Family & Companions
Though Martin Shaw started in classical theater, he is most known for acting in British television crime dramas as a benevolent figure of authority. Shaw got his start on television in a one-off role on the longest-running soap opera in England, "Coronation Street," but had his first significant recurring role as soccer enthusiast and lovable alcoholic Huw Evans in the medical comedy series "Doctor in the House." A few years later, he was cast in the most significant film of his career, Roman Polanski's "Macbeth"; Shaw played Banquo, the friend whom Macbeth murders and who later returns as a ghost. After starring and costarring in numerous BBC productions of plays, and taking one-off parts in other shows, Shaw landed the role of Doyle in "The Professionals." This action-packed crime drama, related to the 1960s series "The Avengers," featured Shaw as one of a secret team of law enforcement agents who use unconventional methods to catch criminals. Through the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, Shaw continued to star in a number of television series playing law enforcers of different sorts. Notable appearances in the 2000s include the longest-running BBC legal drama, "Judge John Deed," in which he starred in the title role, as well as "Inspector George Gently," again starring as the eponymous character. In both roles, Shaw played honest men struggling to serve justice fairly within the constraints of governmental bureaucracy.