Richard then landed the role which was to see his career take a giant leap forward, that of the northern cotton mill owner John Thornton in the BBC dramatisation of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, broadcast in November 2004.
Richard Armitage arrives in the tiny, cluttered stage manager’s office of The Old Vic straight from rehearsals for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
He’s bearded and dressed in thick shapeless trousers, heavy boots, and a rough collarless cotton shirt open at the neck to reveal a broad chest. Anyone who knew the 42 year-old only as the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit films might have quite a shock.
Richard Crispin Armitage was born on 22nd August 1971 and raised in Leicestershire.
Aged 14 he attended Pattison College, an independent school in Coventry specialising in the performing arts.
She is, obviously, an actress and has been in movies, television series and also on the stage. Apparently she and Richard lived together in South London for quite some time, although, according to gossip, they no longer do so.