Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses extra who went on to become a seriously famous actor with Harry Potter role

The famous actor studied his craft in London before going on to star in the Harry Potter franchise

In showbiz, everyone has to start somewhere. And one actor who has achieved a dizzying height of fame and starred in the Harry Potter franchise had a little-known role in BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. Though he only appeared in one episode of the iconic BBC sitcom, fans going back through the catalogue of episodes of the hit comedy series are sure to spot the familiar face of David Thewlis playing in Rodney’s band.

David played the part of Stew, one of the two guitarists in Rodney’s band on the night that a riot breaks out, in the episode which first aired in 1985. David was only 22 when he played his part in the BBC comedy and 19 years later he took on the part of Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter series, making his debut in 2004.

Only Fools and Horses was amongst the first roles the young David had and fans looking back on the episodes now will be able to spot the now-famous actor in his youth. In the Only Fools and Horses episode, entitled “It’s Only Rock and Roll”, David’s character Stew plays in Rodney’s band and he has a scene with the legendary Del Boy as the group run out of the pub they are performing in after a riot breaks out.

David Thewlis is probably most known for his tole as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter series
David Thewlis is probably most known for his tole as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter series (Image: Warner Bros)

Del, in true business mogul-style, becomes the groups manager but even he can’t whip the band, who sound terrible, into shape. The character of Stew only appears in this one episode and though David didn’t make it back onto the set of Only Fools and Horses he’s enjoyed a successful acting career following his early role.

David, originally from Blackpool, played in a rock band himself as a teenager. The band was called QED and he played lead guitar with a punk rock band called Door 66, much like in his role in the classic BBC sitcom.

He studied his acting skills at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, from which he graduated in 1984, one year before he starred in John Sullivan’s comedy. David made his first appearance in the Harry Potter films in 2004, as he took on the role of Remus Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third instalment of the magical franchise.

David Thewlis studied his acting craft in London
David Thewlis studied his acting craft in London (Image: 2019 Getty Images)

His character appeared in all the Harry Potter films from the point and became an important figure in the series, fighting for Hogwarts and aiding the eponymous character Harry, played by Daniel Radcliffe, throughout the films. David broke into the acting world at a young age and his personal life has also been heavy influenced b his career as he has married an actress and his daughter is too a budding thespian.

He married Manchester-born actress Anna Friel, from Marcella and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in 2001 and the couple share a daughter. The pair split in late 2010 and their child Gracie, who was born in 2005, has since become an actor herself, stepping into the shoes of her famous parents.

Thewlis married Anna Friel in 2001 and the couple share an actress daughter
Thewlis married Anna Friel in 2001 and the couple share an actress daughter

Since his marriage to Anna Friel, he went on to marry French designer Hermine Poitou in 2016 and the couple now live in Berkshire. Alongside his roles in the two well-known franchises, Thewlis has also starred in films such as The Big Lebowski, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Theory of Everything and recently Enola Holmes 2, also starring Stranger Things’ Millie Bobbie Brown.

He also also used his voice as an actor in hit cartoon series such as Family Guy and Big Mouth, as well as taking on more serious roles in Fargo and The Sandman. At the age of 59, his acting career is still going strong and fans will see him appear in more blockbuster film series in the near future as he plays a key role in the next instalments of James Cameron’s Avatar in 2024 and 2026.

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