Christopher Eccleston is an English actor best known as the ninth incarnation of the Doctor in the sci-fi television series Doctor Who.
In 2007 he joined the cast of the American television drama Heroes, playing a character called Claude, who can make himself invisible at will.
He has had notable roles in the movies Shallow Grave (1994), Jude (1996), Elizabeth (1998), eXistenZ (1999), Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000), The Others (2001), 24 Hour Party People (2002) and 28 Days Later (2002).
Eccleston trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and first came to public attention as Derek Bentley in Let Him Have It. However, it was a regular role in the TV series Cracker that made him a recognizable figure in the UK.
He appeared in the low-budget thriller Shallow Grave (1994) and in the same year won the part of Nicky Hutchinson in the epic BBC drama serial Our Friends in the North. It was the transmission of the latter series on BBC Two that really made him into a household name in the UK.
In his film career he has starred as a leading man alongside a number of major actresses, such as Renée Zellweger in A Price Above Rubies (1998), Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth (1998), and Cameron Diaz and Jordana Brewster in The Invisible Circus (1999), and Nicole Kidman in The Others.
In addition to his successful film career, he has continued to work in his favourite medium, appearing in some of the most challenging and thought-provoking British television dramas of recent years.
These have included Clocking Off and Flesh and Blood for the BBC and Hillsborough, the Iago character in a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello, and the religious epic The Second Coming, playing Steve Baxter, the son of God.
His stage career, while not as extensive as his screen credits, has nevertheless shown him to be a formidable actor. He's given intense, focused performances in such plays as Hamlet, Electricity and Miss Julie, for which he received excellent reviews.
Eccleston has twice been nominated in the Best Actor category at the BAFTA Television Awards, the UK's premiere TV awards ceremony.
His first nomination came in 1997 for Our Friends in the North. Although he didn't win those awards, he did, however, triumph in the Best Actor categories at the 1997 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and the Royal Television Society Awards, winning for Our Friends in the North.
He won the RTS Best Actor award for a second time in 2003, this time for his performance in Flesh and Blood. In 2005 he received the Most Popular Actor award in the National Television Awards for Doctor Who.
In 2011 he played the role of drug dealer Joseph Beade in the crime drama series The Shadow Line.
He is a supporter of Manchester United soccer club.