Anton Lesser (born 14 February 1952) is an English actor. He is particularly well known for his roles as Qyburn in the HBO series Game of Thrones, as Thomas More in Wolf Hall, as Harold Macmillan in The Crown, and as Chief Superintendent Bright in Endeavour.
Born in Birmingham, West Midlands, Anton Lesser attended Moseley Grammar School and the University of Liverpool, where he read architecture. He then went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and on graduation in 1977 he was awarded the Bancroft Gold Medal as the most promising actor of his year. He is Jewish.
With his wife Madeleine, he has two children, Harry and Lily Lesser. Lily is an actress, who has acted alongside her father in Endeavour and Wolf Hall
As an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Lesser played a considerable number of Shakespeare's great roles, including Troilus (Troilus and Cressida), Edgar (King Lear), Petruchio, Romeo, Henry Bolingbroke, Brutus (Julius Caesar), Leontes (Winter's Tale) and Richard III.
Lesser is a frequent radio contributor and played the title role in the BBC Radio adaptations of the first five Falco mysteries by Lindsey Davis. He has also recorded many audiobooks, including much of the work of Charles Dickens, and his recording of Great Expectations won him a Talkie Award. Other books range from John Milton's Paradise Lost and Homer to contemporary novels by Robert Harris (Fatherland) and Philip Pullman. For two months in 2013, Lesser was heard as a regular cast member playing Robin Carrow in Ambridge Extra, a BBC Radio 4 Extra spin-off from the BBC Radio 4 drama The Archers.
In 2015, Lesser was announced a public supporter of Chapel Lane Theatre Company based in Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK.
Lesser portrayed Thomas More in the BBC mini-series Wolf Hall, and received a nomination for the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
- Romeo and Juliet 'Romeo', 1980, RSC
- Hamlet 'Hamlet', 1982, Donmar Warehouse, London
- Troilus and Cressida 'Troilus', 1985, RSC
- The Plantagenets (Henry VI part 1-3 and Richard III) 'Richard III', 1988, RSC
- Two Shakespearean Actors 'Edwin Forrest', 1990, RSC
- Richard II 'Henry Bullingbrook', 1990, RSC
- The Taming of the Shrew 'Petruchio', 1992, RSC
- The Merry Wives of Windsor 'Frank Ford', 1992, RSC
- 'Art', 'Serge', 1997, Wyndham's Theatre, London
- Private Lives 'Elyot', 1999,Lyttelton Theatre, London
- Cymbeline 'Iachimo', 2003, RSC
- Julius Caesar 'Marcus Brutus', 2005, Barbican, London
- The Winter's Tale 'Leontes', 2006,RSC
- The Vertical Hour 'Oliver Lucas', 2008, Royal Court Theatre, London
- A Doll's House 'Dr Rank', 2009, Donmar Warehouse, London