Robert James-Collier (born 23 September 1976)[1][2][3][4] is a British actor and model. He is known for his roles as Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey and as Liam Connor in Coronation Street.

Early life

James-Collier was born in Salford, Greater Manchester,[5][6] as Robert Collier, but changed his name to Robert James-Collier to comply with the rules of Equity.[7] He was educated at St Patrick's Roman Catholic High School in Eccles, Greater Manchester.[8][9]

James-Collier has two degrees; he studied business at the University of Huddersfield and marketing at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.[10]



Having no experience as an actor, James-Collier auditioned for the series Down to Earth. Stars Ricky Tomlinson and Denise Welch were convinced by his talent, and he got the part of the womanising pub landlord. In 2006 he appeared in New Street Law and played a small part as Stud in Shameless series 3, episode 5 under the name of Rob Collier.

In 2006 he joined Coronation Street as one of the brothers buying a share of the local underwear factory. He left the show in October 2008. In an interview in early 2008, James-Collier announced he was leaving the soap but was planning to come back in the future.[11] However, in June 2008, it was reported that the character of Liam was set to be 'brutally' killed off in the soap as part of a murder-mystery plotline where three well known residents would fall under suspicion for the crime.[12] One of these would be Tony Gordon played by Gray O'Brien, who was in a relationship with Carla Connor played by Alison King in the show.[13]

After leaving Coronation Street, James-Collier had a leading role as under butler (formerly first footman) Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey, from 2010 to 2015, and has appeared in the West End stage version of Calendar Girls.

James-Collier played Kevin O'Dowd in ITV's 2016 crime drama, The Level. In 2017, James-Collier starred in British horror film, The Ritual, in which The Guardian described his performance as "a fierce screen presence".[14] He will also play a small role in Jessica Hynes directorial debut, The Fight. [15]


James-Collier modelled for Argos, where he appeared in the Autumn/Winter 2007 and Spring/Summer 2008 catalogues.

He won the Sexiest Male award at the 2007 and 2008 British Soap Awards in addition to "Best Exit" at the 2009 British Soap Awards. He won Sexiest Male and Best Newcomer at the 2007 Inside Soap Awards.

Personal life

James-Collier and Lauren Chandiram have a son who was born in 2010.[8][16]


Year Film Role Notes
2005 Perfect Day Alex TV film
2005 Down to Earth Nicky Christy TV series (Series 5)
2006 Shameless Stud/Jim TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 3.5")
2006 Casualty Martin Stonewall TV series (1 episode: "Secrets and Lies")
2006 Dalziel and Pascoe Simon Thewlis TV series (1 episode: "The Cave Woman: Part 2")
2006-08 Coronation Street Liam Connor TV series (330 episodes: 2006–2008)
Won – Best Exit – British Soap Awards
Won – Sexiest Male (2008) – Inside Soap Awards
Won – Sexiest Male (2007) – Inside Soap Awards
2010-15 Downton Abbey Thomas Barrow TV series
Won – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2012 -2014)
2011 Mercenaries Callum Film
2011 Moving On Clive TV series (1 episode: "The Milkman")
2012 Love Life Joe TV series
2012 Spike Island Mr Milligan Film
2013 Moving On Aiden Evans TV series (1 episode: "Visiting Order")
2013 Wayland's Song John Film
2015 A Christmas Star Pat McKerrod Film
2016 The Level Kevin O'Dowd TV series
2016 The Attendant Alex Short film
2017 The Ritual Hutch Film


  1. ^ "Rob James-Collier". bebo. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Liam, how can we Corrie on?". The Sun. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Green, Kris (3 February 2008). "'Liam' quits Corrie over "typecast" fears". digital spy. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Rob James-Collier works hard for Downton". FemaleFirst. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "Rob James-Collier on life in Downton Abbey as Thomas Barrow". Lancashire Life. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  6. ^ men Administrator (19 February 2007). "Unknown Rob flies the Co-op". men. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Corrie's latest bad boy". Manchester Evening News. 17 April 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Lockyer, Daphne (13 March 2012). "Rob James Collier steps out from Downton Abbey". Daily Express. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "School goes to top of class". Manchester Evening News. 18 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "Up stairs down". The Northern Echo. 23 September 2010. Archived from the original on 26 September 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Soaps – News – 'Liam' quits Corrie over "typecast" fears – Digital Spy
  12. ^ Soaps – News – Corrie favourite killed in "whodunnit" murder – Digital Spy
  13. ^ Soaps – News – Corrie star O'Brien suffers hip problems – Digital Spy
  14. ^ The Ritual review – lads' weekend turns surreal in lost-in-the-woods Brit horror – The Guardian
  15. ^ Rob James-Collier on horror films, Downton Abbey and waltzing with Dame Maggie Smith – Radio Times
  16. ^ "Corrie's hunk Liam's real-life fiancee looks like on-screen loves". Mirror. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 

External links