Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor of Doctor Who, was born October 28, 1982, which makes today his 35th birthday. Happy birthday to you, Matt!
Matt Smith is the youngest actor to play the time-travelling Doctor thus far. When he was first cast to replace David Tennant, he was only 26. Many people worried he was too young and inexperienced to handle the role. He quickly proved them wrong.
Steven Moffat, the executive producer of Doctor Who, had this to say:
The Doctor is a very special part, and it takes a very special actor to play him. You need to be old and young at the same time, a boffin and an action hero, a cheeky schoolboy and the wise old man of the universe. As soon as Matt walked through the door, and blew us away with a bold and brand new take on the Time Lord, we knew we had our man.
Matthew Robert Smith was born in Northampton, Northamptonshire, UK. He originally wanted to play soccer, but after a back injury developed an interest in drama. His theatrical career began in school plays. He joined the National Youth Theatre in London and later studied drama at the University of East Anglia. He began a promising career on the London stage, where he was discovered by an agent, Wendy Padbury. Ironically, before becoming a talent agent, Padbury had been an actress. She played Zoe Heriot, a Companion to the Second Doctor on Doctor Who.
Success in the theatre led to roles on television and then to movies. The Ruby in the Smoke was his first TV role. He co-starred with Dame Julie Walters (Molly Weasley), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Hayley Atwill (Peggy Carter), JJ Feild (Lord Falworth) and David Harewood (J’onn J’onzz). The Ruby in the Smoke was followed by a sequel, The Shadow in the North, where he reprised the role of Jim Taylor. He gained popularity as Danny Foster in Party Animals.
In 2009 it was announced that he would be the next Doctor, and he took over the role in 2010. Since leaving Doctor Who in 2014, Smith has performed on stage, on television, and in the movies. He is playing HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in Netflix’s series The Crown. He stars in Patient Zero (currently in post-production) and as Robert Mapplethorpe in Mapplethorpe (currently filming).
Doctor Who is the show for which he is most famous, but it is not Smith’s only science fiction/fantasy project. He played Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. He was Bully in Lost River, Thomas in Womb, Alex in Terminator Genisys, and Morgan in Patient Zero.
We at SCIFI.radio wish Matt Smith a very happy birthday and many more years of success on stage and screen!
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.