William Francis “Bill” Nighy (born 12 December 1949) is an English actor and comedian. He worked in theatre and television before his first cinema role in 1981, and made his name in television with The Men’s Room in 1991, in which he played the womanizer Prof. Mark Carleton, whose extra-marital affairs kept him “vital”; however, he became known around the world in 2003 for his critically acclaimed, scene-stealing performance in the Richard Curtis hit, ‘Love Actually’, in which he played Billy Mack, a past-it singer who has a surprise Christmas smash-hit with a cover of the Troggs song: Love is all Around..
In 2003, Nighy played the role of the Vampire Elder, Vicktor in Len Wiseman’s slick and stylish vampire hit ‘Underworld’; notable mainly for Kate Beckinsale’s leather-clad look. Nighy returned to the role in the sequel ‘Underworld: Evolution’ (2006) and again the same role in the lame prequel ‘Underworld: Rise of the Lycans’ (2009). Nighy added a bit of class to an otherwise drab series, his Vicktor is as one-dimensional as any of the other charatcers, but much more watchable due to the performance.
In 2006, Nighy featured in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’, where he played the principal villain, the octopus-featured Davy Jones, and although he had his face entirely obscured by computer-generated makeup and he voiced the character with a Scots accent, was still recognisable. He reprised the role in the 2007 sequel, ‘Pirates of the caribbean: At World’s End’, in which his real face was briefly revealed in one scene.
In July 2010, he played Rufus Scrimgeour in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1’. Nighy had already worked with director David Yates three times before, and with the majority of the Harry Potter cast in previous movies. He has said of his role as Rufus Scrimgeour that it meant he was no longer the only English actor not to be in Harry Potter.
He is also known for his roles in the films ‘Lawless Heart’, ‘I Capture the castle’, ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, ‘Hot Fuzz’, ‘The Boat that Rocked’, ‘Valkyrie’ and the television movie ‘Gideon’s Daughter’ for which he earned a Golden Globe Awrad. His performances were also acclaimed in the excellent ‘State of Play’ series.
Bill Nighy is a Patron and supporter of the artistic collective The Factory Theatre Company alongside other actors such as Mark Rylance, Ewan McGregor and Richard Wilson.