After watching Roadkill – which was recently on BBC One – I remembered just how much I love Hugh Laurie. Charismatic, a talented actor and musician, and honestly still looking hot at 61, Hugh Laurie is one of those actors I will want to watch no matter what he’s in.
However, I have not watched every single thing Hugh Laurie has ever appeared in.
So, this is a completely biased guide to the top ten of Hugh Laurie’s works, purely based on my own opinion, and in no particular order. Enjoy.
Roadkill is a British four-part television thriller written and created by David Hare, and directed by Michael Keillor. The series stars Hugh Laurie as a self-made, forceful and charismatic politician positioned in the cabinet as Justice Minister whose public and private life seems to be falling apart – or rather is being picked apart by his enemies.
There is speculation whether there will be a second series, as the first left us with many questions unanswered. I for one hope so.
A Bit Of Fry And Laurie (1987-1995)
After meeting at Cambridge University in 1980, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry were part of the Footlights Revue that won the first ever Perrier Award at the 1981 Edinburgh Festival and went on to become one of Britain’s best-loved comedy double acts.
Beginning in 1987, legendary British comedian Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie teamed up for a comedy variety show that ran for eight years until ending in 1995. The sketch comedy series spanned four seasons and 26 episodes.
In addition to starring in every episode, the two stars also wrote each sketch featured on the series. Famous British guest stars who appeared on the show include Rowan Atkinson, Imelda Staunton, Nigel Havers, and others. If you don’t have the attention span for a whole episode, a lot of their sketches are on Youtube!
Blackadder II, III, IV and specials (1986-1999)
Hugh wasn’t in the first Blackadder, which was a good thing as the first series has widely been regarded as a flop. However, I return to the other three seasons time and time again due to the amazing ensemble cast, including Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Tony Robinson and Mr Laurie himself. Hugh was part of the celebrated Blackadder crew, playing the bumbling Prince Regent in Blackadder the Third before returning as the prince’s equally gormless descendant, Lieutenant George, in Blackadder Goes Fourth.
Before joining the cast full-time, Laurie had appeared as two different characters in Blackadder II – drunken aristocrat Simon Partridge and, in the series finale, German master of disguise Prince Ludwig the Indestructible. He also appears in the numerous specials that came after the series.
Jeeves and Wooster (1990-1993)
As well as starring in their own sketch show, A Bit of Fry & Laurie, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry brought P G Wodehouse’s Jeeves tales to the small screen for 4 seasons.
With Hugh playing upper class twit Wooster and Fry his wily valet Jeeves, the Bafta-winning series was highly praised for its humour and for capturing the flavour of the originals.
The Night Manager (2016)
The Night Manager was hailed by The Sun as one of the greatest shows of all time, and indeed this BBC drama series was wildly successful and highly praised. Based on the 1993 John Le Carre novel, the highly-acclaimed series ran for just six episodes. Hugh Laurie headlines a stellar ensemble as Richard Roper, a shady arms dealer operating out of a luxury Egyptian hotel.
When Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) is tasked by FCO boss Angela Burr (Olivia Coleman) to expose Roper’s illegal business practices, a web of intrigue, espionage, and deadly double-crossings ensue. Laurie, Coleman, and Hiddleston all won Golden Globes for their work. Go Hugh!
While Laurie may have been a household name in the UK, he didn’t make it really big in the US until he took on the role of cantankerous medic Dr Gregory House.
This hospital drama was hugely successful, running from 2004-2012 and portraying the complicated medical cases the painkiller-addicted yet incredibly talented Dr House encountered on a daily basis in his diagnostics department. Hugh was nominated for six Emmys for his role during the show’s eight-year run. Since watching Roadkill, I have been watching House almost everyday on Amazon Prime and it still entertains me as much as it did the first time I watched the show.
The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019)
The Personal History of David Copperfield is Armando Iannucci’s whimsical adaptation of the 1850 classic about a man whose formative years are marked by repeated reversals of fortune.
I watched this film when the cinema was still opened in St Andrews (remember that?). The film does some altering and condensing in shaping David’s life into a series of episodes, but still makes room for a sprawling ensemble to fill out the roles of the outsize characters he encounters. The film has an amazing cast including Dev Patel, Ben Wishaw and Tilda Swinton. Hugh Laurie plays Mr Dick, David Copperfield’s aunt Betsey’s eccentric cousin. The film is whimsical, funny and heart-breaking, which Laurie manages to encapsulate in his performance alone. His sweet-natured portrayal wows as Mr Dick, providing a sort of nostalgic performance, reminiscent of his Bertie Wooster days.
Annie Lennox’s music video for Walking on Broken Glass (1992)
I love Annie Lennox. I love Hugh Laurie. What more could you ask for. Directed by Sophie Muller, the music video is based in part on the 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons, and on period films dealing with the late 18th century, such as Amadeus. John Malkovich, who starred in the former film, is joined by Hugh Laurie, in garb similar to the 18th century dress he wore to play Prince George, from Blackadder the Third!
Let Them Talk (2011)
Hugh Laurie sings and can play the piano and guitar??!! What a man. Let Them Talk is Laurie’s debut studio album (he has another) and consists of classic blues songs. Some of the songs are collaborations with well-known artists such as Tom Jones, Irma Thomas and Dr. John. Laurie plays piano and guitar on the album in addition to providing lead vocals. The album was the biggest-selling blues album of 2011 in the UK, but Laurie isn’t just popular in Britain. The album reached number one in Argentina and was certified a double platinum in France and Poland. Move over Pitbull, Hugh Laurie is the true Mr. Worldwide!
The Gun Seller (1996)
Wait a second?!!! Hugh Laurie can sing, act, play piano and guitar and he’s a novelist????? Give this man his Knighthood already. The Gun Seller (1996) is the first novel, and from what I can gather, only novel from Hugh Laurie. This spy spoof follows Thomas Lang, a hired gunman with a soft heart, who is contracted to assassinate an American industrialist. Instead, he opts to warn the intended victim – a good deed that doesn’t go unpunished.
Praised by critics, with Vanity Fair calling it “A ripping spoof of the spy genre” and the Sunday Telegraph stating, it “makes many another comic novel look slow-witted in comparison”, this goes to show that there is clearly nothing this man cannot do.