Martin Freeman was born in 1971 in Hampshire, England, where he trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Since then, he has established himself as an actor in film, television and on stage.
In the theatre world, Freeman has performed in a number of London theatre shows over the years. He started in 1995 playing the role of Third Merchant in Volpone at the Olivier Theatre and in the same year played Young Man in Mother Courage and her Children also at the Olivier Theatre. His other theatre credits include Clybourne Park at the Royal Court theatre playing Carl and Steve, The Writer in The Last Laugh, The Exonerated at Riverside Studios and The Dispute at the Lyric Hammersmith.
In 2014, Freeman returned to the stage in Richard III at Trafalgar Studios, playing the title character in Shakespeare’s classic play. In 2017, he starred in James Graham's Labour of Love, opposite Tamsin Greig at the Noel Coward Theatre.
Freeman is perhaps, best known, for his role in the original UK version of The Office as Tim Canterbury. He has also become very well known for his portrayal of Dr. John Watson in BBC’s adaption of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sherlock, created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and starring alongside Benedict Cumberbatch. For this performance he won the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor, as well as five other awards and seven nominations. In 2014, Freeman starred in the dark comedy drama Fargo, playing the character of Lester Nygaard for 10 episodes. For this role, he was nominated for six awards including a Golden Globe for Best Actor. He also notably played Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jack’s The Hobbit film series. Freeman also appeared in Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s three part comedy film, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End.