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Miranda Richardson

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Occupation  Actress
Siblings  Lesley Richardson
Role  Film actress
Name  Miranda Richardson
Years active  1979-present

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Full Name  Miranda Jane Richardson
Born  3 March 1958 (age 61) (1958-03-03) Southport, Lancashire, England
Parents  William Alan Richardson, Marian Georgina Richardson
Education  Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Southport High School
Awards  BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Movies and TV shows  Sleepy Hollow, Maleficent, Blackadder, The Young Victoria, Belle
Similar People  Imelda Staunton, Jaye Davidson, Jennifer Ellison, Robert Stromberg, Christina Ricci

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Miranda Jane Richardson (born 3 March 1958) is an English stage, film and television actress. She made her film debut playing Ruth Ellis in Dance with a Stranger in 1985 and went on to receive Academy Award nominations for Damage (1992) and Tom & Viv (1994). For Damage, she won the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has also won Golden Globe Awards for Enchanted April (1992) and the TV film Fatherland (1994).


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Richardson began her career on stage and made her West End debut in the 1980 play Moving. She received a Best Actress Olivier Award nomination for the 1987 Royal Court production of A Lie of the Mind. On television, she has starred in Blackadder (1986–1989), A Dance to the Music of Time (1997), Merlin (1998), The Lost Prince (2003), and the sitcom The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle (2007).

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Her other films include Empire of the Sun (1987), The Crying Game (1992), The Apostle (1997), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Snow White: The Fairest of Them All (2001), Spider (2002), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), and Made in Dagenham (2010).

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Miranda Richardson Wins Best Actress Motion Picture Musical or Comedy - Golden Globes 1993

Early life

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Richardson was born in Southport, to Marian Georgina (née Townsend), a housewife, and William Alan Richardson, a marketing executive, and was their second daughter.


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Richardson enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, 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.

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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, 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. Richardson has said that she prefers new work rather than the classics because of the history which goes with them.

Film and television

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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. 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.

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 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.

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

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

Personal life

Richardson has never married and has no children.

Theatre roles

  • Savage Amusement (Hazel) – Derby Playhouse, Lancaster
  • Stags and Hens (Linda) – Derby Playhouse, Lancaster
  • All My Sons (Ann) – Derby Playhouse, Lancaster
  • Sisterly Feelings (Brenda) – Derby Playhouse, Lancaster
  • Ten Times Table (Phillipa) – Library Theatre, Manchester
  • Whose Life Is It Anyway? (Kay Sadler) – Library Theatre, Manchester
  • Play It Again, Sam (Linda Christie) – Library Theatre, Manchester
  • Tom Jones (Sophie Western) – Library Theatre, Manchester
  • Educating Rita (Rita) – Haymarket Theatre, Leicester
  • Moving (Jane Gladwin) – Queen's Theatre (1980/1)
  • The Table of the Two Horseman (Katie Wyld) – Bristol Theatre Royal (9 March 1983/2 April 1983)
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Honey) – Bristol Theatre Royal (6 April 1983/30 April 1983)
  • The Maids (Madame) – Bristol New Vic (27 September 1983/22 October 1983)
  • Insignificance (The Actress) – Bristol New Vic (25 October 1983/19 December 1983)
  • Life of Einstein – Dukes Playhouse, Lancaster (1984)
  • Edmond (Glenna) – Newcastle (1985)
  • A Lie of the Mind (Beth) – Royal Court Theatre, West End (1987)
  • The Changeling (Beatrice-Joanna) – (Lyttelton) National Theatre, West End (1988)
  • Mountain Language (Young Woman) – (Lyttelton) National Theatre, West End (1988)
  • Etta Jenks (Etta Jenks) – Royal Court Theatre, West End (1990)
  • The Designated Mourner (Judy) – Royal National Theatre, West End (1996)
  • Orlando (Orlando) – 50th Edinburgh International Festival (11/21 August 1996)
  • Aunt Dan and Lemon (Aunt Dan) – Almeida Theatre, Islington, London (5 May/5 June 1999)
  • The Play What I Wrote (Herself) – Wyndham's Theatre, West End (30 January 2002, 5 May 2002, 2 January 2003)
  • Comic Aid 2005 – (Herself – Asia Tsunami Aid) – Carling Apollo, West End (22 February 2005)
  • One Knight Only – (Herself – Asia Tsunami Aid) – Theatre Royal, Haymarket, West End (20 March 2005)
  • Grasses of a thousand colours (Cerise) – Royal Court Theatre (May 2009)
  • Academy Award

  • Nominated (1993): Best Supporting Actress, Damage
  • Nominated (1995): Best Actress, Tom & Viv
  • BAFTA Award

  • Nominated (1988): Best Actress, After Pilkington (TV)
  • Nominated (1993): Best Supporting Actress, The Crying Game
  • Won (1993): Best Supporting Actress, Damage
  • Nominated (1994): Best Actress, Tom & Viv
  • Nominated (1998): Best Actress, A Dance to the Music of Time (TV)
  • Nominated (2004): Best Actress, The Lost Prince (TV)
  • Nominated (2011): Best Supporting Actress, Made in Dagenham
  • Golden Globe Award

  • Won (1993): Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical/Comedy, Enchanted April
  • Nominated (1993): Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, Damage
  • Nominated (1995): Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, Tom & Viv
  • Won (1995): Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, Fatherland
  • Nominated (1999): Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, Merlin
  • Nominated (2000): Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, The Big Brass Ring
  • Nominated (2005): Best Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television, The Lost Prince
  • Laurence Olivier Award

  • Nominated (1988): Best Actress, A Lie of the Mind
  • References

    Miranda Richardson Wikipedia