Mark Gatiss Biography

Mark Gatiss is a multi-talented English actor, comedian, novelist, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for his work in popular series such as Sherlock and Doctor Who. Born and raised in County Durham, Mark’s passion for the arts began at a young age. He immersed himself in theatrical plays during school and developed a love for the Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes sagas. After graduating high school, Mark pursued his studies in Theatre Arts at Bretton Hall College. It was there that he co-created the stage play, The League of Gentlemen, which later became a successful TV series and radio show. Mark’s career took off in the mid-2000s when he became involved with the revival of Doctor Who, writing nine episodes. He has also written and created other acclaimed series such as Dracula and Crooked House. In 2010, Mark created the internationally successful series, Sherlock, in which he also played a key role. Throughout his career, Mark has continued to make his mark in TV shows and films, appearing in supporting roles in Game of Thrones, The Mercy, Being Human, and more.

Quick Facts

  • British Celebrities Born In October Age: 57 Years, 57 Year Old Males
  • Family: Spouse/Ex-: Ian Hallard, father: Maurice Gatiss, mother: Winifred Gatiss
  • Born Country: England
  • Actors
  • Comedians
  • Height: 6’1″ (185 cm), 6’1″ Males
  • More Facts
  • Education: Heighington Primary School, University of Leeds, Woodham Academy, Bretton Hall College of Education

Childhood & Early Life

Mark Gatiss was born on October 17, 1966, in Sedgefield, County Durham, England, to Maurice Gatiss and Winifred Rose, into a working-class family. His father worked as an engineer in a mining company. Mark grew up with an older brother. Mark’s father was a dominating figure, who was extremely strict towards both his sons. While Mark later came to appreciate this, he initially dreaded this. Moreover, his elder brother bullied him a lot, which later became Mark’s inspiration for the relationship between Sherlock and his brother Mycroft in Sherlock. He grew up as a very shy young man. He had a girlfriend in school but somehow, he knew that he was gay. He found it very difficult to come out to his parents, but eventually, he did.

Interest in Arts and Education

Ever since he was a kid, Mark was interested in the world of arts. He grew up watching television shows such as Doctor Who and reading Sherlock Holmes stories. This fascination with the fictional characters had him getting inclined towards acting and writing at a young age. He attended Woodham Comprehensive School in County Durham and performed on-stage in many school productions. One of his earlier stage appearances was the role of Dad in the play titled The Waiting Room. Following his high school graduation, he enrolled into the Bretton Hall College of the Leeds University, from where he completed his bachelor’s degree in theatre arts. However, before enrolling into the college, he spent one year travelling around Europe and meeting people.

Career

Mark Gatiss met writer Jeremy Dyson in college, along with a few more performers and formed a team, eventually creating a stage act named The League of Gentlemen during his late teen years. The surreal comedy show won widespread appreciation and was honoured with a Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1997. The show’s success had BBC Radio picking it up, with the title On the Town with the League of Gentlemen and later it was turned into a fully-fledged TV sitcom by BBC Two in 1999, with the title The League of Gentlemen. The surreal comedy sitcom also starred Mark Gatiss in the lead role, along with two more of the co-writers. The series catapulted its creators to success as the show was aired for three seasons from 1999 to 2002. In 2003, the series creators, including Mark, were listed in the list of 50 funniest acts in British Comedy by The Observer. The show also went on winning a BAFTA Award, a British Television Society Award and the Golden Rose of Montreux honour. The series was later turned into a film in 2005, titled The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse. Co-written by and starring Mark in the lead role, the film received great reviews and perfectly complemented the television show’s success.

The initial success into the industry led Mark to get flooded by more work and in the early 2000s, he appeared acting in TV series’ such as Birthday Girl, Spaced and Nighty Night. He mostly remained stuck to the genre and mostly appeared in the bizarre comedy genre shows, such as Nighty Night. He also appeared in three separate episodes of his childhood favourite Doctor Who and appeared in the episodes titled The Lazarus Experiment, The Wedding of River Song and Twice Upon a Time. In addition, he also kept working in the BBC radio shows such as Nebulous and The Man in Black. In 2004, he made his film debut in the lead role as Jeremy in the comedy film titled Sex Lives of the Potato Men. However, the film was criticized for its treatment and story. In addition, he was seen playing small/supporting roles in films such as Birthday Girl, Bright Young Things and Starter for 10.

As a writer, Mark had initially worked on four novels on the Doctor Who franchise, which was his childhood fascination. The television show was cancelled in the late 1980s and through his writings, Mark tried to correct the mistakes show’s creators had made, as per him. Hence, during the 2005 revival of the show, Mark was one of the first writers to be hired on-board, and he wrote nine-episodes in total. However, in the initial seasons, he only wrote two episodes, most of his writings found their way in the show in the seasons that were aired after 2010. In 2013, he further wrote a docu-drama titled An Adventure in Space and Time, which was created to mark the show’s 50th anniversary. In the docu-drama, Mark tried to expand on the origin of the Doctor Who series.

In 2008, Mark wrote and created the series titled Crooked House, also playing one of the lead roles in it. The mini-series turned out to be a moderate critical and commercial success. In the early 2010s, he appeared playing guest/supporting roles in series’ such as Horrible Histories, Game of Thrones and Being Human. He has also done theatre regularly, playing key roles in plays such as The Recruiting Officer and Coriolanus. For the latter, he received a nomination for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

As a teenager, along with Doctor Who, he was obsessed with the character of Sherlock Holmes, from author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Mark joined hands with Doctor Who co-creator Steven Moffat and created the series Sherlock, which based the detective Sherlock in the modern-day London, which was something that was never attempted before. The series premiered in 2010 to universal success. Along with writing on the series, Mark also played Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft. The show sustained extremely positive reviews during the first three series. However, the ratings dwindled in the fourth series, but despite that, Sherlock remains one of the most critically and commercially acclaimed television series’ of the decade.

In the more recent years, Mark was seen playing supporting roles in films such as The Mercy, Christopher Robin and The Favourite. In 2020, he served as the creator of the mini-series titled Dracula and also played one of the key roles as Frank Renfield in the series. In the 2010s, he has directed a few short films such as The Tractate Middoth, Martin’s Close and The Dead Room.

Personal Life

Mark Gatiss is openly gay. However, initially, he was not open about it. He had a girlfriend back when he was a teenager when he thought he was a bi-sexual. But he eventually made peace with his sexuality and came out as gay to his parents. In 2010, he was featured on The Independent’s Pink List of influential gay people in the UK. After dating actor Ian Hallard for some time, he entered into a civil partnership with him in 2008. Despite being born in an ardent Jewish family, Mark recognizes himself as an atheist.

Leave a Comment