Prior to his becoming an actor, Kristen Holden-Reid was a champion rider and fencer, and a former member of the Canadian National Pentathlon Team, winning silver medals in both the Pan American and Pan Pacific Pentathlon Championships. Holden-Reid then segued into acting, landing the title role in the Czechoslovakian production of "Young Ivanhoe" (1995). After a supporting role in the dustbin title "Night of the Demons 3" (1997), he had a small part in the Lifetime movie-of-the-week "When Innocence is Lost" (1997), followed by a more prominent supporting role in the Sci-Fi Channel's cautionary tale about the depleting ozone layer, "Habitat" (1997). Holden-Reid continued to play supporting roles in features and television movies, appearing in "The Defenders: Taking the First" (Showtime, 1998), "Going to Kansas City" (1998) and "Forget Me Never" (CBS, 1998). He gained significant prominence playing bassist Noel Redding in "Hendrix" (2000), Showtime's interesting, but ultimately lackluster biopic on the life and music of Jimi Hendrix (Wood Harris).
After more small roles in "The Crossing" (A&E, 2000) - a look at General George Washington's (Jeff Daniels) famous crossing of the Delaware - and "Gossip" (2000), a psychological thriller about rumors and accusations gone too far, Holden-Reid had a brief appearance in his first big money movie, "K-19: The Widowmaker" (2002), followed by a supporting part in "A Killing Spring" (2002). He was more prominent in "The Many Trials of One Jane Doe" (CBC, 2003) and "Ice Bound" (CBS, 2003), but finally landed a starring role in "Touch of Pink" (2004), playing the live-in lover of a Muslim man (Jimi Mistry) whose overactive fantasy life comes into conflict with the reality around him. He then portrayed Sir William Compton, a favored companion of King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), in "The Tudors" (2007-10), Showtime's lavish depiction of the brutal monarch prior to his split from the Catholic Church.