Martin began acting at an early age, securing his first major TV role in Coronation Street. Martin hit the big time in The Professionals and retains his popularity today with his starring role in Judge John Deed.
What's he been in?
Martin made his 1967 TV debut as hippy student, Robert Croft, in Coronation Street.
He secured a steady stream of parts before being catapulted to international stardom as Ray Doyle in The Professionals, working alongside Lewis Collins and Gordon Jackson. Despite the fame it brought him, Martin's claimed a dislike for the violent police series and his role in it.
After drama school in the 1960s, he took key roles in the first revival of Look Back in Anger and in A Streetcar Named Desire.
In the 1980s, Martin spent most of his working time in the theatre. His roles include Elvis Presley in the critically-acclaimed Are You Lonesome Tonight?. Written by Alan Bleasdale, it examined the final 24 hours of The King's life.
He returned to TV in the 1990s, taking leading roles in Rhodes and the police series The Chief. In 2001, he took on the title role of BBC drama Judge John Deed. He's also become the new Adam Dalgliesh, starring in PD James' Death In Holy Orders in 2003 and The Murder Room in 2005.
Other TV credits include The Place on Earth, The Scarlet Pimpernel and A&E.
Martin took his first film role in 1966 as an Irish Communist in Love on the Dole. He's also appeared in Roman Polanski's version of Macbeth as Banquo, Operation Daybreak, Facelift, Cassidy and Ladder of Swords.
He's narrated many audiobooks including Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Silmarillion, Gulliver's Travels and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
Did you know?
Martin made his first stage appearance, alongside his parents, at the age of three.
He's the son of an engineer and a champion ballroom-dancer. He hated school and only enjoyed English literature and drama lessons. He worked in the sales office of a chemical company before successfully auditioning for LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts).
Martin lives in a Quaker House in Norfolk, once owned by an ancestor of Abraham Lincoln. He also owns a crofter's cottage in Scotland.
The scar on Martin's right cheek was the result of a vicious attack by muggers. His cheekbone had to be replaced by a plastic plate. He gave up alcohol after this attack and is also a strict vegetarian and a non-smoker.
Martin has a private pilot's licence and owns a Boeing Stearman, a vintage bi-plane. He also has a motorbike licence and enjoys rock-climbing, playing football, horse-riding and yoga.
Martin won a New York Drama Desk Critic's Award for his performance as Lord Goring in An Ideal Husband on Broadway.
Martin was born on 21st January 1945 in Birmingham.
Martin's been married and divorced twice. He has three children by his first wife, Jill Allen, including son Joe who played a younger version of Martin's eponymous character in Rhodes. Sophie and Luke are also actors. Martin's now married to TV presenter, Vicky Kimm, who shares his love of flying.
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