Known to fans worldwide as the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi was born on April 14, 1958, in Glasgow, Scotland. Ever the artist, Capaldi began working in theater productions as a teen before going on to study at the Glasgow School of Art. During this time, he even explored a life in music, providing vocals for the punk band The Dreamboys.
Following his time in art school, he decided to pursue acting and landed a part as an oil executive in the 1983 Burt Lancaster film drama Local Hero, launching a decades-long career that would see him taking on varied roles in TV and film. Parts in the Harold Pinter film Turtle Diary (1985) and the TV biopic John and Yoko—A Love Story (1985) soon followed.
Continuing to work throughout the decade, Capaldi landed a lead role in the humorous vampire tale The Lair of the White Worm (1988), co-starring Hugh Grant, and a supporting role in Dangerous Liaisons (1988) as the servant Azolan.
In 1993, Capaldi made a big statement with behind-the-camera work as well, writing and directing the 1993 short film Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life. With the story focusing on Kafka's trials and tribulations while attempting to start The Metamorphosis, the project originally aired on BBC Scotland and ultimately won a BAFTA Award and an Academy Award in the Short Film (Live Action) category.
Capaldi also turned to British television, with starring roles in the Helen Mirren movie Prime Suspect 3 (1993), in which Capaldi portrayed transgendered performer Vera Reynolds, and the miniseries The Crow Road (1996). He also played a grandiose, evil angel in the 1996 BBC six-episode fantasy program Neverwhere, and made further big-screen appearances in Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997) and Bean (1997).
Capaldi donned his director's and screenwriter's cap again for 2000's Strictly Sinatra, a film about a nightclub vocalist who falls in with the Scottish mob. A variety of British TV work followed during the first decade of the new millennium, including his role as the off-putting, abrasive communications director Malcolm Tucker in the Armando Iannucci political sitcom The Thick of It, which debuted in 2005 and for which Capaldi won another BAFTA years later. The project was spun off into the film In the Loop (2009), with Capaldi appearing as Tucker once again. A more serious role came to the actor in the form of news director Randall Brown in the drama The Hour.
2013 saw Capaldi featured in the big-budget summer zombie flick World War Z and the suspense tale The Fifth Estate, which dramatizes the WikiLeaks affair. In August of that year, during a BBC live broadcast, it was announced that Capaldi would be the 12th actor to portray sci-fi character Doctor Who in the popular TV series of the same name. Capaldi, who kept his casting top secret, had appeared in the time-hopping show before, as a Roman merchant, as well as in its spin-off Torchwood. He portrayed The Doctor from 2013 to 2017, having recently announced that the upcoming season would be his last in the role. Capaldi will next be seen on the big screen in a role in the upcoming sequel Paddington 2, set for release late 2017.