David Schofield was born in 1951, in Manchester, England. He was one of ten children in a working-class family. His first acting experience was at Manchester boy's school at the age of 12. In 1967, he was accepted as student assistant stage manager at a local repertory theatre. He started on the lowest step of the ladder and worked in every department as a prop-maker, sound-man, writer, stage sweeper, waiter and tea-maker, putting in 14-hour days, six days a week. After two seasons, at the age of 19, he became a student of the London academy of Music and Dramatic art, which he left early to pursue his path as a working actor.