British actor best known to Americans as Lee Adama on the 2000's version of Battlestar Galactica. He is well known in his home nation of the UK; and he had a starring role as DS Matt Devlin on Law & Order: UK.
The nearly complete list of works Mr. Bamber has had either a starring or guest role in:
- Lady Audley's Secret: George Talboys
- The Devil's Tattoo (aka Ghost Rig): Tom
- Pulse 2: Afterlife: Stephen
- Un jour mon père viendra: Stephen Astarti
- Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse: Voice of Robin Hood
- Filly Brown: Sam
- Before I Sleep: Paul
- John Doe: Vigilante: John Doe
- The Better Half: Jeff Ryan
- Numb: Will
- Modern Love
- Break: Vince Macey
- Money: John
- Ring For Jeeves: Lord William Rowcester in Episodes 1 & 2
- Brideshead Revisited: Sebastian Flyte
- Where Angels Fear To Tread: Philip
- Richard II
- Nicholas Nickelby
- Half-Sick Of Shadows
- This Is Now
- Horatio Hornblower: Made an appearance in five of eight episodes, and his Archie Kennedy was one of the most beloved characters.
- The Scarlet Pimpernel: As Tony Dewhurst in the first episode only.
- Poirot: Ralph Paton in the episode " The Murder of Roger Ackroyd"
- Bob Martin: James in the episode " Big Break"
- Band of Brothers 2nd Lt. Jack Foley
- Peak Practice: Dr. Matt Kendal
- Ultimate Force: Lt. Dennis "Dotsy" Doheny
- Daniel Deronda: Hans Meyrick
- Battlestar Galactica (2003): His Star-Making Role as Lee "Apollo" Adama for the small screen in the USA
- Cold Case: Jack Kimball, the Victim of the Week in the episode "Blood On The Tracks"
- Ghost Whisperer: As Bryan Curtis, the Ghost Of The Week in the episode "The Walk In"
- The Last Detective: Luke Clayhill in the episode "Dangerous Liaisons"
- Dollhouse: Playing Against Type as an Evil Brit as Martin Klar in the episode "Vows"
- Law & Order: UK: DS Matt Devlin
- Outcasts: Mitchell Hoban
- 17th Precinct: Detective Caolán Longstreet (unaired pilot)
- CSI: Miami: Playing Against Type again as Ronnie Hale, the Criminal Of The Week in the episode "Blown Away"
- House: Bob Harris, the Patient of the Week in the episode "The Confessions"
- Body of Proof: Aidan Welles, the Guy Of The Week (or three weeks, rather) to Dr. Megan Hunt.
- Perception: Dr. Michael Hathaway, a Romantic False Lead for Kate Moretti.
- Monday Mornings: Dr. Tyler Wilson
- The Smoke: Kev Allison
- Rizzoli & Isles: Seemed to be Playing Against Type again as murder suspect Paul Wescourt in the episodes "Burden Of Proof" and "Bridge To Tomorrow", but subverted when he turned out to be innocent
- NCIS: A recurring role as Ellie Bishop's husband, NSA lawyer Jake Malloy.
- The Messengers: Vincent Plowman
- Major Crimes: Reuniting with BSG co-star Mary McDonell to play against type yet again as yet another Evil Brit—uber-sleazy celebrity photographer Malcolm Rich in the episode "Open Line".
- Marcella: DI Tim Williamson
- Model Woman: Lio Fibonacci
- Dead Rising 3: Voice of Simon Merkin
- Star Trek Continues: Mr. Simone in the episode "Pilgrim of Eternity"
Tropes associated with Mr. Bamber:
- Adored by the Network:
- Unintentionally. When BBC America realized that it aired three of his shows all at once (Law and Order UK, Outcasts, and Battlestar Galactica), they decided to just run with it and ran an ad that jokes that BBC stood for "Bamber Broadcasting Corporation".
- TNT seems to love him even more, as evidenced by him having starring or guest roles on four of its shows—Perception, Monday Mornings, Rizzoli & Isles, and Major Crimes.
- CBS seems to like him too—roles on Cold Case, CSI: Miami and NCIS.
- Beauty Inversion: Makeup and whatnot have done a very effective job of making this handsome man look like hell, resulting in considerable Fan Disservice.
- Adama's weight gain in Season 3 of BSG.
- Zombie makeup in Ghost Whisperer
- An unknown medical condition in House.
- At the ending of the premier episode of The Smoke, his character drunkenly pulls his pants down to reveal the severe burn injuries he suffered during the prologue. In a later episode, he's banged up after getting in a fight.
- He also gets quite bruised and battered in Star Trek Continues.
- Breakout Character: Young sailor Archie Kennedy was meant to only appear in the first episode of Hornblower. However, Jamie Bamber's portrayal was so well-liked by the crew and the character was found to be a great foil to Hornblower's silent hero that works amazingly on-screen, that Archie was written in other parts of the miniseries. Rumour has it that he was only written out later because of Executive Meddling from the Forrester estate.
- British Accents: His natural accent is upper-class London-based English, but he can adopt an Irish accent (unsurprising, because his mother is Irish) and a working-class accent as well.
- Chronically Killed Actor/Dead Star Walking: He's had so many of his characters killed off—eight, at last count, but not including his most famous one—that in two instances (on Cold Case and Ghost Whisperer), said character was *already* dead when the show started and another (on Star Trek Continues), seemed to be lampshading this trend by outright making him a Red Shirt.
- Cunning Linguist: Speaks fluent French and Italian (he studied them for his Modern Language degree and received 1st Class MA Honors, the highest level possible), can pull off an American accent so convincingly that many people are genuinely shocked to learn that he's British, (to the point where some have thought that his British accent is the fake one) and can even give his British accent an Irish tinge (as he did on Law and Order UK), or a working-class one (as he did on The Smoke).
- Dawson Casting: When he was 25, he was cast as a teenage midshipman Archie Kennedy. Other actors were also older than their characters, so it was fairly convincing.
- Fake American: Subverted Trope. He's adopted a nearly flawless American accent for most of his US TV appearances but his father being an American explains his ease with adopting the accent and it automatically grants him US citizenship even though he was born in London.
- Fake Irish: Also a Subverted Trope. He used a slight Irish brogue while on Law & Order: UK, but has Irish ancestry and citizenship thanks to his mother.
- Fan Community Nicknames: A vocal community of his fans call themselves Bamber Bunnies or members of "Team Bamber", and fans of his character Archie Kennedy from Horatio Hornblower are known as Crumpeteers.
- Mr. Fanservice: He's been portrayed as a lust object in most works he's starred in.
- Old Shame: His feelings about the movie Ghost Rig, given his hilariously embarrassed reaction when it's mentioned to him. Not even the fact that he met his wife while filming it can change his opinion that "it was terrible".
- Older Than They Look: At 25, he was able to convincingly play a 17-year-old Archie Kennedy in Hornblower. Even now in his early 40's he can pass for someone at least 5 years younger.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: He does an admirable job with accents, but he himself said that he could hear whenever he had slipped, and that it had happened especially during the beginnings of Battlestar Galactica. Additionally, public opinion seems to be that despite being from London, he had trouble maintaining a working-class accent on The Smoke, as it was a distinct change from his natural upper-class one.
- Shirtless Scene: Nearly everything he appears in has him shirtless at some point.
- His best known one is the famous towel scene from Battlestar Galactica (2003).
- His appearance on House even seems to lampshade this trend—he's shirtless, but his skin is peeling off
- He posed naked◊ in an ad campaign for PETA to protest the bearskin caps used by the Queen's Guard. (Bearskin, bare skin, get it?)
- What Beautiful Eyes: He has gorgeous blue eyes that have become a significant trait of many of his characters — to the point where they were the last we saw of Matt Devlin on Law And Order: UK and his stint on Monday Mornings featured numerous close-ups in an apparent reference to this trope.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: His American accent is flawless. . .as long as you don't try to determine just which part of the US his character is from. The most glaring example might be his complete lack of a Boston accent during his guest stint on Rizzoli & Isles. And his accent in the unaired 17th Precinct pilot is a bizarre hybrid of American, British (having just spent 3 years using his normal accent on Law & Order: UK, he was presumably out of practice), and Canadian (the episode was filmed in Vancouver). There's also the abovementioned difficulty with turning his upper-class British accent into a working-class one.