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Jamie St. John Bamber Griffith, was born in Hammersmith, London. His father, Ralph is an American. His mother, Elizabeth is Northern Irish and she trained as an actress. Jamie is one of seven siblings, having a younger brother and a younger sister as well as four older half-brothers from his father's first marriage, all of whom were raised as a single family. It was Jamie's mother who first awakened his love of drama while she ran a children's theatre group at the American Cathedral in Paris; his first role was as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, cast by his mother, who as yet lacked a daughter.
It was as a child that he had his first paid acting work, dubbing a French film into English while in Paris and then doing the odd TV commercial after moving back to the U.K. at the age of 7. At St. Paul's School in London he developed his love for the theatre and for all things athletic. He became School Captain in his final year, before going to Cambridge University to study French and Italian literature. While there he played university rugby and performed in many theatrical productions. During this time, he delivered wine around London. He also spent a study year in Pavia, Italy, before graduating with first-class honors. He is skilled in languages, speaking fluent French and Italian as well as being conversant in Spanish.
While Bamber has always wanted to act, his acceptance to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art marked the decision to make it his career. Still at LAMDA, he was cast in his first professional role, as Archie Kennedy in A&E's Horatio Hornblower miniseries. Between filming episodes of Hornblower, he had a small but memorable part in The Scarlet Pimpernel, playing Lord Tony Dewhurst, and appeared in the acclaimed British period drama Poirot, in which he played Roger Paton in "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd'.
In 2001, and following pressure from fans, he was re-cast as 4th Lieutenant Archie Kennedy in the new installments of Horatio Hornblower. This brought him to the attention of the casting crew of Steven Spielberg's landmark TV series Band of Brothers, in which he played 2nd Lieutenant Jack Foley.
Prior to the Battlestar Galactica miniseries, Bamber appeared in the long-running ITV series Peak Practice prior to its cancellation, and also in the ITV SAS-drama Ultimate Force. He has also returned to the stage, playing Prince Hal in the Bristol Old Vic's production of Shakespeare's Henry IV.
Battlestar Galactica marks Bamber's first American television series.