Martin Shaw

Martin Shaw


1/21/1945, Birmingham, England UK

Birth Name


  • Martin Shaw on Today With Des and Mel
out of 10
User Rating
24 votes


Martin was born in 1945, in Birmingham. He father was an engineer and his mother a champion ballroom dancer. He didn't enjoy school, except English Literature. He made his first stage appearance at three in an amateur production alongside his parents, and he enjoyed appearing in the school…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Awards

      Drama Desk Awards
      Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for An Ideal Husband (1996) (Won)

      National Television Awards
      Most Popular Actor for Always and Everyone (2000) (Nomination)

      Television and Radio Industries Club Awards
      TRIC Award for Drama TV Performer (2003) (Won)

      Theatre World Awards
      Special Award (Ensemble) for An Ideal Husband (1996) (Winner)

      Tony Award
      Best Actor in a Play for An Ideal Husband (1996) (Nomination)

    • A non-smoker, Martin used herbal cigarettes in the title role of George Gently.

    • TV Critic Stafford Hildred published a comprehensive Biography of Martin in 2006, it was simply titled: Martin Shaw The Biography.

    • Stage Appearances

      Look Back In Anger (Royal Court, 1968)
      The Contractor (Royal Court and Wyndhams Theatre, 1969)
      The Battle of Shrivings (Lyric, 1970)
      Cancer (Royal Court, 1970).
      The Bacchae (1973).
      Saturday, Sunday, Monday (1973).
      Streetcar Named Desire (Piccadilly Theatre, 1974)
      Miss Julie at Greenwich (1975).
      Teeth 'n Smiles (Wyndhams Theatre, 1975).
      They're Playing Our Song at the Shaftesbury Theatre (1981).
      The Country Girl at the Apollo Theatre (1983)
      Are You Lonesome Tonight? at The Phoenix (1985)
      The Big Knife (Albery Theatre, 1986)
      Other People's Money (Lyric Theatre, 1990)
      Betrayal (Almeida Theatre, 1991)
      Sienna Red (Liverpool and Birmingham, 1992)
      An Ideal Husband (Globe Theatre, 1992)
      Rough Justice (Apollo Theatre, 1994)
      An Ideal Husband again on Broadway in 1995.
      An Ideal Husband at The Haymarket Theatre and The Old Vic (1996 and 1997).
      Vertigo at the Theatre Royal (1998).
      A Man for All Seasons at the Haymarket (2008).

    • In 2002, Martin attempted to save a boar from the slaughterhouse, after it made its escape from the abattoir in Dunblane.

    • Although Martin became most popular after his role as Ray Doyle in The Professionals, he has revealed he disliked the series for too much violence.

    • In 1985 Martin turned down the lead role in The Equalizer. The part was then given to Edward Woodward.

    • He enjoys rock-climbing, playing football, horse-riding and yoga.

    • He appeared in two adaptions based on novels by P.D. James, Death In Holy Orders and The Murder Room.

    • His TV career began in 1967 with Love on the Dole.

    • He is 5' 8½" (1.74 m).

    • He is a vegan.

  • Quotes

    • (on being a sex symbol in 2007)
      Martin: For a start, it's not something that you strive for, it just happens. I never know what to say about it – even in the Seventies, when it may have been more applicable. I find it incomprehensible now, it has to end at some point soon, surely?

    • (his view on "The Professionals")
      Martin: The negative is that it disenfranchised my career before it. Prior to The Professionals, my career had been rounded and successful and blessed. But then, because of its success, it was not only as if my career had started there, it was as if that's what I did, so there was no longer the opportunity to do what I had done before. It was as if my personality had been appropriated. It was like being an Action Man doll. No humanity, just a function ... The positive thing is that it's less of an obsessive pop star thing with people. It's more, 'Hey, you're my childhood, I watched you when I was a kid, I had your poster on the wall, I can't believe how great it is to meet you. Wow!

    • (on why he sometimes considers giving up acting)
      Martin: When I despair it's about dumbing down: the fact that the measure of excellence in our job nowadays is not how moved I was, how truthful it was, how much I enjoyed it; the measure of excellence is how under budget it was, how quickly it was delivered, what the ratings were.

  • 40 Years of Excellence

    There are many people with thoughts on Martin Shaw. I initially saw him as Judge Deed, and as not the best Commander Dalgliesh. This is not an attack on this excellent actor, but more on his predecessor Roy Marsden who shaped the role.

    Mr. Shaw as Judge Deed might seem as a first step why people would be a fan of his work, but a quick tour on the work he has done shows that Mr. Shaw has been very visible for almost half a century in different fields of acting. Some might remember him as the Doctor enjoying life (and nurses) in Doctor in the house, But he did not stop at the patients ward. He has been all over the place, from a friendly neighbourhood location called Coronation street, to being a CI5 spook in the professional. Martin has seen pretty much every corner of of the British Television realm. Looking back, i reckon that Judge Deed will be a crowning piece of work. This drama, masterful played, and with the depth that makes us look forward to a new episode. The series which seems to have abruptly ended in 2007, hopefully not permanent; as Martin seems to draw in the public, suddenly aware that watching the law might be great value in entertainment. But even if the series ends, with his participation in Apperitions and George Gently it is sure that we will see more in Martin in the time and years to come.moreless