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Philip Haywood Glenister (born 10 February 1963) is a Britishmarker actor, best known for his role as DCI Gene Hunt in British television series Life On Mars and its sequel Ashes To Ashes.

Early life

He was born in Harrowmarker, Middlesexmarker, Englandmarker and brought up in Hatch Endmarker in the London Borough of Harrowmarker, north-west London. He went to Hatch End Comprehensive School (now Hatch End High School - his brother went to a grammar school instead) and the Central School of Speech and Drama. Philip is the son of director John Glenister and the brother of actor Robert Glenister. His interest in acting came from seeing his brother in a production about the Sex Pistols called Killing Time at the Soho Polymarker. He worked for the entertainment entrepreneur Robert Stigwood then worked as a films publicist until he was 23. The now former wife of his brother, the actress Amanda Redman, persuaded him to apply for the Central School of Speech and Drama, and coached him for his audition. At the Central, he was a contemporary of Graham Norton and Rufus Sewell. He also shared a flat with the actor Jamie Glover.

Television and films

Glenister has appeared in the television drama series, Vanity Fair (playing Major William Dobbin), The Stepfather (2005 playing Dougie Molloy), Clocking Off (playing the factory boss), Island at War (playing Baron Heinrich von Rheingarten), State of Play, Hornblower, Sharpe, Roger Roger and Vincent, and the film Calendar Girls (playing the photographer). In 2005 he made a brief appearance in the Ridley Scott film Kingdom of Heaven. He is probably best known for his role as DCI Gene Hunt in Life On Mars, alongside John Simm's Sam Tyler. Glenister also worked with Simm on State of Play and Clocking Off. He reprised the role of Gene Hunt in the spin-off series Ashes To Ashes, which began on 7 February 2008, and once more worked with Simm on the 1980s-set crime film Tuesday. Upon announcement of the film, Glenister joked that he and Simm were contractually obliged to work with each other once a year. Tuesday premièred in the UK on 10 October 2008.

In late 2007 he starred as Mr Carter in the BBC1 costume drama Cranford, playing a farmer's son and social reforming estate manager for Lady Ludlow (Francesca Annis). In 2009, Glenister played Rupert Galvin, an ex-CIA operative, in a six part prime time ITV1 drama - Demons.

Glenister has also appeared on Top Gear as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, as well as a Mamma Mia! spoof sketch for Comic Relief in 2009.

Glenister has accepted the role of Trevor Cook in the biographical films revolving around the life of Elliot Spoerer, The Rise and Fall of the Real RocknRolla.

In late 2009, he made an appearance in a Christmas ad for Marks and Spencer, depicting his character from Ashes to Ashes with an abrupt mannerism.


A book by Glenister on 1970s and '80s culture, Things Ain't What They Used to Be, was published in October 2008.

Personal life

Glenister married actress Beth Goddard in 2006 after a nine-year relationship. They met at a birthday party of Jamie Glover in July 1997. They have two children, Millie (born March 2002) and Charlotte (born April 2005), and live in East Sheenmarker, near Richmondmarker.

His brother, Robert Glenister is also a British television actor.

On 28 October 2008 on the Paul O'Grady TV show he claimed to be a fan of non-league football team Wealdstone.

He is patron of the charity, Momentum in Kingston upon Thames, which aims to help children and the families of children undergoing treatment for cancer in Surrey.


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