Maxton Beesley

With his strawberry-blond hair and handsome features, musician-turned-actor Max Beesley vaulted to stardom in the leading role of the 1997 BBC miniseries "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling" (shown in the USA on A&E in 1998). This son of a jazz musician and a jazz singer, in the words of his stepbrother Jason, would do "anything for a laugh [so] everyone assumed that one day Max would end up on television." Beesley, instead, pursued a career in music. Although he won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he dropped out to work as a backup singer and musician for singers and bands ranging from Take That and Jamiroquai to George Michael and Paul Weller. In 1995, Beesley watched the video of Martin Scorsese's 1980 masterpiece "Raging Bull" and was inspired to become an actor. Taking his savings, he flew to NYC and worked with acting coach Sheila Gray. After nine months, he returned to England and eventually auditioned for the role of Tom Jones. Through a combination of talent and charm, Beesley managed to deliver a fine portrayal of the randy hero that matched Albert Finney's in Tony Richardson's 1963 Oscar-winning film. Based on his success, the actor was signed for his first feature role in the romantic drama "The Match" (1999).