower TV Movie
Horatio Hornblower 3 Commander Horatio Hornblower
The Gathering Dan Blakeley
2004 King Arthur Lancelot
Century City Lukas Gold (9 episodes)
2005 Fantastic Four Reed Richards also voiced on video game
The Little Things Simon short
Justice League Mr. Miracle/Scott Free/Computer voice ("The Ties That Bind")
2006 Amazing Grace William Wilberforce
The TV Set Richard McCallister
American Dad! Dark Haired Man/Medic voice, 2006 - 2010 ("It's Good to Be the Queen" and "An Incident at Owl Creek")
2007 Stories USA Simon (segment "The Little Things")
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards
2008 W. Prime Minister Tony Blair
The Secret of Moonacre Sir Benjamin Merryweather/Sir Wrolf Merryweather
Fireflies in the Garden Addison Wesley
Agent Crush Agent Crush voice
The Meant to Be's The Man TV Movie
2010 The Kid Colin Smith
Ben 10: Alien Force Devin Levin/Robot Guard voice ("Vendetta")
Batman: The Brave and the Bold Armor/Red Ryan voice ("Revenge of the Reach!")
Family Guy Prince Charles/National Geographic Narrator/Man voice, 2010 - 2012 ("The Splendid Source", "Seahorse Seashell Party", "Viewer Mail #2")
2011 Ringer Andrew Martin 2011 - 2012 (22 episodes)
Tri Diwrnod Diwetha' Llais/Voice voice and short
Foster Alec
Horrible Bosses Wetwork Man
Sanctum Carl Hurley
2013 The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box Charles Mundi
Glee Paolo San Pablo ("Love, Love, Love" and "The End of Twerk")
Necessary Roughness Nolan Powers ("Snap Out of It")
Castle Eric Vaughn ("The Squab and the Quail")
Monday Mornings Dr. Stewart Delany ("Truth or Consequences")
Eddie The Killer short
2014 Forever Dr. Henry Morgan 2014 - 2015 (22 episodes)
A Many Splintered Thing Stuffy completed
Under Milk Wood Mog Edwards TV Movie
Justice League: War Thomas Morrow voice and video
Playing It Cool Stuffy
2015 San Andreas Daniel Reddick post-production
Forever Anthony post-production
Home Invasion post-production


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