Mark Williams — things you didn't know about the Harry Potter star

Mark Williams
Mark Williams played Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Williams is known for playing the titular role in the TV adaptation of Father Brown and as Arthur Weasley in Harry Potter, as well as presenting factual shows such as Mark Williams' Big Bangs and Industrial Revelations. He's also worked with big names in the industry such as Glenn Close and Hugh Laurie in 101 Dalmations and Michelle Pfeiffer in Stardust.

Mark is returning to our screens in early 2024 in Father Brown season 11, which will be a treat for fans of the hugely popular crime hit.

"The chief attraction for me is that I never get bored," he says of making the series. "I've never been bored on this job — which is an incredibly unusual thing for an actor to say. Father Brown is constantly interested in everything that goes on around him. I find that easy to generate because so am I."

There's a lot you might not know about the actor. From his jobs before the big screen to his hobbies and interests, there is a lot to learn about him. Here are some things you might not know about Mark Williams...

1. Mark Williams made his film debut alongside Hugh Grant

Mark took part in the Oxford University Film Foundation production Privileged in 1982, where he starred alongside Hugh Grant and Imogen Stubbs. The film is about a group of Oxford student partygoers, and has mystery elements to it. Mark played the role of Wilf in the film. 

2. He has done voiceover work

In addition to acting, Mark has provided voiceover work for a number of projects. These include Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, BBC series Merlin and Aardman's Early Man. His voice has also been used for Harry Potter games, where he's provided the voice for his character Arthur Weasley.

3. Mark isn't religious

Father Brown season 11 cast: People: Brenda Palmer (RUBY-MAY MARTINWOOD), Sgt. Goodfellow (JOHN BURTON), Father Brown (MARK WILLIAMS), Mrs Devine (CLAUDIE BLAKLEY), Chief Inspector Sullivan (TOM CHAMBERS)

Mark in Father Brown (Image credit: BBC)

Despite playing Father Brown on TV, Mark doesn’t consider himself to be a religious man. In an interview with MuggleNet, he revealed: "I was brought up in the Church of England, so that’s part of my culture. But I don’t practice my religion. Father Brown believes in redemption, and he believes that we’re all God’s children, and he’s a man of faith, so I respect him."

4. He had several jobs before becoming an actor full time

Mark is known for his TV and film roles, but it took a while for him to break into the industry full time. He told MuggleNet: “I've worked as a painter, and at a stud farm with bulls. I've worked in a psychogeriatric ward in a mental hospital. You may do [an acting] job, but it’s only for two weeks. So I was in my 30s before I got a regular job. For some reason, I stuck it out. It was blind faith and ignorance.”

5. He is a massive history buff and won a prize at age 13

One of Mark’s biggest passions is history, and he won a prize when he was younger due to his keen interest in the field. He told Reader’s Digest: “My love of the subject, and of learning in general, has never dimmed. And a dozen years ago I got to make three documentaries on industrial history for the BBC, Mark Williams on the Rails, Industrial Revelations, and More Industrial Revelations.”

6. Mark prefers reading to watching TV

Despite his career, Mark has admitted he prefers reading a book or a journal over settling down in front of the telly. In an interview with The Guardian, he explained: “I read a lot — it's a massive part of my life. I am a terrible television watcher, meaning that I don't really watch telly at all. I have subscribed to the London Review of Books for years. It is the kind of journal all other printed material should aspire to.”

7. But he does love animation!

Despite not watching a lot of TV, Mark revealed he spent a lot of time watching cartoons with his daughter and has a fondness for animated stories. He told The Guardian: "I love animation, the energy and precision of it. Take Roadrunner, the timing is exquisite; actors could learn a lot from that and from its expression and humor."

8. Colombo actor Peter Falk has influenced his Father Brown performance

Mark explains: "I have to acknowledge the debt really to Peter Falk. I like his style of being on the back foot and slightly off the beat. As an actor, you don't necessarily think that rhythm should be important, but actually it is. Because if you do everything at the same beat, you will die of boredom. So it's better to vary the rhythm. 

"And Peter Falk was a very big influence for me. I actually got Colombo's catchphrase into one show. I was about to leave and I turned around and said, “Just one more thing” – which I was pathetically pleased about! I've also got another Colombo nod coming up, but I'm not going to tell you what it is. It's just something that Peter Falk used to do, which I'm going to use."

Mark Williams' Fact File

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actor.

How old is he?

Mark Williams is 64 years old. He was born on 22 August 1959.

Is he married? 

Yes, Mark is married to Diane Williams. 

Does he have children?

Mark has one child, a daughter.

Where was he born?

He was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England. 

How tall is he?

He is 6 ft tall.

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.