John Hannah, 2008
|Born||John David Hannah
23 April 1962
East Kilbride, Scotland, UK
|Spouse(s)||Joanna Roth (1996-present)|
John David Hannah (born 23 April 1962) is a Scottish actor of film and television. He has appeared in Stephen Sommers' Mummy Series, Richard Curtis' Four Weddings and a Funeral and Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow. He is currently the voice of The Co-operative Group adverts in the UK.
Hannah was born in East Kilbride near Glasgow, the youngest of three children; he has two older sisters. His mother, Susan, was a cleaner at Marks & Spencer, and his father, John, a toolmaker. He attended Claremont High School in East Kilbride and went on to an apprenticeship as an electrician. In East Kilbride, he participated in the East Kilbride Rep Theatre Club. At the suggestion of a colleague, he completed his apprenticeship and then attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
After graduation, Hannah had parts in theatre productions, films, and television, including leading roles, then broke into the "big-time" with his appearance as Matthew in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). Since this breakthrough role, he has played a psychopathic killer alongside Helen Baxendale (Truth or Dare) and a mystery-solving pathologist (McCallum). He played a karaoke-mad dead-beat dad (The James Gang), drunken, thieving comic relief (The Mummy, 1999 and The Mummy Returns, 2001) and a Monty Python-quoting romantic comedy love interest (Sliding Doors, 1998). He also starred in the axed U.S. series MDs (2002), as well as guest appearances in Alias (2001), Frasier (2002) and Carnivale (2002). In 2006 he starred in the drama series New Street Law and Cold Blood.
On 24 December 1997, Hannah and Scottish Films producer Murray Ferguson established a production company called Clerkenwell Films. Clerkenwell's first big production was the Rebus series, including Black And Blue and The Hanging Garden. However, Rebus was later taken in-house by STV Productions, and Hannah was replaced in the leading role in the series by Ken Stott. He is the voice of the The Co-operative Group adverts in the UK. More recently he has been playing the part of Lentulus Batiatus, the owner of a gladiator school training the main character in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The show currently airs on Starz.
Hannah married actress Joanna Roth on 20 January 1996. The pair met several years before during a studio production of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. In many of his interviews, he mentions stories from their relationship, such as the visit to London's Sri Siam restaurant where he proposed to her in writing on the tablecloth. They had twins, a boy named Gabriel and a girl named Astrid on 11 February 2004.
For years, Hannah has made an effort to use his status as a celebrity to support charitable causes. Soon after his role as the epileptic police officer Franky Drinkall in Out Of The Blue, he showed his support for the Epilepsy Association of Scotland. He was, for a long time, a spokesman for Oxfam's Cut Conflict Campaign.