Originally offered the part of Sylar by Heroes producers, Eccleston declined the role because he thought it was a cliché for European actors to play villains in American culture. He instead took the role of Claude, the mysterious invisible man who used to work for Primatech until he was ousted by his partner Noah Bennet, for hiding someone with powers.
Born in 1964, Eccleston reached international stardom as the Ninth Doctor in Doctor Who in March 2005, even though he only played the role for a single season. He has appeared in numerous other films, including 28 Days Later, Elizabeth, and Shallow Grave; other notable television work includes The Second Coming and Cracker.
He hails from Salford, Lancashire, UK, and was born on February 16, 1964.