John Simm

Last updated on the 26 May 2024 by Evandrus

John Simm

Mini Biography

Born: 10 July 1970, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. 

Growing up in Lancashire, music was a constant presence in John Simm’s life. His father, a musician himself, instilled a love for guitar and singing in John, who took to the stage with him as early as twelve.

Education became a springboard for Simm’s talent. After attending Edge End High School, he attended Blackpool and The Fylde College before graduating from the prestigious Drama Centre London in 1992.

John Simm’s professional journey began on British television in the mid-90s. Early roles in shows like “Rumpole of the Bailey” and “Heartbeat” provided him with valuable experience. However, his breakout moment arrived in 1995 with the gritty film “Boston Kickout.” His portrayal of a football hooligan not only earned him critical acclaim but also showcased his ability to embody complex and potentially unlikable characters.

It was the 2006 science fiction series “Life on Mars” that truly catapulted him to stardom. As Detective Sam Tyler, a modern-day cop inexplicably transported to 1973, Simm delivered a nuanced performance that resonated with viewers. His portrayal of a man grappling with disorientation and a clash of cultures made “Life on Mars” a cult classic.

John Simm’s career trajectory continued to soar. In 2007, he took on the iconic role of the Master in the beloved series “Doctor Who.” His portrayal of the Doctor’s arch-nemesis was both chilling and captivating, adding a new layer of complexity to the character. He seamlessly transitioned between playful charm and terrifying villainy, solidifying his place in “Doctor Who” history.

John Simm married actress Kate Magowan in 2004, and together they have a son and a daughter. When not captivating audiences on screen, he enjoys music and is known to be a big fan of the band New Order.


Suggested viewing


Code of a Killer (2015)

Code of a Killer poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.6

Based on a true story, a detective teams up with a scientist to solve a series of brutal murders. The scientist’s groundbreaking DNA fingerprinting technique becomes the key to identifying the killer, forever changing forensic investigations.

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


The Village (2013)

The Village poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.7

We follow a young boy in a rural English village as his family and community grapple with the social and personal upheavals of the 20th century, from the brutality of war to the fight for women’s rights. Through his eyes, we witness the changing landscape of tradition, love and loss against the backdrop of a nation forever transformed.

Top cast: Maxine Peake, John Simm, David Ryall, Scott Handy, Matt Stokoe, Juliet Stevenson, Emily Beecham, Augustus Prew, Annabelle Apsion, Joe Armstrong, Charlie Murphy.


Crime (2021)

Irvine Welsh's Crime

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.2

Detective Inspector Ray Lennox is immersed in the harrowing case of a missing schoolgirl in Edinburgh. As he delves into the investigation, Lennox confronts not only the disturbing truth behind her disappearance but also his own inner demons and the internal conflicts that plague the police force.

Top cast: Dougray Scott, Joanna Vanderham, Jamie Sives, Michael Abubakar, Angela Griffin, Laura Fraser, Sarah McCardie, Ken Stott, John Simm.


Doctor Who (2005)

John Simm Doctor Who The Master

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.6

John Simm played a memorable incarnation of the Master, the Doctor’s arch-enemy, in Doctor Who. Debuting in the third series, he initially appeared as Harold Saxon, a charismatic politician, later revealed to be the Master in disguise. Simm’s portrayal captured the Master’s manipulative nature and ruthlessness, making him a chilling adversary for the Doctor.

Top cast: David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman, Derek Jacobi, Chipo Chung, John Bell, John Simm (S3 EP 11,12,13.)


Grace (2021)

John Simm Grace poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.3

In “Grace,” John Simm portrays Roy Grace, a dedicated detective inspector haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his wife. As he handles complex cases in Brighton, he relentlessly seeks answers to her vanishing while grappling with his own turmoil and unearthing shocking secrets that will forever alter his life.

Top cast: John Simm, Richie Campbell, Rakie Ayola, Laura Elphinstone, Amaka Okafor, Brad Morrison, Matt Stokoe, Adrian Rawlins.


Life on Mars (2006)

Life on Mars poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.4

“Life on Mars” is a captivating sci-fi crime drama that follows Detective Sam Tyler as he wakes up in 1973 after an accident. Confused and disoriented, he must fathom the unfamiliar world while trying to solve crimes with outdated methods. As Sam questions his reality, he grapples with the possibility of being trapped in a coma or actually time-travelled to the past.

Top cast: John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White, Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster, Noreen Kershaw, Tony Marshall, William Atkinson.


State of Play (2003)

State of Play poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.3

A seemingly unrelated death of a young political researcher and a teenage drug dealer spark an investigation by a jaded investigative journalist. As he digs deeper, he uncovers a web of corruption that connects the seemingly random deaths and leads to a powerful government official, forcing the journalist to question his loyalties and risk his career to expose the truth.

Top cast: David Morrissey, Bill Nighy, Kelly Macdonald, John Simm, Polly Walker, Philip Glenister, James McAvoy, Michael Feast, Amelia Bullmore.


Mad Dogs (2011)

Mad Dogs poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.5

“Mad Dogs” is a thrilling dark comedy-drama that follows the lives of four middle-aged friends who embark on a holiday in Majorca, Spain. Their vacation takes an unexpected turn when they become entangled in a web of deceit, crime and danger, testing their friendship and sanity as they try to survive the chaos unfolding around them.

Top cast: Max Beesley, Philip Glenister, John Simm, Marc Warren, Ben Chaplin, Tim Woodward, Leticia Dolera, María Botto.


The Devil’s Whore (2008)

The Devil's Whore

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.0

“The Devil’s Whore” is a historical drama set during the English Civil War. It follows the journey of Angelica Fanshawe, a young woman who becomes entangled in political intrigue and rebellion. As chaos reigns, Angelica must place her loyalty to different factions while trying to survive in a world torn apart by war and religious conflict.

Top cast: Andrea Riseborough, John Simm, Peter Capaldi, Dominic West, Michael Fassbender, Maxine Peake, Tom Goodman-Hill, Harry Lloyd.


Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


John Simm Gallery



Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago