David Schofield (born 1951) is an English actor. He has appeared in numerous television programmes and feature films during his career.
Schofield was born in Wythenshawe, Manchester, Cheshire, England, one of ten children in a working-class family. David attended St. John Fisher and Thomas More R.C. Primary School, along with his brother, Peter. His first acting experience was at Manchester Boys' School at the age of 12. In 1967 he was accepted as student assistant stage manager at a local repertory theatre. He started on the lowest step of the ladder and worked in every department as a prop-maker, sound-man, writer, stage sweeper, waiter and tea-maker, putting in 14-hour days, six days a week. After two seasons, at the age of 19, he became a student of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, which he left early to pursue his path as a working actor.
He made a successful career in television, earning numerous credits in popular TV series such as Footballers' Wives and Holby City among many other TV productions. On the big screen he is best known as the paranoid darts player in the Slaughtered Lamb in An American Werewolf In London (1981), and his other films include The Dogs of War (1980), Tree of Hands (1989), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Anna Karenina (1997), Gladiator (2000), From Hell (2001), and as Mr. Mercer in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. He has also appeared in Valkyrie (2008) as anti-Hitler conspirator Erwin von Witzleben, The Wolfman (2010), F (2010), Burke and Hare (2010), Lord of Tears (2013) and as Peter Carmichael in the suspense thriller Last Passenger (2013). On TV he appeared in Jekyll & Hyde (1990) starring Michael Caine, and played DCS John Salway in the award-winning BBC series Our Friends in the North in 1996. In 2008, he starred as Kirill, in the web series of the same name. In 2009 Schofield guest starred as King Alined in the BBC fantasy drama series Merlin. In 2011 he played the sinister Police Sergeant Foley in Hugo Blick's The Shadow Line, a seven-part series for BBC Two. In autumn 2015, he was seen as Odin in the episode "The Girl Who Died" in the ninth series of the BBC1 series Doctor Who. In 2016 he appears as Vivan Wolsey in the BBC series' Father Brown episode 4.1 "The Mask of the Demon" and The Coroner episode 2.6 "Life".
Schofield's distinguished stage career has seen the actor performing for the Royal Shakespeare Company and long associations with the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Exchange, Manchester. He played Roy Cohn in the National's 1993 production of Angels in America. He also acted in musicals (Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens) and straight plays on the West End stage in London. During his 30-year acting career he maintains the same agent. His roles include
- Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man at the Hampstead Theatre (1977)
- Mick Plenty at the Lyttelton Theatre (1978)
- Mark Antony, Julius Caesar at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (1983)
- Angelo, Measure for Measure at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon and then at the Barbican (1983)
- Duke of Buckingham, Henry VIII at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (1983)
- Pompey, Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre,London (1987)
- Robb Lambert, Winding the Ball by Alex Finlayson at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1989)
- John Proctor, The Crucible by Arthur Miller at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1990)
- Macheath, The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1991)
- Lyle Britten, Blues for Mister Charlie by James Baldwin at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1992)
- Roy M. Cohn, Angels in America by Tony Kushner at the National Theatre,London (1993)
- Archie Rice, The Entertainer by John Osborne at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (2009)
- Murray, Braham (2007). The Worst It Can Be Is a Disaster. London: Methuen Drama. ISBN 978-0-7136-8490-2
- The Royal Exchange Theatre Company Words & Pictures 1976-1998, 1998, ISBN 0-9512017-1-9
David Schofield's wife is Lally and their children are Fred and Blanche.
Schofield has recently become a patron of the Gesar Foundation.