English actor Richard Armitage was born on August 22, 1971 in Leicester, England.In Brockington College in Enderby he studied music, playing the cello in school and local orchestras, while at the same time he was learning to play the flute. Richard Armitage then went on to Pattinson College in Coventry, England where he continued his interest in music and expanding his education to include dance and acting.
In order to get his Equity Card, at the age of 17 Richard Armitage joined a circus in Budapest, Hungary for six weeks. Upon his return to England he pursued a career in musical theater, performing in such plays as "Cats" as Admetus and Macavity. Being unhappy with this career path Richard at the age of 22, enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in order to study acting further.
After completing London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art three year program he went back to work on the stage as a member of the supporting players with the Royal Shakespeare Company's "Macbeth" and "Hamlet", as well as "The Duchess of Malfi". Also while taking a series of small television and film roles, he acted in the Birmingham Repertory Theater production of "Four Alice Bakers".
In 2002 Richard Armitage landed a minor role in the BBC drama "Sparkhouse" playing the shy,yet noble John Standring. After this experience Richard went on to act in a variety of supporting roles in "Cold Five", "Between the Sheets" and "Ultimate Force" His first leading role was that of John Thornton in the 2004 BBC adaption of Elizabeth Gaskell's "North and South"
2005 saw Richard appearing in the BBC's "Shakespeare Re-Told" series as Peter MacDuff in "Macbeth" and appeared in an episode of "Inspector Linley Mysteries" called "In Divine Proportion" as the rcovering gambling addict, Phillip Turner. He portrayed the young Claude Monet in the 3 part factual drama on BBC and as Dr. Alec Track on ITV's medical series, "The Golden Hour".
Courtesy of Richard Armitage, Guy of Gisborne came to life in the 2006 BBC series "Robin Hood". The series ran until march 28,2009 due to the departure of Jonas Armstrong, who played Robin Hood.
2006 saw him in the 2part Christmas special of "The Victor of Dibley" as the vicar's love interest and eventual husband. In 2007 he played biker Ricky Deeming in the television detective drama "George Gently".And he was also in the BBC Four production of "Miss Marie Lloyd - Queen Of the Music Hall" playing Percy Courtenay, Marie Lloyd's first husband. He also appeared in Granada TV production of Agatha Christie's "Ordeal By Innocence" as Phillip Durant.
On October 27,2008 he joined the British spy show "Spooks" ( MI:5 In the U.S.) in series 7 as the character Lucas North. During the filming of the series he allowed himself to be waterboarded for a flashback sequence. He began filming series 8 of "Spooks" in March of 2009 and that started airing in November of 2009. In series 9, which began airing in late September 2010, his last scene took place in a confrontation with Harry Pearce on the roof of the Enver Tower from which he disappeared after having been discovered to have stolen someone else's identity. In episode 7 his true name was revealed as John Bateman and at the end of this series his status is unknown.
He appeared in BBC1 drama "Moving On" as John Mulligan in May of 2009.
In May of 2010 he starred in "Strike Back" for Sky 1 as John Porter. A second series of "Strike Back" was commissioned by Sky 1. It started airing in August of 2011 but Richard has been filming the movie "The Hobbit" in New Zealand, in which he plays dwarf Thorin Oakshield and therefore is only appearing as a guest star in the second series.
In "Captain America : The First Avenger" movie was released in July of 2011. In this movie Richard Armitage played Nazi spy Heinz Kruger. Even though this role was small, Richard gave it his full commitment, by reading the biography of the German spy, Erich Gimpel, who had been sent to sabotage the Manhattan Project.
Richard Armitage has stated that he would like to be in a historically based film on Richard III.