Inside The Night Caller’s Sean Pertwee’s family life: from wife of 25 years to son’s heartbreaking death and famous dad

Sean Pertwee stars as late-night radio host Lawrence in Channel 5’s gripping thriller, The Night Caller, which follows lonely taxi driver Tony [played by Robert Glenister], who develops an unhealthy obsession with the DJ – with disastrous consequences. 

Sean is a familiar face on our screens thanks to his illustrious film and TV career, and is perhaps best known for playing Alfred Pennyworth in the superhero crime series, Gotham. But how much do you know about his life away from the cameras? From his famous dad and upbringing in Ibiza to the tragic loss of his son, here’s all you need to know. 

WATCH: Robert Glenister and Sean Pertwee star in Channel 5’s The Night Caller

Sean’s upbringing in Ibiza with famous dad Jon

While Sean, 60, was born in Hammersmith in London, he grew up in Ibiza and enjoyed an “idyllic, bohemian” lifestyle with his mum, food writer Ingeborg Rhoesa, and his dad, Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee. 

Actor Jon Pertwee With His Son Sean In 1994© Mark Richards/Daily Mail/Shutterstock
Sean’s dad is Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee

“I would go off and play in the valley and my dad sounded a cowbell when it was time for dinner,” Sean previously told The Guardian. “My older sister, Dariel, and I were never patronised, we were always made to feel part of whatever was happening with the adults. That’s what I remember – freedom and respect.”

When Sean decided he wanted to be an actor, he auditioned for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School without telling his dad, who’s known for playing the third incarnation of The Doctor in Doctor Who and the title character in Worzel Gummidge

Liza Goddard, Joanna Lumley, Kate O'Mara, Jon Pertwee and Linda Cunningham in Whodunnit© @seanpertwee/Instagram
Jon with Liza Goddard, Joanna Lumley, Kate O’Mar and Linda Cunningham in game show, Whodunnit

Opening up about his relationship with his father, who died in 1996, Sean revealed that they didn’t get along when he was a teenager. “It was like having two fighting cockerels under the same roof,” he explained. “I got into all kinds of trouble (and so did he at that age). One thing he did instil in me, though, was a feeling of self; that you have to achieve everything off your own back.”

Sean plays Lawrence in The Night Caller
Sean plays Lawrence in The Night Caller

Despite their differences, Sean misses him greatly. “There’s so much I want to talk to him about,” the actor revealed. “We disagreed a lot but I realise now that there’s so much he was right about.”

Sean’s home life with wife of 25 years

Since 1999, Sean has been happily married to makeup artist Jacqueline Hamilton-Smith, the daughter of former politician, Anthony Hamilton-Smith. 

In June, the couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and to mark the occasion, Sean penned a sweet post on Instagram. Sharing a series of photos from their big day, which took place at the House of Lords, Sean wrote: “25 years ago today I married my partner, my wife, the love of my life. I love you I love you.”

Sean’s heartbreaking loss

Two years after tying the knot, Sean and Jacqueline welcomed twin boys, Freddy and Gilbert, who were born prematurely. Tragically, Gilbert passed away just four days after he was born. 

“We lost Gilbert while Alfred (Freddy) survived, which was a miracle because they were born prematurely at 25 weeks,” Sean told The Guardian in 2016. “Gilbert lived only four days and Freddy survived after being in a coma for three-and-a-half months. When Freddy pulled through I made a pledge that I would always be proud of him, always be by his side. Whatever decision he takes in life, I’ll support him to the best of my ability.”

Sean Pertwee with his wife Jacqueline Hamilton-Smith© @seanpertwee/Instagram
Sean and Jacqueline have been married since 1999

Sean described Freddy, who was 13 at the time of the interview, as an “extraordinarily calm child“. “He’s got an older soul – I don’t know whether it’s because he’s got his brother on his shoulder with him, but he’s got this extraordinary calmness, which is something I never had,” explained the actor. “I was always frenetic, all over the place and angry about things and he’s not like that. This is one of the reasons he survived. His soul was there although he was in this coma.”

When Freddy turned 21 in 2022, proud dad Sean marked his son’s milestone birthday on Instagram. Alongside a photo of Freddy, the Gotham actor penned: “Happy 21st Bday You Miracle Man. @freddy.pertwee My son you are so loved. Prouder parents there are none.”

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