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England, United Kingdom

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Mark Gatiss


Mark Gatiss (/ˈɡeɪtɪs/ (listen); born 17 October 1966) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist. His work includes writing for and acting in the television series Doctor Who, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, and Dracula. Together with Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, and Jeremy Dyson, he is a member of the comedy team The League of Gentlemen.


Gatiss was born in Sedgefield, County Durham, England, to Winifred Rose (née O'Kane, 1931–2003) and Maurice Gatiss (1931–2021). He grew up opposite the Victorian psychiatric hospital there, and later in Trimdon, before his father, a colliery engineer, took a job as an engineer at the School Aycliffe Mental Hospital in Heighington.


 His family background is working class. His passions included watching Doctor Who and Hammer Horror films on television, reading Sherlock Holmes and H.G. Wells, and collecting fossils. All those interests have influenced his creative work.


One of his early forays into theatre was in Darlington in March 1983, playing Dad, in The Waiting Room by Tony Stowers, a macabre and surreal Pinteresque comedy, which explores a disintegrating family unit. In July of the same year, he would have acted in Stowers' follow-up, A Sense of Insecurity, but was unable to take the role because his father insisted he take his exams instead.


Gatiss attended Heighington Church of England Primary School, and Woodham Comprehensive School in Newton Aycliffe. At the latter, he was two years ahead of Paul Magrs, who also went on to write Doctor Who fiction. Gatiss then studied Theatre Arts at Bretton Hall College, an arts college affiliated with the University of Leeds.


Gatiss is gay and was featured on The Independent on Sunday's Pink List of influential gay people in the UK in 2010, 2011, and 2014. He married actor Ian Hallard in 2008 in Middle Temple, in the City of London. 


Gatiss once built a Victorian-era laboratory in his north London home, as the fulfillment of a childhood dream. Gatiss is an atheist. The University of Huddersfield awarded him an honorary doctorate of letters in 2003.

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The Father as l'uomo