Daniel Mays

Daniel Mays (born 31 March 1978) is an English actor.

Daniel Mays
Born (1978-03-31) 31 March 1978[1]
Epping, Essex, England
ResidenceCrouch End, North London, England
Years active1995–present
Spouse(s)Louise Burton

Early life

Born the third of four boys, Mays was brought up in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, by his electrician father and bank cashier mother.[2] He attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts before going on to win a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Acting career

After graduating from RADA in 2000,[3] Mays soon started appearing in a number of supporting roles ranging from a bit part in the BBC soap opera EastEnders in 2000 to a pilot in Jerry Bruckheimer's big-budget Pearl Harbor (2001). He was cast in the Mike Leigh films All or Nothing (2002) (as Jason, a thug who abuses his girlfriend) and Vera Drake (2004), in which he plays Sid, the protagonist's son. His performances for Leigh resulted in further offers of work.

One of Mays's most notable early roles was in the improvised BBC drama Rehab. Directed by Antonia Bird, Rehab was a drama about life inside a drug rehabilitation facility. He starred as Adam, a young heroin addict released from prison and sent directly to rehab. For his performance Mays was awarded the Best Actor award at the Palmare-Reims Television Festival in 2003.[4]

Mays has since appeared in a variety of productions, including a part in Johnny Vaughan's sitcom, Top Buzzer (2004); the lead role of Carter Krantz in BBC Three's Funland (2005); and film appearances in Atonement (2007), White Girl (2008) and The Bank Job (2008).

Mays starred in Channel 4's Friday-night comedy-of-errors sitcom Plus One, in which he played Rob Black, the perennial victim of Sod's law whose girlfriend has dumped him to marry "Duncan from Blue". He played the role of Michael Myshkin in Channel 4's adaptation of David Peace's Red Riding trilogy.[5] He also appears in the third and final series of Ashes to Ashes on BBC1 as Discipline and Complaints Officer, DCI Jim Keats.

In addition to his TV and film work, Mays has starred in six stage plays at London's Royal Court Theatre. The productions have included Ladybird, Motortown, The Winterling and Scarborough. Simon Stephens wrote the lead role of Danny in Motortown with Mays in mind. He went on to win critical acclaim for his performance, but the hard-hitting play was too much for some audience members and walkouts were not uncommon.[1]

Projects in 2009 included Hippie Hippie Shake (as '60s alternative figurehead David Widgery, alongside Cillian Murphy and Sienna Miller); a role opposite Anna Friel in the third series of Jimmy McGovern's The Street; a "mark" in the BBC drama serial Hustle; as well as an appearance in the independent British film Shifty, co-starring Riz Ahmed, for which he received a nomination for best supporting actor at the British Independent Film Awards.[6]

Mays starred as Eddie O'Grady in the 2010 film Made in Dagenham. In the same year, he played DCI Jim Keats in the third series of "Ashes to Ashes", in which he portrayed a character that was the antagonist of Philip Glenister's Gene Hunt.

Mays appears in the BBC sci-fi series Outcasts,[7] which started on 7 February 2011, as PAS Officer Cass Cromwell, and in the ninth episode of the 6th series of Doctor Who, titled "Night Terrors," broadcast on BBC One on 3 September 2011.

He had roles in No One Gets Off in This Town and a supporting role in the Steven Spielberg film The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. He then played a criminal on a curfew after serving a 10-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend when he was 19 in the programme Public Enemies, which aired on BBC One in early January 2012. He played Ronnie Biggs in a 5-part drama called Mrs Biggs.

For much of the latter half of 2013, Mays performed on stage. Performing in Nick Payne's Same Deep Water As Me at the Donmar Warehouse alongside Nigel Lindsay [8] and in the first major revival of Jez Butterworth's debut play Mojo at the Harold Pinter Theatre. He starred alongside Ben Whishaw, Brendan Coyle, Rupert Grint and Colin Morgan.[9]

Mays starred in Series 3 of BBC drama Line of Duty as Sergeant Danny Waldron, an armed response officer whose troubled and abusive childhood comes under investigation following his death in episode one as part of wider investigation of police corruption throughout the serial.

In 2016 Mays played the part of Aston in Harold Pinter's play The Caretaker directed by Matthew Warchus at The Old Vic Theatre in London opposite Timothy Spall and George MacKay.

Mays portrayed Tivik in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

On 11 April 2017 Mays was nominated for a BAFTA Television Award for Supporting Actor for his role in Line of Duty series 3.

Personal life

Mays and his wife, makeup artist Louise Burton, have a son and a daughter.[10] As of 2005, Mays and his family were living in Crouch End, an area in the London Borough of Haringey.[4] A keen football fan, he is a supporter of Leyton Orient.[11] He is also a fan of British rock band Feeder, having appeared in a 2012 music video.



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Skin Deep Flashback youth Short film
Pearl Harbor Pilot No. 3
2002 All or Nothing Jason
2004 Vera Drake Sid
2005 The Secret Life of Words Martin
The Best Man Pool Guy
2006 Middletown Jim Hunter
A Good Year Bert the Doorman
2007 Atonement Tommy Nettle
2008 The Bank Job Dave Shilling
Shifty Chris
Bitter Unknown Short film
2009 Mr. Nobody Young journalist
The Firm Yeti
2010 Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Blenkinsop
Hippie Hippie Shake Widgery Awaiting release
Made in Dagenham Eddie
No One Gets Off in This Town
2011 The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Allan
2012 Byzantium Noel
2013 Welcome to the Punch Nathan Bartnick
2015 Victor Frankenstein Barnaby
2016 Dad's Army[12] Private Walker
2016 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story[13] Tivik Cameo
2016 The Infiltrator Frankie
2017 The Limehouse Golem George Flood
2018 Swimming with Men Colin
2018 Two for Joy Lias
2018 Shaun William
2019 Fisherman's Friends Danny
2019 1917
2020 The Rhythm Section Dean West


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Fist of Fun Patrick Nuffy Episode 2.5–2.6
2000 EastEnders Kevin Two episodes
2001 In Deep Dave Street Episode 1.5: "Ghost Squad: Part 1"
The Bill Warren Debdale Episode 17.46: "Temptation"
2002 Manchild Mechanic Episode 1.1: "Fiftysomething"
NCS: Manhunt Danny Bird Episodes 1.1 and 1.6
Dead Casual Unknown TV film
Tipping the Velvet Jimmy Burns TV serial
2003 Rehab Adam TV film
2004 Top Buzzer Carlton Appeared in ten episodes
Keen Eddie Ronnie Wiggensey Jr. Episode 1.8: "Sticky Fingers"
2005 Beneath the Skin Moz Burnside TV film
Class of '76 DS Steven Grant TV film
Funland Carter Krantz Appeared in all 11 episodes
2007 Consent Steve TV film
Saddam's Tribe Uday TV film
Half Broken Things Michael TV film
2008 White Girl Steve TV film
Consuming Passion Charles Boon TV film
2009 Plus One Rob Black Appeared in all five episodes
Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983 Michael Myshkin
The Street Mark Episode 3.2
2010 Hustle Mervyn Lloyd Episode 6.5: "Conned Out of Luck"
Ashes to Ashes Jim Keats Appeared in eight episodes
2011 Outcasts Cass Cromwell
Doctor Who Alex Series 6 Episode 9: "Night Terrors"
2012 Treasure Island Doctor Livesey 2x 120 min Drama
Public Enemies Eddie Mottram
Mrs Biggs Ronnie Biggs
2014 The Great Fire Samuel Pepys TV series 4 episodes
Common Tommy Ward TV film
2016 Line of Duty Sergeant Danny Waldron Series 3 Episode 1
2017 Guerrilla Cullen TV Series
Born to Kill Bill TV Series
Against the Law Peter Wildeblood Docu-drama
2018 Urban Myths: The Sex Pistols Vs. Bill Grundy Mike Housego TV Series 1 episode
My Dinner with Hervé Casey TV Movie
2019 Porters Anthony De La Mer Regular, 6 episodes (Series 2)
Good Omens Arthur Young Miniseries
Temple Lee Simmons 8 Episodes


  1. Paddock, Terri; "20 Questions With… Daniel Mays" Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine WhatsOnStage.com, (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  2. Wolf, Matt; "Happy At The Cutting Edge" TimesOnline.co.uk, 26 February 2006 (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  3. "Alumni: Who Trained at RADA — Graduate Directory" Archived 19 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine RADA.org (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  4. "Funland Starts this autumn on BBC THREE" BBC Press Office, 27 September 2005 (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  5. Barnett, David; "Bradford: City gives a backdrop to new drama" Bradford Telegraph & Argus, 9 September 2008 (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  6. "BIFA Nominations — 2008: Best Supporting Actor for Shifty" Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine British Independent Film Awards, (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  7. "Outcasts". BBC One. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  8. "Past productions - Donmar Warehouse". Donmar Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  9. "Sonia Friedman Productions". Sonia Friedman. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  10. Neville, Ryan (10 January 2016). "Finally, Daniel Mays married his girlfriend Louise Burton, who is also the mother of his children". HitCopy. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  11. "On Soccer AM… This Saturday Gazza joins Max and Helen" SkySports.com, 17 April 2009 (Retrieved: 23 August 2009)
  12. "Dad's Army film cast announced". Bbc.co.uk. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  13. "Rogue One". Starwars.com. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
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