Who played Dalgliesh in the original series?

ENIGMATIC Inspector Dalgliesh returns to our screens with a brand new cast fronted by Bertie Carvel.

But many will remember Roy Marsden as the pre-eminent actor to play the much loved PD James character. Here's everything you need to know about Roy Marsden, 70, the actor whose career has spanned six decades.

Who played Dalgliesh in the original series?

When the well known crime writer PD James wrote the Inspector Dalgliesh crime novels she may not have expected Britain's leading actors to play the title role, including Martin Shaw and in the 2021 series, Bertie Carvel.

But, for people of a certain generation, Roy Marsden remains THE Dalgliesh.

Marsden played the lead role from 1983 until he was replaced by Shaw in 1991 who would later go on to star in Inspector George Gently and The Long Call.

Speaking about playing the famous Inspector, Marsden said, "It's an easy job, really.Every 18 months or so I do a couple of months filming one.

"It's not like what John Thaw did on Morse – he spent months slogging at it for years."

Dalgliesh may have been one of his most famous roles, but Marsden appeared in some of the most watched television programmes in a career that lasted 50 years.

His credits include the role of Nigel in The Liver Birds (1969), Sir Andrew Foulkes in The Elusive Pimpernel (1969), Tommy in Z Cars (1975), Frank Turner in The New Avengers (1976), Gerald Overton in Tales Of The Unexpected (1980-1984) and Professor Nigel Silverlake in Silent Witness (2011).

Marsden's rise to acting royalty may have been meteoric, but it wasn't without its pitfalls.

In 2004 he was cast in the lead role in The Mayor Of Zalamea, a Spanish drama.

A spokesperson for the Liverpool Everyman Theatre said of Marsden that, "It just got too much for him.Last week he was overcome by stage fright.

"He said this has never happened to him before."

Where is Roy Marsden now?

Born on June 25, 1941, Marsden, 80, is thought to live a quiet life in East London close to where he grew up.

His last television credit was in 2015 when he played Commander Haydock in the TV miniseries Partners in Crime.

Is Roy Marsden married and does he have children?

In a case of life imitating art, some might say that the obsessive character of Dalgliesh may have rubbed off on him when, unexpectedly, he divorced his second wife Polly Hemingway.

He moved out of the family home leaving his two children, Billy who was born in 1987 and Joe who was born in 1982.

Marsden did not remarry after the split.

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