Thomas Howes stars in "Downton Abbey" on PBS as the second footman, William Mason.

Yorkshire native Thomas Howes trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. A pianist and composer, he put his diverse skills to work in "Downton Abbey," convincing Julian Fellowes to allow him to provide background music in a number of scenes. But season 2 required a different skill set altogether when he filmed in the trenches. He says, "I like all that stuff. I've always got into stunts; even at drama school, I was falling down trap doors, and swinging in on ropes. I really love a challenge, but in 'Downton' it was really hard going because there's no CGI — what you see is what you get. These were real explosions right in front of our faces, and you just had to make sure that you cleared out of the way."

Howes aooeared in the BBC TV movie of the Munich air disaster, "United." On stage, he was seen in "The Winslow Boy" at The Theatre Royal and "The History Boys" in the British national tour.




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