Murray Bartlett is an Australian actor famous for his roles in TV series such as Sex and the City, Guiding Light, Looking, and Tales of the City. The actor began his acting career in Australian soap operas in the late 1980s. In 2000, he moved to the United States, where he landed his first big role in the HBO drama Sex and the City in 2002.
He played other notable roles in the TV series such as Guiding Light (1952-2009), Looking (2014-2015), and Tales of the City (2019). In addition to TV works, he also starred in the 2011 film August, which won him the ‘Iris Prize’ for ‘Best Actor at the Iris Prize Festival in 2011. Furthermore, he produced the short film titled Noor in 2012.
Bartlett began his acting career while he was still studying acting at NIDA. He made his acting debut in 1987 on the TV series The Flying Doctors (1986-1992), appearing in an episode of the series as Michael Freeman. After graduation, he started frequently appearing in Australian television soap operas.
In 1992, he appeared as Randy Evans in 13 episodes of the romantic drama Home and Away (1988-), as Anthony Scanlon in an episode of the crime-drama Police Rescue (1989-1996), and as Jason King in six episodes of drama E Street (1989-1993).
Between 1992 and 1993, he played the role of Richard Wellbourne and Owen Wyatt in three episodes of the romantic drama A Country Practice (1981-1993). In 1993, he portrayed the role of Luke Foster in four episodes of the romantic drama Neighbors (1985-).
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In 2000, he moved from Australia and relocated to the United States. Initially, he guest-starred several TV series, landing a significant guest role in 2002 on HBO romantic comedy-drama Sex and the City (1998-2004), an adaptation of the 1997 book written by Candace Bushnell. In the series, the openly gay Bartlett played one of his first roles in a gay character named Oliver Spencer.
He then started playing multi-episodes in several TV series. Later in the year, he appeared in three episodes of the western romantic drama McLeod’s Daughters (2001-2009) as Simon Birch and in six episodes of the drama The Secret Life of Us (2001-2006) as Nick.
Between 2002 and 2003, he also appeared in nine episodes of ABC’s mystery-romance drama All My Children (1970-2011) as Julian Sinclair. In addition, between 1999 and 2003, he was cast in four episodes of Australian-American action-adventure sci-fi drama Farscape (1999-2003), in which he played the role of Douglas ‘D.K.’ Knox.
From 2007 through 2009, he played another notable role as Cyrus Foley in the romantic drama TV series Guiding Light (1952-2009). In the 2000s, he also appeared in several other TV series, including All Saint (1998-2009), Headland (2005-2006), and White Collar (2009-2014).
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In 2011, he appeared as Seth Sloan in an episode of the mystery-crime drama Damages (2007-2012). Then, he popped up in the role of Logan in another mystery-crime drama, The Good Wife (2009-2016), in 2014.
Bartlett’s next biggest role came in 2014 when he was cast in HBO romantic comedy-drama TV series Looking (2014-2015), in which he portrayed one of the three close gay friends living in San Fransisco. In overall 16 episodes in the series, he appeared to portray a 40-year-old waiter and aspiring restaurateur Dom Basaluzzo.
The series starred Frankie J. Alvarez as Agustin Lanuez and Jonathan Groff as Patrick Murray, two other gay friends. In March 2015 interview with Vox, Bartlett stated that the series is different than other gay shows because it reflected real aspects of gay people.
“Looking is a reflection of where we are now, in terms of, not the entire gay community, but these characters in the gay community. Hopefully, it's a real reflection of what's happening to these types of characters. I feel like the show is also a reflection of something more unfiltered, more real. For the most part, shows come along and reflect where we're at in terms of a community as a whole, and what we're ready for, and hopefully it pushes boundaries a bit.”
Bartlett reprised the same role in the series finale TV movie Looking in 2016. In 2017, Bartlett appeared in the musical romantic TV series Nashville (2012-2018) and portrayed the role of Jakob Fine in two episodes of the series.
The TV star landed another big role as Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver in the 2019 Netflix series Tales of the City, based on the last few books of Armistead Maupin’s nine-volume novel series published from 1978 to 2014.
Movies and Shorts
While appearing in several TV series and mini-series, Bartlett also made a big-screen debut as Sandy Tayler in the 1995 comedy film Dad and Dave: On Our Selection. In 1997, he starred as Jeremy in the 1997 TV movie The Tower. That year, he also starred in short films Life and Death, directed by Justine Kerrigan, and Half Mongrel, written and directed by Alex Chomicz.
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In 2010, Bartlett was cast in Needle, a supernatural thriller film alongside Michael Dorman and Jessica Marais. He then appeared as James Whitney in the 2012 comedy film Girl Most Likely. The following year, he played the role of Le copain de Barbara in the 2013 romantic short film Kingston Avenue.
In 2011, Bartlett landed the notable role as Troy in the 2011 LGBT romantic drama film August, opposite Daniel Dugan, who played the role of Jonathan. The LGBT film follows two former lovers Troy and Jonathan, who reunite several years after a painful breakup. August was the expansion of the 2005 short film Postmortem, which also starred Bartlett and Dugan.
His role in the romantic drama film August (2011) earned him the ‘Iris Prize’ for Best Actor at the Iris Prize Festival in 2011. Furthermore, as a producer, he won the ‘Muhr Arab Award’ under the category ‘Best Film- Short’ shared with Ahmed Ibrahim for the short film Noor (2012) at the 2012 Dubai International Film Festival.
For his performance in the 2019 TV series Tales of the City, Bartlett received the ‘Queerty’ nomination under the category ‘TV Performance’ in 2020.
Early Life and Education
Murray Bartlett was born on 20 March 1971 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He attended the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), from where he graduated with a degree in Performing Arts (Acting) in 1991.