Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Brendan Coyle- Actor of the Week

Brendan Coyle
An obvious choice for actor of the week (thanks for the suggestion sis!) is Brendan Coyle, as we have been enjoying him so much recently as Mr. Bates in Downton Abbey. And yet, he has done so much more period drama than just Downton Abbey.

Brendan Coyle as Nicholas Higgins and Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton in North and South
If you haven't yet seen North and South, then you have a real treat in store for you. Brendan Coyle plays a working man in the North of England, a "hand" in a cotton mill and Richard Armitage plays the sexy Mr. Thornton, a mill owner. There is romance, politics, romance, strife and...romance? OK, Mrs. Gaskell does kill off a few too many of her characters, but otherwise this is the perfect book/miniseries combo.

Claudie Blakely and Brendan Coyle as Emma and Robert Timmins in Lark Rise to Candleford
In Lark Rise to Candleford, Brendan Coyle plays the intelligent but sometimes opinionated and difficult stonemason Robert Timmins. Again, he brings this working class man to life with a tempestuous but loving relationship with his wife Emma, played by the always brilliant Claudie Blakely.

Brendan Coyle as Mr. Bates in Downton Abbey
Brendan Coyle seems quite bewildered by the sex symbol status he has achieved with his Mr. Bates, the valet to the Earl of Grantham. We got attached to his character in the first series as he struggled with his injury from the Boer War and his new position at Downton. Now we are cheering on his romance with Anna. Go Bates!

Brendan Coyle as Manuel Mendoza from The Glass Virgin 1995

Mmmmm...this is one miniseries I have got to get my hands on. Based on a Catherine Cookson book, The Glass Virgin is a 1995 miniseries (1995 again-what a great year for period drama!), IMDb gives this description:

"Set in 1870s England, the story tells of Annabella Lagrange and the terrible secret her wealthy parents have kept from her. When she finally learns the truth, she runs away and eventually finds solace in the company of her family's former groom, a young Irishman with the very Spanish name of Manuel Mendoza. Together they travel the Northumbria countryside from job to job in his horse and caravan, Annabella trapped in limbo between her upper class upbringing which has rejected her, and the working class who are sometimes suspicious of her, only Manuel understanding her situation."

Apparently there are a whole slew of Catherine Cookson's novels which were dramatized in the last 20 years by the BBC. Sounds like another order from Amazon for me!!!!

Lately Brendan has been working on a Victorian thriller called The Raven, "a fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe's life, in which the poet pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer's stories."    He is also working on a new TV series called Starlings, about a typical working class family in Derbyshire.

Brendan Coyle. Small baby or big hands?
And to leave you with, here is a photo which may give you baby lust (if not Brendan Coyle lust). The infant he is holding is, I believe, the offspring of one of his colleagues on Starlings. And by the way ladies, he is straight and he is single!


  1. I really enjoyed Brendan's performance in North and South. I also saw him play an American thug in the British police series, George Gently. He's certainly well rounded. Mary Simonsen

  2. I absolutely love everything that Brendan Coyle sets his ability to. He is an amazing man and just one of the best actors ever!

    Cassie Just

  3. Most of the Catherine Cookson adaptations are on this youtube channel:

    Frankly, most of them aren't that great (melodrama galore), but they show a grittier side of life than most period dramas and they're fun just to play "name that period drama actor." My favorite was The Moth, with Justine Waddell.

  4. Hi Jenny,
    I love the relationship between Higgins and Mr. Thornton in North and South almost as much as the love story. He's also great in Downton Abbey. I'll have to check out Lark Rise to Candleford. I haven't gotten around to watching that one yet.

  5. I think Brendan Coyle's acting ability is amazing. I'm hoping he's finally getting the credit he deserves. I've seen all the above mentioned films. I have to say I loved him in "North and South" and especially in "Lark Rise to Candleford". I'm glad to see he'll be in so many more upcoming events.

  6. I don't know how I never made the connection that he was the same guy in North and South, as many times as I've seen that. If anyone has not seen that miniseries, they really must.

    Netflix has a great many of the Cookson minseries, but I've not tried them yet. Glass Virgin might be the first to try

  7. Glad everyone loves Brendan Coyle and his various roles. Thanks for the great suggestions for how to see some Catherine Cookson miniseries.

  8. It's funny that I just saw The Glass Virgin - last week, I think? I enjoyed it (it's Catherine Cookson, so as long as one knows what to expect... :)); in fact it may be my joint favourite CC adaptation together with The Moth, which stars Jack Davenport - which is never a bad thing.:)

    And yes, I enjoyed Brendan Coyle in it - also North & South, and Lark Rise. Very good choice for actor of the week.:) (I missed him in the last series of Lark Rise - I was hoping for a little cameo-type-thing at least - I do bear Downton a bit of a grudge for that... )


  9. Brendan Coyle is an incredibly talented actor. The first time I saw him was in North & South. And even though Richard Armitage gets a great deal of attention for that series (and he is great in it), Brendan Coyle totally rocks in the role of Nicholas Higgins. I've seen a lot of his other performances and he always does an excellent job. I'm glad to see him finally get some recognition and I hope that his work on DA opens more doors to better roles for him.

  10. Starlings and The Raven sound good, and Brendan is probably on his way to many more good roles!

  11. I saw "Glass Virgin". It is total Brendan Coyle eye candy. His acting is just so-so. He has come a long way and is now a very good actor who can pull off a wide range of parts.

  12. simply a sex pot. The glass virgin has done it for me.

    1. I haven't seen that one yet. You make it sound very tempting!




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