Both actors share the same last name, and both have starred in Eastenders. Are they related?
Ross Kemp and Martin Kemp are not related. Despite sharing a common name, trusted sources indicate that there is no familial relationship between the two men.
Let’s explore the lives and careers of the unrelated pair.
Ross Kemp was born on July 21, 1964, in Essex, England. He pursued a career in acting early on in his life, and trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.
Ross made his television debut on Emmerdale as the character Graham Lodsworth. Check out this vintage clip from 1986, featuring a youthful Ross Kemp (with hair!):
Ross made a few other appearances on television but didn’t land a major gig until he appeared on the famous East End soap opera.
Ross Kemp’s most celebrated role is that of Grant Mitchell in EastEnders. Ross’s character made his debut in February of 1990, and was known for being a tough guy, often up to no good.
He was involved in shocking storylines, such as abusive marriages, and an affair between his wife and brother. Yikes.
Ross Kemp announced in 1999 that he was leaving the show. The storyline for his character’s departure involved a dramatic car crash into the Thames River.
Although it appears that Grant has perished in the water, it’s later revealed he escaped along with the cash in the car, and emigrated to Brazil. Watch the scene here:
Grant/Ross made a short-lived return to the East End from 2005-2006.
Then, in 2016, a decade after his last appearance, the character returned to attend the funeral of his on-screen mother, Peggy Mitchell (played by Barbara Windsor).
Over the years, Ross Kemp received several awards for his performances on the show.
Martin Kemp was born on October 10, 1961 in Islington, England. Martin Kemp started to train in acting when he was 7 years old, and he attended the Anna Scher Theatre drama club.
He appeared in multiple television shows, such as Jackanory, The Tomorrow People and Dixon of Dock Green.
Martin Kemp is the twin brother of Gary Kemp, who was part of the popular band “Spandau Ballet.” When Martin was a teenager, the band’s manager suggested that Martin replace the band’s bassist, who was leaving.
Although he didn’t play bass, Martin managed to learn in just three months. The band went on to achieve significant success in the UK, during the New Romantic Era, and had four of their albums reach the top ten of the UK charts.
Martin also performed on the 1984 charity song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” along with the band. In the early 90s, the band split up, due to a dispute over royalties. However, they reunited in 2009 and embarked on a world tour that year.
Return to Acting
Martin and his brother returned to acting after the disbandment of Spandau Ballet. They appeared in the movie The Krays, in which they portrayed the gangster twins Ronald and Reginald Kray. Their performance was widely well-received.
Martin moved to Los Angeles, California in the early 90s and had a part in the series The Outer Limits and Highlander: The Series, as well as several films, including Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992) and Embrace of the Vampire (1994).
In 1995, Martin moved back to England and went on an acting hiatus, after having two benign brain tumors removed. In 1998 he made a guest appearance on the police drama series The Bill.
Martin first appeared on EastEnders in 1998. He played villain Steve Owen, who got embroiled in some of the soap’s highest-rated and most dramatic storylines, such as the murder of Saskia Duncan and “Who Shot Phil?”
Upon leaving the soap in 2002, he was one of the most recognizable actors on British TV. He won an accolade of awards for his performance, including three TV Quick Awards for Best Soap Actor (2000, 2001, 2002), and Sexiest Male in 2001 and 2002.
Watch the moment Steve Owen is arrested on suspicion of shooting Phil: