David Suchet


David Suchet has been an eminent screen and stage actor since the 1970s. Having studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company before making his big and small screen debut, with roles in Harry and the Hendersons with John Lithgow and The Falcon and the Snowman with Sean Penn. His work in television includes masterly depictions of historical, biblical, entertainment and fictional figures, such as Sigmund Freud in Freud, news reporter William L. Shirer in Murrow, Aaron in Moses, Cardinal Wolsey in Henry VIII, vampire nemesis Van Helsing in Dracula and Robert Maxwell in Maxwell.

It was his portrayal of Blott in the BBC’s 1985 drama Blott on the Landscape that brought him to the attention of producer Brian Eastman, who asked him to play Poirot in his proposed new series of television films based on Agatha Christie’s short stories. Although he’d never read an Agatha Christie, Suchet had played Inspector Japp alongside Peter Ustinov in Thirteen at Dinner, and had seen the Finney and Ustinov interpretations. After some consideration, he agreed to take on the part, eventually playing the Belgian detective in all of the Poirot stories over almost 25 years. He received a BAFTA nomination in 1991 for the role.

There is a moment… when I am not truly sure who I am. Am I an actor, who has played the role of Poirot for a quarter of a century in seventy television films, or have I actually become this little man that the world, and I, love so much? Where do I stop, and where does he begin?
David Suchet, Poirot and Me

In 1994 Suchet was given a Variety Club Award for best actor for portraying John in David Mamet's play Oleanna. He later won another Variety Club Award (as well as a 2000 Tony nomination for best performance by a leading actor in a play) for his portrayal of Antonio Salieri in a revival of Amadeus.

He was nominated for another Royal Television Society award in 2002 for his performance as Augustus Melmotte in The Way We Live Now, which also earned him a BAFTA nomination. The same year, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). In 2008 he won an International Emmy Award for Best Actor for his role as tycoon Robert Maxwell in the 2007 BBC television film, Maxwell. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for "services to drama". On 18 March 2014, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the RTS Programme Awards 2013 for his outstanding performance in Agatha Christie's Poirot.

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