Name: Peter Firth
Date of birth: 27th October 1953
Place of birth: Bradford
Marital status: Divorced
Parents: Mavis and Eric Macintosh Firth
Siblings: Elder sister (+6 yrs) Shelagh, living in California
Football team: Middlesborough
As a young boy, Peter joined a Saturday drama club at the Civic Playhouse in Bradford. Not for any real love of acting, but rather because of the pretty girls who seemed to frequent there. He was given some small acting parts as a young lad, which eventually led to a ratings winner, The Flaxton Boys: playing a leading role. Double Deckers with Peter as Scooper, the leader of the gang, followed on, and started him on the path he is still on today.
A little older, and Peter was offered the role of Alan Strang at the National Theatre in Peter Shaffer’s play, Equus: a part for which he is still remembered and praised for to this day. He stayed with the National Theatre for a few years after that. As Peter told a recent reporter for Yorkshire Post, ‘Instead of going to drama school, I learned from the best… I was 19 and fearless, and I took it all in my stride.’ Peter talks of how Laurence Olivier ‘mentored’ him, and Richard Burton opened his eyes to a whole new world. Equus moved to Broadway, and young Peter was nominated for a Tony Award. A few more films with household name actors, and directors, such as Polanski, and it seemed like Hollywood was calling.
Peter explains that, despite many film offers, he resisted the urge to accept the ‘Americanisation’ that was pushed onto him, and philosophically now sees that, that decision may have ‘perhaps (been) to my cost’.
Despite his rejection of Hollywood, he went on to work with some of the greatest directors of the modern age of film, including Attenborough, Lumet, Polanski, and Spielberg, as well as many A-list leading actors and actresses. If you check out the ‘Work’ section of this site, you will see very long lists of parts Peter has played through the years. His career spreads from Blockbuster movies, to BAFTA award winning TV dramas, like Spooks. He has rarely been off our TV screens throughout the previous two or three decades, and has a fanbase from teenagers, to those older people who remember his role in The Double Deckers. Not bad for someone who wasn’t interested in acting, but rather wanted the attention of the pretty girls – I think he achieved that, don’t you?
Excerpt taken from Yorkshire Post, Friday, 19th November 2010