David Haig

Oscar Putney

Season appearances



Aldershot, Hampshire, England

Date of birth

20 September 1955

IMDb profile

David Haig is the actor who portrays the recurring character Oscar Putney on Penny Dreadful. David Haig Collum Ward, MBE (born 20 September 1955) is an Olivier Award-winning English actor and FIPA Award-winning writer. He is known for his versatility, having played dramatic, serio-comic and comedic roles, playing characters of varied social classes. He has appeared in top roles in stage productions all over the West End and has done numerous TV and film roles over the past 25 years.

Personal lifeEdit

Haig was born in Aldershot in Hampshire to Francis W. and Shirley R. C. (née Brooks) Ward, an army officer, later director of the Hayward Gallery and opera singer, respectively, and educated at Rugby School. He currently lives in South London. He is father to five children with his wife, Julia Jane Ramsay Gray (who acts as Jane Galloway) and is a patron of SANDS, a charity which deals with stillbirth and neonatal death.

Haig was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to drama.


Film and televisionEdit

He appeared in the 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral and had a secondary lead in the BBC television sitcom The Thin Blue Line playing Inspector Grim, the inept foil to Rowan Atkinson's Inspector Fowler. In 2002 he played the brother of Four Weddings' co-star Hugh Grant in the romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice, alongside Sandra Bullock. In 2007, He appeared in a Comic Relief sketch called "Mr. Bean's Wedding" as the bride's father, reuniting with his Thin Blue Line co-star Rowan Atkinson.

Other TV WORK includes Doctor Who story The Leisure Hive (1980); Blake's 7 episode "Rumours of Death" (1980); Campion story Sweet Danger (1990); Inspector Morse episode "Dead On Time" (1992); and Cracker. In the 1990s he appeared in the successful TV series Soldier Soldier.

He appears in the Richard Fell adaptation of the 1960s science fiction series A for Andromeda, on the UK digital television station BBC Four. Haig wrote the play My Boy Jack and later appeared in the television adaptation also title My Boy Jack which was shown on ITV on 11 November 2007. He played Rudyard Kipling and Daniel Radcliffe played Kipling's son, John.

In 2008, he appeared in the BBC film Dustbin Baby and The 39 Steps. He also appeared in the Midsomer Murders episode "The Glitch". In 2009 he appeared as Steve Fleming in BBC TV's The Thick Of It and as Jon, husband to former MP Mo Mowlam in the hugely successful drama Mo opposite Julie Walters. Also in 2009, he starred as the headmaster of Portwenn Primary School, Mr Straine on ITV comedy drama Doc Martin.

In January 2013 Haig started appearing as Jim Hacker in a re-make of classic 1980s comedy series Yes Prime Minister, broadcast on Gold TV in the United Kingdom.

In 2012 a new sitcom pilot, starring Haig and written by Ben Elton, was filmed for the BBC. Filming for a full six part series of the sitcom, The Wright Way (formerly known as Slings and Arrows) was completed in March 2013, and began airing on BBC One on 23 April.


In 2008, he played Maurice Haigh-Wood in the BBC Radio adaptation of Michael Hasting's play Tom and Viv, and 2010 he starred as Norman Birkett in Norman Birkett and the Case of the Coleford Poisoner on BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play series.. He also played Lewis Eliot in C. P. Snow's "Strangers and Brothers" on Radio 4 in 2003, repeated on Radio 4 Extra February 2013.


He also won an Olivier Award in 1988 for Actor of the Year in a New Play, for his performance in Our Country's Good at the Royal Court in Sloane Square. He toured Britain with the stage version of My Boy Jack, which he wrote, and in which he played Rudyard Kipling and directed a production of Private Lives by Noël Coward, which made a successful national tour in 2005.

Haig has appeared in several stage productions in London's West End, including Hitchcock Blonde at the Royal Court, Life X 3 at the Savoy Theatre, as the character Osborne in R.C. Sherriff's play Journey's End at the Comedy Theatre, and as Mr George Banks in Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre for which he received an Olivier Award nomination. He was also nominated for playing Christopher Headingley in a revival of Michael Frayn's comedy Donkeys' Years at the Comedy Theatre. Having appeared in the role of Pinchwife in the comedy The Country Wife at the Royal Haymarket Theatre in London, he appeared in The Sea at the same theatre. Haig's next role was Truscott in the Joe Orton black farce Loot at London's Tricycle Theatre from 11 December 2008 to 31 January 2009 and at Theatre Royal, Newcastle, 2 to 7 February 2009.

In 2010 he played the role of Jim Hacker in the stage version of Yes, Prime Minister at the Chichester Festival Gielgud Theatre, in London's West End from 17 September 2010.


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