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David John McDonaldBorn: Sunday 18th April 1971 (age: 51)
David Tennant was born in Bathgate, West Lothian in Scotland and grew up in Ralston, Renfrewshire, where his father, the Reverend "Sandy" McDonald, was the local Church of Scotland minister.
Tennant was educated at Ralston Primary and Paisley Grammar School He acted in school productions throughout primary and secondary school. At 16 he passed an audition for the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and studied there between the ages of 17-20. He adopted the professional name "Tennant" inspired by Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, after reading a copy of Smash Hits magazine. .
Tennant's first professional role upon graduating from drama school was in a staging of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui co-starring Ashley Jensen. Tennant also made an early television appearance in the Scottish TV sitcom Rab C Nesbitt as a transsexual barmaid called Davina. .
Tennant's first major TV role was as the manic depressive Campbell in the Scottish drama series Takin' Over the Asylum (1994). One of his earliest big screen roles was in Jude (1996), in which he shared a scene with Christopher Eccleston, playing a drunken undergraduate who challenges Eccleston's Jude to prove his intellect. His first Shakespearean role for the the Royal Shakespeare Company was in As You Like It (1996); playing the jester Touchstone. He subsequently specialised in comic roles, playing Antipholus of Syracuse inThe Comedy of Errors and Captain Jack Absolute in The Rivals, although he also played the tragic role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. Tennant also contributed to several audio dramatisations of Shakespeare for the Arkangel Shakespeare series (1998). His roles include a reprisal of his Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors, as well as Launcelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice, Edgar/Poor Tom in King Lear, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. In 1995, Tennant appeared at the Royal National Theatre, London, playing the role of Nicholas Beckett in Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw. .
Tennant appeared in the first episode of Reeves and Mortimer's re-vamped Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) in 2000, playing an eccentric artist. Other roles include parts in He Knew He Was Right (2004) Blackpool (2004), Casanova (2005) and The Quatermass Experiment (2005). He appeared in Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things (2003), and played Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. .
In 2005 he played the title role in Casanova, written by Russell T Davies and produced by Julie Gardner. The role brought him to the attention of the two Doctor Who executives who were looking for a replacement for Christopher Eccleston who left the series after one season. On 16 April 2005, just after the series returned to British television, the BBC issued a statement naming Tennant, a lifelong Doctor Who fan, as the Tenth Doctor. .
While playing the Doctor, Tennant starred in Recovery, a 90-minute BBC1 drama written by Tony Marchant. Tennant played Alan, a self-made building site manager who attempted to rebuild his life after suffering a debilitating brain injury. Later in 2007 he starred in Learners, a BBC comedy drama written by and starring Jessica Hynes. In 2009 he worked on a film version of the RSC's 2008 Hamlet for BBC2. In December 2009, he filmed the lead in an NBC pilot, Rex Is Not Your Lawyer, playing Rex, a Chicago lawyer who starts to coach clients to represent themselves when he starts suffering panic attacks. The pilot was not picked up and the project was shelved. In October 2010 he starred as Dave, a man struggling to raise five children after the death of his partner, in the British drama Single Father. .
In 2008 Tennant played Hamlet at the RSC as well as with Berowne (in Love's Labours Lost) appearing at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon Hamlet transferred to the Novello Theatre in London's West End in December 2008, but Tennant suffered a prolapsed disc during previews and was unable to perform for three weeks. .
In 2011 he stared in the BBC Two British TV film United. In the summer he appeared with former co-star Catherine Tate in a stage production of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.
Tennant will return to the RSC for the company's 2013 winter season, playing the title role in Richard II at Stratford-upon-Avon and at the Barbican Centre in London.