David Threlfall

Last updated on the 31 May 2024 by Maeve

David Threlfall headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 12 October 1953, Crumpsall, Manchester, Lancashire, England. 

David Threlfall was the son of Joyce Foulds and plumber Tom Threlfall. The family moved around Manchester during his childhood, eventually settling in Burnage when he was around eight or nine years old. It was there, at Wilbraham High School, that David’s love for drama first blossomed. Encouraged by his English teachers, Alan Johnson and Frank Casey, he found himself drawn to the world of performance.

He attended Art college in Sheffield (now Sheffield Hallam University), then Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre (now Manchester Metropolitan University).

His professional debut arrived in 1977 with Mike Leigh’s “Kiss of Death.” This wasn’t just any debut; it was a baptism by fire under the renowned director known for his gritty realism.

Throughout the following decades, Threlfall continued to flit between mediums. He graced historical dramas like “Reilly, Ace of Spies,” embodied literary characters on screen (Mr. Bumble in “Oliver Twist”), and lent his voice to Detective Dr. Baldi on BBC Radio 4. Yet, a defining role awaited him.

Shameless - David Threlfall
Shameless – David Threlfall

In 2004, Channel 4’s “Shameless” premiered, introducing the world to Frank Gallagher, the dysfunctional patriarch of the Gallagher clan. Threlfall inhabited the role with a blend of charisma and chaos, perfectly capturing Frank’s blend of irresponsibility and surprising moments of tenderness. The show became a global phenomenon, and Threlfall’s portrayal of Frank remains etched in viewers’ minds.

Beyond “Shameless,” Threlfall continued to showcase his range. He took on historical figures like comedian Tommy Cooper and ventured into thrillers like “Black Sea” alongside Jude Law. He donned the director’s hat for several episodes of “Shameless,” proving his multifaceted talent.

David Threlfall married Bosnian actress Brana Bajic in 1995 and they have two children.


Suggested viewing


Shameless (2004)

Shameless poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.0

In a working-class Manchester estate, a family of resourceful siblings face poverty and dysfunction under the roof of their alcoholic father. The eldest daughter takes charge, balancing parental duties with her own chaotic love life, while the younger ones grapple with adolescence and survival.

Top cast: David Threlfall, Rebecca Atkinson, Alice Barry, Nicky Evans, Tina Malone, Elliott Tittensor, Aaron McCusker, Sally Carman, Qasim Akhtar, Ciaran Griffiths, Gerard Kearns, Rebecca Ryan, Sean Gilder.


What Remains (2013)

What Remains poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.4

A young couple’s new apartment holds a dark secret: the remains of a missing woman. A troubled detective, nearing retirement, becomes fixated on the case, pursuing the truth despite his colleagues dismissing it as suicide. The investigation unearths a hidden life and forces the detective to confront his own isolation.

Top cast: David Threlfall, David Bamber, Jessica Gunning, Indira Varma, Amber Rose Revah, Russell Tovey, Steven Mackintosh, Claudie Blakley, Victoria Hamilton, Denise Gough, Lisa Millett, Alexander Arnold.


Code of a Killer (2015)

Code of a Killer poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.6

A detective investigates the brutal murders of two teenage girls. Frustrated by the lack of leads, he turns to a scientist who has developed a revolutionary technique to identify individuals using DNA. This untested method becomes their only hope to catch the killer and exonerate a wrongly accused suspect.

Top cast: John Simm, Anna Madeley, David Threlfall, Lorcan Cranitch, Jaz Singh Deol, Andrew Tiernan, Robert Glenister, Lydia Rose Bewley.


David Threlfall full filmography @Wikipedia
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