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Jonny Lee Miller
Getty Images / Ilya S. Savenok / Stringer

Jonny Lee Miller

Biography
Actor (1972–)
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British actor Jonny Lee Miller cracked cases weekly on TV as Sherlock Holmes on 'Elementary' and has starred in movies including the Academy Award-nominated 'Trainspotting.'

Who Is Jonny Lee Miller?

Born on November 15, 1972, British actor Jonny Lee Miller is best known for playing a heroin addict in 1996's Trainspotting. The London import became an American TV star as super sleuth Sherlock Holmes on "Elementary." Miller is also famous for an impromptu wedding to a young Angelina Jolie in the '90s.

Early Years

Jonny Lee Miller was born on November 15, 1972, in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England, to Ann Lee, a theater actress, and Alan Miller, a BBC stage manager. His grandfather was actor Bernard Lee, who played "M" in the first 11 James Bond flicks. "My family has always been involved in theatre in one way or other ... I suppose I was encouraged by that and then went on to do school plays myself and enjoyed it," said Miller in an interview with Whatsonstage.com. He trained at the National Youth Music Theatre along with his future friend Jude Law. At age 10, he was cast in a BBC production of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. By Miller's late teens, he appeared regularly on British TV, mostly in small roles.

Relationship With Angelina Jolie

In 1995, the actor appeared in his first movie stateside, opposite Angelina Jolie in Hackers, a story about young computer renegades. They had chemistry on and off the screen, and in 1996, the co-stars impetuously eloped in Vegas. (During their nuptials, Jolie wore black rubber pants and a shirt inscribed with Miller's name in her blood.) Although they split after only two years, they've remained friends. While his marriage fizzled, Miller's movie career began thriving that year, thanks to a role as heroin addict "Sick Boy" alongside his pal Ewan McGregor in the Oscar-nominated Trainspotting. Other noteworthy movies of his include Dracula 2000, Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda and Dark Shadows.

Transition to U.S. TV

Earning a Best Actor nod at the Scottish BAFTA Awards for his portrayal of real-life cyclist Graeme Obree in the 2006 film The Flying Scotsman elevated Miller's acting status. That same year, he finally got his chance at a starring role on American TV, as part of the show Smith, about a crew of criminals. Unfortunately, the series got nixed after only three episodes. In 2008, he got his second shot at a U.S. prime-time series with Eli Stone, where Miller portrayed a legal shark whose life got turned upside down after suffering hallucinations from a brain aneurysm. The show got canceled in the middle of its second season.

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Representative Deb Haaland, a Democrat from New Mexico, speaks during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, June 29, 2020. The hearing is titled "U.S. Park Police Attack on Peaceful Protesters at Lafayette Square Park." Photographer: Bonnie Cash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Deb Haaland

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 09: John Major attends the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph on Whitehall on November 9, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. People across the UK gather to pay tribute to service personnel who have died in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts, with this year taking on added significance as it is the centenary of the outbreak of World War One. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

John Major

Sherlock Holmes

In 2012, Miller got his shot at playing the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's literary series on the CBS series "Elementary." In this version, Holmes is a recovering addict and his sidekick Dr. Watson is a woman (played by Lucy Liu). The unusual spin on the tale paid off, as the series became the most-watched new show of the year. The show ended in 2019 after seven seasons.

'Alice' and 'The Crown'

Miller starred opposite actress Keke Palmer and rapper Common in 2022's Alice, about an enslaved woman who escapes her secluded plantation to find an unfamiliar world.

In 2022, it was announced Miller would portray former Tory prime minister John Major (nicknamed “the grey man”) in the fifth season of The Crown. 

Personal Life 

Miller married actress Michelle Hicks in 2008, with whom he had a son, Buster Timothy Miller. The couple divorced in 2018. 

Miller is a dedicated runner with several marathons under his belt. He completed the 2008 London Marathon in 3:01:40, just under a seven-minute mile pace. He also ran an ultra marathon in May 2013 on behalf of Jonah's Just Begun, a charity dedicated to finding a cure for the pediatric disease Sanfilippo syndrome. The actor learned about this organization through a cameraman on "Elementary," who is the father of the charity's namesake, Jonah Weishaar. "Sometimes you need to help the person standing next to you," Miller said.

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