Ian McDiarmid (; born 11 August 1944) is a Scottish actor and director of stage and screen, best known for portraying Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars film series. Making his stage debut in Hamlet in 1972, McDiarmid joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1974, and has since starred in a number of Shakespeare's plays. He has received an Olivier Award for Best Actor and a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his stage performances.
McDiarmid was born in Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland. He became a theatre aficionado when he was five years old, when his father took him to see an act named Tommy Morgan at a theatre in Dundee. In 2004, he stated, "It sort of fascinated me, and it also scared me. All those lights, all that make-up. I said to myself, 'I don't know what this is, but I want it.'"However, fearing his father's disapproval, McDiarmid attended Queen's College, Dundee, (now the University of Dundee, but then a constituent part of the University of St Andrews), where he received a M.A. in psychology. Soon after, he decided to pursue a career in the theatre instead, and took acting training courses at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.In 1968, McDiarmid received a gold medal for his work, the first of many recognitions given to him for his work in the theatre. McDiarmid claimed he became its recipient "by doing all the boring jobs you have to do when you are young, to eke out an existence."
Movies & TV shows
1 TV show
The Bad Batch
The Clones can be followed in the aftermath of the Clone Wars as they find their way in a rapidly changing universe.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The journey of Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron continues as the Resistance faces the First Order again. The power and knowledge of generations behind them will begin the final battle.
1 TV show
An epic drama set in 43AD as the Roman Imperial Army is determined and terrified in equal measure and returns to crush the Celtic heart of Britannia - a mysterious land ruled by warrior women and powe...
The Lost City of Z
British explorer Col is the focus of a true-life drama in the 1920s. A man who discovered evidence of a previously unknown civilization in the Amazon went missing while searching for it.
Star Wars: Evolution of the Lightsaber Duel
lightsabers have been a force in the Star Wars galaxy since George Lucas' original film, but the weapon's on-screen presence evolved throughout both cinematic trilogies and into Star Wars: The Force A...
Star Wars: Greatest Moments
The top 20 Star Wars moments were voted on by the public. The stars and crew of the intergalactic saga are included.
2 TV shows
Star Wars Rebels
Set between the events of Star Wars: Episodes III and IV, the story unfolds during a dark time when the evil Galactic Empire is tightening its grip of power on the galaxy. Imperial forces have occupie...
The chain of events leading up to World War I began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, and ended with Britain's declaration of war on Germany 37 days later. The unfol...
1 TV show
The Utopia Experiments is a legendary graphic novel shrouded in mystery. When a group of strangers find themselves in possession of an original manuscript, their lives suddenly and brutally implode...
Star War: The Third Gathers: The Backstroke of the West
The war began! Two squares are fighting. The world is filled with improbity. The alliance's Space General is skillful. The Speaker should be Kidnap the D. The proper alliance troops try. There is a ra...
You know the odds. But not the truth.
A detailed and compelling portrait of one of the most formidable characters in British politics as she faces her final days in power. The year is 1990 and Margaret Thatcher's support within the govern...
1 TV show
City of Vice
Gangs ran the streets of London in the 17th century. Parliament granted a grant to bring order to the crime-ridden areas of Central London.
3 Movies · 1 TV show
Our Hidden Lives
Based on the best-selling book by award-winning writer Simon Garfield, four stories from Britain's lost decade are presented from the diaries of four very distinct people. Garfield focused on the post...
Star Wars: A Musical Journey
Actor Ian McDiarmid introduces several music videos scored by the infamous Star Wars scores composed by John Williams. There are sixteen chapters in all, and are all perfectly created to show us the g...
Helen Mirren played Elizabeth I of England in a British historical drama. The last 24 years of her reign are covered in the series. She is played by Jeremy Irons in the first part of the story. The Ea...
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
The Jedi had to choose between Darth Sidious and unlimited power.
The Story of Star Wars
The heart of the Star Wars saga is the Skywalker family. From the characters who witnessed it all, you can hear the inside story of Luke and Anakin. The story of the young man escaping from his daily ...
1 TV show
Charles II: The Power and The Passion
Charles II: The Power and the Passion is an award-winning British television mini-series, broadcast on BBC One in 2003 and produced by the BBC in association with the A&E Network in the United States ...
2 Movies · 1 TV show
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Following an assassination attempt on Senator Padmé Amidala, Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi investigate a mysterious plot that could change the universe forever.
Tense drama series about the different challenges faced by the British Security Service as they work against the clock to safeguard the nation. The title is a popular colloquialism for spies, and the ...
Crime and Punishment
John Simm stars in this adaptation of Dostoyevsky's tragic masterpiece - a profound drama of redemption and a thrilling detective story of the soul.
The Beginning: Making 'Episode I'
The process of making Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace is shown in this documentary. From pre-production through post-production, we get to see visual effects meetings, John Williams' music s...
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Demons of Deception
Indiana Jones was stationed at Verdun in 1916. His friend is still in the trenches, and they both get more depressed about the war each day. On account of his gift for languages, Indy was chosen to sn...
New York detective Ichabod Crane is sent to investigate a series of deaths in which the victims are beheaded. The locals think that the culprit is the Headless Horseman.
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
A slave is strong. There is a plan for revenge against the Jedi.
All the King's Men
There is a drama about the disappearance of the company. The men advanced into battle and were never seen again.
A young boy named Pip stumbles upon a criminal who threatens him and demands food. A few years later, Pip finds a benefactor. Pip believes in a grand plan at the end of which he will be married to Est...
1 Movie · 1 TV show
The life of someone close to the King was saved by an aspiring young physician who found himself in the service of King Charles II. A high life is provided to someone in the King's court. He was order...
Annie: A Royal Adventure
Annie is back! Along with her friends Molly, Hannah, her dog Sandy, and her wealthy father Oliver Warbucks. They take a trip to England where Oliver Warbucks is going to be Knighted by the King. Annie...
1 TV show
Colin Dexter is the author of a series of novels. A large cast of notable actors and actresses, as well as John Thaw and Kevin Whately, starred in the series.
Return of the Jedi
The Emperor wants to destroy the Rebellion with a second Death Star, while the hero is trying to save his friend.
Police Inspector Renko tries to solve the case of three bodies found in Moscow's Gorky Park, but his attempts are impeded by his superiors. Renko stumbles across a conspiracy involving the highest lev...
The Nation's Health
Channel 4 was barely a year old when G F Newman's searing drama about the NHS debuted. A commission from Euston Films, produced by the legendary Verity Lambert, The Nation's Health cemented the channe...
In order to save the King's daughter from being sacrificed in accordance to a pact that the King himself made with the dragon, the sorcerer and his apprentices are on a mission to kill an evil dragon....
A wife discovers and confronts her husband's lover following his death. Their mutual pain, love, envy, and jealousy bring them together in an unexpected emotional and physical relationship.
Sir Henry at Rawlinson End
Sir Henry Rawlinson attempts to exorcise the ghost of his brother Humbert, who was accidentally killed in a drunken duck-shooting incident.
An Egyptian queen's spirit enters a British archaeologist's daughter.
The production of William Shakespeare's play was videotaped in 1978. It features Ian and Judi Dench. A man directed the TV version. The original stage production was performed at The Other Place. It w...
1 TV show
The lives of top agents for Britain's CI5 and their controller. The mandate of CI5 was to fight terrorism. Each of his men was hand-picked by Cowley. Bodie is a cynical ex-SAS soldier and mercenary wh...
The Likely Lads
With the destruction of their previous neighbourhood has inevitably come the destruction of the lads’ favoured watering hole The Fat Ox. Again, it’s Bob rather than Terry who is visibly distressed by ...
Weird tale of a sci fi convention and a family who are apparently being taken over by vegetables.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ian_McDiarmid", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.