Martin Freeman is an English actor best known for his roles as Tim Canterbury in the television comedy series The Office (2001-2003), and as Arthur Dent in the film adaptation of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in 2005.
He currently stars as Dr. Watson in Sherlock (since 2010) and plays the lead role of Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's two-part adaptation of The Hobbit.
Freeman was raised Roman Catholic and was educated at Cardinal Newman school, a Roman Catholic Primary school in Hersham. He also attended Salesian School, a Voluntary Aided Roman Catholic comprehensive school in the town of Chertsey in Surrey, followed by the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
Freeman has appeared in numerous television shows, theatre productions and radio productions. His most famous role remains that of Tim Canterbury in The Office. He also appeared in the sitcom Hardware.
Additionally Freeman has appeared in several films, including Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G Indahouse (2002) and Richard Curtis' Love Actually (2003).
As well as his various comic roles, Freeman has also appeared in serious dramatic parts. He began to move into more serious dramatic roles on television with his appearance as Lord Shaftesbury in the 2003 BBC historical drama Charles II: The Power and The Passion.
He can also be seen making a brief appearance in the first episode of the second season of This Life, starred in the BBC's television series The Robinsons and had a cameo performance in episode 1 of Black Books.
He had a cameo in Hot Fuzz (2007), a film written by Shaun of the Dead writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, and had a brief non-speaking role in Shaun of the Dead as Yvonne's boyfriend, Declan. He is in the 2007 film The All Together written & directed by Gavin Claxton.
He also appeared along side Roger Lloyd Pack, Jamie Hogarth and Christopher Mellows in the 2007 Bill Kenwright theatre production of The Last Laugh.
He also features in the video for Faith No More's cover of "I Started a Joke" and in May 2009 he starred in a comedy, called Boy Meets Girl – a four part drama that charts the progress of characters Veronica and Danny after an accident which causes them to swap bodies.
He has starred in a 48-hour film project entitled The Girl Is Mime.
Freeman plays Dr. John Watson in Sherlock, the BBC contemporary adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories. The first episode, "A Study in Pink", was broadcast on 25 July 2010 to critical acclaim. For his performance in the role he won the BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor, 2011.
Born to Geoff and Philomena R. Norris, Freeman is the youngest of five children. He currently resides in Hertfordshire with his wife, actress Amanda Abbington, who has appeared alongside Freeman in several productions, such as Men Only, Picking Up The Pieces, The Debt, The Robinsons and the feature film comedy The All Together.
He has two children: a son Joe, born in 2005, and a daughter, Grace, born in 2009.
In an edition of Who Do You Think You Are? aired on 19 August 2009, he discovered that his grandfather, Leonard Freeman, was a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War II.
Private L W Freeman, a Territorial Army volunteer in the 150(N) Field Ambulance Regiment, was killed in Northern France on 24 May 1940 in a Stuka dawn attack. His unit was evacuated from Dunkirk two days later.
Freeman is a lifelong fan of Motown music and interviewed Smokey Robinson in an edition of The Culture Show aired in October 2009.