Julian Ovenden

Julian Mark Ovenden (born 29 November 1975) is an English actor and singer. He has starred on Broadway and West End stages, in television series in both the UK and US, in films, and performed internationally as a concert and recording artist.

Early life and education

Ovenden was born on 29 November 1975 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. He is one of three children of the Reverend Canon John Ovenden, a former chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II. He sang in the St Paul's Cathedral Choir, London as a child. He later won a music scholarship to Eton College. He subsequently read music at New College, Oxford on a choral scholarship.

Whilst he has received training as an opera singer, he has professionally used his music training in musical theatre. He continued academic studies in drama at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.


His theatre work includes the multi award-winning Merrily We Roll Along (Franklin) (2000) and Grand Hotel (The Baron) (2004) for Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse; Annie Get Your Gun (Butler) (2009) for Richard Jones at The Young Vic; Michael Legrand's Marguerite (Armand) (2008) at the Haymarket for Jonathan Kent; King Lear (Herald) (1999) for Yukio Ninagawa at the RSC; Butley (play) (Joseph Keyston) (2006) at the Booth Theatre on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane; Death Takes a Holiday (Death) (2011) for The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York; A Woman of No Importance (Gerald) (2003) for Adrian Noble at the Haymarket; Finding Neverland (J. M. Barrie) (2011) for The Weinstein Company; the Parisian premiere of Sunday in the Park with George (Seurat) (2013); Show Boat (Gaylord) (2015) at the Lincoln Centre in New York and most recently My Night with Reg (John) (2014).

Ovenden has also sung musical theatre songs in several concerts at the Proms, in particular concerts of Stephen Sondheim and of Rodgers and Hammerstein. In 2015 he played Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music Live, ITV's live adaptation of the musical The Sound of Music.

Ovenden first appeared on British TV in a recurring role over 5 seasons of Foyle's War (Andrew Foyle) opposite Michael Kitchen. He also starred in two seasons of worldwide show, Downton Abbey (Series 4 and 5) (Charles Blake). Other British TV work includes The Forsyte Saga (Val Dartie), Any Human Heart (William Boyd), The Royal (Dr David Cheriton). On US TV, Ovenden has been in Person of Interest (Season 3,4 and 5, CBS) (Jeremy Lambert) over the last three years. He has also appeared in seasons of Cashmere Mafia (Eric Burden), Related (Jason Greenstein) and SMASH (John F. Kennedy). Recently he has portrayed Robert F. Kennedy in The Crown and is starring as William de Nogaret in Knightfall.

Ovenden's recent film work includes Colonia (Roman) opposite Emma Watson and Daniel Bruhl, The Confessions (Matthew Price) with Daniel Auteuil, Toni Servillo and Connie Nielsen and British indie war film, Allies (Captain Gabriel Jackson).

As a solo singer Ovenden has appeared with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the New York Pops, The Northern Sinfonia, the Liverpool Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the John Wilson Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra. He has also appeared at The Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall, where he is a regular performer. Ovenden made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2014 and followed it up with another headlining concert in 2015.

Ovenden recorded a debut album for Decca Records in 2013 titled If You Stay and has since made a Rodgers and Hammerstein record with John Wilson for Warner Classics and a Downton Abbey Christmas record for Warner Music that went double platinum. In late 2015, he signed a multiple record deal with East West Records and his new album was released in February 2016.

Personal life

Ovenden lives with his wife, opera singer Kate Royal, and their son and daughter.