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James Edward Fleet (born 1952 in Bilston, Staffordshire) is an English actor. He is most famous for his roles as the bumbling and well-meaning Tom in the 1994 British romantic comedy film Four Weddings and a Funeral, and the dim-witted Hugo Horton in the BBC situation comedy television series The Vicar of Dibley.
Fleet was born in Bilston, Staffordshire to a Scottish mother Christine and an English father Jim. He lived in Bilston until he was ten, but when his father died, he moved to Aberdeenshire with his mother. He studied engineering at university in Aberdeen, where he joined the university dramatic society. Afterwards, he studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. He lives in Sibford Gower, Oxfordshire with his wife, Jane, and their one son, Hamish. He is a keen biker.
Fleet began his career in the RSC, appearing in several plays in the early 1980s. He has since appeared in touring productions of, among others, Habeas Corpus and In the Club, as well as in Festen and Mary Stuart and others in the West End. He also played Alderman Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington in 2002. In 2009 he portrayed Sir Andrew Aguecheek in the RSC Production of Twelfth Night. And in 2011 he is in Richard Bean's The Heretic directed by Jeremy Herrin at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Since November 2011 he has been in The Ladykillers as Major Courtney at the Gielgud Theatre.
Between 2000 and 2006, Fleet played the painfully upright and decent Captain Brimshaw in Revolting People, a BBC Radio 4 comedy set in pre-revolutionary America. He also appeared in the radio legal sitcom Chambers, which later moved onto television. As of 2005, he has starred as Duncan Stonebridge MP in the topical radio sitcom The Party Line. He also appeared as the Captain on the BBC Radio 7 series The Spaceship. He also plays the part of Sir John Woodstock in the Radio Four sitcom, The Castle.
In 1999-2001 he was the voice of "Dog" in the children's TV show Dog and Duck. Probably his most famous role is that of Hugo in The Vicar of Dibley; he appeared in all 24 episodes, broadcast between 1994 and 2007. In 2005 he played a leading role in an episode of the long-running ITV murder mystery series Midsomer Murders. In 2007 he was a guest star in one episode of the sitcom Legit. He appeared as Frederick Dorrit in the BBC's 2008 production of Little Dorrit. When Fleet appeared on the quiz show School's Out, it was revealed that one of his teachers at Banff Academy had written in his school report that "[James] is the stupidest boy I have ever had to teach, out of all the stupid boys I have ever had to teach", and that he was the only student in his sixth form not to have been made a prefect. Despite his apparent lack of scholastic ability, he still won the show. Recently in 2009, Fleet appeared in a cameo role in the third series of Skins.
Earlier in his career, Fleet was seen in a 1983 episode of Grange Hill as a teacher at the eponymous school's upmarket rival Rodney Bennett.
Fleet appeared in Coronation Street in 2010. He played a character called Robbie Sloan, a recently released convict, helping escaped prisoner Tony Gordon plot revenge. Sloan was eventually shot by Gordon during a siege at the factory.
Fleet has starred in numerous films. He played the role of Lefevre in the 2004 film adaptation of Phantom of the Opera, John Dashwood in 1995's Sense and Sensibility and that of Lytton Strachey in the 2003 film Al Sur de Granada (South from Granada).
- Still Crazy Like a Fox (1987) (TV film)
- Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
- The Vicar of Dibley (1994–2013) (TV series - as Hugo Horton)
- Cracker (1994) (TV series - episode "The Big Crunch")
- El efecto mariposa (1995, directed by Fernando Colomo)
- Sense and Sensibility (1995)
- Chambers (1996) (Radio)
- A Dance to the Music of Time (1997) (miniseries - as Hugh Moreland)
- Chambers (2000) (TV film)
- Kevin & Perry Go Large (2000)
- Charlotte Gray - as Richard Cannerly (2001)
- Young Arthur (2002)
- Two Men Went to War (2002)
- Blackball (2003)
- The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
- The Spaceship (2005–2008) (Radio)
- A Cock and Bull Story (2006)
- Lady Godiva: Back in the Saddle (2007)
- Harley Street (2008)
- Hotel Babylon (2009)
- Coronation Street - as Robbie Sloane (2010)
- Death in Paradise - as Jeremy Tipping (2013)
- Murder on the Home Front - as Dr Henry Stephens (2013)
- Outlander - as Rev. Dr. Reginald Wakefield (2014)
- James Fleet 'in his own words'
- 20 questions at whatsonstage.com
- Cast list of RSC productions of The Taming of the Shrew
- Cast list of RSC productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream
- Cast list of RSC productions of Henry IV, Part Two
- Review in The Stage
- Cast list in The Stage
- Review in The Stage
- Press Release
- BBC Press Pack for Little Dorrit
- Series Two, Episode Seven, originally broadcast 25 August 2007