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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 62)
Alma materBristol Old Vic Theatre School
Years active1979–present

Miranda Jane Richardson (born 3 March 1958)[1] is an English actor. 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 Festival.

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, England, to Marian Georgina (née Townsend), a housewife, and William Alan Richardson, a marketing executive,[2] and was their second daughter.



Richardson enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School,[3] 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,[4] 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.[5] Richardson has said that she prefers new works rather than the classics because of the history which goes with them.[6]

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.[6] 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).

Miranda Richardson at Metropolitan Opera's 2010–2011 Season Opening Night of Das Rheingold
Miranda 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.[7]

Additionally, she played Labour politician Barbara Castle in the British film Made in Dagenham.[8]

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.[9] In 2015, she played Sybil Birling in Helen Edmundson's BBC One adaptation of J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls.[10]

Personal life

She is interested in falconry.[11]

Theatre roles



Year Title Role Notes
1980 The First Day Student Short film
1985 Dance with a Stranger Ruth Ellis Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress
Variety Club Award
Underworld Oriel
The Innocent Mary Turner
1987 Eat the Rich DHSS Blonde
Empire of the Sun Mrs. Victor
1990 The Bachelor Frederica / Widow
The Fool Columbine / Rosalind / Ophelia
Twisted Obsession Marilyn
1991 Broken Skin Mother Short film
1992 The Crying Game Jude New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Damage Ingrid Fleming BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best British Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Enchanted April Rose Arbuthnot Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
1993 Century Clara
The Line, the Cross and the Curve Mysterious woman Short film
1994 Tom & Viv Vivienne Haigh-Wood National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
1995 The Night and the Moment Julie
1996 The Evening Star Patsy Carpenter Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress also for Kansas City
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Kansas City Carolyn Stilton Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress also for The Evening Star
Swann Sarah Maloney
1997 The Designated Mourner Judy
The Apostle Toosie Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
1999 Sleepy Hollow Lady Mary Van Tassel / Crone Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Horror
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
The King and I Anna Leonowens Voice Only
Nominated—London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best British Actress
Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang Miss Fowl
2000 Get Carter Gloria Carter
Chicken Run Mrs. Tweedy Voice Only
The Miracle Maker Mary Magdalene Voice Only
The Magic of Vincent Anne Saunders Short film
2002 The Hours Vanessa Bell Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Spider Yvonne/Mrs. Cleg San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actress
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best British Actress
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2003 The Actors Mrs. Magnani
The Rage in Placid Lake Sylvia Lake Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Supporting Actor – Female
Falling Angels Mary Field
2004 The Prince and Me Queen Rosalind
Churchill: The Hollywood Years Eva Braun
The Phantom of the Opera Madame Giry
2005 Midsummer Dream Queen Titania Voice Only
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Rita Skeeter
2006 Wah-Wah Lauren Compton
2007 Provoked Veronica Scott
Paris, je t'aime The Wife Segment: "Bastille"
Fred Claus Mrs. Annette Claus
Southland Tales Nana Mae Van Adler-Frost
2008 Puffball Mabs Tucker
2009 The Young Victoria Duchess of Kent
A Fox's Tale Anna Conda Voice Only
Spinning into Butter Catherine Kenney
2010 Made in Dagenham Barbara Castle
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Rita Skeeter Cameo
2013 Belle Lady Ashford
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Berliner at Window
2015 Testament of Youth Miss Hilda Lorimer
2017 iBoy Nan
Churchill Clementine Churchill
Stronger Patty Bauman
TBA Chicken Run 2 Mrs. Tweedy Voice Only


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Agony Gudrun TV series (1 episode: "From Here to Maternity")
1982 The Further Adventures of Lucky Jim Chrissie Collin TV series (1 episode)
1983 The Hard Word Polly Wood TV series (5 episodes)
Crown Court Susan Palmer TV series (1 episode: "A Matter of Trust")
1984 Sorrell and Son Lola TV episode
A Woman of Substance Paula McGill Amory TV miniseries (2 episodes)
1985 The Death of the Heart Daphne Heccomb TV film
1986 Blackadder II Queenie TV series (6 episodes)
Saturday Live "Third Man" Actress TV series (1 episode)
Shades of Darkness Gina TV series (1 episode: "The Demon Lover")
Unnatural Causes Anne Forrest TV series (1 episode: "Lost Property")
1987 After Pilkington Penny TV film

Nominated—BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress

The South Bank Show Mary Shelley TV series (1 episode: "Frankenstein and Dracula")
Blackadder the Third Amy Hardwood TV series (1 episode: "Amy and Amiability")
1988 Sweet as You Are Julia Perry TV film
Royal Television Society Award for Best Performance – Female
A Night of Comic Relief Woman with Phone TV special
The Master Builder Hilde Wangel TV film
The Storyteller Witch TV series (1 episode: "The Three Ravens")
Mountain Language Young Woman TV version of stage play
Blackadder's Christmas Carol Queen Elizabeth I/ Queen

Asphyxia XIX

TV special
1989 A Night of Comic Relief 2 "Fatal Overacting" Actress TV special
Blackadder Goes Forth Nurse Mary Fletcher-Brown TV series (1 episode: "General Hospital")
Cracking Up Mary Wollstonecraft TV series (1 episode: "The Rights of Man and the Wrongs of Woman")
Ball Trap on the Cote Sauvage Early Bird TV film
Smith and Jones Meryl Catty TV series (3 episodes)
1990 10x10 Olivia TV series (1 episode: "Secret Friends")
Die Kinder Sidonie Reiger TV series (6 episodes)
1990–1993 The Comic Strip Presents... Various characters TV series (4 episodes)
1991 Redemption Valerie Paris TV film
Old Times Anna TV film
1992 Mr. Wakefield's Crusade Sandra TV series (1 episode)
The True Adventures of Christopher Columbus Queen Isabella TV miniseries (4 episodes)
1993 Saturday Night Live Host TV series (1 episode: "Miranda Richardson")
1994 Fatherland Charlie Maguire Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1994–2004 Absolutely Fabulous Bettina TV series (2 episodes)
1996 Saint-Ex Consuelo de Saint Exupery TV film
1997 A Dance to the Music of Time Pamela Flitton TV miniseries (2 episodes)
Nominated—BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Royal Television Society Award for Best Performance – Female
1998 The Scold's Bridle Dr Sarah Blakeney TV miniseries (2 episodes)
Merlin Queen Mab / Lady of the Lake TV miniseries (2 episodes)

Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Ted and Ralph Henrietta Blough-Pendleton TV special
1999 Alice in Wonderland Queen of Hearts / Society Woman TV film
St. Ives Miss Gilchrist TV film
The Big Brass Ring Dinah Pellarin TV film

Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film

Blackadder: Back & Forth Lady Elizabeth / Queen Elizabeth I (Queenie) TV special
2001 The Fantastic Flying Journey Lucretia Moore TV series (13 episodes)

Voice Only

Snow White: The Fairest of Them All Queen Elspeth TV film
2003 The Lost Prince Queen Mary TV miniseries (2 episodes)

Nominated - BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress

Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

Comic Relief: The Big Hair Do Hermione Granger TV special
2005–2006 The Adventures of Bottle Top Bill Corky the Horse TV series (26 episodes)

Voice Only

2006 Gideon's Daughter Stella TV film
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Merlin's Apprentice Lady of the Lake TV miniseries (2 episodes)
2007 The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle Helena TV series (6 episodes)
2010 Rubicon Katherine Rhumor TV series (13 episodes)
2012 Dead Boss Jo TV series (1 episode)
Parade's End Mrs. Wannop TV miniseries (5 episodes)
World Without End Mother Cecilia TV series (6 episodes)
2014 Psychobitches Enid Blyton TV series (1 episode)
The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm Miss Blitherington TV special
Mapp and Lucia Miss Elizabeth Mapp TV miniseries (3 episodes)
2015 Casanova Marquise d'Urfe TV pilot
An Inspector Calls Sybil Birling TV film
And Then There Were None Miss Emily Brent TV miniseries (2 episodes)
2016 Walliams and Friend[12] Various TV series (1 episode: "Miranda Richardson")
Danger Mouse Queen of Weevils TV series (2 episodes)

Voice Only

2018 Girlfriends Sue Thackery TV series (6 episodes)
2019 Good Omens Madame Tracy TV miniseries

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. ^ "Miranda Richardson Biography (1958–)". 3 March 1958. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Past Graduates". Archived from the original on 25 September 2009.
  4. ^ "The Society of London Theatre, Olivier Winners 1987". Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Royal Court Theatre website". Retrieved 3 May 2010.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b Kira Cochrane "Miranda Richardson: 'I hate our sneering attitude to success", The Guardian, 20 April 2013
  7. ^ "Hollywood Reporter article". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2 January 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  8. ^ Singh, Anita (16 May 2009). "Sally Hawkins to star in strike film We Want Sex". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "BBC – David Thewlis to lead cast of BBC One's adaptation of JB Priestley's An Inspector Calls – Media Centre".
  11. ^ Duncan, Andrew (29 December 2014). "Miranda Richardson discusses her new role as Miss Elizabeth Mapp". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Walliams and Friend: Miranda Richardson". BBC.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 September 2020, at 23:54
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