Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
The son of a butcher, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey became one of the most influential men in Europe. His efficient working methods led Henry VII to appoint him as chaplain in 1507. After Henry VII's death, he rose in the ranks of Henry VIII's advisors to become both Cardinal and Chancellor in 1515, his power second only to that of the king. When Henry decided to divorce Katherine of Aragon, the royal breakup set off a political crisis. Pope Clement VII objected, and Wolsey tried to change his mind -- to no avail. Henry responded by creating a new church with himself as head. Wolsey's diplomatic failure, combined with Anne Boleyn's suspicion of his loyalty, landed him in the Tower of London, where he died before he could be executed. His fate would set the pattern for a succession of court officials, wives, gentry and commoners who were removed when they disappointed Henry.
In addition to his signature roles as Poirot on Mystery! and in the Masterpiece Theatre productions The Way We Live Now (2003) and The Secret Agent (1992), actor David Suchet has appeared in the feature films Live From Baghdad (2002), Pinocchio (2002), Wing Commander (1999), RKO 281 (1999) and A Perfect Murder (1998). His stage performances include a turn as George (opposite Diana Rigg) in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which earned him a 1996 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre) for Best Actor. In 1999, he made his Broadway debut as Salieri in Peter Hall's Amadeus, earning a Tony nomination for his performance.