Anthony Stewart Head (born 20 February 1954 in Camden town, London) is a British actor best known as his role as Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and more recently as King Uther in Merlin. He also had a short role as Will's terrible dad in The In Betweeners.
He also has released several albums (Music for Elevators in 2002, and Staring At The Sun in 2014), played Nathan in the Rock Opera Repo! The Genetic Opera and served up glorious sides of ham as the evil guardian Mr Gently Benevolent in Radio 4's Bleak Expectations. He also played Michael the Prime Minister in sketch show Little Britain ("It's not the real prime minister of course, it's just that bloke from Buffy"). Throughout the early 2000s he was a perennial fan suggestion as the actor who should be cast as the Doctor if Doctor Who were revived. When it was, he appeared in the episode "School Reunion" as Villain of the Week, Mr. Lucas Finch. In the wider Who franchise he played Large Ham Grayvorn in the Big Finish Doctor Who Excelis story arc, and another villain as the voice of Space Pirate Balthasar in the animated story The Infinite Quest. He occasionally turns up in Cabin Pressure as Douglas's old friend Herc Shipwright. More recently, he played the Mad Scientist Paracelsus in Warehouse 13, obsessed with immortality. Before he was famous he was also in an episode of Highlander, sadly not as an Immortal, however.
Long before he was Giles, he was most recognisable for being half of an insufferably smug Will They or Won't They? couple flirting over instant coffee in commercials for Nescafé and its American equivalent Taster's Choice.
Oh, and he played Dr. Frank-N-Furter in some performances of The Rocky Horror Show.
He has a brother who is a veteran of musicals on the West End, named Murray Head. Murray is better known for his performances in the original Jesus Christ Superstar and his biggest chart hit, "One Night in Bangkok" (from a far less successful musical called Chess).
He has been with his partner Sarah Fisher since 1984, and they have two daughters, Daisy and Emily, who like him are actors.
Tropes associated with Anthony Head:
- Actor-Inspired Element: James Marsters based Spike's London accent off Anthony's real voice. The character was at first written with a Texan accent. The inspiration is clear when he uses his natural accent to portray "Ripper" Giles in the episode "Band Candy."
- The Cast Show Off: He shows off his singing talents many times in Buffy, before the Musical Episode even. He performs "Behind Blue Eyes" at the Bronze in 'Where The Wild Things Are' and sings his exposition in 'Restless'. Also subverted as his appearance in the Season 7 premiere was supposed to show off his horse riding skills, but he refused to gallop without a helmet which the crew worried would make him unrecognizable at a distance, so he simply has the horse walk.
- Casting Gag: After playing the Prime Minister in Little Britain he got to play an actual former chancellor Geoffrey Howe in The Iron Lady.
- Deleted Role: Was cast in the film version of Sweeney Todd playing a ghost who sings "The Ballad of Sweeny Todd", its reprises and "Epilogue". The songs were recorded but deleted, as Tim Burton felt they were too theatrical for a film. He does still have a ten second cameo which presumably would have set up his later killing.
- Fake American: For Dominion, marking the first time he had done an American accent for a major production.
- The Other Darrin: He replaces Pierce Brosnan as Chiron for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
- Playing Against Type: Merlin was this at the time. Fans were still used to seeing him as Giles, so it was a big change to play a ruthless tyrant like Uther.
- He also played Mr. Vandemar in the radio adaptation of Neverwhere. To clarify, Mr. Vandemar is an assassin generally considered one of the most terrifying things in existence, whose least creepy trait is his tendency to eat any animal he can grab that is small enough to fit in his mouth.
- Promoted Fanboy: A fan of Doctor Who, he later appeared in two episodes.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: He was Put on a Bus in Buffy's sixth season to spend more time with his family.
- What Could Have Been: