David Suchet biography
Date of Birth: May 2, 1946
The second of three sons, David Suchet was born in London, England to a doctor father and a stage actress mother. Having had a good look at the intricacies of acting due to his mother bringing him backstage when she was working, Suchet became intrigued. He landed the title role in Shakespeare's Macbeth atschool, and the experience was so fulfilling that he decided that since he couldn't be a doctor because his math grades were not up to par, he would instead become an actor. He joined the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and did several plays with them, then took a three year course of study at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA). After graduation, Suchet's first job was as an assistant stage manager at the Gateway Theatre, but he also made the occasional appearance as an actor in their productions. In 1971, Suchet made his television debut with a guest shot on the TV series Public Eye, but his career got a big boost when he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1973. During his time with the RSC, he played a wide variety of Shakespearean roles and began to make a name for himself. He landed more guest appearances on series such as The Protectors, The Professionals and Tales of the Unexpected.
His feature film debut came with The Missionary (1982), starring Michael Palin and Maggie Smith. His first role in an American feature film was playing Inspector Stagnos in Trenchcoat (1983), starring Margot Kidder and Robert Hays. However, it wasn't until he landed the role of Poirot on the British TV series of the same name that Suchet became a household name. The series was based on the books by Agatha Christie, and Christie's daughter, Rosalind Hicks, had seen Suchet in the TV miniseries Blott on the Landscape and had thought at the time that he would be perfect as the fastidious detective Hercule Poirot. Then, when she saw him play Inspector Japp in the TV movie Thirteen at Dinner opposite Peter Ustinov as Poirot, she was certain Suchet would be the perfect Hercule Poirot. She was right. In 1988 she pitched the idea for the TV series to producer Brian Eastman, and told him she wanted Suchet to star. The show was a hit, and was shown in many other countries, including Canada and the United States. The series ran until 1996, but Suchet has since returned periodically to the role to film the occasional Poirot TV movie such as The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (2000), Evil Under the Sun (2001) and Murder in Mesopotamia (2001).
In 1999 Suchet made his Broadway debut playing Salieri in Amadeus, and received a Tony nomination for his performance. While in the U.S., he landed the role of the villain Jean-Pierre Thibodoux in the feature film comedy The In-Laws (2003), starring Michael Douglas and Ryan Reynolds, then played another villain opposite Reynolds again in the Canadian film Foolproof (2003). In 2009, he won a Gemini award for his role in the Canadian mini-series Diverted.
In 2002, he was awarded an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours List. In his spare time he enjoys photography and listening to classical music. A devout Protestant, he enjoys reading theology and philosophy books. While in England, he enjoys boating on the canals and is a Vice-President of Litchfield and Heatherton Canals Restoration Trust. Suchet has been married to Sheila Ferris, a former actress, since 1976. They have two grown children, Robert and Katherine.
David Suchet Filmography