Adrian Paul

Andrian Paul is an English actor best known for his iconic depiction of Duncan MacLeod in the television series Highlander: The Series. He is also co-founder of the independent film and television media production company Filmblips, and founder of the philanthropic organisation PEACE.

duncan macloud

Early life

Adrian Paul Hewett was born on May 29, 1959, in London, England. Although he has enjoyed a successful acting career largely in the United States, his cultural influences and upbringing are deeply rooted in England. Understanding these origins is crucial to understand the man and actor he would come to be.

Paul is the eldest of three brothers born to a British father and an Italian mother. He went to St. Mary’s Grammar School in Sidcup, Kent. While in 6th Form, he began selling “stales” from a local baker in the school library, an endevour that enjoyed considerably success.

As a teenager, Paul was a proficient association football player, making several appearances for Cray Wanderers in the London Spartan League in 1976-1978.

Early careers

The young Adrian Paul first became a model, before venturing into dancing and choreographing. In 1985, he moved to the United States to pursue careers in dance and modelling. There, he got involved in theatre and appeared in numerous stage plays. According to Paul himself, this helped him hone his acting abilities.

His first screen role came in 1986, when he portrayed the ballet dancer Nikolai “Kolya” Rostov in the ABC television series “The Colbys”. This was soon followed by guest appearances in various TV-shows, including a 1987 role in “Beauty and the Beast”.

The rise to stardom – Highlander series

Undoubtedly, Adrian Paul’s rise to prominence commenced in 1992 when he was selected for the role of Duncan MacLeod for the new television series “Highlander”.

The show, which first aired in October 1992, was a commercial success, and Paul’s portrayal of the immortal swordsman was so well received that it quickly made him a household name. Apart from the series’ commercial success, it was remarkable for its symbolic storytelling, blending morality tales with thrilling action sequences.

Paul would continue to portray Duncan MacLeod on and off for the next 15 years, including his role in the movie Highlander: Endgame in 2000 and his work with the 2007 Sci-Fi Channel television film Highlander: The Source.

Expanding horizons

Adrian’s success in “Highlander” paved the way for a long career in Hollywood. He enjoyed leading roles in several movies like “The Void”, “Nemesis Game”, and “Throttle”. Despite his success on the big screen, Adrian did not abandon the television format that brought him to the fore, and ha has continued to appear in several TV movies and series, including the “Charmed” series.

Personal life and philanthropy

Paul Adrian married the actress Meilani Figalan in 1990 and the couple divorced in 1997.

In 2009, Adrian married his long-time girlfriend Alexandra Tonelli. The couple has three children; a daughter born in 2009, and two sons born in 2012 and 2020.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys practising various matiral arts. Since the late 1980s, he has studied a range of disciplines, including Taekwondo, Hung Gar Kung Fu, and Choy Li Fut.

Adrian Paul is not only recognized for his significant contributions to the film and television industry but also for his philanthropic activities. In 1997, he founded the PEACE (Protect Educate Aid Children Everywhere) Foundation. The foundation focuses on improving the life of children around the world through collaborations with other organizations and the implementation of various educational and sports programs. Examples of Peace Fundation supported programs are School Makes a Difference, COTA and P.E.A.C.E. in Paradise, the latter which began as an effort to help in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

A lasting legacy

Adrian Paul’s career spans over three decades, and throughout that time, he has established himself not only as an excellent actor, but also as an exceptional human being. His impressive body of work is a testament to his enduring talent and charisma, while his philanthropic pursuits lay bare the depth of his compassion and altruism.

Even in his sixties, Adrian Paul continues to entertain and inspire his fans worldwide, showing no signs of slowing down. As such, his legacy seems to be that of constant evolution, characterized by ceaseless growth and a lasting willingness to give back to the communities that helped shape him. 

In conclusion, the story of Adrian Paul is one of resilience, talent, and hard work, proving that with focus and determination, one can scale the heights of Hollywood and still stay grounded enough to make a positive impact in the world.