Fringe's John Noble

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on June 23, 2011

Is it true that Fringe’s John Noble was studying to be an attorney before he became an actor?
—Fred Joshua, Youngstown, Ohio

Noble, 62, who played Denethor in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, studied three years at university with the law as his goal but didn’t finish. The Australia-born actor admits, “I didn’t want to be a lawyer. And I have never regretted that decision. It was a different time. I went through school, and if you were a bright enough kid and you could get into law or medicine, you did it. There was no real question about that.”

It didn’t occur at the time to Noble, who plays scientist Walter Bishop on the TV series Fringe, that he could become an actor. When the opportunity presented itself, he jumped on it. “I was doing an elective subject, and this fellow heard my voice, and he said, ‘Oh, you’ve got the voice of such and such. Would you be interested in doing something?’ And it was a little play, and I thought, ‘How exciting! It would be a great chance to meet girls.’”

Within a short time, Noble, who is married with two daughters—one, Samantha, an actress—and a son, was working professionally. But then it was back to school to learn more about his new craft as an actor. “I was very lucky, and I did get a very good voice coach right away and had a wonderful ride, and then finished up learning enough about it that I then spent quite a lot—and still do when I can—teaching in the field.”