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Ian McDiarmid –


About Ian McDiarmid (1947 – )

Ian was born in Carnoustie, Scotland, on April 17, 1947, and grew up in Dundee, Tayside. He is known as one of the London theatre's most acclaimed and influential figures. The co-artistic director (along with Jonathan Kent) of Islington's Almeida Theatre since 1990, Ian has been, in large part, responsible for the Almeida's transformation from obscure fringe theatre to one of London 's most respected playhouses.

Mr. McDiarmid thought he would pursue a career in psychology, but before he completed his degree, Mr. McDiarmid discovered his love of acting and directing. After completing his studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Ian performed with various fringe theatres throughout Scotland and England, and eventually joined the vaunted Royal Shakespeare Company.

Ian McDiarmid has starred in a variety of Shakespearean plays. In 1972, he was in Hamlet, followed by The Tempest in 1974 (and 2000), Much Ado About Nothing in 1976, The Merchant of Venice in 1984, and King Lear in 2005.

In 1978, Ian appeared in the play, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. McDiarmid has also directed plays during that time, including Venice Preserv'd and Hippolytus.

He won the Almeida Theatre's Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for his performance in Faith Healer. During its Broadway production, McDiarmid performed alongside Ralph Fiennes and was awarded the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play.

McDiarmid began moving into television and film, in the late 1970s, with his casting in a supporting role in the TV series, The Professionals.

His first major and memorable role in film happened when he was cast as the character, Emperor Palpatine, in Return of the Jedi (1983). Ian returned to the role of Palpatine in 2002's "Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones" and again in the franchise-closer; Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Ian McDiarmid's most notable film credits include:

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