Anne-Marie Duff (born 8 October 1970) is an English actress. She played Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen (2006). She also played the lead role in the television series From Darkness in 2015.
Duff has also had roles in films such as Enigma (2001), The Magdalene Sisters (2002), Notes on a Scandal (2006), French Film (2008), The Last Station and Nowhere Boy (both 2009), Before I Go to Sleep (2014) and Suffragette (2015).
Her performances in Shameless, The Virgin Queen, Nowhere Boy and Suffragette earned her BAFTA nominations in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, and she was awarded the BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Actress for her work in the 2007 television film The History of Mr Polly.
Duff married Scottish actor James McAvoy, with whom she has one child. The couple divorced in 2016.
Duff was born on 8 October 1970, the younger of two children of Irish immigrants – her father was a painter and decorator and her mother worked in a shoe shop. The family lived in Southall, London, and Anne-Marie went to Mellow Lane School. At an early age, Anne-Marie attended a local youth theatre, Young Argosy, linked to the Argosy Players, in order to battle her shy nature and soon became hooked on the stage.
In her mid-teens, involved in an amateur theatre company, she began to think seriously about applying to drama schools. Her first application was rejected. "At the time, I was desperately unhappy about it, but I just wasn’t polished. I got too nervous in the audition. It wasn't a world I was familiar with…" After further study of Film and Theatre, at the age of 19, she attended the Drama Centre in London, alongside John Simm, Anastasia Hille and her good friend, Paul Bettany.
Duff was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000, but first mainstream attention came as Fiona Gallagher in the Channel 4 television programme Shameless, and for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in the lavish 2005 BBC television miniseries, The Virgin Queen which also starred Tom Hardy, Joanne Whalley and Tara Fitzgerald. She also played Julia Stanley, the mother of John Lennon, in Nowhere Boy. In The Last Station, a biopic about Leo Tolstoy's later years, she played his devoted daughter Sasha.
An accomplished theatre actor, she has worked extensively with the Royal National Theatre, including its 1996 production of Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, and also in London's West End (Vassa, Collected Stories). Credits at the National Theatre include Collected Stories, King Lear and most recently the title character in Marianne Elliott's production of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan to great acclaim. In 2011 she played Alma Rattenbury in Rattigan's final play Cause Célèbre at The Old Vic directed by Thea Sharrock. In 2007 she was one of nine female celebrities to take part in the What's it going to take? campaign promoting awareness of domestic abuse in the United Kingdom. She will be starring alongside Sandra Bullock and Rachel Weisz in Imagination of the Creatures.
Duff married Scottish actor and former Shameless co-star James McAvoy in October 2006, and gave birth to their son, Brendan McAvoy, in 2010. On 13 May 2016, Duff and McAvoy announced their decision to divorce.