David Matthew Macfadyen was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, to Meinir (Owen), a drama teacher and actress, and Martin Macfadyen, an oil executive. He is of Scottish and Welsh descent. Because of his father's career, he spent a part of his childhood in Indonesia, before finishing his education back in England and winning a place at RADA in 1992. He won critical acclaim in the UK with his work with the stage company Cheek By Jowl in the 1990s and was well established as a stage actor when he made his first TV appearance in Wuthering Heights.
A couple more TV roles followed but it was his role as Tom Quinn, head of Section D, in the hit BBC series MI-5 that really made his name at home. And, indeed, established his home - he met his wife, Keeley Hawes, while working on the show. A steady stream of TV and film work followed, with his performance as Mr Darcy in Pride & Prejudice firmly establishing his name worldwide.
- Anna Karenina as Oblonsky
- Death at a Funeral as Daniel
- The Three Musketeers as Athos
- Frost/Nixon as John Birt
- Ripper Street as Edmund Reid
- MI-5 as Tom Quinn
- Pride & Prejudice as Mr. Darcy
- Middletown as Gabriel Hunter
- Little Dorrit as Arthur Clennam
- Robin Hood as Sheriff of Nottingham