John Nettles

Who is John Nettles?

John Vivian Drummond Nettles was born on 11 October 1943, in St Austell, Cornwall, England, and is a writer and actor, best known for playing the lead role in two television series, namely “Midsomer Murders” and “Bergerac”. He’s also done theatrical work over the course of his career.

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The Riches of John Nettles

How rich is John Nettles? As of mid-2018, sources estimate a net worth that is at $700,000, mostly earned through a successful career in acting. He’s also written several books during his career, that helped further build his wealth. A he continues his endeavors, it is expected that his wealth will also continue to increase.

Early Life and Acting Beginnings

John’s biological mother is of Irish descent who came to the United Kingdom during World War II to work as a nurse. However, he was later adopted by a carpenter and his wife. He attended St Austell School, and after matriculating went to the University of Southampton to study history and philosophy. During his time at the university, he got his first acting experience which later led him to pursue acting as a career, joining the Royal Court Theatre after graduation.

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In 1969, he made one of his first professional appearances in Tom Courtenay’s “Hamlet” in which he played the character Laertes. He then appeared at the Northcott Theatre, before getting his first screen role in the film entitled “One More Time”. In 1971, he was cast in the period drama series “A Family At War” in which he played Dr. Ian Mackenzie, a role he would continue to play for a year. Afterwards, he took on many support roles in television shows such as “Enemy at the Door”, “The Liver Birds”, and “Dickens of London”.

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Acting Breakthrough

In 1981, Nettles got his big break when he won the role of Jim Bergerac for the crime drama series “Bergerac”, which made him a household name thanks to the part which he would continue to play for a decade. After his run of 87 episodes, he then worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company for the next five seasons, appearing in numerous plays such as “Julius Caesar”, “The Winter’s Tale”, and “The Devil is an Ass”.  He reprised his role as Jim Bergerac in the police comedy entitled “The Detectives” in 1993.


In 1995, he would get his next major television role, when he was cast to play Tom Barnaby in a new murder mystery series entitled “Midsomer Murders”. He played a policeman once more, and this time his role helped him get international recognition, especially as he would play the role until 2011, appearing for a total of 81 episodes. Two years prior to his final appearance, he already made the announcement that he was going to stay with the show for two more seasons before leaving. He later commented that it was best to leave the show having people want more than to be booed off the stage.

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Later Work and Books

Aside from his work with “Midsomer Murders”, John also narrated the BBC Documentary series entitled “Airport” which would run for almost a decade. He also worked on the three part documentary entitled “Channel Islands at War”, marking the 70th anniversary of the German invasion and occupation of the Channel Islands. His work caused him to receive various threats to which he defended his claims in the documentary, stating that people in the area had to collaborate with the occupying power of the time. His claims were supported by historians and members of the Channel Islands Occupation Society.

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Aside from acting, John also worked on several books, beginning with “Bergerac’s Jersey” which he wrote as a travel guide to the filming locations of the series. He also wrote the semi-autobiographical book entitled “Nudity in a Public Place: Confessions of a Mini Celebrity” which details his experience with female viewers of “Bergerac”. One of his latest books was released in 2012 entitled “Jewels and Jackboots” which talked about the German occupation of the Channel Islands; the book sold out quickly and was later republished on Kindle as well as in paperback.

Personal Life

For his personal life, it is known that Nettles has married twice, his first wife being Joyce and with whom he had a daughter; their marriage lasted from 1966 to 1979. His ex-wife would later become a casting director for “Midsomer Murders”. In 1995, he married Cathryn Sealey, and they have remained together since.

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In the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honors List, Nettles was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), for services to the entertainment industry, and two years later he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Plymouth. He also participates with the charity called The Mare and Foal Sanctuary, of which he is a patron.

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4 Comments

  1. I have watched Midsomer Murders in total, three times. John Nettles IS Tom Barnaby. I enjoyed the series and wish he would come back in that role. Good luck in his future endeavors but I still would love to see him back as Barnaby.

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