(Photo: Getty Images)
Douglas Henshall turns 56 on Sunday (November 19), so we're taking the opportunity to wish him many happy returns and celebrate his career to date. Here are seven reasons we can't get enough of this fabulously talented and watchable actor.
1. He's Jimmy Pérez in Shetland.
Henshall has led the hit detective series since it debuted in 2013, but he announced in July that the upcoming seventh season will be his last. "After series 5 of Shetland, [writer] David Kane and I decided we wanted to do two more series to complete the story of Jimmy Pérez," he said at the time. "So series 6 and 7 were commissioned together to give us time to wrap up Pérez's story to a satisfactory end. It's been one of the privileges of my career to play Jimmy Pérez for almost ten years and to work with so many wonderful people both in front of and behind the camera, and also to spend so much time in Shetland."
We'll be sad to see him go, but equally, we respect his decision to bow out on his own terms. It's a very classy move.
2. He was an OG Outlander cast member.
Henshall appeared in season one as Taran MacQuarrie, an accomplished military leader who – spoiler alert – was eventually captured by the English and hanged. Recalling his stint on the show, he told Collider: "I had a great time. It’s fantastic that it became such a huge hit. It was actually 2014 when I did that. The sets were wonderful, and it was great. They’ve got proper money behind it and time to do things properly, so it looks fantastic. I had a great time."
3. He also starred in Primeval.
This cult British sci-fi series aired on BBC America back in the day. For the first three seasons, Henshall played Dr. Nick Cutter, a key member of a group of scientists who discover that prehistoric and extinct animals are passing through anomalies in time and space. It's a gripping, surprising, and sometimes slightly scary watch.
4. He's pretty active on Twitter.
Henshall's Twitter feed is witty, well-informed and politically engaged. You can give him a follow here: @djhenshall.
5. He's very much a proud Scotsman.
Henshall was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. In the interview below, he explains some popular Glaswegian colloquial terms including "pish," "bluttered," and "winch." There are definitely some words in here that we can imagine dropping into conversation.
6. He's a terrific orator.
Check out Henshall's stirring recital of "She Says She Loves Me Best Of A" by Robert Burns, an 18th-century writer who is often hailed as Scotland's national poet. Burns' work is especially important to Henshall because it reminds him of his late mother. "My ma loved Burns, and the copy I have is from when she was pregnant with me. There was a bit of an umbilical connection," he told The Scotsman a few years ago.
7. He loves to tread the boards.
Henshall's past stage credits include London productions of Network and Death of a Salesman. He's currently appearing in Mary, a new play about Mary, Queen of Scots, at London's Hampstead Theatre – and you can check out a teaser below.
Do you have a favorite Douglas Henshall role?