Jim Piddock is an actor, writer, and producer, who co-wrote, produced, and co-stars in the current Netflix original film “Mascots”. He also co-created and co-starred in the 2013 HBO and BBC 2 series Family Tree with Christopher Guest.
He was born in Rochester, Kent, England, to Celia Mary (O’Callaghan) and Charles Frederick Piddock. He began his career on the stage in England, before emigrating to the U.S. in his early twenties. He was educated at Worth Abbey, a Benedictine boarding school, in the south of England. He gained an Honors degree in English literature at London University.
He made his theatrical debut in the U.S. in The Boy’s Own Story, a one-man show about a soccer goalkeeper, at the Julian Theatre in San Francisco. The show was an instant success with critics and audiences, winning Piddock the Bay Area Critics’ Best Actor Award. The show was then produced Off-Broadway and he quickly gained the attention of the New York theatre scene. That same year (1982), he was cast in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter by George C. Scott, who directed/starred in the revival, which also featured Nathan Lane, Christine Lahti, Dana Ivey, and Kate Burton. The show was a big hit on Broadway and Piddock soon found himself appearing in a string of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, including the original US production of Noises Off, The Knack at the Roundabout Theatre, and Make and Break with Peter Falk at the Kennedy Center. After replacing Frank Langella in Design For Living at the Circle-In-The-Square theatre, he moved to Los Angeles and has since appeared in a long succession of tv shows, such as The Tracey Ullman Show, Coach, Max Headroom, The Twilight Zone, Murder She Wrote, Mad About You, Angel, ER, Friends, Crossing Jordan, The Drew Carey Show, Lost, Monk, Without A Trace, Dollhouse, Chuck, Law And Order:LA, Castle, Party Down, Two and a Half Men, Up All Night, Touch, and Children’s Hospital. He has also starred in several notable tv movies and mini-series, like From The Earth To The Moon, A Mom For Christmas, She Creature on HBO, and The Women Of Windsor.
He appeared in his first movie in the top-grossing film of 1989, Lethal Weapon 2, in which one of his lines, “But…you’re black” in answer to Danny Glover’s request to emigrate to South Africa, became a catchphrase for the film. Other feature film roles soon followed, including notable appearances in Independence Day, Traces Of Red, Multiplicity, Burn Hollywood Burn, Austin Powers 3, A Different Loyalty, Love For Rent, See This Movie, The Prestige, Epic Movie, Who’s Your Caddy?, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, Meet The Spartans, Falling Up, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, Get Him To The Greek, The Cold Light Of Day, and The Five Year Engagement. But it is probably his memorable performances in the improvised Christopher Guest comedies Best In Show (as the Dog Show commentator with Fred Willard), A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration that he has gained the most attention as an impeccable, chameleon character actor, who is barely recognizable from role to role.
In November, 2007, Jim’s reputation as one of the UK’s most notable exports was cemented at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood, when he co-starred with Billy Connolly, Tim Curry, Eric Idle, Eddie Izzard, Jane Leeves, Emily Mortimer, and Tracey Ullman in What About Dick?. The show was revived in April, 2012, at the Orpheum Theatre with the addition of Russell Brand and Sophie Winkleman, for a limited-run and was also filmed for a DVD release. Jim also starred on Broadway and in L.A. in 2009 in An Evening Without Monty Python, a limited-run celebration of the 40th anniversary of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, directed by Eric Idle.
As a voice actor, he is most notable for providing the voice of Major Zero in the English version of the video game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Bolero the Bull in the movie Garfield 2, and the fictional artistic director of Forever Young Films, Kenneth Loring, doing the hilarious commentary in the directors’ cut of the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple.
In 1990, he also began another career as a screenplay writer, selling his first spec script, co-written with Margaret Oberman, for a mid six-figure sum. Since then, he has pursued multiple careers as an actor, writer, and producer, having had a diverse collection of films made, crossing all genres, such as Traces Of Red (Samuel Goldwyn Company), One Good Turn, A Different Loyalty (starring Rupert Everett and Sharon Stone), New Line’s The Man (starring Samuel Jackson and Eugene Levy), and The Tooth Fairy (which he also executive produced) for Fox, starring Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Billy Crystal, Steven Merchant, and Julie Andrews. He also created, wrote and produced the BBC series Too Much Sun, starring Mark Addy, Alex Jennings, and Lee Majors.