John Nettles, actor born in St. Austell, Cornwall on October 11, 1943.. John Nettles got his big break in his role as Jim Bergerac in the television series ‘Bergerac’. He went on to play chief inspector Tom Barnaby in Midsummer Murders.
John Nettles natural mother was an Irish nurse who came to work in England during World War II.John was adopted by Eric and Elsie Nettles as a baby, and grew up as an only child. He spent his early childhood years in Roe Green, Manchester, then moved to St. Austell with his parents. Here he went to St. Blazey Primary School and then to St Austell Grammar School.
The first job he ever had was in the clay mines in his home town of St. Austell, Cornwall at the age of 16, as a holiday job. He was 26 the last time he worked there. When he was out of work acting he would go and work in the mines. He once said in an interview that his worst job that he ever had to do, was teaching in an inner city London school during the late 60s and early 70s.
He went on to Southampton University in 1962 where he studied philosophy and history and acted in drama society productions. He had intended to become a teacher, but he was spotted by a theatrical agent at a drama society play, which led to an offer of work at the Royal Court theatre.
He mainly mainly small parts at the Royal Court, before moving to the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was when he was there that he, was offered the part of Detective Sergeant Jim Bergerac in a BBC production.
Bergerac (1981-1991) became a success and with it he became a success. He had already worked in television during the early 1970s in the BBC sitcom The Liver Birds as Paul, and as Dr. Ian McKenzie in the series A Family At War, but Bergerac was massive for him. John Nettles, Jim Bergerac, Jersey in the Channel Islands, and his red Triumph Roadster all went together in the public mind.
When Bergerac finished, he went back to the Royal Shakespeare Company for five seasons. Then in 1995 he was approached by Brian True-May to take the part of Inspector Barnaby in the Midsomer Murders.
John is also heard as a narrator in many documentaries - Airport, Disaster and Violent Planet, as well as a number of audio books. He has himself written three books: Bergerac's Jersey, John Nettles' Jersey and Nudity in a Public Place.
He also appearance in ‘A Family at War’, ‘Black Beauty’, ‘The Liver Birds’, 'Dickens of London' and 'The Merchant of Venice' among other productions. He has performed extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
John currently lives in a converted barn outside Stratford-upon-Avon with his second wife, Cathryn Sealey (whom he married in 1995) and their two dogs, Alice and Toby.
He was married to his first wife, Joyce, for 13 years, and together they have a daughter, Emma (born 1970). He still flies to Jersey where 'Bergerac' was set, to see his daughter Emma who is in the civilian back-up for the Jersey Police Force.
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