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Biography

Steven Hartley was Born in the West Yorkshire Mill town of Shipley.

His Father Michael was at that time in the 'Sherwood Foresters' regiment of the British Army, based in Singapore and Malaya, completing his National Service. Steven's Mother Marlene, originally From Edmonton in North London, had moved with her husband to Shipley whilst he completed his service. Upon his return the family moved to Croydon, Surrey, when Michael joined the RSPCA as an inspector.

Steven attended Ridgeway school in Sanderstead along with his younger brother Peter, until the family, now joined by younger sister Michele, moved once again in 1970, this time to East Grinstead in Sussex.

It was at Imberhorne School that Steven first began to show signs of an interest in performing , entertaining (and no doubt annoying) his classmates with impersonations of teachers, classmates and various celebrities. This led to appearances in the school variety show and an early appearance at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon.

When Steven's father was promoted the family was on the move again, after only two years in Sussex it was back up to Yorkshire, to the historic City of York where Steven would stay until his move to London in 1981.

All three children attended Danesmead secondary school in York and it was here that Steven realised his life long passion for Boxing by joining York City Amateur Boxing club in 1976. His interest in boxing had started in 1966 when his dad went to see Muhammad Ali defeat Henry Cooper in at Highbury Stadium. He would regale Steven with stories of that night throughout his childhood.

Steven became a part of the successful York ABC team of the late 70's which later produced world title contender Henry Wharton and notable amateur Tommy Hields. His only defeat coming at the hands of Leicester middleweight Nick Riozzi who was about to turn professional.

In 1976 Steven transferred to Archbishop Holgates Grammar school to study A levels although boxing and showing off took precedence over any academic interests!

Steven's first job was with a local removals firm Whitby Oliver. It was whilst working on a job in Stratford upon Avon that he first went to see the Royal Shakespeare company and started to dream of being an actor something that would not become a reality for a few more years.

Steven then secured a job as an Advertising executive for the Yorkshire Evening press, a position he secured by bending the truth a little about his academic achievements and his age.

He stayed here for 2 years until in 1980 when, after some firm prompting from his close friends he decided to apply for Drama school and won a place at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in 1981 on the three year acting course.

After a 3 month break in France selling Ice Creams and cleaning boats and an uncomfortable night in a Marseille Police cell, Steven moved to London.

Steven found his time at Drama school wonderful and exciting. He was fortunate to secure the all important equity card and first job upon leaving in 1984, starting a 6 month contract at the Colchester Mercury Theatre.

Steven worked extensively in Repertory Theatre also appearing in countless Television Commercials, his first TV appearance being a commercial for 'Mateus Rose' uttering the words ' a Mateus instead?'.

Steven had already worked on two films one with Director Franco Zefferelli when he was asked to meet for the Role of 'James Bond' in 1986, at the age of 26!

His name would continue to be linked with the Role throught his career until the casting of the latest Bond Movie 'Casino Royale' in 2005.

'Eastenders' in 1987 became Steven's first major TV role playing Mathew Jackson for 2 years at a time when an episode of the show could draw up to 20 million viewers. It was a role that would mark the start of Steven becoming a familiar face on British TV over the next two decades, although not without it's drawbacks.

In 1990 Steven laboured on a building site in West London for 6 months when acting work became scarce. However, this hiatus ended spectacularly with back to back roles in the Films 'Split Second' with Ruteger Hauer and 'Columbus' with an all star cast including Marlon Brando Benicio Del Torro Tom Selleck and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Steven has gone on to become one of the most recognisable Faces and voices in the UK in TV, Film and Theatre.

One of his most defining roles came in 2000 when he was asked to play the ill fated Superintendent Tom Chandler in UK TV's long running police drama 'The Bill'. Steven played the role for two and a half years before moving on to 'Doctor's, 'Holby City' 'Casualty' and most recently 'Strictly confidential' to name but a few.

His notoriety In the Bill also led to Steven being asked to join the TV Times celebrity running team. He has now competed 12 half marathons and 3 full marathons in aid of leukaemia research, his fastest marathon being 4 hours 5 mins. Steven plans a sub 4 hour marathon in the near future.

In 2004 Steven returned to the Stage after a 4 year absence to Play 'The Ballplayer' in Rupert Goolds acclaimed production of 'Insignificance' opposite Gina Bellman.

It was Steven's first theatre work since his Role as 'Bill Sikes' in Sam Mendes' awarding winning production of 'Oliver!' at the London Palladium, where Steven played opposite two great 'Fagin's': Robert Lindsay and Russ Abbott. Steven would return to the Role in 2010 at The Theatre royal Drury Lane opposite Omid Djalili, Gryff Rhys Jones and Russ Abbott after completing a run in the successful show 'Dirty Dancing' at The Aldwych Theatre.

Steven has also returned to the big screen, he was last seen as Nicholas Cogez in the 2000 movie 'Dog of Flanders' with John Voight.

He can be seen the 2007 movie 'The Walker' by Oscar winning writer /director Paul Schrader alongside an all star cast including Woody Harleson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Willem Defoe and Lauren Bacall. Steve plays lobbyist Robbie Konensburg.

In recent years Steven has become one of the most familiar voices on TV and Radio, voicing countless commercials, documentaries, movies and winning awards for audio books as well as being the station voice for the UK's largest commercial radio Station 'Talksport'.

Steven lives in South London with his wife actress Abby Francis and daughter Tess.

In 2009 Steven formed Flood Street Films with fellow actor and Star of the 'Sharpe' TV series Daragh O'Malley. Their first project 'Funny Money' a drama for prime time TV is due to start shooting in 2010.

Further information can be obtained from the book
‘Bradfords Own’
By Derek Lister
Sutton Publishing

Steven Hartley. © Charlie Carter Steven Hartley Steven Hartley. © Brian Arris Steven Hartley with 3 time World Champion Duke McKenzie. © Press Association The cover of Bradford's Own