James Edward Carter, (born 19 August 1948) is an English actor. He is best known for his role in Downton Abbey (2010–2015) playing Mr Carson, a role that has earned him four nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2012–2015). He reprised his role in the feature film Downton Abbey (2019).
Carter's film credits include A Private Function (1984), A Month in the Country (1987), A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992), The Madness of King George (1994), Richard III (1995), Brassed Off (1996), Shakespeare in Love (1998), Ella Enchanted (2004), The Thief Lord (2006), The Golden Compass (2007), Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010), My Week with Marilyn (2011), and the upcoming film The Good Liar (2019).
His television credits include Lipstick on Your Collar (1993), Cracker (1994), The Way We Live Now (2001), The Singing Detective (1986), Arabian Nights (2000), The Chest (1997), Red Riding (2009), A Very British Coup (1988), the Hornblower episode "Duty" (2003) and the Midsomer Murders episode "The Fisher King" (2004), and Dinotopia (2002). He also plays Captain Brown in the five-part BBC series Cranford (2007) alongside his wife Imelda Staunton. He recently appeared in King Lear on PBS alongside Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
He is also known as James Edward Carter and James Carter.