Image of John Shrapnel

John Shrapnel

1942-04-27 Birmingham, England, UK

Image of John Shrapnel


Shrapnel was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, the son of Mary Lillian Myfanwy (née Edwards) and journalist/author Norman Shrapnel.[1] As a stage actor, he was a member of Laurence Olivier's Royal National Theatre company and the Royal Shakespeare Company and most recently appeared as Sir Oliver Surface in The School for Scandal (directed by Deborah Warner) at the Barbican Centre in 2011. He has also appeared extensively in film and on television in roles in Elizabeth R, Z-Cars, Edward and Mrs. Simpson, 101 Dalmatians, Space: 1999, Inspector Morse, Coogan's Run, Notting Hill and Foyle's War. He presented an episode of the 1983 BBC television travel series Great Little Railways. He gave performances in three entries in the BBC Television Shakespeare plays and as Creon in the BBC's 1984 productions of the Three Theban plays of Sophocles. In America, he has starred in supporting roles as Senator Gaius in Gladiator, Nestor in Troy and Pompey in the second episode of Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. He also played the Jail Warden in the 10th Kingdom, an epic fantasy miniseries. He has the rare achievement of appearing in two episodes of Midsomer Murders as two different characters, in Death in Chorus and Written in Blood. Shrapnel appeared in an episode of Jonathan Creek as Professor Lance Graumann in the episode The Omega Man. He appears in Chemical Wedding alongside Simon Callow, telling the tale of the resurrection of occultist Aleister Crowley. Shrapnel also has experience in the field of BBC radio drama through such characters as Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse and William Gibson's Neuromancer. He is the son-in-law of Deborah Kerr through his 1975 marriage to her younger daughter Francesca Ann Bartley. They have three sons, the actors Lex Shrapnel (b.1979), Tom Shrapnel (b.1981) and the writer Joe Shrapnel (b.1976). They live in Highbury, north London.


King Charles III Archbishop of Canterbury 2017-05-10
Hamlet Claudius/Ghost 2015-03-23
Branagh Theatre Live: The Winter's Tale 2015-11-30
Building Burma's Death Railway: Moving Half the Mountain Narrator 2014-01-01
National Theatre Live: Macbeth Duncan, King of Scotland/Seyton, attendant to Macbeth/Old Man 2013-07-19
The Awakening Reverend Hugh Purslow 2011-08-17
National Theatre Live: Phèdre Théramène 2009-06-25
Chemical Wedding Crowley 2008-05-04
Mirrors Lorenzo Sapelli 2008-08-15
The Duchess General Grey 2008-09-05
Elizabeth: The Golden Age Lord Howard 2007-09-09
Hindenburg: Titanic of the Skies Himself (Narrator) 2007-09-17
Alien Autopsy Michael Kuhn 2006-04-07
Wachau - Land am Strome Narrator (English Version) 2005-06-08
The Headsman Archbishop 2005-05-12
Seven Wonders of Ancient Rome Narrator 2004-01-01
Seven Wonders of Ancient Egypt Narrator 2004-02-17
Troy Nestor 2004-05-03
Seven Wonders of Ancient Greece Narrator 2004-06-01
Wild Women of Viramba Narrator 2003-01-15
The Race for Everest Narrator 2003-05-27
Whistle Paul 2002-01-01
K-19: The Widowmaker Admiral Bratyeev 2002-07-19
Alone Hannah 2002-01-01
Schönbrunn - Quelle der Schönheit Narrator (English Version) 2002-12-19
Claim Lex Vandenberg 2002-07-16
Animals of the Ocean Desert Narrator 2001-06-21
The Body Moshe Cohen 2001-04-13
Mountain Men: The Ghosts of K2 Narrator 2001-05-31
Supermassive Black Holes Narrator 2000-11-30
Gladiator Gaius 2000-05-04
Mary, Mother of Jesus Simon 1999-11-14
Notting Hill PR Chief 1999-05-21
The Strange Case of Delphina Potocka Iwaszkiewicz 1999-01-01
Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters General Charette 1999-04-02
St.Stephan – Der lebende Dom Narrator (English voice) 1997-12-23
Two Deaths Cinca 1996-06-14
101 Dalmatians L. Skinner 1996-11-27
England, My England Samuel Pepys 1995-01-01
King Arthur: His Life and Legends 1995-09-18
Fatherland General Globus 1994-11-26
SS-3: The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich Narrator 1992-01-01
Hamlet Claudius / The Ghost (voice) 1992-12-07
Selling Hitler Gerd Schulte-Hillen 1991-06-11
The Tragedy of Flight 103: The Inside Story BKA Police Chief 1990-12-09
How to Get Ahead in Advertising Psychiatrist 1989-05-05
Testimony Andre Zhdanov 1988-11-01
Personal Services Lionel 1987-02-12
Partition General Flood 1987-08-19
Theban Plays: Antigone Creon 1986-09-19
Theban Plays: Oedipus the King Creon 1986-09-16
Theban Plays: Oedipus at Colonus Creon 1986-09-17
Poppyland George Sims 1985-01-13
The Burston Rebellion Rev. Charles Tucker Eland 1985-02-24
King Lear Earl of Kent 1982-09-19
Timon of Athens Alcibiades 1981-04-16
Troilus & Cressida Hector 1981-11-07
Gossip From The Forest Matthias Erzberger 1979-07-28
Edward & Mrs. Simpson Major Alexander Hardinge 1978-11-06
Professional Foul McKendrick 1977-09-21
Hennessy Tipaldi 1975-12-31
Pope Joan Father James 1972-08-16
Nicholas and Alexandra Petya 1971-11-29
Hamlet Within