Timothy West was most recently seen in 2016 as Lear in the Bristol Old Vic production of King Lear, but in London his latest appearance has been in the Donmar Warehouse production The Vote (2015), alongside Judi Dench, Mark Gatiss and Catherine Tate. He also played Stan Carter, head of the Carter family, in EastEnders on BBC1, and appeared with his wife Prunella Scales in Spun Gold's documentary series Great Canal Journeys on More4.
Timothy was born in Bradford in 1934, the son of actor Lockwood West. After seasons in repertory in Wimbledon, Newquay, Hull, Northampton, Worthing and Salisbury, he came to the Piccadilly Theatre in the farce Caught Napping in 1959.
Since then his performances on the London stage have included Gentle Jack, The Italian Girl, Abelard & Heloise, The Homecoming, Beecham, Master Class, When we are Married, The Sneeze, It's Ralph, Twelve Angry Men and The Birthday Party, The Old Country and The Collection. In 2010, he starred in A Number at the Menier Chocolate Factory alongside his son Samuel West, which subsequently transferred to South Africa.
Other performances include Long Day's Journey into Night, King Lear and Luther all for the National Theatre, and Laughter (Royal Court); Falstaff in both parts of Henry IV (English Touring Theatre); Solness in Ibsen's The Master Builder and King Lear on tour and in London; Caryl Churchill's A Number (Sheffield Crucible, Rose Theatre, Kingston, and UK Tour) and Quartet (UK Tour). In 2012, he played Professor Serebryakov in Uncle Vanya at the Chichester Festival Theatre and Romka in The Handyman UK tour.
Television includes Edward the King, Churchill and the Generals, Brass, The Monocled Mutineer, The Good Doctor Bodkin-Adams, What the Butler Saw, The Contractor, Blore M.P., Beecham, Framed, Eleven Men Against Eleven, Murder in Mind, Bedtime, Bleak House, A Room with a View, Going Postal, Lewis, Exile, Titanic, Coronation Street and Last Tango in Halifax (series 2).
Recent films: Ever After, Joan of Arc, Villa des Roses, Iris, The Fourth Angel, Beyond Borders and Endgame.
Work as a Director has included HMS Pinafore for Carl Rosa Opera.
He has taken part in over 500 radio broadcasts and recorded many Talking Books. His autobiographies, A Moment Towards the End of the Play, and So You Want to be an Actor? (co-written with his wife Prunella Scales), are published by Nick Hern Books.
He was made a CBE in 1984, and is currently President of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and of the Society for Theatre Research.