John Simm was born on 10th July 1970 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. When he was 5 years old, his parents Ronald and Brenda moved to Nelson, Lancashire. For the first time John was bitten by the acting bug at Edge End School and got encouragment from his drama teacher, Brian Wellock. At the age of 16 he went to drama school in Blackpool ("three years of drinking and West Side Story"), but left it early for a part in "Rumpole of the Bailey". John spent further three years at the Drama Centre in London, perfecting his acting skills. He graduated in 1992. Then followed a succession of similar TV parts before "Cracker", in which he played a vulnerable juvenile delinquent, and leading role in coming-of-age drama "Boston Kickout", which won him Best Actor Award at the Valencia Film Festival in Spain. Among his other works are successful TV series "The Lakes", TV films "Forgive and Forget" and "Never Never", but it was raver flick "Human traffic" that brought him world-wide fame.

Among most recent John's roles are enigmatic New Order frontmen from "24 Hour Party People" and conscience-stricken intellectual Raskolnikov from BBC adaptation of Dostoevksy's classic "Crime and Punishment". In past three years John appeared in numerous BBC projects - BAFTA winning political thriller "State of Play", modern Chaucer adaptation "The Canterbury Tales" and most recently - series "Life on Mars".

His choice of Bernard Sumner part in "24 Hour Party People" wasn't lucky accident, since John's also musician. His band Magic Alex released their debut album at Ridge farm studios, but they don't perform anymore.

John's wife is actress Kate Magowan, their son Ryan was born on 13th August 2001.

also: read John's biography by Alexander Larman at

Interesting facts



He made his debut singing Elvis's 'Wooden Heart' with his father; they called themselves 'Us2'

During one of London gigs 'New Order' dedicated their song 'True Faith' to John's son

John likes The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Blur, Beck, The Beastie Boys, Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans

John appeared on many TV commercials, among them Cellnet (1996) & Rover Dealers (1996)

Football is a John's major passion after music, but he's gutted because he can't play anymore after crocking his knee doing his own stunts in Chiller. He couldn't even walk for a couple of months.

John sang the acoustic version of 'Blue Monday' in '24 Hour Party People' during the split screen scene.

John appeared in another Dostoyevsky piece, Camus’ adaptation of the novel 'The Possessed', alongside fellow students Craig Kelly and Joe Duttine during his study in Drama Centre in London.

He's also sung backing vocals on an album by Echo and The Bunnymen singer Ian McCulloch.

John and his wife both appeared in '24 hour party people'.

Memorable quotes


on roles:

"I always seem to play evil bastards"

on appearance:

"Someone once said I had an innocent face but evil eyes"

on diaries:

"Erm, I did once for a while when I was at Blackpool College and It's absolutely hilarious. For some reason I called my diary Aggerton. Aggerton Sachs. I don't know what I was on. What a name! "Dear Aggerton.."