Ian David McShane (born 29 September 1942) is a versatile English actor with a distinctive, purring voice. He first solidified his reputation in the British series Lovejoy, but his career experienced in renaissance with his fierce performance as Al Swearengen in Deadwood, which led to a prolific later career in a wide range of high-profile film and television productions.
His many roles on screen have been predominantly villainous, including Judas Iscariot in Jesus of Nazareth, Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda, and bisexual Gayngster Teddy Bass in Sexy Beast. However, he also plays good guys, such as Mr. Bobinsky in Coraline and King Brahmwell in Jack the Giant Slayer. Incidentally, he was at drama school with John Hurt and they shared an apartment, leading to a lifelong friendship.
Oh, and that picture of him up there? He's over 80, by the way.
- If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969) as Charlie Cartwright
- Battle of Britain (1969) as Andy
- The Last of Sheila (1973) as Anthony Wood
- Code Name: Diamond Head (1977) as Sean Donovan
- Ordeal by Innocence (1984) as Philip Durant
- Babylon 5: The River of Souls (1998) as Robert Bryson
- Sexy Beast (2000) as Teddy Bass
- Agent Cody Banks (2003) as Dr. Brinkman
- Scoop (2006) as Joe Strombel
- We Are Marshall (2006) as Paul Griffen
- Shrek the Third (2007) as Captain Hook (voice)
- Hot Rod (2007) as Frank Powell
- The Seeker (2007) as Merriman Lyon
- The Golden Compass (2007) as Ragnar Sturlusson (voice)
- Kung Fu Panda (2008) as Tai Lung (voice)
- Death Race (2008) as Coach
- Coraline (2009) as Mr. Bobinsky (voice)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) as Blackbeard
- Snow White & the Huntsman (2012) as Beith
- Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) as King Brahmwell
- Cuban Fury (2014) as Ron Parfitt
- Hercules (2014) as Amphiaraus
- John Wick as Winston
- Hellboy (2019) as Professor Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm
- My Father's Dragon (2022) as Saiwa the Gorilla (voice)
- Wuthering Heights (1967) as Heathcliff
- Space: 1999 (1975) as Anton Zoref (1 episode)
- Jesus of Nazareth (1977) as Judas Iscariot
- Lovejoy (1986–1994) as Lovejoy
- Miami Vice (1987, 1989) as Esteban Montoya (2 episodes) and General Manuel Borbon (1 episode)
- Dallas (1989) as Don Lockwood
- Minder (1989) as Jack Last (1 episode)
- Columbo (1990) as Leland (episode "Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo")
- The West Wing (2002) as Nikolai Ivanovich (1 episode)
- Deadwood (2004–2006) as Al Swearengen
- Kings (2009) as King Silas Benjamin
- The Pillars of the Earth (2010) as Waleran Bigod
- American Horror Story: Asylum (2012) as Leigh Emerson
- Ray Donovan (2015) as Andrew Finney
- Game of Thrones (2016) as Septon Ray
- American Gods (2017) as Mr. Wednesday/Odin
- One Piece (2023) as Narrator
Tropes related to his works:
- Affably Evil: His characters are usually pretty untrustworthy but that doesn't stop them from being charming, even if it's insincere due to his incredible charisma and dry wit.
- Classically-Trained Extra: This is averted with his roles in Kung Fu Panda, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, American Horror Story, and Jack the Giant Slayer, which he, apparently, enjoyed immensely. He seems to enjoy the weirder, blockbuster-y roles just as much as classical theater. Though he does have fun with it and doesn't take it too seriously, famously referirng to Game of Thrones with:"Get a fucking life! It's just tits and dragons!"
- Cool Old Guy: Some of his later roles have him as this, most notably Winston and Septon Ray.
- Deadpan Snarker: His characters tend to get the best lines.
- Evil Brit: Frequently.
- Evil Old Folks: Can still play menacing villains well into his seventies.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He has a very deep voice and he plays villains a lot.
- Older Than They Look: He's aged very well. He's almost 80 but looks to be in his early sixties at the most and was sixty when he started Deadwood but looked to be in his mid-forties/early fifties at the most.
- Oop North: He is from Manchester and has a notable accent.
- Playing Against Type: