Ioan Gruffudd (pronounced Yo-wahn Griffith, born 6 October 1973 in Llwydcoed, Wales) is a Welsh actor who rose to fame through two very different roles: As the hero of Horatio Hornblower, the Series of the Books by C. S. Forester, and as Mr. Fantastic in the two Fantastic Four (2005) movies. Born in Cardiff in 1973, he started out as an actor in his native Britain but moved to the US a couple of years ago and has since appeared in a number of guest appearances on TV shows as well as in movies. He landed a starring role on the CW's Film Noir-style show Ringer which was unfortunately canceled after one season. Next, he played the main character in Forever, which was also, unfortunately, canceled after one season.
Some of his works include:
- Titanic (1997) as Officer Harold Lowe, the man captaining the lifeboat who rescues Rose
- 102 Dalmatians as Kevin Shepard
- Horatio Hornblower as, well, Horatio Hornblower
- King Arthur as Lancelot
- Fantastic Four & Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic
- Amazing Grace as William Wilberforce
- Century City
- Ringer as Andrew Martin
- Horrible Bosses as 'the Wetwork Man'
- Monday Mornings as Dr. Delany ("Truth or Consequences")
- Castle as Eric Vaughn ("The Squab and the Quail")
- Blackhawk Down in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it role as the Ranger lieutenant who teases Sergeant Eversman for being so interested in Somali culture, and ends up being sidelined due to suffering a seizure, leaving their unit in Eversman's command.
- Forever as Dr. Henry Morgan
- Playing It Cool as "Stuffy"
- Diablo III as the male Necromancer
- Harrow as Dr. Daniel Harrow
- Ava as Peter Hamilton
Tropes associated with Ioan's roles:
- Nice Guy: Has a very noticeable tendency to get cast in these types of roles.
- One Season Wonder: He had the bad luck to get cast as the lead in more than his fair share of these throughout The New '10s.
- Playing Against Type: For someone who was so frequently typecast in films and TV shows as an idealized or pure-hearted hero, Ioan's role in Diablo III stands out. Not only is it a role in a video game, but he portrays the male Necromancer class, an Anti-Hero who uses necromancy to battle the forces of Hell.
- Quintessential British Gentleman: For a while, it seemed he would forever be getting typecast as this.
- Retroactive Recognition: Before international stardom, he was one of the "uptown boys" in the music video for Westlife's cover of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl".
- Spell My Name with an "S": Has said he's determined never to lose his Welsh name (anglicized, it would be "John Griffith"), and has succeeded so far.