John Ronald Simm (born 10 July 1970) is an English actor. He has starred in many television dramas, including Life on Mars, Cracker, The Lakes, Sex Traffic, State of Play, Crime and Punishment, Exile and Prey. He has been nominated twice for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. An accomplished stage actor, he is a Laurence Olivier Award nominee. His films incude Wonderland, Human Traffic, and 24 Hour Party People. In 2010, he played Hamlet at the Crucible Theatre.
The eldest of three children, Simm grew up in a series of places around North West England, including Blackpool, Burnley, Colne, and Manchester. His father, Ronald, was a musician; and, from the age of twelve, John sang and played guitar with his father on stage in the working men's clubs.
Independently of his acting, throughout the 1990s, Simm was a founding member, songwriter, and guitarist with the rock band Magic Alex (named after the Beatles self-styled electronics wizard "Magic Alex" Mardas). The group played support on two British tours with Echo & the Bunnymen. Simm plays guitar on the album Slideling by his friend, Echo & the Bunnymen singer Ian McCulloch. Simm also played lead guitar on a few of McCulloch's solo live shows, including one at Wembley Arena as the main support to Coldplay. Magic Alex released one album, Dated and Sexist, before splitting in 2005.
Simm made his professional acting debut in 1992 with the role of Joby Johnson in an episode of the TV series Rumpole of the Bailey (there had been an earlier part in the BBC drama Between the Lines where Simm was in one scene as PC Witty, but the scene was cut). There then followed a variety of roles during which time he honed his craft in front of the camera, including a psycho in The Bill, a lovestruck schoolboy in Heartbeat, and a drugged-up burglar in The Locksmith. He also made two series of the BBC sitcom Men of the World, playing the lead role of Kendle Bains. His next project saw him take the role of Gary Kingston, a deluded murderer, in Chiller...
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