Simon Russell Beale is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed talents in British theatre.
He was born in Penang. Educated at Cambridge, his acting career began at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. He went on to join the RSC, where he first worked with the director Sam Mendes, and in the mid-90s he began his long association with the National Theatre. His many awards include the 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actor, for his role in Uncle Vanya at the Donmar Warehouse. A regular on radio, he took on the role of George Smiley in Radio 4's dramatisations of all eight of John le Carré's George Smiley novels. The Complete Smiley
His other radio roles include The Author in Leaving by Vaclav Havel, Henry Fielding in Tom Jones and Pierre Bezuhov in the 10 part adaptation of Tolstoy's War and Peace.