Ian McNeice (born 2 October 1950) is an English screen, stage, and television actor.
McNeice was born in Basingstoke in Hampshire. McNeice's acting training started at the Taunton School in Somerset. This was followed up with two years at the Salisbury Playhouse. The next few years were spent in theatre, including a four-year career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and a production of Nicholas Nickleby on Broadway.
His television breakthrough was as Harcourt in the award-winning series Edge of Darkness. He played the alcoholic sous chef Gustave LaRoche on the television series Chef!. He went on to appear in the 2000 television miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune as the evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen – a role he later reprised for the 2003 sequel Children of Dune. His television appearances have included all four series of Doc Martin (in which he plays Bert Large), the third episode of the second series of Lewis and as the recurring minor character of Forum crier (“Newsreader”) in the joint HBO/BBC production Rome.
McNeice has also appeared in a number of films, including 84 Charing Cross Road, Day of the Dead, No Escape, From Hell and The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain. His breakthrough into American films occurred when he played opposite Jim Carrey as Fulton Greenwall in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995). He played Nazi Gerhard Klopfer in the 2001 BBC/HBO TV movie Conspiracy, dramatising the Wannsee Conference. Since then he has been in Around the World in 80 Days (2004), and the 2005 drama/supernatural thriller White Noise. He also appeared as Potiphar in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
He has also applied his distinctive voice and accent to voice-acting roles: the Vogon character Kwaltz – director of the Vogon Constructor Fleet – in the 2005 film adaptation of Douglas Adams' multi-format creation The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; and in 2007 when he made his Doctor Who debut guest-starring as villain Zeus in the Big Finish BBC Digital Radio 7 / CD-released drama Immortal Beloved, starring Paul McGann (as the Eighth Doctor). He had a cameo role of Joachim von Kortzfleisch, a German general who refused to put his troops under the command of officers plotting to depose Hitler's government in Valkyrie.
On October 21st, it was confirmed that Ian McNeice will be playing the role of Illyrio Mopatis in the HBO pilot of Game of Thrones, based on the series of books A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. He appears as Winston Churchill in two episodes (“Victory of the Daleks” and “The Pandorica Opens”) of the 2010 series of Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith as the Doctor, having also previously played Churchill in the 2008 premiere production of the Howard Brenton play Never So Good.