Peter Capaldi

Peter Capaldi

Born in Glasgow and raised by a mother and father with Irish and Italian roots, respectively, Capaldi was naturally inclined to perform and appeared in theater productions as a teenager. While studying at the Glasgow School of Art, Capaldi fronted a punk band known as Dreamboys, which featured future comedian and talk-show host Craig Ferguson as its drummer. Capaldi turned to screen acting in the early 1980s, and landed a featured part in "Local Hero," a charming Scottish-set tale starring Burt Lancaster and Peter Riegert. Aside from a key role in Ken Russell's eccentric horror film "The Lair of the White Worm" (1988) and a small part in the period drama "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988), Capaldi mainly stuck to British TV gigs and became the epitome of the working England-based actor. In 1993, he had a memorable part in the Helen Mirren-starring TV movie "Prime Suspect 3" (ITV, 1993), but he soon won acclaim behind the camera for his own playfully witty short, "Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life," starring Richard E. Grant, which won a 1995 Oscar, among other awards. After portraying an unlikely angel in the fantasy series "Neverwhere" (BBC, 1996), Capaldi once again donned his writer/director cap for the overlooked crime drama "Strictly Sinatra" (2001), featuring Ian Hart as a trouble-prone lounge singer. Returning his focus to acting, Capaldi appeared opposite Hugh Laurie on the sitcom "Fortysomething" (ITV, 2003), and two years later, he joined the cast of Armando Iannucci's barbed comedy series "The Thick of It," a satirical and politically themed show that allowed the actor to cut loose as the tightly wound, profanity-spewing communications director Malcolm Tucker. Capaldi also turned up in guest spots on various popular British programs, including the police procedurals "Midsomer Murders" (ITV, 1997-) and "Waking the Dead" (BBC, 2000-2011) and the teen-oriented drama "Skins" (Channel 4, 2007-10). In 2008, he had a one-off appearance on an episode of "Doctor Who," opposite the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, and he remained on in the Whoverse for a 2009 stint on "Torchwood" (BBC, 2006-2011) as bureaucrat John Frobisher. Around this time, Capaldi was able to shift his unforgettably ruthless character of Malcolm from "The Thick of It" to the big screen as part of Iannucci's critically beloved feature "In the Loop," which brought Gandolfini into the mix as an American general. Returning to the director's chair, Capaldi helmed numerous episodes of the hospital-set sitcom "Getting On" (BBC, 2009-2012) and appeared in a few installments as well. After bidding farewell to "The Thick of It" for its fourth and final season, he joined the ensemble of the period drama "The Hour" (BBC, 2011-12), only to help usher that series to its finale, too. After writing and directing the British mockumentary "The Cricklewood Greats" and playing a small role in the 2013 zombie epidemic epic "World War Z," it was announced that Capaldi was taking over the role of the time-traveling Doctor from Matt Smith, following months of speculation. A fan of the intergalactic adventure series from his childhood, Capaldi brought a cranky gravitas to the role in keeping with its original incarnations in the 1960s. Capaldi stayed in the role until 2017, ceding it to Jodie Whittaker, the first actress to play The Doctor, in that year's Christmas special. His next screen appearance came in a supporting role in the family sequel "Paddington 2" (2018).