From Spooks to Fool Me Once: Everything you need to know about actor and author Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage

by Arabella Horspool |
Published on

Richard Armitage is a British actor who rose to fame after appearing in the BBC period drama North & South. His successful career in theatre, TV and film spans three decades and he's also an author.

 Here's everything you need to know about the actor and his most popular roles.

Richard Armitage age

Richard Armitage was born in Leicester on the 22nd August 1971, making him 52 years old.

Richard Armitage partner

In recent interviews, he has mentioned that he has a boyfriend, but not much else is known publicly about his partner.

Previously, it's also been suspected that Richard Armitage had a relationship with his The Crucible co-star Samantha Colley. The two were reportedly engaged, but broke it off.

He doesn't divulge much about his personal life, but he did discuss his sexuality in an interview with Radio Times in 2023:

“[Coming out] happened when I was 19 – to anybody who mattered – and I was always waiting for that question to punch me in the face, and it never did. I thought, 'Are people being polite, or is it that they don’t want to know?’ I don’t know that I ever wanted to put myself in front of the work I was doing, anything about my family or personal life. I just thought, ‘Let the work speak for itself.’

“I love the conversation with the younger generation. I love the idea that whatever gender, sexuality, the fluidity of who you love, how you identify, is not fixed. That was always a thing: if I declare who I am and my sexuality, then I’m saying it’s fixed and I don’t know that, or if I might feel something for somebody further down the line. I doubt it, but I don’t know. It’s more relaxed now. As a writer and producer, I do wonder if anybody has to be defined by who they’re in love with.”

Richard Armitage movies and TV shows

From The Hobbit to Spooks, Robin Hood to Obsession, Armitage's CV is extensive. He has also collaborated with renowned author Harlan Coben on multiple Netflix projects, bringing Coben's gripping thrillers to life on screen.

Missing You

In June 2024, it was announced that Richard Armitage would once again be joining another Harlan Coben show, this time titled Missing You, after the book of the same name, published in 2015.

If you want to read it before watching the series, now's your chance!

Missing You Harlan Coben (soon to star Richard Armitage)Amazon
Price: $12.87

Red Eye

In 2024, Armitage took on a leading role in the highly anticipated ITV thriller series Red Eye. The six-part series delves into a high-stakes conspiracy, offering a blend of suspense and drama that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

Red Eye centres around Dr. Matthew Nolan (played by Armitage), who finds himself caught in a deadly conspiracy during a flight. The series is praised for its intricate plot and character-driven narrative. It features a diverse cast, including Jing Lusi as DC Hana Li, a spirited and authentic detective, and Lesley Sharp as Madeleine Delaney, an MI5 chief​.

Despite being set in Beijing, they didn't actually film there, but in an interview with ITV, Richard said, "I've been to China before, so I could draw on my experience of it. It’s always nice to travel, but actually it wasn’t really necessary for this shoot. The world they created for Beijing was pretty amazing. I walked onto that set, and it was a wow moment, I really felt like I was down a back street in Wangfujing, it was fantastic. I was more disappointed we weren't up in the air in the aeroplane, but that would have been a six-week flight. I still feel like we should have got some air miles from somewhere for the amount of time we spent in that’s business class cabin!"


Fool Me Once

This adaptation of Harlan Coben's book features Michelle Keegan as Maya, a widow who is shocked to see her seemingly deceased husband Joe, played by Richard Armitage, appear on a nanny cam after she witnessed his brutal murder.


Obsession is a provocative psychological thriller on Netflix that delves into the complexities of desire, power, and betrayal. Richard Armitage plays William Farrow, a highly successful London surgeon who seemingly has it all - a thriving career and a perfect family. However, his life takes a dramatic turn when he embarks on a torrid affair with Anna Barton, played by Charlie Murphy. Anna is not just any woman; she is his son's girlfriend, adding layers of forbidden attraction and inevitable turmoil to the storyline​.

Stay Close

As a man goes missing 17 years to the night that another man did, three people living seemingly separate lives become linked by a series of past drama and crimes. Alongside Armitage, the star-studded cast includes Cush Jumbo (The Good Wife, Criminal Record), James Nesbitt (Cold Feet, The Missing), Sarah Parish (Bancroft, W1A), Jo Joyner (EastEnders, Shakespeare and Hathaway) and comedian Suzy Eddie Izzard.

The Stranger

2020 may not have a been a great year thanks to the pandemic, but it did give us time to watch lots of television, including The Stranger, which became one of the must-watch shows that everyone was talking about.

Richard Armitage plays Adam Price, a family man who is trying to get to the truth after a stranger makes a shocking claim about his wife. Other cast members include Hannah John-Karmen (from Ant-Man and the Wasp), Siobhan Finneran (best known from Happy Valley, Benidorm), Jacob Dudman and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, French and Saunders) in her very first dramatic/non-comedic role.


The Hobbit

Richard Armitage was in The Hobbit movies as Thorin Oakinshield, alongside Martin Freeman's Bilbo Baggins. Thorin is the leader of the Company of Dwarves and Armitage had to wear a prosthetic nose during filming.


From 2008 to 2010, Richard Armitage played Lucas North (formerly known as John Bateman). He was first introduced as the former head of Section D, who was imprisoned during an operation in Russia. He was called one of the best agents in the field and tries to be reinstated into MI5.

North and South

North & South is a BBC television adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's 1855 novel, which premiered in 2004 and quickly became a beloved period drama.

The story is set during the industrial revolution in England and follows Margaret Hale, portrayed by Daniela Denby-Ashe, a young woman from the rural south who moves to the northern industrial town of Milton after her father decides to leave the Church. Here, she encounters John Thornton (played by Armitage), a stern and self-made mill owner.

Richard Armitage's portrayal of John Thornton is what shot him to fame. His performance captures the character's complexities, portraying Thornton as both a formidable businessman and a deeply sensitive individual.

North & South [DVD]Amazon
Price: $13.24

Richard Armitage book

Richard Armitage's first book, Geneva was published in 2023. Here's the official synopsis:

'Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sarah Collier has started to show the same tell-tale signs of Alzheimer's disease as her father: memory loss, even blackouts. So she is reluctant to accept the invitation to be the guest of honour at a prestigious biotech conference - until her husband Daniel, a neuroscientist, persuades her that the publicity storm will be worth it. The technology being unveiled at this conference could revolutionise medicine forever. More than that, it could save Sarah's life.

In Geneva, the couple are feted as stars - at least, Sarah is. But behind the five-star luxury, investors are circling, controversial blogger Terri Landau is all over the story, and Sarah's symptoms are getting worse. As events begin to spiral out of control, Sarah can't be sure who to trust - including herself.'


The audiobook version stars Armitage and Nicola Walker. Speaking of its release, he said:

"The process of creating an original story has been an exciting opportunity for me. Crafting a psychological thriller, springing from a fascination with science and technology, and deep love of this genre is a dream come true. I’m honoured that Audible have chosen their platform as a place for my debut as a writer."

Richard Armitage, social media

Twitter: @RCArmitage
Instagram: @richardcarmitage

Arabella Horspool is a Commercial Content Writer for Yours at Bauer Media. She's a bookworm who is passionate about TV and film. She enjoys cooking, scrapbooking and spending time with her many pets.

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