Peter Wingfield (b. September 5, 1962 in Cardiff) is a Welsh actor.
Wingfield grew up in the Grangetown community, a good student who enjoyed athletics, music, outdoor activities, and drama. At the age of fifteen he was the Welsh National Trampoline champion. After his A-levels he entered Brasenose College, Oxford, and in 1982 began medical training at the prestigious St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. His time, however, was not devoted solely to medicine. In 1980 he spent his summer break at the National Youth Theatre of Wales where he discovered the sense of camaraderie and belonging that characterise truly outstanding acting troupes. His four-week stint with this youth theatre changed him in ways he didn’t fully appreciate at the time, but which were to have a lasting impact. He also worked during his college years at the Brasenose Little Theatre, both performing in, and producing, a variety of plays.
Shortly before completing his fifth and final year at St Bartholomew’s in 1987, Wingfield realised that the practice of modern medicine was not for him. He’d gone into medical school with an idealistic view of doctors as altruistic caregivers. The reality of hospital life, and the far-too-often selfish approach of some doctors to their work, both disillusioned and saddened him. One month before he was due to graduate, he made the decision to leave medical school and pursue acting as a full-time career.
Early Acting Career
Wingfield began his formal acting training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, coincidentally located just across the street from St Bart’s Hospital in London. His training covered the range of an actor’s repertoire, including voice, movement, and the acting skills necessary to be successful in arenas ranging from radio to mime. Peter was chosen in 1990 to compete for the BBC’s Carleton Hobbs Award for radio, which he won.
In 1990, shortly after leaving drama school, he landed his first television acting part as a taxi driver in the film Antonia and Jane. The qualification that led to his selection for the part was that he knew how to drive.
Wingfield appeared regularly on British television, and starred in numerous productions. His last major role in British television was as Tom Kirby in the series Noah’s Ark in 1997. Portraying a vet in the series, Wingfield had to take medication to combat his animal allergies. One positive outcome of this short-lived series is that the constant exposure to animals has apparently reduced his allergic reactions.
In the late 1990s Peter played Simon Pemberton in BBC Radio 4’s serial The Archers.
Later and Notable Career
A large international audience came to know him as Methos, the oldest living Immortal in Highlander: The Series. Since that series ended, Wingfield has appeared in numerous North American television productions for both Canadian and U.S. companies, including the portrayal of Dr Robert Helm on Fireworks Production’s syndicated show Queen Of Swords.
In addition to Antonia and Jane, Wingfield has appeared in the feature films X2: X-Men United, Highlander: Endgame (reprising the role of Methos), The Edge of Madness, Baby Geniuses 2, Catwoman and Uncovered. While starring in these many television and film productions, he found time to remember his stage roots, and for two years in the mid-1990s he played Simon Pemberton on the long running BBC radio soap opera The Archers.
He also appeared on Stargate SG-1 as Tanith
He currently finished filming the fifth movie Highlander: The Source, where he related his love for Methos:
“ And I have to say, the first day of filming was unexpectedly emotional for me. As I put on the long black coat and drove to the set in the pre-dawn gloom, I could feel the presence of an old friend I have not seen for some years now. Really, in a very physical way, I could ‘feel’ him. And I was overwhelmed, possessed even, by the sense of him, tears welling up in my eyes as I formed the words in my head, over and over again, “Methos is alive.”
In July 2006, The Official Peter Wingfield Fan Club posted that Peter had joined the cast of the BBC medical drama Holby City as the new General Surgical Consultant Daniel Clifford, beginning August 15th. His contract ran for one year, and Wingfield departed from the show on October 23rd, 2007.
Although officially retired as a Trampoline National Champion, Wingfield is still a focused athlete. He runs as often as his schedule allows, and hopes someday to meet his personal goal of running a sub-three-hour marathon. He only needs to shorten his time by one minute and twenty-eight seconds.