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Julian Ovenden stars in ABC's "The Assets," as Gary Grimes, and PBS's "Downton Abbey," as Charles Blake.

Stage and screen actor Julian Ovenden is well known from playing many leading roles in high profile television shows on both sides of the Atlantic. He has conquered both the West End and Broadway and recently expanded his horizons with the 2012 release of his debut album, "If You Stay," which is a collection of songs that takes the listener back to the golden era of 1960s London. There are epic, sweeping romantic tracks such as "It Hurts To Say Goodbye," as well as heartbreakingly intimate songs, such as "If You Go Away" and "When She Loved Me," which both feature just Julian at the piano. There is also a stunning new version of "The Last Waltz."

Born in Sheffield, England, the son of Canon John Ovenden who is now chaplain to the Queen — Ovenden was musically gifted, and at seven won a scholarship to St Paul's Cathedral School. "I loved it," he says. "I was singing two hours a day, seven days a week."

When his voice broke, he won a music scholarship to Eton: "I wouldn't have been able to afford it; I came from a fairly no-frills kind of background. It was a bit of a culture shock; some people arrived by helicopter. I had a room next to the Crown Prince of Kuwait, who at 17 had six wives. Not that they were there! He had to leave half way through the year to fight the war."

Another music scholarship gave him a place at Oxford: "Music made my life, it has been my ticket. It's given me my education," says Ovenden, who plays excellent piano, trumpet and trombone. It was at Oxford that that he decided to pursue an acting career, and before his year at London's Webber Douglas Academy ended, he had already landed a role with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The lead role in Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along" at the Donmar Warehouse followed. Other West End credits include "Grand Hotel" at Donmar Warehouse, "Marguerite" and "A Woman of No Importance" at Theatre Royal Haymarket. On Broadway, Ovenden starred in "Butley," alongside Nathan Lane, and "Death Takes a Holiday."

Ovenden's television career took off with ITV's miniseries "Foyle's War." Further television credits include "Any Human Heart," "Related," "The Royal," "The Forsyte Saga" and the U.S. series "Cashmere Mafia."

Julian is married to opera soprano Kate Royal and they have two young children, Johnny and Audrey.

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How tall is Julian Ovenden? Find out here.

Height: 5' 10"
Birthplace: Sheffield, England, UK
Wife: Kate Royal (12/20/2010, 2 children)

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