Harry Melling is a British actor who came into the limelight with his debut role of Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter film series. He is also popular for appearing in the films The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), The Old Guard (2020), and The Devil All the Time (2020). In 2020, he struck stardom with Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit in which he played the role of Harry Beltik. Besides acting in films, Melling has also performed various theatrical productions including five times Tony Award-nominated play Hand to God (2016), and Peddling (2014) that he wrote himself.
Harry Melling (full name Harry Edward Melling) was born IMDb on Monday, December 13, 1989 (age 31 years; as of 2020), in London, England. He attended Hendon School, and Mill Hill School, both in London. At the age of ten, he began his journey as an actor with the Harry Potter film series in which he played the recurring role of Dudley Dursley. In his mid-teens, he joined the National Youth Theater as a theater artist. Later, he pursued an acting course at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Amazon Prime Thereafter, he left this course midway to play the role of swiss cheese in the theatrical production Mother Courage and her Children (2009).
Height (approx.): 5′ 11″
Hair Color: Dark Ash Blonde
Eye Color: Lavender Gray
Family & Ethnicity
Parents & Siblings
His father, Brian Melling, is a graphic designer, while his mother, Joanna Troughton, is an author of children’s books. His brother, Jack Melling, works as a professional communicator.
His maternal grandfather, Patrick Troughton, was an English actor who is best known for appearing in the long-running British science-fiction television series Doctor Who (1963) in which he played the role of the second incarnation of the Doctor. Harry is related to English actors David Troughton and Michael Troughton as their nephew, and he is related to the English cricketer Jim Troughton, and actor Sam Troughton as their first cousin.
Relationships, Wife & Children
Not much is known about his relationships.
As a Theater Artist
In 2009, Harry Melling starred as Swiss Cheese in the play ‘Mother Courage and her Children’ at the Royal National Theater. In 2011, he played the role of Sir Benjamin Backbite in the play The School for Scandal at Barbican Centre, a performing arts theater in London.
In 2014, he came into the spotlight with ‘Peddling,’ his playwriting debut that premiered at the HighTide festival, New York. The play was inspired by a childhood instance of Melling when the door of his family house in North London was knocked by a young boy who was trying to sell them household goods.
Later, he starred in various plays like The Angry Brigade (2014), Hand to God (2016), and King Lear (2016).
Harry Melling’s television debut came with the show Merlin in 2010 in which he played the role of Gilli.
In 2010, he played the recurring role of Robert Brown in BBC One’s Just William. Later, he appeared in various television series like Garrow’s Law (2009-2011), The Musketeers (2014-2016), and The War of the Worlds (2019). In 2019, he appeared in the show ‘His Dark Materials’ as Sysselman, a fussy man who works as in charge of the port town of Trollesund.
In 2001, Harry Melling made his film debut with ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ in which he played the role of Harry Potter’s spoiled cousin Dudley Dursley. From 2001-2010, he played the recurring role of Dudley Dursley in five Harry Potter films.
Later, he appeared in the films The Lost City of Z (2016) and The Current War (2017). In 2018, he gained immense recognition for appearing in the film ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ in which he played the role of a limbless public speaker, Harrison.
He was also appreciated for his performance in the film ‘The Old Guard’ (2020) in which he played the role of Steven Merrick, an antagonist who is the wealthy CEO of a pharmaceutical empire and who wants to find the secret to immortal life
Later, in the same year, he played the role of Roy Laferty in the psychological thriller film ‘The Devil All the Time.’ Harry Melling struck stardom with the iconic breakout scene in which Roy Laferty, a fanatical preacher, pours live spiders onto his face as part of his sermon.
In 2020, Harry appeared as Harry Beltik, an analytical but warm-hearted chess player who helps Beth Harmon (protagonist played by Anya Taylor-Joy) get back in the game at a low point in her life, in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, marking his digital debut.
- Harry Melling’s maternal grandfather, Patrick Troughton, is also an alumnus of Mill Hill School, London. Patrick Troughton was a pupil at the school during the 1930s. Also, Harry Melling wasn’t the only Mill Hill School alumni who was cast in the Harry Potter film series. Stanislav Yanevski, who played the character of Viktor Krum in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), is also an alumnus of Mill Hill School, London.
- He was nominated for International Golden Carp Film Award (2019) in the category of Best Ensemble Performance for the film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018).
- Over the course of the Harry Potter films, Melling lost a considerable amount of weight. In an interview, he revealed that he ended up wearing a fat suit in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010), to avoid being recast.
- In 2016, Harry Melling spent a week in puppetry school to star in Broadway’s hit theater play Hand to God. In the play, Melling played the role of Jason, a Bible belt teenager who is controlled by Tyrone, a foul-mouthed puppet. In an interview, while talking about his puppetry school experience, he said,
The real skill is to listen to what the puppet is saying to you as if it is completely detached from you. It was especially important for the character of Jason as he has to believe he’s being controlled by Tyrone.”