Ian Hart, born in England, began acting while a student in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. He stumbled into acting almost accidentally, but was cast in the play "The Government Inspector". He continued to work in British theatre and television, and first gained recognition for portraying John Lennon in the British film Backbeat (1995).He made many films in his native Britain, occasionally appearing in American films as well.
He is notable for having played Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character of Dr John Watson in two different British television productions, to two different Sherlock Holmeses: The Hound of the Baskervilles (2000), with Richard Roxburgh, and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004), with Rupert Everett; the latter production also co-starred Guy Henry as a London dressmaker, and Helen McCrory as Watson's fiancee, an American psychiatrist.
- The Bridge (TV series) (2014)
- Luck (TV series) (2011)
- Hard Boiled Sweets (film) (2011)
- Five Daughters (TV series) (2010)
- Father & Son (TV series) (2009)
Behind the scenes
Prior to being cast for the role of Quirrell, Hart had never read any of the Harry Potter books. To prepare for the role, he went to a local bookshop and was given a copy of the second book in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and became confused upon reading the book, not yet knowing that his character did not survive past the first instalment in the series.