Ian McShane is currently shooting NBC's highly anticipated TV drama titled Kings, which is set to premiere in March 2009. McShane stars as King Silas in a story about the timeless David vs. Goliath struggle set in a modern metropolis under siege. He recently finished shooting the motion picture 44 Inch Chest, which is a drama created by the same team as Sexy Beast. He stars with Tom Wilkinson, John Hurt, & Ray Winstone. On February 6th, 2009, McShane will be the voice of Mr. Bobinksy in Focus Features first animated feature Coraline, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s international best selling book, which was directed by Henry Selick. Later in 2009, McShane will star in Paramount’s thriller Case 39, playing a detective opposite Renée Zellweger.
In 2008 Ian McShane was seen on the big screen in Paul W.S. Anderson's feature film Death Race starring as Coach, a veteran convict. He was heard as the voice of the villainous snow leopard Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda. McShane also opened on Broadway to rave reviews in Daniel Sullivan’s revival of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming. It was the 40th anniversary for both the play and McShane as he made his Broadway debut in a production of The Promise in 1967, the same year The Homecoming first played on Broadway.
McShane earned the coveted Golden Globe Award for “Best Actor in a Television Drama” for his versatile performance as Al Swearengen on HBO’s hit series Deadwood. His charismatic and alluring portrayal of Swearengen also led him to a nomination for the 2005 Emmy and a 2005 and 2006 SAG nomination for Lead Actor, as well as being voted by People Magazine in 2005, “TV’s Sexiest Villain.” McShane’s performance gained him a wave of critical acclaim which earned him the Television Critics Association’s annual award for “Individual Achievement in Drama,” and being selected as one of GQ’s “Men of the Year.” They described the character of Swearengen as “infectious” and “darkly irresistible.” The New York Times dubbed him as “One of the Most Interesting Villains on Television,” and Rolling Stone Magazine bestowed the title of “Hot Barkeep” and described the character as “played to perfection.”
McShane has made himself an in demand voice talent adding his vocal prowess to characters like; Ragnar Sturlsson in the first installment of New Line’s The Golden Compass alongside Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig and as Captain Hook in Shrek The Third. McShane has continually shown his range of talent over the last few years appearing in numerous projects embodying a diversity of roles. In Hot Rod, a comedy directed by Saturday Night Live’s Akiva Schaffer, McShane played the macho and athletic stepfather to accident-prone daredevil Andy Samberg. Other film projects of McShane’s include: Warner Brothers true-life drama We Are Marshall, opposite Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox, Woody Allen’s Scoop, alongside Scarlett Johanssen and Hugh Jackman, Nine Lives which is Rodrigo Garcia’s critically acclaimed true to life character study, and Jonathan Glazer’s indie, Sexy Beast. In this performance, McShane transformed himself into the dark, sinister and very handsome character Teddy Bass, prompting one London journalist to declare McShane “the king of cool.”
Having starred in more than thirty films, McShane made his debut in 1962’s The Wild and the Willing that led to other roles in The Battle of Britain, The Last of Sheila, Villain (co-starring Richard Burton), Exposed, and Agent Cody Banks.
McShane has enjoyed a long and creatively diverse career in both British and American television, including a role in the David Wolper’s seminal 1970’s mini-series Roots as well as BBC and BBC America’s Trust, playing the eccentric megalomaniacal head of the firm, Alan Cooper-Fozzard. Starring turns in Whose Life Is It Anyway? for Granada TV, the role of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights for the BBC and Harold Pinter’s Emmy-Award-Winning The Caretaker are among his other television highlights. McShane has also stepped into roles as well known figures, taking on parts as Judas in NBC’s Jesus of Nazareth directed by Franco Zeffirelli, Prince Rainer in the network’s The Grace Kelly Story and the title role in Masterpiece Theatre’s Disraeli. Additional mini-series credits include Charlie the Kid, A.D., The Great Escape II, Marco Polo, Evergreen, and War and Remembrance.
In the late 80’s the actor formed McShane Productions, which produced the much-adored Lovejoy for the BBC and A&E. Lovejoy gave McShane a vehicle to star in as well as produce and direct. He followed his lovable rogue character Lovejoy by producing and starring in the darker and more serious lead role in Madson and the comedy drama Soul Survivors for BBC and Showtime. Lovejoy is currently enjoying a revival with audiences worldwide.
In 2000 McShane returned to the West End in London to make his musical debut starring in Cameron Mackintosh’s successful musical The Witches of Eastwick as Darryl Van Horne. His varied stage career has included roles as Hal in the original cast of Loot, the title role of The Admirable Crichton at the Chichester Festival, Tom in The Glass Menagerie, and Charlie in The Big Knife. He co-starred with Judi Dench and Ian McKellen in Promise, which successfully played London and debuted on Broadway. In Los Angeles he starred in three productions at The Matrix Theatre, including the world premiere of Larry Atlas’ Yield of the Long Bond and two others for which he received the Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Inadmissible Evidence and Betrayal.
Born in Blackburn, England, McShane is the son of professional soccer player Harry McShane, who played for Manchester United, and Irene McShane. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. McShane and his wife Gwen Humble reside in California & London.