For millions of fans and admirers of Richard Madden, Game of Thrones was the first work where they witnessed the artistic prowess of the British actor. But did you know that he had been acting for more than a decade when he got the role? The success and popularity the show gave him split his career into two halves – Before and After Game of Thrones.
The split does not end with his career either. It also extends to his love life, which gained significant interest after he brought Robb Stark to life. The role turned him into one of the most fetishized men on the internet, but his actual love life has been a mystery, with a few known exes here and there.
Richard Madden Took Up Acting to Overcome Shyness
On June 18, 1986, Richard and Pat Madden welcomed to the world their second child and first son, Richard Madden. The young actor was born in Elderslie in Glasgow and spent his childhood alongside his sisters, Cara and Lauren. His mother worked as a primary school educator while his father was part of the fire brigade.
Despite growing up with two sisters and in a family of outgoing personalities, Richard was a shy child. He joined the PACE Youth Theatre in his local community, with the hope that acting would help him combat it. While it did do that to a large extent, Richard found something more.
He fell in love with the art and worked with two other acting companies – The Arches and the Glasgow Repertory Company. While he nurtured his acting interest, he finished up his primary education at Castlehead High School before heading over to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Naturally, his beginning meant Richard initially cut his teeth working on theatre productions. Some of the plays he acted in include Noughts and Crosses, The Winter’s Tale, and Romeo and Juliet. Having shown enough promise, Madden made his debut appearances in film and television. In 1999, he began playing Sebastian in the children’s television series, Barmy Aunt Boomerang. He appeared in 15 episodes of the show, ending his run in 2000.
In the same year, he made his first film appearance as Young Andy in the film adaptation of Iain Bank’s Complicity. It was a minor role but one that brought much-needed experience for the young actor. Before his teenage years were over, he made a final appearance in an onscreen work in an episode of the long-running crime-drama, Taggart, in 2002.
He Found Breakthrough as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones
Following his appearance in Taggart, Richard Madden did not appear in an onscreen work for several years. During this time, he deepened his acting skills studying at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland, aka, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
He spent his time appearing in a host of stage plays, like Be Near Me, where he drew critics’ attention with his performance as Mark McNulty. He returned onscreen in 2009 with his first lead role as Dean McKenzie in the BBC comedy-drama, Hope Springs.
The one-season show spanned eight episodes before it went off the air. The year after, Richard played Ripley and Kirk Brandon in two feature-length works, Chatroom and Worried About the Boy, respectively. In his role in the latter, a TV movie, he played the English musician of the Theatre of Hate and Spear of Destiny bands.
Finally, in 2011, Richard Madden joined HBO’s Game of Thrones, as Robb Stark, son of one of the show’s leading ensemble characters, Ned Stark, played by Sean Bean. He starred on the show across 21 episodes before leaving the show after a widely praised final performance in the ninth episode of the show’s third season, The Rains of Castamere.
The popularity of Game of Thrones, which, during its run, was arguably the most popular show of the decade, propelled Madden to international stardom. He joined a host of actors with fan accounts and was a sought-after guest on day and late-night talk shows.
Richard Madden Has Appeared in More Than 16 Films and TV Shows Since
In the same year he began appearing on Game of Thrones, Madden starred as Ashley Greenwick in Sirens in a six-episode arc. He also appeared in the short film, Strays. Tied up with GOT’s high-tasking production process, he made only one appearance in another project in between the show’s run. He played Captain Weir in two episodes of Birdsong.
After his stint on the popular HBO show ended and his star power had risen, TV networks and film studios sought out his talent. He made a series of appearances on shows like Klondike, Medici, Electric Dreams, and the BBC thriller, Bodyguard. Madden’s film filmography also grew with leading and supporting roles in Rocketman, Ibiza, Bastille Day, and Cinderella.
In the latter, he portrayed the Prince in the live-action Disney film, with a successful result. The film made over $542 million at the global box office. With his star-power well continually on the rise, he continues to star in major blockbusters. He played Lieutenant Joseph Blake in Sam Mendes’ 1917 in 2019 and will appear in the Marvel Studios film, The Eternals, as Ikaris, in 2021.
Since his breakout turn in Game of Thrones, Richard Madden has now appeared in more than 16 works across film and television. With them, his filmography has more than 29 credits.
Aside from a deepening presence in globally renowned projects, his award cabinet is also growing. He has been nominated for more than seven awards and won four of them. He received a Golden Globes nomination for his performance in Bodyguard, as well as a BAFTA award. As part of the cast of Game of Thrones, he also has two nominations from the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble.
His Career Has Earned Him a $6 Million Net Worth
Based on the fame and prestige he got off his time on Game of Thrones, a popular assertion was that the Scottish actor made bank on the show. However, in an interview, he revealed that was not the case, as he left the show right before its cast were able to negotiate higher salaries.
Regardless, the popularity earned from the show afforded him the clout to negotiate high salaries in subsequent works. Thus, the actor has been able to amass a net worth of $6 million, earned from his roles in works like Bastille Day, Cinderella, Bodyguard, and The Eternals. Short of a downturn in his popularity, one can only expect his net worth to rise as his acting catalog expands.
Richard Madden Has Had Three Known Girlfriends
Richard Madden works hard to keep his private life away from the media. As a result, there are often questions about the actor’s sexuality. In 2019, rumors linked him to 13 Reasons Why actor Brandon Flynn.
But while some still harbor doubts about his sexuality, the evidence suggests he is a straight man. The Eternals actor has been in a relationship with at least four women – Laura Whitmore, Jenna Coleman, Suki Waterhouse, and Ellie Bamber.
Jenna Coleman (Unknown – 2015)
His first known girlfriend is the English actress, Jenna Coleman, known for her work on Emmerdale and Doctor Who. Rumors of their romance began to fly in 2011 with zero confirmation from either party.
According to several online reports, the two of them had an on-and-off-again relationship for four years before they called it quits permanently in 2015. Since then, both parties have moved on, with Jenna dating her Victoria co-star, Tom Hughes.
Laura Whitmore (March – August 2016)
The next woman he reportedly dated after Jenna was Laura Whitmore. She is a well-known Irish broadcaster and model. Whitmore has worked with several media networks, including MTV. The public reports about their relationship spanned from March to August 2016. Was that the correct timeline of their supposed relationship? It appears the media might have to keep guessing.
Suki Waterhouse (2016)
After Laura, Richard Madden reportedly dated another actress, Suki Waterhouse. As a man who tries to keep his personal life on the lowest of keys but continues to fail, this is one of his most successful attempts. We know little about their romance, and they were not publicly linked until December 2016 in what most described as a short-term relationship. One imagines it only lasted throughout their time co-starring in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Ellie Bamber (2017 – 2019)
The most visible relationship of Richard Madden’s public life so far involved Ellie, known for films like Nocturnal Animals and The Lady from the Sea. Rumors of their romance began swirling after paparazzi caught them kissing in Ibiza in the summer of 2017.
Later, they were seen leaving the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party while holding each other’s hands in June, all but confirming that they were a thing. Naturally, Richard’s willingness to PDA suggested things were serious, and it was a relationship expected to last.
Those hopes, however, died in 2019 when we learned that they were no longer together. Ellie reportedly ended the relationship after 18 months, following several weeks of arguments and couple’s therapy. Their inability to resolve their conflict eventually led to an amicable split.