The UK has produced some truly talented actors over the decades, specializing in a whole variety of different genres. When you think of East End gangster movies, for example, there’s one actor who many of you will instantly think of, and that man is none other than the hugely talented and physically imposing Craig Fairbrass.
Having starred alongside some Hollywood icons including Denzel Washington and Sylvester Stallone, Fairbrass is an actor who some may say is typecast as the typical hardman, but his resume speaks volumes.
Craig Fairbrass has starred alongside some huge names in Hollywood, including Sylvester Stallone, Denzel Washington, Jason Statham, and many more, in more than 50 films and TV shows. He has also provided voice work for one of the most popular gaming franchise series in the history of consoles, but who exactly is this Eastend man mountain, and where might you have seen his best performances?
Craig John Fairbrass was born on the 15th of January 1963 in East London.
Craig Fairbrass was a bit of a lovable rogue as he grew up and was expelled from school at the age of 15. He worked numerous jobs as he matured, mainly involving manual labour due to his impressive physique and large and muscular stature.
As he grew older, he decided he wanted to work as an actor and hired an agent who landed him his first TV appearance in 1984’s Big Deal for the BBC.
In 1989 he made his big-screen debut, starring as D.I Challoner alongside Hollywood legend Denzel Washington in For Queen and Country. This was the start of a career that would span decades.
Thanks to his physique and good looks, Fairbrass, who stood at 6ft 3 inches tall and weighed in at around 16 – 17 stones (225 – 240lbs) of muscle, gained a lot of attention from agents and film and TV scouts.
In 1991, he moved to L.A to pursue an acting career and one year later he was cast in the Sylvester Stallone action movie Cliffhanger. Despite playing a typical expendable bad guy (Delmar), he had an impressive amount of screentime, and he certainly proved that he could play a hardman and more than hold his own against the Hollywood heavyweights.
He would appear in numerous other independent movies and TV shows, before landing the role of Dan Sullivan, Eastend villain and rival to Phil Mitchell on BBC’s Eastenders soap opera.
Most Notable Roles
Fairbrass really turned heads in 2007 however, when he played real-life gangster Pat Tate in Rise of the Footsoldier. Tate was reportedly a very violent and unstable character, and Fairbrass certainly brought this to life on screen and impressed critics and audiences alike.
His portray of Pate Tate was obviously a hit because it helped to spawn a series of prequels and spinoffs, including an origins story set in the Rise of the Footsoldier world about Pat Tate. As of this writing, there has been 5 Rise of the Footsoldier prequels and spinoffs, including one released in late 2021, all featuring Fairbrass as Tate.
It isn’t just Fairbrass’ muscular stature that makes him recognizable either. Thanks to his unmistakable voice and deep Eastend accent, he has done voice work for video games, including Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, where he voiced ‘Gaz’ and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, where he voiced ‘Ghost’. He has also provided voice work for many other Call of Duty video games, though it’s the Modern Warfare series that fans will really know his voice from.