Tom Liam Benedict Burke (born 30 June 1981) is an English actor. He is best known for his role as Athos in the BBC series The Musketeers (2014–2016) and as Dolokhov in the BBC literary-adaptation miniseries War & Peace (2016).
Tom Burke was born in London and grew up in Kent. His parents, David Burke and Anna Calder-Marshall, and his godparents, Alan Rickman and Bridget Turner, were also actors. His grandfather was writer Arthur Calder-Marshall. Burke was born with a cleft lip.
Burke always wanted to become an actor and attended the National Youth Theatre and the Young Arden Theatre in Faversham during his youth, besides participating in the plays his parents staged in their hometown.
As a child, Burke was diagnosed with dyslexia and struggled academically. He left school before his A-levels because he "couldn't stand the idea of that" and thought he "wouldn't survive it". As soon as he left school at 17, he wrote to an acting agency and got the first role he ever auditioned for. He attended dance school before being accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London when he was 18.
Burke's first role was as Roland in 1999's Dragonheart: A New Beginning, a direct-to-video sequel of the 1996 film Dragonheart. In that year he appeared in an episode of the series Dangerfield and the television movie All the King's Men. After graduating from RADA, he started working steadily in television, film and theatre.
His first television part after drama school was Syd in the Paul Abbott thriller series State of Play, starring John Simm, Bill Nighy and James McAvoy. In 2004 he played Lee in TV film Bella and the Boys. In 2005 he played the 20-year-old version of Giacomo Casanova's son, Giac, in the television adaptation of Casanova, starring David Tennant and Peter O'Toole.
In 2006 he played Dr. John Seward in the TV film Dracula. In 2007 he played Napoleon Bonaparte in an episode of BBC's docudrama Heroes and Villains and had a small part as a book publisher in the satirical drama The Trial of Tony Blair. In 2009 he played Lieutenant Colin Race in an episode of the 12th series of Agatha Christie's Poirot. In 2011 he played Bentley Drummle in two episodes of BBC's adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. In 2012 he became a regular cast member in the second series of BBC Two's The Hour playing the part of journalist Bill Kendall. Since January 2014 he has played Athos on the BBC One series, The Musketeers, an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers. He will also play Cormoran Strike in the BBC miniseries Cormoran Strike based on J.K. Rowling's detective novels.
In 2004 he had his first cinema part in The Libertine. In 2007 he played an aspiring filmmaker who ends up directing a porn film in the comedy I Want Candy. In 2008 he played Bluey in Donkey Punch, a horror thriller film which debuted at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. In 2009 he played Geoff Goddard in Telstar: The Joe Meek Story. In the same year he had a small part in Stephen Frears' Chéri. In 2010 he played Davy in Third Star, a drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch, JJ Feild and Adam Robertson which follows a trip four friends, one of them terminally ill, make to Barafundle Bay in Wales.
In 2012 he played Mark in Cleanskin. In 2013 he played Billy, the older brother of Ryan Gosling's character in Only God Forgives, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. In the same year he had a supporting role in the Ralph Fiennes-directed film The Invisible Woman.
As a theatre actor, Burke has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has appeared in plays at the Shakespeare's Globe, playing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet in 2004; at the Old Vic in Noël Coward's Design for Living opposite Andrew Scott and Lisa Dillon in 2010; and at the Almeida Theatre playing Greg in reasons to be pretty in 2011. In 2002 he played Hamlet in Howard Baker's Gertrude – The Cry, a reworking of Shakespeare's Hamlet which focuses on the character of Gertrude, the protagonist's mother.
In 2006 he worked with Ian McKellen in the play The Cut. In 2008 he played Adolph in Creditors at the Donmar Warehouse. Actor Alan Rickman, Burke's godfather, staged the play which earned Burke an Ian Charleston Award. The play subsequently premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York in 2010. In 2012 he played Louis Dubedat in The Doctor's Dilemma at the National Theatre.
|2000||Dragonheart: A New Beginning||Roland||Doug Lefler|
|2003||The Burl||Connor||Toby Tobias|
|2005||The Libertine||Vaughan||Laurence Dunmore|
|2006||The Enlightenment||Daniel Clay||Julia Ford|
|2007||I Want Candy||John 'Baggy' Bagley||Stephen Surjik|
|Supermarket Sam||Sam||Caz Roberts|
|The Collectors||Edgar||Tim Elliott|
|2008||Donkey Punch||Bluey||Olly Blackburn|
|2009||Telstar||Geoff Goddard||Nick Moran|
|Chéri||Vicomte Desmond||Stephen Frears|
|Death in Charge||Uncle Sean||Devi Snively|
|2010||The Kid||Mr. Hayes||Nick Moran|
|Third Star||Davy||Hattie Dalton|
|Look, Stranger||Arielle Javitch|
|2012||An Enemy to Die For||Terrence||Peter Dalle|
|2013||Only God Forgives||Billy||Nicolas Winding Refn|
|The Invisible Woman||Mr. George Wharton Robinson||Ralph Fiennes|
|2014||The Hooligan Factory||Bullet||Nick Nevern|
|1999||Dangerfield||Gavin Kirkdale||Episode #6.11 "Something Personal"|
|All the King's Men||Private Chad Batterbee||Director: Julian Jarrold|
|2003||State of Play||Syd||Episodes #1.3–1.6|
|The Young Visiters||Horace||Director: David Yates|
|POW||Robbie Crane||Episode #1.3|
|2004||Bella and the Boys||Lee||Director: Brian Hill|
|The Inspector Lynley Mysteries||Julian Britton||Episode #3.1 "In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner"|
|2005||Casanova||Giac, aged 20||Episode #1.3|
|The Brief||Dan Ottway||Episode #2.2|
|Jericho||Edward Wellesley||Episode #1.1 "A Pair of Ragged Claws"|
|All About George||Paul||Episodes #1.2–1.6|
|2006||Number 13||Edward Jenkins||Director: Pier Wilkie|
|Dracula||Dr. John Seward||Director: Bill Eagles|
|2007||The Trial of Tony Blair||Book Publisher||Director: Simon Cellan Jones|
|Heroes and Villains||Napoleon Bonaparte||Episode #1.1 "Napoleon"|
|2008||In Love with Barbara||Ronald Cartland||Director: Tim Whitby|
|2009||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Lieutenant Colin Race||Episode #12.1 "The Clocks"|
|2011||Great Expectations||Bentley Drummle||Episodes #1.2–1.3|
|2012||The Hour||Bill Kendall||Episodes #2.1–2.6|
|2013||Heading Out||Ben||Episode #1.6|
|2013–2014||Utopia||Philip Carvel||Episode #2.1, 2.5|
|2014–2016||The Musketeers||Athos||Series regular|
|2016||War & Peace||Fedor Dolokhov|
|2017||Cormoran Strike||Cormoran Strike||Series regular|
|2002||Gertrude – The Cry||Hamlet||Howard Barker||Riverside Studios|
|2003||The Wax King (Henry VI, Part 3)||Lord Clifford||Paul Miller||The Dreaming Will Initiative||part of the documentary film How do You Know My Daughter?|
|Fragile Land||Fidel||Paul Miller||Hampstead Theatre|
|The Monument||Stetko||Helen Eastman||Finborough Theatre|
|2004||Romeo and Juliet||Romeo||Tim Carroll||Shakespeare's Globe||with Kananu Kirimi, John McEnery, and Bette Bourne|
|2005||Macbeth||Malcolm||John Caird||Almeida Theatre||with Simon Russell Beale, Emma Fielding, and William Gaunt|
|The Incarcerator||Liddle||David Tucker||Old Red Lion Theatre|
|2006||The Cut||Stephen||Michael Grandage||Donmar Warehouse||with Ian McKellen, Jimmy Akingbola, and Deborah Findlay|
|2007||Scenes from an Execution||Carpeta||William Oldroyd||Hackney Empire|
|Glass Eels||Kenneth||Lucy Bailey||Hampstead Theatre|
|Don Juan Comes Back From the War||Don Juan||Gadi Roll||Belgrade Theatre, Coventry|
|2008||I'll Be The Devil||Dermot||Maria Aberg||Tricycle Theatre|
|Excerpt from The Poisoned Atmosphere||Tom Burke||Soho Studio||Directed|
|Creditors||Adolph||Alan Rickman||Donmar Warehouse||for which he won the Ian Charleson Award; with Anna Chancellor and Owen Teale|
|2009||Restoration||Robert Merivel||Francis Matthews||Salisbury Playhouse|
|2010||Design for Living||Otto||Anthony Page||Old Vic Theatre||with Andrew Scott, Lisa Dillon and Angus Wright|
|2011||reasons to be pretty||Greg||Michael Attenborough||Almeida Theatre||with Billie Piper|
|2012||The Doctor's Dilemma||Louis Dubedat||Nadia Fall||Royal National Theatre||with Genevieve O'Reilly and Malcolm Sinclair|
|2016||Reasons to be Happy||Greg||Michael Attenborough||Hampstead Theatre||with Warren Brown, Robyn Addison and Lauren O'Neil|
|2016||Deep Blue Sea||Freddie Page||Carrie Cracknelll||Royal National Theatre||with Helen McCrory|
Awards and nominations
|2008||Ian Charleson Award||Creditors at Donmar Warehouse||Royal National Theatre||Won|