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David Tennant - Biography

David Tennant is most famously known for his role in BBC's "Doctor Who".

david tennant © Photo: Getty Images
Updated: June 28, 2023
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Who is David Tennant?

David John Tennant is a Scottish actor most famously known for his role as the tenth incarnation of 'The Doctor' in BBC's popular sci-fi drama, Doctor Whowhich premiered on Christmas Day in 2005. He was born on 18 April 1971 in Bathgate, West Lothian and raised in Paisley, where his father was a minister of the Church of Scotland. 

David, who was born David John MacDonald, changed his surname to Tennant - inspired by Pet Shop Boys frontman Neil Tennant - after discovering there was already a David MacDonald on the books of the actors' union Equity.

David Tennant's rise to fame

In the early 1990s, following his time at the Royal Scottish Academy Of Music And Drama and a stint with the political theatre group 7:84, David moved to London. There he proceeded to carve out a successful career in theatre, performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company and in Royal National Theatre productions. He moved onto the small screen with roles in several BBC productions, such as Takin' Over The Asylum, Blackpool and He Knew He Was Right. It was his starring role in 2004's Casanova, however, that really brought him to the attention of audiences.

One of David's earliest acting jobs was a part in a 1996 big screen adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel Jude - in which he shared a scene with his Doctor Who predecessor Christopher Eccleston. 

Other movie appearances include Harry Potter And the Goblet Of Fire, in which he played the evil Barty Crouch Jr. While he prefers to keep his love life under wraps, David has dated Underworld actress Sophia Myles and includes Anne-Marie Duff among his past flames. 

David Tennant's personal life

David rarely discusses his private life in interviews citing his belief that "relationships are hard enough with the people you're having them with, let alone talking about them in public". 

In 2011, David married Georgia Moffett after meeting her on the set of the time travel drama. Fourteen years his junior, she played his daughter in one episode. She is also coincidentally the daughter of the fifth Doctor Peter Davison. 

Together, the couple share five children; Olive, Wilfred,  Doris, and Birdie, as well as Georgia's 20-year-old son Ty from a previous relationship. Ty was born in 2002 and David adopted him shortly before his wedding to Georgia.

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