Mackenzie Crook

Infobox actor
name = Mackenzie Crook

imagesize =
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birthname = Paul Mackenzie Crook
birthdate = Birth date and age|1971|9|29|mf=y
birthplace = Maidstone, Kent, England
deathdate =
othername =
yearsactive = 1996 - present
spouse = Lindsay Crook
homepage =
academyawards =
emmyawards =
tonyawards =

Paul Mackenzie Crook (born September 29, 1971) is an English actor and comedian, best known for playing Gareth Keenan in "The Office" and Ragetti in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.


Early life

Crook was born in Maidstone, Kent, England, and grew up in Dartford. His father, Michael Crook, worked for British Airways and his mother, Sheila, was a hospital manager. He has two sisters. As a child he collected Star Wars figurines and would venture to ponds collecting amphibians which he would often take home and store in his room. One of his Schoolteachers once described him as "A small and quiet child". When he was ten years old, he was put on a course of hormone therapy for a year due to a growth hormone deficiency. He went to Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, and did his first plays there.

He joined the Orchard Youth Theatre in Dartford when he was about fifteen-years-old and gained his inspiration for acting. In the summers he spent time with his uncle in Zimbabwe where he developed a love for painting and grew with an ambition to be a graphic artist. As an adolescent he copied a painting of "The Soul Of A Rose", by John William Waterhouse, on to the back of his biker's jacket and commissioned painting the album cover from Meat Loaf's "Bat out of Hell" on a former manager's jacket. He also greatly admired Kurt Cobain, grew his hair long and pursued starting a heavy metal band, but dropped it after deciding his voice wasn't suited for it. Even as a teenager he was still small for his age due to his growth hormone deficiency, accessing pubs and adult-rated films with his friends was a difficult task as he was often not believed to be over sixteen or eighteen-years-old.

When he was eighteen he applied to the Kent Institute of Art & Design three times but failed to secure a place on each attempt. He spent a while doing part time jobs in a hospital, a chicken factory, a Chimney Sweep, Halfords and Pizza Hut before he turned to writing comedy sketches.

Film and TV roles

In 1996 near the beginning of his acting career his first short film was called [ "The Man who Fell in Love with a Traffic Cone!"] There is very little information on the film. Crook began his career as a standup comedian alongside Iain Lee for about eight years, in the guise of Charlie Cheese, "the cheeky chirpy chappy from Chorley". They appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the mid-90's as Chalk and Cheese. He had also often performed as a grotesque schoolteacher called Mr. Bagshaw, who is said to be based on a variety of obnoxious teachers he was tutored by while in school. Crook's first major television role was as a comedy sketch contributor on Channel 4's "The Eleven O'Clock Show" in 1998. He was later a member of the main cast of the BBC sketch show "TV to Go" in 2001. From 2001 to 2003 he played the role of Gareth Keenan in the popular mockumentary "The Office", the role earned him two nominations. [ [ Mackenzie Crook - Awards ] ]

He appeared in ' (2003), ' (2006), and in "" (2007), as Ragetti, a pirate with a comically ill-fitting wooden eye. He has appeared in ads for Visa and M&Ms (as his Ragetti character in both).

He also appeared as Launcelot Gobbo in Michael Radford's 2004 film adaptation of William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice". Crook played a minor role in the 2004 film "Finding Neverland" as a theatre usher. Other films he starred in include "The Gathering" (2002), "Sex Lives of the Potato Men" (2004), "" (2004), and The Brothers Grimm (2005). He has also featured in an advert for MTV and another advert for Film Four, another he narrated for the motor insurance company Green Flag in 2007.

Crook has starred in three of Tim Plester and Ben Gregor's short films: as Gary Tibbs in "Ant Muzak" (2002), as Servalan in "Blake's Junction 7" (2004), and as Glorious George in "World of Wrestling" (2006). All three will be released on DVD in 2008. He has also voiced in a television series called "Modern Toss" and has featured in "I Want Candy (2007 film)" as Mr Dulberg, a quirky University Professor. He has also performed a duet with Ricky Gervais in the "Concert for Diana".

He has also voiced a main character called Rolli in an animated film from Finland called "Quest For A Heart". Later this year Mackenzie will feature in Wyndham Price's drama "Abraham's Point" as Comet Snape and appear in "City of Ember" as Looper, and will also be featuring in the upcoming documentary "" (2008). He has featured on Big Brother Celebrity Hijack. On TV, he is due to appear in an upcoming ITV drama "The Last Van Helsing" as a vampire named Gladiolus Thrip.

He plays the leading role of Paul Callow in the British comedy Three and Out released on 25 April 2008. On 10th May 2008 he appeared in an episode of the comedy/drama "Love Soup" on BBC1 playing a character called Marty Cady and will then feature in Andrew Davies' BBC production of "Little Dorrit" (2008).

Theatre and other work

Crook made his directorial debut with a pop video for the London electro band Paw Paw. The stop motion animation video accompanies the band's debut single 'Wired OK', released on July 16, 2007 on Albino Recordings. The video has been posted on Paw Paw's myspace page - [ PawPawMusic]

He played Billy Bibbit in the 2004 London West End production of the stage play of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and in 2006 "The Exonerated" at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. In February/March 2007 he featured in a production of "The Seagull" (for which he earned a nomination from The Evening Standard Theatre Awards [ [ Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2007: the longlist| Theatre | This is London ] ] ) at the Royal Court Theatre as the troubled writer Konstantin. This production goes to Broadway from September to December 2008 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

Crook has also appeared as a postman in the music video for Paul McCartney's single "Dance Tonight" alongside Golden Globe award-winning actress Natalie Portman. The video for the song was directed by Michel Gondry and was posted exclusively on YouTube on May 22, 2007.

Crook has said that his other ambitions would be to draw and write and has made a deal with the book publisher Faber to illustrate and write a children's book. His first one, "Fairy Tale" is due for release in October 2008. His second book will be "Ragetti's Secret Diary" which will be released in 2009.

Personal life

Crook lives in North London suburb Highgate in Peter Sellers' former semi-detached house with his wife, Lindsay, a former advertising executive (they married in April 2001), his son, Jude Michael Crook (born on 17 January 2003), and his daughter, Scout Elizabeth Crook (born on 24 December 2007). His hobbies include gardening and also breeding fish and tortoises. He has said he and his wife are very passionate about the environment and have been maintaining an organic lifestyle.

He also owns convert|8|acre|m2 of woodland in Essex.

In 2008 he attacked the popular BBC Two programme Top Gear for being too dangerous to the earth, despite the fact that the show has 350million viewers worldwide.


External links

*imdb name|id=0188871|name=Mackenzie Crook
* [ Mackenzie's official website]
* [ Times Online Interview (2008)]
* [ Interview (2008)]
* [ Daily Mail Interview (2008)]
* [ Daily Mail Interview (2007)]
* [,,2081723,00.html Guardian Unlimited Interview (2007)]

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