In his leading role as casino owner Ripley Holden, in the musical-dramedy series "Viva Laughlin," (CBS, 2007) British actor Lloyd Owen was another refreshing new face in a network television lineup increasingly consisting of acting talent from overseas. Owen, of Welsh descent, was born April 14, 1966, in London. Despite growing up in a theatrical family, as a boy he was more interested in sports than in the performing arts. But after being required to take part in school plays, he was praised for his acting ability and began to focus on drama. After school, he received training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and soon found himself plunged into the acting world as part of a touring Shakespeare Company. In television, he had his first break with "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," (syndicated, 1992-93) playing a younger version of Professor Henry Jones Sr., the father of the famed archaeologist - a part originated by Sean Connery in the film series.
Owen went on to appear in a number of British shows, including the BBC Scotland series, "Monarch of the Glen" (2002-05) and the BBC Northern Ireland series, "The Innocence Project" (2006-07), as well as enjoyed a recurring role on the popular British sitcom, "Coupling" (BBC, 2002). While Owen still concentrated much of his acting on the stage, he did delve into film projects, with supporting roles in "The Republic of Love" (2003) and "Miss Potter" (2006) - the latter in which he played businessman William Heelis, who married renowned children's book author Beatrix Potter, played by Renee Zellweger. The imaginative biopic had only a limited release in U.S. theaters. In "Viva Laughlin," Owen's Holden balanced a life of running a gambling outfit, with the demands of his wife, son and daughter, while also facing off against rival casino owner Nicky Fontana, played in the pilot episode by Hugh Jackman, who also produced the show. Like the British original, "Blackpool" (BBC One, 2004) on which it was based, the series showcased an offbeat mixture of murder mystery elements and musical numbers.