The man known, in recent years, for his portrayal of the ornery, cantankerous, cranky (pick one) Doctor Martin Ellingham in the hit British comedy/drama, Doc Martin, turns the big 5-0 today. Thankfully, Martin Clunes has what his television alter ego seems to be without….a heart, as evidenced by the simple fact that you’d actually feel comfortable giving Clunes a puppy for his birthday.
Those just now jumping on the Martin Clunes bandwagon should be aware of his earlier roles to understand just how versatile he is as an actor. His early ’90s hit comedy series, Men Behaving Badly, showcased his BAFTA-award winning ability, along with Neil Morrissey, to be a ‘grown’ man that mostly acted like a drunk two-year old.
Just prior to beginning his career as a cranky television surgeon, there was the more romantic-comedy, William and Mary, with Clunes playing an undertaker who meets a midwife (Julie Graham) through a video dating service. Returning to comedy in 2009 in Reggin Perrin, Clunes lived up to the pressure of remaking the classic Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin that starred the great Leonard Rossiter. This past year saw Clunes return to the shores of Portwenn to film the fifth season of Doc Martin, which just recently completed its run in the UK and will begin airing in the States on public television stations in April 2012.
In his personal life, Clunes is married to Philippa Braithwaite, who also produces Doc Martin. An avid horse lover, Clunes was named president of the Royal International Horse Show in 2010, held annually at the All England Jumping Course in Hickstead. He was also named President of the British Horse Society in June 2011.
Even though Clunes turns 50 today, he has been giving us an on-going present for almost 20 years ever since MBB premiered in 1992. So, happy birthday, Martin Clunes….and, thank you.