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David Suchet (born 2 May 1946) is an English actor, known for his work on British television. He is recognised for his RTS- and BPG award-winning performance as Augustus Melmotte in the 2001 British TV mini-drama The Way We Live Now, alongside Matthew Macfadyen and Paloma Baeza, and a 1991 British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) nomination.

He is perhaps best known, though, for his role as Agatha Christie's great detective Hercule Poirot in the long-running British TV dramatic series Poirot, alongside Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson and Pauline Moran.

Suchet has an older brother, John Suchet, a British newsreader and television presenter. His father was Jack Suchet, who emigrated to England from South Africa in 1932, and trained to be a doctor at St Mary's Hospital, London.

Suchet was born in London, the son of Joan Patricia (née Jarché; 1916–1992), an actress, and Jack Suchet, who emigrated from South Africa to England in 1932 and became a medical student at St Mary's Hospital, London in 1933.Suchet's father was Jewish and his mother was an Anglican, though of Russian Jewish descent on her father's side; Suchet was brought up in the Anglican religion,[5][8][9] and has been a practising Anglican since 1986, having been confirmed in 2006.

Suchet and his two brothers, John and Peter, attended Grenham House boarding school in Birchington-on-Sea, Kent; then, after attending another private school, Wellington School in Somerset, he took an interest in acting and joined the National Youth Theatre at the age of eighteen years. He studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, where he now serves as a council member.

Early career

Suchet began his acting career at the Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, Berkshire, and retains a great affection for the place, saying that it "fulfils my vision of a perfect theatre". In 1973, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company.


David Suchet performed the role of John in the play Oleanna at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 1993. It was directed by Harold Pinter and Lia Williams co-starred as Carol. He was also featured as Salieri from 1998 - 2000 in the Broadway production Amadeus. In 2007 at the Chichester Festival Theatre, he played a lead role as Cardinal Benelli in The Last Confession, about the death of Pope John Paul I.

Television work

After making his first TV appearance in 1970, he made his first appearance on the big screen in the 1980 film version of A Tale of Two Cities. In 1980, he played Edward Teller, later developer of the US H-bomb, in the joint BBC-US TV serial about the US Project Manhattan called Oppenheimer. In 1983, he played the insidious half-Chinese policeman with orders to kill British spy Sidney Reilly. In 1985, he played Blott in the television series Blott on the Landscape. Suchet appeared as Inspector Japp in the 1985 film adaptation of Lord Edgware Dies, screen-name Thirteen at Dinner, with Peter Ustinov portraying Poirot. In 1989, he took the title role himself for the long-running television series Agatha Christie's Poirot. Rather less well known, but quite an extraordinary performance nonetheless, is Suchet's portrayal of Sigmund Freud (young and old) in the 6-hour mini-series Freud, co-produced by the BBC in 1984.

In 2003, he played ambitious 16th century Englishman Cardinal Wolsey in the 2-part ITV drama Henry VIII opposite Ray Winstone as Henry VIII and Helena Bonham Carter as Anne Boleyn.

In May 2006, he played the role of the fallen press baron Robert Maxwell in Maxwell, a BBC2 dramatisation of the final 18 months of Maxwell's life.During the same year, he voiced Poirot in the adventure game Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express.

In December 2006, he appeared on the ITV programme Extinct, presented by Sir Trevor McDonald and Zoe Ball, which saw Suchet and seven other well-known celebrities visit critically endangered species of animals and try and plead their case for the viewers so that they would pick up the phone and vote for the animal. The animal with the most votes would receive a large sum of money, which would be used to try and save them. Suchet and his animal, the Giant Panda, did not win; however, they finished in the top three. The winners were Pauline Collins and the Bengal Tiger.

At Christmas 2006, he played the vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing in a BBC adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. He appears in the disaster film Flood, released in August 2007, as the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at a time when London is devastated by flooding. Suchet appeared on daytime TV chat show Loose Women on 6 February 2008 to talk about his film The Bank Job, in which he played Lew Vogel, alongside Jason Statham and Saffron Burrows.

In 2008, he took part in the genealogy documentary series Who Do You Think You Are?, and discovered facts about his family history. Suchet will also be starring in the 11th season of the British TV drama Poirot.

He starred in the 2009 CBC made-for-TV movie, Diverted.

He has also been cast as the main antagonist, Reacher Gilt, in the upcoming Sky TV adaptation of Going Postal, based on the book of the same name by Terry Pratchett.


Suchet is due to appear in the British film thriller Act of God as Benjamin Cisco, alongside Max Brown and Jenny Agutter. In 1987, Suchet played a bigfoot hunter in Harry and the Hendersons. He had key roles in two Michael Douglas films, A Perfect Murder and The In-Laws.
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