Sep. 29th, 1971
Maidstone, Kent, England, UK
Mackenzie Crook's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Mackenzie Crook, one of British comedy's best known faces who collected Star Wars figurines as a child, is now immortalized in plastic as a 6in-high pirate action figure. He was born Paul Mackenzie Crook on September 29, 1971, in Maidstone, Kent, England, UK. His father worked for British Airways. His mother was a hospital manager. He went to grammar school in Dartford, and did his first plays there. In the summers he spent time with his uncle in Zimbabwe.
Young Crook expressed his creativity through painting and even copied a pre-Raphaelite's painting on to the back of his biker's jacket. He also joined a local youth theatre. At the age of 18 he failed to secure a place at art college and turned to writing comedy sketches. Crook ended up working at Pizza Hut, then at a chicken factory and at hospitals. However, the principal of the youth theatre believed in his potential and became his manager, guiding Crook to a career as a stand-up comedian.
In 1996 he made his film debut in The Man Who Fell in Love with a Traffic Cone!. In 1997 Crook was scouted by 'Bob Mortimer' at the Edinburgh Festival. Soon he made his debut on television as a stand-up comedian on The 11 O'Clock Show, then worked on other TV shows playing grotesques and exaggerated characters.
He shot to fame as Gareth Keenan, a quirky geek with a funny haircut in a TV hit comedy The Office (2001), and earned himself a British Comedy Award nomination. He was also a member of the main cast of the BBC show TV to Go. After that Crook shared the screen with Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice (2004), Heath Ledger in The Brothers Grimm (2005), and 'Johnny Depp' in Finding Neverland (2004). Johnny Depp had bonded with Crook during the making of Neverland and it was Depp who recommended him as Ragetti, his best known role, in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006). He is also billed as Ragetti in the third installment of the Pirates franchise Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007).
After having spent about a decade on a stand-up comedian circuit, he made a perfect tool out of that character-actor face and added experience to his effortless style. It's in the Pirates trilogy that Crook had showed his funniest and widest variety of emotions, effortlessly shifting his facial expression from a deep philosophical pensiveness to a grotesque excitement, and from a comically exaggerated fear to such a gleeful exuberance while removing his wooden eyeball. For that particular scene he was wearing two contact lenses sandwiched on top of each other.
In 2004 Crook appeared as Billy Bibbit opposite 'Christian Slater' in the West End stage production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, which initially opened at Gielgud Theatre and then was shown at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival. At the same time Crook has been writing a script for his own future project; he describes it as a period production which is set in London around the same period as the Pirates movies.
Crook has been enjoying a happy family life with his wife, Linsay, a former advertising executive and club-owner, and their son Jude (b. in 2003). He is fond of gardening and is also focused on maintaining an organic way of life. He currently resides with his family in Peter Seller's old art-deco house in Muswell Hill, North London, England.
- Has one son, Jude (born January 17th 2003) with his wife Lindsay.
- Daughter, Scout Elizabeth Crook (born 24 December 2007), with wife Lindsay.
- Before being cast as Gareth in _"The Office" (2001)_ (qv) he used to work at Pizza Hut, in a chicken factory and at hospitals. He also did stand up comedy for a decade.
- Lives in 'Peter Sellers' (qv)'s old semi-detached house in Muswell Hill, North London.
- His mother was a hotel administrator and his dad worked in reservations for British Airways.
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