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If you are familiar with British movies and television, then David Tennant is more than just a household name for you. Tennant is one of the cornerstones of British television, and is known all over the world after his appearance in popular franchises like Doctor Who and briefly in Harry Potter as well. While most of us know him as the doctor, his career trajectory is a lot more than that, and very impressive too.
While we love our Hollywood stars and the glitz and glamour that comes with them, sometimes it’s interesting to stop and take a look beyond mainstream Hollywood, and the first person who comes to our mind is David Tennant. Here’s everything you need to know about him, from his net worth to his biography, and much more:
David Tennant has an approximate net worth of $9 million as of January 2023. His average pay rate per project is not known, but we’re certain a good portion of his wealth was made during his time on Doctor Who, having starred as the Tenth Doctor from 2005 through 2010 and returning for several specials.
He will be seen as the Fourteenth Doctor on three special episodes in November 2023, so we’re almost certain that his net worth is bound to increase moving forward.
David John Tennant, né McDonald was born on April 18, 1971, in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland. He told his parents when he was three years old that he wanted to become an actor because he was a fan of Doctor Who.
Although he was encouraged to pursue a more traditional career, he refused to let go of his dream. He performed in a number of school productions while attending Ralston Primary School, then Paisley Grammar School. He also attended Saturday classes at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now called the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
He auditioned for the Academy at age 16 and became one of their youngest students. He made his professional debut at the age of 16 when he appeared in a film by the Glasgow Health Board, an anti-smoking campaign that aired on television, in addition to being screened in schools.
He studied at the Academy from ages 17 to 20 and took his stage name upon discovering that there already was another David McDonald represented by Equity, the trade union for the performing arts and entertainment industries in Britain. He later legally changed his surname to comply with rules set by the American Screen Actors Guild.
After graduating from the Academy, Tennant began his career in the theatre, starring in the play The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui with the 7:84 Theatre Company. His first major TV role came in 1994 when he was cast as Campbell Bain in Takin’ Over the Asylum for BBC Scotland. In 1996, he appeared in the period drama film Jude alongside Christopher Eccleston (from whom he later would inherit the lead role in Doctor Who).
He appeared in several plays at the Dundee Repertory Theatre throughout the 1990s. Additionally, he performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, usually appearing in comic roles, such as Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of errors and the jester Touchstone in As You Like It.
However, he also played Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. In 1995, he portrayed Nicholas Beckett in Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw at the Royal National Theatre in 1995.
Tennant appeared in several small television roles in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as well as a series of holiday advertisements for Boots the Chemists in 2002. In 2003, he appeared in the film Bright Young Things and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for his portrayal of Jeff in the UK première of Lobby Hero by Kenneth Lonergan.
Tennant began to land more television roles, including starring roles in the miniseries Blackpool and He Knew He Was Right. In 2005, he appeared in the fourth film in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as Barty Crouch, Jr.
Fulfilling his childhood dream, Tennant was cast as the Tenth Doctor in the second series of Doctor Who’s 2005 revival. He made his first appearance in the episode “The Parting of the Ways” in 2005 and began filming the new series during the summer of 2005. His first full-length appearance as the Doctor was in an hour-long special, “The Christmas Invasion,” which premiered on Christmas Day 2005.
Tennant adopted a London accent for the role, rather than using his native Scottish accent. Prior to being cast in the series, he recorded small roles in audio plays based on Doctor Who. In 2006, he recorded audiobooks for several of BBC Books’ Doctor Who novels, including The Stone Rose, The Resurrection Casket, and The Feast of the Drowned.
He directed an episode of Doctor Who Confidential, entitled “Do You Remember the First Time?” which was broadcast on June 9, 2007. Later that year, he appeared in a Doctor Who special alongside Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor.
In 2008, he acted alongside Davison’s daughter, Georgia Moffett, in an episode called “The Doctor’s Daughter”. Tennant and Moffett later married in real life. Tennant voiced the doctor in animated additions to the series, including Totally Doctor Who, The Infinite Quest, and Dreamland.
He announced his departure from the role on October 29, 2008, and appeared in four special episodes in 2009 before his final episode aired on New Year’s Day, 2010, when he was replaced by Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.
Following his departure from the main series, Tennant returned for the 50th-anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” in November 2013. He also recorded three new audio dramas as the Tenth Doctor in November 2017. Tennant will return to the series once again in November 2023.
However, he will portray the Fourteenth Doctor, rather than the Tenth Doctor. He will appear in three 50th anniversary special episodes before Ncuti Gatwa (who you also can see in 2023’s Barbie) makes his debut as the Fifteenth Doctor.
While starring as the Tenth Doctor, Tennant appeared in a number of other roles. He portrayed Jimmy Porter in the play Look Back in Anger at the Theatre Royal, Bath, and Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. He also starred in television films for the BBC, including the drama Recovery and the comedy-drama Learners.
Tennant remained busy with roles on television, stage, and film, but his next major role was as Detective Inspector Alec Hardy on the ITV series Broadchurch. The show aired for three series between 2013 and 2017.
Tennant starred alongside acclaimed actress Olivia Colman, most recently seen in two Netflix productions: Heartstopper and Scrooge. He also filmed the American remake of the series, Gracepoint, between January and May 2014.
In 2015, he portrayed Kilgrave on the Netflix and Marvel series Jessica Jones. Next, Tennant appeared in several films, including Mad to Be Normal, Bad Samaritan, and You, Me, and Him, which was co-produced by his wife.
In 2017, he also became the voice of Scrooge McDuck in the DuckTales reboot on Disney XD. He launched his own podcast, David Tennant Does a Podcast With…, in February 2019.
Tennant starred in and executive produced the Scottish true crime miniseries Deadwater Fell in January 2020. In September 2020, he won the International Emmy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen in the ITV miniseries Des.
Most recently, Tennant starred as Reverend Harry Watling on the BBC1 miniseries Inside Man in September 2022 and as Alexander Litvinenko in the ITV1 drama Litvinenko in December 2022.
Tennant was voted “Greenest Star on the Planet” in an online vote held by Playhouse Disney in 2008. He is also an ambassador for Worldwide Cancer Research. He has appeared on a number of lists through the years on which he has been ranked for his influence, although somewhat ironically, Tennant does not use social media.
He is a vocal supporter of the Labour Party and has appeared on several broadcasts in support. Following the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, better known as Brexit, Tennant stated that he would support an independent Scotland.
Tennant’s parents were Helen and Alexander “Sandy” McDonald. His father was a minister and served as the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He has a brother, Blair, and a sister, Karen. The three siblings grew up in Ralston, Renfrewshire, where their father was the local minister.
Tennant’s maternal grandfather was footballer Archie McLeod, who met Nellie Blair, Tennant’s grandmother while playing for Derry City FC. Nellie’s parents were Northern Irish Protestants who signed the Ulster Covenant in 1912, protesting the Third Home Rule Bill, which would have allowed Ireland to self-govern within the United Kingdom.
Tennant maintains his privacy very well, so there is not much dating history available. As we mentioned earlier, he is married to actress Georgia Moffett. They have five children together, the eldest of whom, Ty, was adopted from Moffett’s previous marriage.
Their other children include Olive, Wilfred, Doris, and Birdie, Ty has appeared in the film Tolkien, as well as the 2019 television adaptation of War of the Worlds. At the age of about 12 years old, Olive made her film debut in Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast.
There you have it! Everything you could possibly need to know about the brilliant and versatile actor David Tennant. We highly recommend watching his work, especially Doctor Who, since there will be a new season coming up soon.
Keep a look out for his other projects in 2023, because there will be plenty of them.