Character Bios

Christopher Foyle

Played by Michael Kitchen

Character Bio:

Christopher Foyle Detective Chief Superintendent (DCS) Foyle (Michael Kitchen) consistently introduces himself with the phrase (or some variation thereof), "My name is Foyle. I'm a police officer." This is typical of the modesty, courtesy and precision of speech that he displays throughout the series. Foyle is a longstanding widower; he has one son, Andrew, to whom he is close, although their relationship is not demonstrative. Foyle's concern for his son's safety as a fighter pilot in the RAF is an ongoing theme.

Foyle is himself the son of a policeman, and a veteran of World War I. He once told his son that the three years he spent enlisted in the war were the worst in his life, and reluctantly admitted that he had to kill. He requests a transfer to the War Department several times in the first two series of the show, but by the end of the third series appears to have accepted that this will not happen. He feels his detective work is just as important, in its own way, to the war effort. He argues that innocent victims of murder should not be forgotten just because there's a terribly costly war going on.

He has high moral standards, is scrupulously honest and highly sagacious. His speech is rather straightforward in manner, combined with a dry wit. He is portrayed as very open-minded for a man of his time: he expresses compassion upon learning that one of Andrew's friends is homosexual ("Among the Few"), and distaste for prosecuting an attempted suicide ("Casualties of War"). (Homosexual activity and suicide were criminal offences at the time.) He is also reluctant to harass a left-wing activist purely for his political views ("War of Nerves"). Also consistent with the value he places on human life, he says that the accidental manslaughter of a pregnant woman took two lives ("Among the Few").

He is unfailingly loyal to his colleagues and expects the same from them. This is seen particularly in "The White Feather" when he reproaches Sgt. Milner for disloyalty, and in "The Russian House", where he criticizes Milner's disrespectful attitude towards him and Sam, in spite of the fact that they no longer work together. In turn, he demonstrates trust in his colleagues. He's quick to forgive Milner, and believes in Milner's innocence when he is suspected of his estranged wife's murder (in "Bleak Midwinter"). He also displays a fatherly concern for Sam (when not exasperated with her).

Foyle relaxes by trout-fishing, at which he is very skilled, and which supplements his wartime rations. He also plays golf, though with less proficiency. He is often accompanied by his son or his uniformed counterpart, Hugh Reid. Cameo and guest characters are occasionally shown with him on these outings, enabling the exchange of information important to the plot.

Foyle notably retires and/or resigns more than once. He resigns at the end of the fifth series when his arrest of two murder suspects is thwarted due to bureaucratic interference, on the claim that their work is considered too important to the war effort. However, he returns in the sixth series when his successor is murdered, and remains a DCS for the duration of the war. Following the war he retires from the force, but chooses to return when he becomes personally involved in a complex case (investigated, ironically, by Milner). At the end of the seventh series he apparently retires yet again, boarding a boat for America in the final scene.

Actor Bio:

Kitchen was born in Leicester, Leicestershire. As a young boy he was head chorister in the Church of the Martyrs choir where he was a regular soloist. He worked with the National Youth Theatre and the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry before attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In 1969, while still at RADA, he won the "Emile Littler Award" for 'outstanding talent and aptitude for the professional theatre'.

Michael Kitchen was discovered at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) by talent agent Peter Froggatt of Plant & Froggatt Ltd. Since the early 1970s, Kitchen has been a fixture of British television. His early appearances include roles in Play for Today (Hell's Angels by David Agnew, 1971), Thriller and Beasts. He then played the role of Martin in the original production of Dennis Potter's Brimstone and Treacle; Peter in Stephen Poliakoff's Caught on a Train; Edmund in the BBC Television Shakespeare production of King Lear; the Antipholi in the same series' production of The Comedy of Errors; Private Bamforth in the 1979 BBC television play of The Long and the Short and the TallRochus Misch in The Bunker; In 1993 he appeared in an episode of the BBC Police TV-series Between the Lines; as Berkeley Cole in Out of Africa, the King of the United Kingdom in To Play the King (1993) (a character recognisably modeled on Prince Charles); and a recurring role as Bill Tanner in the Pierce Brosnan Bond films GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough. Other films include Enchanted April (1992), Fatherland (1994), The Hanging Gale (1995), Kidnapped (1995), Mrs. Dalloway (1997), The Railway Children (1999),Proof of Life (2000) as Ian Havery and My Week with Marilyn (2011).

Since 2002, Kitchen has starred in the ITV mystery-drama Foyle's War as the lead character, DCS Christopher Foyle. He is also a producer for the show.

Other noted appearances include Dandelion Dead (1994), A Royal Scandal (1996), The Last Contract (Sista Kontraktet,1998) a Swedish film about the assassination of Prime Minister Olof PalmePaul Abbott's Alibi in 2003, Andrew Davies' dramatisation of Falling in 2005, ITV's three-part drama series Mobile (2007) and Channel 4's phone hacking comedy Hacks (2012). He has guest-starred in roles in other popular British television shows such as The ProfessionalsMinderChancerInspector MorseA Touch of FrostBetween the LinesPie in the Sky and Dalziel and Pascoe. Kitchen played Richard Crane in Reckless.

Kitchen is also a noted actor in British theatre. His roles have ranged from Ptolemy in Caesar and Cleopatra at the Belgrade Theatre in 1966 to Will in Howard Brenton's Magnificence at the Royal Court in 1973, to William Hogarth in Nick Dear's The Art of Success in 1986-87.

He played Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet for the RSC at Stratford and was a member of the National Theatre Company and the Young Vic, where he played Iago in Othello. In 1974 he appeared at Laurence Olivier's National Theatre in the play Spring Awakening, opposite Peter FirthJenny AgutterBeryl Reid andCyril Cusack. Later he appeared opposite Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir John Gielgud in Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, directed by Peter Hall. In 1981 he played Melchior, the manservant of Zangler, in Tom Stoppard's play On the Razzle. In 1984 he played the cabin steward Dvornicheck in Tom Stoppard's play Rough Crossing. View the full filmography on IMDB.

Kitchen is married to Rowena Miller, whom he met while she was a dresser at the RSC in the late 1980s. They have two sons. Kitchen values his privacy and rarely gives interviews.

Michael Kitchen's IMDb Page

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