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Fiona Shaw

Fiona Shaw BAM 2011-01-16.jpg
Shaw in 2011
Fiona Mary Wilson

(1958-07-10) 10 July 1958 (age 62)
Alma materUniversity College Cork
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
  • Actress
  • director
Years active1983–present
(m. 2018)

Fiona Shaw CBE (born Fiona Mary Wilson; 10 July 1958) is an Irish actress and theatre and opera director. She is known for her role as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter film series (2001–10), as Marnie Stonebrook in season four of the HBO series True Blood (2011),[1][2] and as Carolyn Martens in the BBC series Killing Eve (2018–present), for which she won the 2019 BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress.[3] For her performances in the second seasons of Killing Eve and the comedy-drama Fleabag, Shaw received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series respectively.[4] For the third season of Killing Eve, she was again nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.[5]

Shaw has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. She won the 1990 Olivier Award for Best Actress for various roles, including Electra, the 1994 Olivier Award for Best Actress for Machinal, and the 1997 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for The Waste Land. Her other stage work includes playing the title role in Medea in the West End and on Broadway (2001–02). She was awarded an Honorary CBE in 2001.[6] In 2020, she was listed at number 29 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's greatest film actors.[7]

Early life

Shaw was born in Farranree, County Cork, and identifies as a Roman Catholic.[8] Her father, Denis Wilson, was an ophthalmic surgeon,[9][10] and her mother, Mary, was a physicist.[11]

She attended secondary school at Scoil Mhuire in Cork City. She received her degree in philosophy at University College Cork.



Shaw trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London and was part of a 'new wave' of actors to emerge from the Academy. She received much acclaim as Julia in the National Theatre production of Richard Sheridan's The Rivals (1983).[12]

Shaw's theatrical roles include Celia in As You Like It (1984), Madame de Volanges in Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1985), Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew (1987), Lady Franjul in The New Inn (1987), Young Woman in Machinal (1993), for which she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress, Winnie in Happy Days (2007), and the title roles in Electra (1988), The Good Person of Sechuan (1989), Hedda Gabler (1991), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1998) and Medea (2000). She performed T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land as a one-person show at the Liberty Theatre in New York to great acclaim in 1996, winning the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show for her performance.[13]

She played Miss Morrison in the 1984 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes episode "The Adventure of the Crooked Man" and Catherine Greenshaw in Agatha Christie's Marple episode "Greenshaw's Folly" in 2013.

Shaw notably played the male lead in Richard II, directed by Deborah Warner in 1995. Shaw has collaborated with Warner on a number of occasions, on both stage and screen. Shaw has also worked in film and television, including My Left Foot (1989), Mountains of the Moon (1990), Three Men and a Little Lady (1990), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Undercover Blues (1993), Persuasion (1995), Jane Eyre (1996), The Butcher Boy (1997), The Avengers (1998), Gormenghast (2000), and five of the Harry Potter films in which she played Harry Potter's aunt Petunia Dursley. Shaw had a brief but key role in Brian DePalma's The Black Dahlia (2006).

In 2009, Shaw collaborated with Deborah Warner again, taking the lead role in Tony Kushner's translation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children. In a 2002 article for The Daily Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen described their professional relationship as "surely one of the most richly creative partnerships in theatrical history."[14] Other collaborations between the two women include productions of Brecht's The Good Woman of Szechuan and Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, the latter was adapted for television.[15]

Shaw appeared in The Waste Land at Wilton's Music Hall in January 2010 and in a National Theatre revival of London Assurance in March 2010.[16] In November 2010, Shaw starred in Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin alongside Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan.[17][18] The play was also staged in New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2011.[19]

Shaw appeared in season four of American TV show True Blood. Shaw's character, Marnie Stonebrook, has been described as an underachieving palm reader who is spiritually possessed by an actual witch.[20] Her character leads a coven of necromancer witches who threaten the status quo in Bon Temps, erasing most of Eric Northman's memories and leaving him almost helpless when he tries to kill her and break up their coven.

In 2012, Shaw appeared in the National Theatre revival of Scenes from an Execution by Howard Barker.

The world’s largest solo theatre festival, United Solo recognized her performance in The Testament of Mary on Broadway with the 2013 United Solo Special Award.[21]

In 2018 Shaw began portraying Carolyn Martens, head of the MI6 Russian Desk, in BBC America's Killing Eve, for which she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Television Series. Later the same year, she played a senior MI6 officer in Mrs Wilson.[22]

Personal life

Shaw is a lesbian and was previously in a relationship with actress Saffron Burrows.[23]

She is married to the economist Dr. Sonali Deraniyagala.[24] She met her after reading Deraniyagala's book Wave: Life and Memories after the Tsunami,[25] where she had documented the experience of the loss of her family in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.



Year Title Role Notes
1984 The Man Who Shot Christmas Laura Short Film
1985 Sacred Hearts Sister Felicity
1989 My Left Foot Dr. Eileen Cole
1990 Mountains of the Moon Isabel
1990 Three Men and a Little Lady Miss Lomax
1991 London Kills Me Headley
1992 The Big Fish unknown role Short Film
1992 Ridin' High: The Video Dancer Direct-to-Video
1993 Super Mario Bros. Lena
1993 Undercover Blues Novacek
1995 Persuasion Mrs. Croft
1995 The Waste Land unknown role Short Film
1996 Jane Eyre Mrs. Reede
1997 Anna Karenina Lydia
1997 The Butcher Boy Mrs. Nugent
1998 The Avengers Father
1999 The Last September Marda Norton
2001 The Triumph of Love Leontine
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Aunt Petunia Dursley
2002 Close Your Eyes Catherine Lebourg
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Aunt Petunia
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Aunt Petunia
2005 Midsummer Dream The Witches (Voice Role) English Version
2006 The Black Dahlia Ramona Linscott
2006 Catch and Release Mrs. Douglas
2007 Fracture Judge Robinson
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Petunia Dursley
2009 Dorian Gray Agatha
2010 National Theatre Live: London Assurance Lady Gay Spanker
2010 We Believed Emilie Ashurst
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Petunia Dursley
2010 Tell Me Martha Short Film
2011 The Tree of Life Grandmother
2013 The English Teacher Narrator
2013 The Daisy Chain Narrator
2015 Pixels Prime Minister Uncredited
2016 The White King Kathrin Fitz
2016 Out of Innocence Catherine Flynn
2017 The Hippopotamus Anne Logan
2018 Lizzie Abby Borden
2018 Colette Sido
2020 Ammonite Elizabeth Philpot
2020 Enola Holmes Miss Harrison


Year Title Role Notes
1983 All for Love Elspeth "Fireworks for Elspeth"
1984 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Miss Morrison "The Crooked Man"
1985 Love Song Young Deirdre TV Movie
1990 Theatre Night Clytemnestra "Iphigenia at Aulis"
1991 For the Greater Good Gillian Savage 2 episodes
1992 Shakespeare: The Animated Series Viola (Voice Role) "Twelfth Night"
1992–95 Screen Two Mrs. Croft / Pauline 2 episodes
1993 Performance Hedda Gabler "Hedda Gabler"
1994 Seascape unknown role TV Movie
1997 Richard II Richard II TV Movie
1999 RKO 281 Hedda Hopper TV Movie
2000 Gormenghast Irma Prunesquallor Miniseries (4 episodes)
2001 Mind Games Frances O'Neil TV Movie
2001 The Seventh Stream Mrs. Gourdon TV Movie
2005 Empire Fulvia Miniseries (3 episodes)
2007 Trial & Retribution Jo Wilson QC "Mirror Image: Part 2"
2009 Dido and Aeneas – Didon et Énée Comédienne dans le prologue TV Movie
2011 True Blood Marnie Stonebrook recurring role (12 episodes)
2013 Marple Miss Katherine Greenshaw "Greenshaw's Folly"
2014 Masterpiece Mystery Miss Katherine Greenshaw "Agatha Christie's Miss Marple VII: Greenshaw's Folly"
2015 Lumen D'Laria TV Movie
2015–17 Sarah & Duck Music Lady 2 episodes
2016 Maigret Sets a Trap Madam Moncin TV Movie
2016 Channel Zero Marla Painter series regular (6 episodes)
2017 Emerald City Mombi 2 episodes
2017 Inside No. 9 Jean "Private View"
2017 Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero Hedwin (Voice Role) "Mr. Rippen"
2018 Mrs. Wilson Coleman Miniseries (3 episodes)
2018 3Below: Tales of Arcadia Birdie / Halcon (Voice Role) "Flying the Coop"
2018–present Killing Eve Carolyn Martens series regular (23 episodes)
2019 Fleabag Counsellor "#2.2"
2020 Baptiste unknown role "#2.1"

Other projects, contributions

Awards and nominations

Year Award Work Category
1986 Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role As You Like It / Mephisto Nominated
1990 Olivier Award for Best Actress Electra / As You Like It / The Good Person of Szechwan Won
1992 Olivier Award for Best Actress Hedda Gabler Nominated
1993 Evening Standard Award for Best Actress Machinal Won
1994 Olivier Award for Best Actress Won
1997 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance The Waste Land Won
2001 Evening Standard Award for Best Actress Medea Won
2003 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Nominated
Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play Nominated
2008 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Happy Days Nominated
Olivier Award for Best Actress Nominated
2017 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for Best TV Supporting Actress Channel Zero Nominated
2019 British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress Killing Eve Won
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Fleabag Nominated
2020 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Killing Eve Nominated


  1. ^ "Fiona Shaw". London: Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  2. ^ Edgware Times Archived 26 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Killing Eve takes top prizes in BAFTA TV awards 2019". The Guardian. 12 May 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  4. ^ "71st Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  5. ^ "72nd Emmy Awards Complete Nomination List" (PDF). Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Honorary CBE notice for Shaw". BBC News. 30 December 2000. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Ancient Theater Today". Didaskalia. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Dedicated ophthalmic surgeon with a lifelong interest in all things artistic". The Irish Times.
  10. ^ Fiona Shaw Biography at Film
  11. ^ "Tim Teeman » Fiona Shaw: 'I have enormous sadness in me'". Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Fiona Shaw (NT 50th)". National Theatre Website. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015.
  13. ^ Ben Brantly, Memory and Desire: Hearing Eliot's Passion, New York Times 18 November 1996
  14. ^ Rupert Christiansen "Fiona Shaw's double life", Daily Telegraph, 10 May 2002
  15. ^ Lloynd, Ray (27 March 1993). "TV REVIEWS : Visually Exciting, Powerful 'Hedda Gabler'". Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^ Taylor, Paul (18 December 2009). "Mother courage: How Fiona Shaw became the leading actress of her generation". The Independent. London. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
  17. ^ Events Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Abbey Theatre web site
  18. ^ Brantley, Ben (13 January 2011). "Ibsen's Big Chill, With Soul Mates Frozen in Time". The New York Times.
  19. ^ Brantley, Ben (13 January 2011). "'John Gabriel Borkman' at BAM - Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  20. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (8 November 2010). "Fiona Shaw joins 'True Blood' cast". Entertainment Weekly.
  21. ^ "Fiona Shaw, Gordon Clapp, & Eric Roberts Among 2013 United Solo Festival Winners". Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Mrs Wilson". BBC Media Centre. 4 December 2018.
  23. ^ "Fiona Shaw: We don't know who were are and the joy is in finding out -". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  24. ^ Interview with Fiona Shaw, The Observer, 3 March 2019.
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Simon Schama's John Donne, BBC2
    Armando Iannucci in Milton's Heaven and Hell, BBC2
    My Life in Verse: Sheila Hancock, BBC2"
    . The Independent. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  27. ^ "TV review: the BBC's poetry season". The Daily Telegraph. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 September 2020, at 14:18
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