Jim Carter

An enormously gifted character actor, Jim Carter had his start in fringe theater, mastering magic tricks, cabaret performance and circus training before becoming a noted performer on screen. A highly respected theatrical actor with a lengthy, illustrious career, Carter married actress Imelda Staunton in 1983 and notched memorable small turns in a slew of high-profile films, including "Top Secret!" (1984), "Haunted Honeymoon" (1986), "The Madness of King George" (1994) and "Shakespeare in Love" (1998). Playing the male actor cast as the Nurse based on the real nurse (Staunton) of Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow), Carter and his wife delivered masterpieces of comic acting. They delighted again in "Cranford" (BBC One, 2007), while on his own Carter appeared in "102 Dalmatians" (2000), "Ella Enchanted" (2004), "Alice in Wonderland" (2010) and "My Week with Marilyn" (2011). His most famous role, however, came with his hailed performance as Mr. Carson, the loyal, aging butler of "Downton Abbey" (ITV, 2010-16), whose overwhelming self-control and sense of duty hid a loving, laughing heart. An icon of British theater, TV and film, Carter built an acclaimed international profile on his prodigious gifts and one-of-a-kind spirit that informed every performance.