Robin Ellis (born 8 January 1942) is an English actor best known for his role as Captain Ross Poldark in 29 episodes of the BBC classic series Poldark, adapted from a series of books by the late British author Winston Graham. He also appeared in Fawlty Towers, Cluedo, The Good Soldier (an adaptation of the Ford Madox Ford novel), Elizabeth R (playing Essex), The Moonstone, Bel Ami, Sense and Sensibility (which also featured Clive Francis), The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, She Loves Me (in which he sings) and Blue Remembered Hills (written by Dennis Potter). In 2015, he will appear in Poldark as Reverend Halse.
Ellis was born in Ipswich. He was educated at the independent Highgate School in Highgate in North London, and at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge where he read history and appeared in over 20 plays. His first West End performance was in Sheridan's The Rivals at the Haymarket Theatre, as Captain Jack Absolute. He went on to play in The Real Inspector Hound at the Criterion Theatre and Widowers' Houses at the Royal Court. He was part of the innovative Actors Company, founded in 1972 by Ian McKellen and Edward Petherbridge, organized and run democratically by the actors themselves. In that repertory company he appeared in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Ruling the Roost, The Way of the World, The Wood Demon, The Bacchae, Tartuffe, King Lear and Knots (based on the R. D. Laing book).
In addition to his many television roles, Ellis co-starred with Lee Remick in the Merchant Ivory film, The Europeans (1979) by Henry James, playing the role of John Acton. He appeared in the CBS mini-series The Curse of King Tut's Tomb (playing Howard Carter, the Englishman who discovered the tomb of King Tut), in the British TV drama, Heartbeat and in a BBC adaptation of A Dark-Adapted Eye (1994) a psychological thriller written by Ruth Rendell. His most recent TV appearance was in the Swedish detective series, Wallander (2006) in the episode entitled "The Photographer".
Ellis had a long career in the theatre as well, including a stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He appeared there in a musical version of The Comedy of Errors playing Pinch; in King Lear playing Edgar; Troilus and Cressida playing Achilles; and in Much Ado About Nothing playing Don Pedro. His last West End theatre performance was with Zoë Wanamaker in Sylvia by A.R. Gurney at the Apollo Theatre in 1996.
He is a well-known voiceover artist and co-owned a voiceover agency called Voices in London for many years. He narrated many award-winning documentaries, including Fall of the Wall, The Second Russian Revolution and End of Empire.
He is the author of a memoir entitled Making Poldark about the series (originally published by Bossney Books, ISBN 0-906456-00-2). "Making Poldark" was expanded and revised in 2012 and republished by Palo Alto Publishing (ISBN 9780983939818). His cookbook entitled Delicious Dishes for Diabetics: A Mediterranean Way of Eating was published 4 August 2011 by Constable & Robinson, under their RightWay imprint. The American publishers Skyhorse released the book in the United States in November 2011 under a slightly different title, Delicious Dishes for Diabetics: Eating Well with Type 2 Diabetes. He writes a blog about food, cooking and life in rural France: http://robin-ellis.net/. His second cookbook, Healthy Eating for Life, was published in January 2014 (Constable & Robinson). It was published in the United States in March 2014 by Palo Alto Publishing. He also runs cooking workshops twice a year in Lautrec, France.
Ellis lives with his wife in southwest France. His brothers are the actor Jack Ellis and the late director Peter Ellis. His agent is Nicki Van Gelder of Conway, van Gelder, Grant.