Martin Clunes, an English actor, comedian and director, was born on 28 November 1961 in Wimbledon, South West London. His father Alec Clunes is a famous actor and his mother is Daphne is a board member of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He attended Royal Russell School in Croydon and The Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick, London. He was influenced by his cousin, Jeremy Brett, an English actor, and started his career in acting. Martin Clunes is married to the television producer, Philippa Braithwaite and resides with his family in Beaminster, Dorset.
Martin Clunes made his first onstage performance at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester and in the 1980s, he made his maiden television appearance as Lon in Snakedance, a serial in the British science fiction television series, Doctor Who. Martin Clunes was a photo model for Gilbert and George and appeared in their film, World (1983). He performed in the situation comedy, No Place Like Home broadcast on BBC and in two series of All at No. 20 broadcast on ITV. He was noticed by Harry Enfield, an English comedian, while acting on stage at the Hampstead Theatre. They became friends eventually and Martin Clunes got to perform in his sketch shows. Under the recommendation of Harry Enfield, he played the role Gary in the sitcom, Men Behaving Badly. His brilliant performance was rewarded with a BAFTA television award in 1996. His role in the series is considered to be one of his finest till date.
Since then, Martin Clunes has featured in a number of films and television shows, which include An Evening With Gary Lineker, Staggered, Hunting Venus, The Booze Cruise, Saving Grace and Jeeves and Wooster. He appeared in the 1998 British comedy film, Sweet Revenge and played the role of Richard Burbage in the Oscar-winning film, Shakespeare in Love. He has also performed in the series, Baldi aired on BBC Radio 4. His friend, Gary Numan, a rock singer featured in his movie, Hunting Venus. Later, Martin Clunes played bass to the song "Cars" in his live guest appearance onstage with Gary Numan. In 2002, he acted in A Is for Acid as the serial killer John George Haigh and played the lead role in ITV’s Goodbye Mr Chips. He starred together with the Scottish actress, Julie Graham in the romantic comedy drama, William and Mary on ITV in 2004. He had performed earlier with the actress in Dirty Tricks (2000). In 2004, he took the lead in Doc Martin, a comedy series on ITV. In 2005, Martin Clunes was nominated for the Most Popular Actor at the National Television Awards for his exceptional portrayal of the character in the series. The series attracted a huge audience and was a great hit. The Buffalo Pictures Limited production company, owned by Martin Clunes and his wife, produced the series for ITV.
Martin Clunes acted in ITV's drama, The Man Who Lost His Head in August 2007 and has also performed in Fungus The Bogeyman. On ITV's GMTV in November 2007, he gave an interview in which he told that a fourth series would also come for Doc Martin. He was the voice of the character, Kipper in the animation series, Kipper the Dog.
Martin Clunes has been involved in charitable activities and for the Terrence Higgins Trust, he shot an online film on HIV discrimination. He also made a Christmas advertisement for the Born Free Foundation in October 2007.
Martin Clunes has won the SAG Award for his outstanding performances and was honoured with a doctorate from the Bournemouth University on 9 November 2007.
In January 2008, it was announced that ITV was to sponsor the documentary, Martin Clunes: a man and his dogs. Martin Clunes plans to capture photos for the book that is to accompany this documentary.