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Miranda Richardson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Miranda Richardson
Stronger PC 02 (37216444535).jpg
Richardson at the press conference for Stronger, Toronto International Film Festival 2017
Miranda Jane Richardson

(1958-03-03) 3 March 1958 (age 63)
Alma materBristol Old Vic Theatre School
Years active1979–present

Miranda Jane Richardson (born 3 March 1958)[1] is an English actress. [2] She made her film debut playing Ruth Ellis in Dance with a Stranger (1985) and went on to receive Academy Award nominations for Damage (1992) and Tom & Viv (1994). A seven-time BAFTA Award nominee, she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Damage. She has also been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards, winning twice for Enchanted April (1992) and the TV film Fatherland (1994). In 1996, one critic asserted that she is "the greatest actress of our time in any medium" after she appeared in Orlando at the Edinburgh International Festival.

After graduating from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Richardson began her career in 1979 and made her West End debut in the 1981 play Moving, before being nominated for the 1987 Olivier Award for Best Actress for A Lie of the Mind. Her television credits include Blackadder (1986–1989), A Dance to the Music of Time (1997), Merlin (1998), The Lost Prince (2003), Gideon's Daughter (2006), the sitcom The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle (2007), and Rubicon (2010). She was nominated for the 2015 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Narrator for Operation Orangutan.

Her other films include Empire of the Sun (1987), The Crying Game (1992), The Apostle (1997), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Chicken Run (2000), The Hours (2002), Spider (2002), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), The Young Victoria (2009), Made in Dagenham (2010), Belle (2013), and Stronger (2017).

Early life

Richardson was born in Southport, Lancashire, to Marian Georgina (née Townsend), a housewife, and William Alan Richardson, a marketing executive,[3] and was their second daughter. She recalls that there was “a cinema about 50 yards from my house. So Saturday mornings were spent with The ABC Minors: the Saturday cinema club with the theme song set to the tune of Blaze Away by Abe Holzmann, a red ball bouncing over the lyrics so you could sing along. As I got older, I would go to the cinema by myself to watch matinees of westerns and historical Technicolor dramas.”[4]



Richardson enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School,[5] where she studied alongside Daniel Day-Lewis and Jenny Seagrove, having started out with juvenile performances in Cinderella and Lord Arthur Savile's Crime at the Southport Dramatic Club.

Richardson has enjoyed a successful and extensive theatre career, first joining Manchester Library Theatre in 1979 as an assistant stage manager, followed by a number of appearances in repertory theatre. Her London stage debut was in Moving at the Queen's Theatre in 1981. She found recognition in the West End for a series of stage performances, ultimately receiving an Olivier Award nomination for her performance in A Lie of the Mind,[6] and, in 1996, one critic asserted that she is "the greatest actress of our time in any medium" after she appeared in Orlando at the Edinburgh Festival. She returned to the London stage in May 2009 to play the lead role in Wallace Shawn's new play, Grasses of a Thousand Colours at the Royal Court Theatre.[7] Richardson has said that she prefers new works rather than the classics because of the history which goes with them.[8]

Film and television

In 1985, Richardson made her film debut as Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom, in the biographical drama Dance with a Stranger. Around the same time, Richardson played a comedic Queen Elizabeth I, aka Queenie, in the British television comedy Blackadder II.

Following Dance with a Stranger, Richardson turned down numerous parts in which her character was unstable or disreputable, including the Glenn Close role in Fatal Attraction.[8] In this period, she appeared in Empire of the Sun (1987). In an episode of the TV series The Storyteller ("The Three Ravens", 1988), she played a witch. Meanwhile, she had returned in guest roles in one episode each in Blackadder the Third (1987) and Blackadder Goes Forth (1989). She returned to play Queenie in the Christmas special Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) and, later, a special edition for the millennium Blackadder: Back and Forth. As Hilde in ‘’The Master Builder’’ (1988). Her portrayal of a troubled theatre goer in Secret Friends (BBC 2, 1990) was described as "a miniature tour de force... Miranda Richardson's finest hour, all in ten minutes" (The Sunday Times). Other television roles include Pamela Flitton in A Dance to the Music of Time (1997), Miss Gilchrist in St. Ives (1998), Bettina the interior decorator in Absolutely Fabulous, Queen Elspeth, Snow White's stepmother, in Snow White: The Fairest of Them All (2001), and Queen Mary in The Lost Prince (2003).

Richardson at Metropolitan Opera's 2010–2011 Season Opening Night of Das Rheingold
Richardson at Metropolitan Opera's 2010–2011 Season Opening Night of Das Rheingold

Richardson has appeared in a number of high-profile supporting roles in film, including Vanessa Bell in The Hours, Lady Van Tassel in Sleepy Hollow and Patsy Carpenter in The Evening Star. She also won acclaim for her performances in The Crying Game and Enchanted April, for which she won a Golden Globe. She received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Damage and Tom & Viv.

Her film credits also include Kansas City (1996), The Apostle (1997) and Wah-Wah (2005). In 2002, she performed a triple-role in the thriller Spider.

Richardson also appeared as Queen Rosalind of Denmark in The Prince and Me and as the ballet mistress Madame Giry in the film version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera (2004). In 2005, she appeared in the role of Rita Skeeter, the toxic Daily Prophet journalist in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She also did the voice for Corky in The Adventures of Bottle Top Bill and His Best Friend Corky (2005), an Australian animated series for children. In 2006, she appeared in Gideon's Daughter. She played Mrs. Claus in the film Fred Claus (2007).

Richardson appeared in the BBC sitcom, The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle. She appeared as a guest in A Taste of My Life.

In 2008, Richardson was cast in a leading role in original AMC pilot, Rubicon. She plays Katherine Rhumor, a New York socialite who finds herself drawn into the central intrigue of a think tank after the death of her husband.[9]

Additionally, she played Labour politician Barbara Castle in the British film Made in Dagenham.[10]

In 2014, Richardson was cast as Queen Ulla in Maleficent, where she was to play the titular character's aunt, but her role was cut from the film during post-production.[11] In 2015, she played Sybil Birling in Helen Edmundson's BBC One adaptation of J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls.[12]

Personal life

Richardson has never married, and she has no children.[13] Her hobbies include dog walking, gardening and falconry, and she started playing the cello in 2013. She trains a falcon named Cassiopeia.[8][14]


Awards and nominations

Year Award Work Result
1987 Olivier Award for Best Actress A Lie of the Mind Nominated
1988 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress After Pilkington Nominated
1993 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical Enchanted April Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Damage Nominated
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role Won
The Crying Game Nominated
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Damage Nominated
1995 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Tom & Viv Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television Fatherland Won
Academy Award for Best Actress Tom & Viv Nominated
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
1998 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress A Dance to the Music of Time Nominated
1999 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Merlin Nominated
2000 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television The Big Brass Ring Nominated
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress Sleepy Hollow Nominated
2003 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture The Hours Nominated
2004 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress The Lost Prince Nominated
2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2011 BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role Made in Dagenham Nominated
2015 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Narrator Operation Orangutan Nominated


  1. ^ "Miranda Richardson Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  2. ^ I doubted whether I, as an Englishwoman, could do a believable Irish accent. How we made The Crying Game', 26 Sep, 2021
  3. ^ "Miranda Richardson Biography (1958–)". 3 March 1958. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Miranda Richardson's teenage obsessions: 'I rescued a kestrel and became fascinated by birds of prey'". The Guardian. 4 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Past Graduates". Archived from the original on 25 September 2009.
  6. ^ "The Society of London Theatre, Olivier Winners 1987". Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Royal Court Theatre website". Archived from the original on 21 September 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  8. ^ a b c Cochrane, Kira (20 April 2013). "Miranda Richardson: 'I hate our sneering attitude to success'". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Hollywood Reporter article". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2 January 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  10. ^ Singh, Anita (16 May 2009). "Sally Hawkins to star in strike film We Want Sex". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  11. ^ Bibbiani, William (27 May 2014). "Maleficent: Director Robert Stromberg on True Love and Reshoots". CraveOnline. Archived from the original on 2 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  12. ^ "BBC – David Thewlis to lead cast of BBC One's adaptation of JB Priestley's An Inspector Calls – Media Centre".
  13. ^ "Actress Miranda Richardson's ploy didn't work". Daily Republic. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  14. ^ Duncan, Andrew (29 December 2014). "Miranda Richardson discusses her new role as Miss Elizabeth Mapp". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 3 October 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 September 2021, at 08:15
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