Jim Carter is another one of those actors you see everywhere, but you may not instantly recognize him. Since his success as Mr. Carson on Downton Abbey, you may get better at spotting him or his lovely basso voice.
Mr. Carson, the butler of Downton Abbey is one of my favourite characters. His affection for the headstrong Lady Mary and his great set downs of the uppity Thomas (the nine fingered footman) make him always fun to watch. Jim Carter seems to have had great fun playing Mr. Carson as is evidenced by this video spoof of A Very Carson Christmas.
|Jim Carter as Ralph Bashford in Shakespeare in Love|
The first time Jim Carter really registered in my consciousness as a notable character was in Shakespeare in Love, where he played Ralph Bashford, a middle aged actor playing the female character of Juliet's Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, the play within the film. Actually, I find it funny that Jim Carter's wife actress Imelda Staunton played Viola De Lesseps' Nurse. Someone had fun with the casting there!
|Imelda Staunton in Shakespeare in Love|
Here is the photo of Jim Carter's wife Imelda Staunton as the Nurse in Shakespeare in Love to jog your memory. She is so great in this, as is her husband as the character of "Nurse".
|Jim Carter as Mr. Brehgert in The Way We Live Now|
I love Jim's character of Mr. Brehgert in The Way We Live Now. He is so sweet as the older Jewish character Mr. Brehgert who falls in love with Georgiana Longestaffe (played by the wonderful Anne-Marie Duff) who only sees him as an escape from spinsterhood and ends up breaking his heart. What a twit she was!
|Jim Carter in Ella Enchanted|
Almost unrecognizable as the ogre Nish in Ella Enchanted, this is proof that he gets a lot of varied roles!
|Jim Carter as Captain Brown in Cranford|
Now this is more like how we are used to seeing Jim Carter. In Victorian dress as Captain Brown in Cranford, he is both a capable railway planner and a likeable father. Perfect for the role!
|Jim Carter with wife Imelda Staunton and daughter Bessie|
Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton have a daughter together, Bessie Carter who joined the family business, having had a small part in Cranford as Margaret Gidford. I am now going to have to watch Cranford again just to spot her. Actually, what a great reason to watch Cranford again.
I had to leave an awful lot of his career out of this post, so feel free to comment below with your fave Jim Carter films or television roles. I couldn't find a photo of him as Charles Fox in The Madness of King George, but that is another film I should watch again. And he has a great bit part as a bartender in My Week With Marilyn.