The Blackadder Wiki
Hugh Laurie
Born June 11, 1959 (age: 65)
First appearance "Beer"
Last appearance Blackadder: Back and Forth
Series Blackadder II
Blackadder the Third
Blackadder Goes Forth
Episode count 14 Episodes + 2 Specials

James Hugh Calum Laurie, CBE (born 11 June 1959) is an English actor, comedian, writer and musician.

He first became well known in the media as one half of the Fry and Laurie double act, along with his friend and comedy partner Stephen Fry, whom he joined in the cast of Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster from 1987 until 1999.

From 2004 to 2012, Laurie played Dr Gregory House, the protagonist of House, for which he received two Golden Globe awards, two Screen Actors Guild awards and several Emmy nominations.


Born in Oxford, Laurie was the youngest of five children and also the son of Ran Laurie, an English physician and Olympic rowing champion who won a gold medal at the 1948 London Games.

After attending the Dragon School, Laurie went to Selwyn College, Cambridge and while there, studied archaeology and anthropology, specialising in social anthropology, ultimately graduating with third-class honors in 1981.

Like his father, Laurie was a rower, having done so at school and university. In 1977, he was a member of the junior coxed pair that won the British national team before going on to represent Britain's Youth Team at the 1977 Junior World Rowing Championships.

Three years later, in 1980, Laurie and his rowing partner were runners-up in the Silver Goblets coxless pairs for Eton Vikings rowing club. He also achieved a Blue while taking part in the 1980 Oxford and Cambridge Boat which Cambridge lost by five feet.

At that time, Laurie was training for up to eight hours a day and was on course to become a rower with dreams of participating in the Olympics. He is a member of the Leander Club, one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world and was also a member of the Hermes Club and Hawks Club.

However, after developing glandular fever, Laurie was forced to abandon rowing. He then joined the Cambridge Footlights, a university responsible for launching the careers of many well-known actors and comedians including the members of Monty Python. It was during that time he met Emma Thompson, the two having a romantic relationship before they broke up although they remain good friends. Thompson later introduced him to his future comedy partner, Stephen Fry with the two men going on to form the comedy duo, "Fry and Laurie".

The group consisting of Laurie, Fry, Thompson and Ben Elton later appeared as parodies of themselves, representing Footlights College, Oxbridge in the episode, "Bambi" of "The Young Ones".

From 1980 to 1981, in addition to rowing, Laurie was President of the Footlights with Thompson as vice-president. They later took their annual revue, "The Cellar Tapes" to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the act later winning the first ever Perrier Comedy Award that Rowan Atkinson presented to the group.

In addition to Laurie and Fry writing most of the revue, the cast included the two as well as Thompson, Tony Slattery, Paul Shearer and Penny Dwyer.

The success of the project later led to it being transferred to the West End with a televised version of it airing in May 1982. This later saw the team now working with Elton, Robbie Coltrane and Siobhan Redmond to write and appear in a new sketch comedy show for Granada Television, "Alfresco", which ran for two series.

Laurie made his debut appearance in the Blackadder II episode, "Beer, playing drunk aristocrat Simon Partridge AKA "Farters Parters" or "Mr. Ostrich" before returning in the Blackadder II series finale episode, "Chains" as the psychopathic villainous German spy/master of disguise Prince Ludwig the Indestructible, making him the first actor in the Blackadder franchise to have played two completely different characters in the same series- Blackadder II with Rowan Atkinson later becoming the second actor to do so when he played both Blackadder and MacAdder during the Blackadder the Third series finale episode, Duel and Duality with Laurie also the youngest member of the entire Blackadder cast.

After Tim McInnerny quit the series for fear of being typecast, Laurie, previously a recurring guest star joined the show on a permanent basis, making his first appearance as a member of the main cast in Blackadder the Third which first began airing in September 1987 and concluded in October 1987 as Prince George before returning again two years later in Blackadder Goes Fourth, this time playing the Prince's descendant, Lieutenant George, the show first airing in September 1989 and ending on November 2, 1989.

During his tenure on Blackadder, Laurie often guest-starred alongside Fry who played the Duke of Wellington in Blackadder the Third and General Melchett in Blackadder Goes Forth.

After Blackadder ended, the two men who had formed a comedy team named "Fry and Laurie" continued working on various projects in the 1980s and 1990s including the sketch comedy series, "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" which aired on BBC from January 13, 1989 to April 2, 1995.

Laurie had small guest-starring roles on various British dramas including the TV series Jeeves and Wooster "The Bill" and "Spooks" before going to appear as Dr. Gregory House in the American medical drama, "House M.D." which aired for eight seasons, beginning in November 2004 and ending in May 2012. In addition to being a series regular on House, Laurie later became an executive producer and even directed two episodes of the show. Although his work in "Blackadder" made him famous in the UK, Europe and Australia, Laurie's work on "House" brought him recognition on a global level.

After House had finished, Laurie went on an acting hiatus for three years, focusing on his music career during which he released an album, "Didn't It Rain" in 2013, the follow-up to his 2011 album, "Let Them Talk".

He later returned to TV in 2014, appearing in the American political drama series, "Veep" as Senator Tom James.

Two years later, in 2016, Laurie appeared in the TV adaptation of the novel, "The Night Manager" as villainous arms dealer Richard Onslow Roper. As well as being a series regular on the show, Laurie was also an Executive Producer with the role marking his first appearance on British TV in thirteen years. His role as Roper in the Night Manager later won Laurie his third Golden Globe at the Golden Globes in 2017.

Roles in Blackadder[]

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