Paul Freeman was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, in 1943. On leaving school, he intended to follow a career in advertising, but his leisure-time interest in drama began to take over, as he spent a lot of time in amateur theatre.
He obtained qualifications as a drama teacher, and then worked in repertory. He had roles in plays at both the London Court Theatre and also the National Theatre as well as an ever-increasing number of TV parts.
Paul Freeman made his film debut in 1980 in The Long Good Friday, a gangster thriller starring Bob Hoskins, and this was followed by the Christopher Walken film The Dogs of War in 1980. It was whilst making this film that he met his wife, Maggie Scott, who played the part of Gabrielle.
Paul Freeman was noticed by Steven Spielberg who cast him as a French archaeologist, Rene Belloq, in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Belloq, working with the Nazis to find the lost ark, eventually meets an explosive end as the spirits released from the opened Ark invoke the wrath of God and kill him, and the Nazis, in gruesome fashion!
One of Freeman's greatest strengths as a character actor is his ability to play a wide variety of different roles without necessarily being instantly recognisable in any of them! He is well known for being able to use many different accents and dialects.
Paul Freeman's list of TV roles is a very long and varied one. It includes Gustav Riebmann in 19 episodes of Falcon Crest (1984-85), Martin in 7 episodes of Yesterday's Dream (1987), Dr Charles Corday in 3 episodes of ER (1998-2002), Andrew in 11 episodes of Monarch of the Glen (2002-2003) and, most recently, Lawrence Scammel QC in 10 episodes of Street Law (2006-2007).
Paul Freeman continued to appear on stage including Shakespeare's Prospero in The Tempest with the American Repertory Theatre in 1995, also Claudius in Hamlet and Iachimo in Cymbeline, both with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1998.
Paul Freeman signed my 'Indiana Jones' picture
Although Freeman didn't appear in the sequels, the film did lead to roles in other films including The Sender (1982), Shanghai Surprise (1986), A World Apart (1986) and the Sherlock Holmes comedy Without A Clue (1988).
Paul Freeman as Laurence Scammel QC in Street Law
Portrait photo of Paul Freeman by Sheila Burnett
Paul Freeman as Professor James Moriarty
in Without A Clue
Wolf Kahler, Paul Freeman & Ronald Lacey in Raiders of the Lost Ark
(above) Paul Freeman as Rene Belloq
(left) Harrison Ford & Paul Freeman
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Paul Freeman signing my picture
Paul Freeman is one of Britain's best character actors and I met him at Collectormania in Milton Keynes in October 2005. I had my photo taken with him and he also signed my Indiana Jones picture.
I met him again in July 2008 at the London Film & Comic Convention (see photos at bottom of the page).
Ciaran Brown with Paul Freeman at Earls Court in 2008
Paul Freeman has signed this photograph to me
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