THE WALKING DEAD
David Mark Joseph Morrissey (born 21 June 1964) is an English actor and filmmaker. Described by the British Film Institute as “one of the most versatile English actors of his generation”, he is noted for the meticulous preparation and research he undertakes for his roles.
Morrissey was cast in the television series One Summer (1983) at the age of 18, and subsequently attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre for four years. Throughout the 1990s, he often portrayed policemen and soldiers, though he also played Bradley Headstone in Our Mutual Friend (1998) and Christopher Finzi in Hilary and Jackie (1998). He then had roles in Some Voices (2000) and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), before he played the critically acclaimed roles of Stephen Collins in State of Play (2003) and Gordon Brown in The Deal (2003). The former earned him a Best Actor nomination at the British Academy Television Awards and the latter won him a Best Actor award from the Royal Television Society. He also played Jackson Lake, an amnesiac mathematician, on the Doctor Who special “The Next Doctor” in 2008.
In the years following those films, Morrissey had roles in The Reaping (2007), Sense and Sensibility (2008), Red Riding (2009), Nowhere Boy (2009), Centurion (2010) and Dampyr (2022). He also produced and starred in the crime drama Thorne (2010). Morrissey returned to the stage in 2008 for a run of Neil LaBute’s In a Dark Dark House and played the title role in the Liverpool Everyman’s production of Macbeth in 2011. He also starred in the British crime film Blitz (2011), playing a morally dubious reporter in contact with the eponymous cop killer. He later portrayed The Governor in the third, fourth, and fifth seasons of the AMC horror-drama series The Walking Dead.
Morrissey has directed short films and the television dramas Sweet Revenge (2001) and Passer By (2004). His feature-length directorial debut, Don’t Worry About Me, premiered at the 2009 London Film Festival and was broadcast on BBC television in 2010. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Edge Hill University in 2016. He was married to novelist Esther Freud, with whom he has three children.