Children Alice Massey
|Name Penelope Wilton|
Years active 1972–present
|Full Name Penelope Alice Wilton|
Born 3 June 1946 (age 69) (1946-06-03) Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK
Notable work The Deep Blue Sea (play) as Heyster CollyerDownton Abbey as Isobel CrawleyMatch Point as Eleanor Hewett
Spouse Ian Holm (m. 1991–2001), Daniel Massey (m. 1975–1984)
Books Penelope Wilton on Isabella (Shakespeare on Stage)
Parents Alice Travers, Clifford Wilton
Movies and TV shows Downton Abbey, The Best Exotic Marigold, The Second Best Exoti, Match Point, Calendar Girls
Similar People Maggie Smith, Lesley Nicol, Celia Imrie, Sophie McShera, Phyllis Logan
Dame penelope wilton talks brief encounters lorraine
Dame Penelope Alice Wilton, (born 3 June 1946) is an English actress. She is known for starring opposite Richard Briers in the BBC sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles (1984–89); playing Homily in The Borrowers (1992) and The Return of the Borrowers (1993); and for her role as Isobel Crawley in the ITV drama Downton Abbey (2010–15). She also played the recurring role of Harriet Jones in Doctor Who (2005–08).
- Dame penelope wilton talks brief encounters lorraine
- Penelope wilton on her new play lorraine
- Early life and background
- Personal life
- Awards and recognition
Wilton has had an extensive career on stage, receiving six Olivier Award nominations. She was nominated for Man and Superman (1981), The Secret Rapture (1988), The Deep Blue Sea (1994), John Gabriel Borkman (2008) and The Chalk Garden (2009), before winning the 2015 Olivier Award for Best Actress for Taken at Midnight. Her film appearances include Clockwise (1986), Cry Freedom (1987), Calendar Girls (2003), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Match Point (2005), Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012), The Girl (2012) and The BFG (2016).
Penelope wilton on her new play lorraine
Early life and background
Wilton was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, the daughter of Alice Travers, a tap dancer and former actress, and Clifford William Wilton, a businessman. She is a niece of actors Bill Travers and Linden Travers. Her maternal grandparents owned theatres.
She and her sisters, Rosemary and Linda, attended La Sagesse convent school in Newcastle upon Tyne, at which their mother had previously taught. She attended the Drama Centre London from 1965 to 1968.
Wilton began her career on stage in 1969 at the Nottingham Playhouse. Her early roles included Cordelia in King Lear, both in Nottingham and at The Old Vic.
She made her Broadway debut in March 1971 when she played Araminta in the original Broadway production of The Philanthropist, and made her West End debut in August 1971 opposite Sir Ralph Richardson, in the John Osborne play West of Suez at the Cambridge Theatre. She had previously appeared in both plays at the Royal Court Theatre. She played Ruth in the original 1974 London stage production of Alan Ayckbourn's Norman Conquests trilogy.
Her television acting career began in 1972, playing Vivie Warren in Mrs. Warren's Profession opposite Robert Powell. She then had several major TV roles, including two of the BBC Television Shakespeare productions (as Desdemona in Othello and Regan in King Lear ).
Wilton's film career includes roles in The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), Cry Freedom (1987), Iris (2001), Calendar Girls (2003) and Shaun of the Dead (2004), Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (2005), Woody Allen's Match Point (2005), and in The History Boys (2006).
She did not become a household name until she appeared with Richard Briers in the 1984 BBC situation comedy, Ever Decreasing Circles, which ran for five years. She played Ann, long suffering wife of Martin (Briers), an obsessive and pedantic "do-gooder". In 2005, Wilton guest starred as Harriet Jones for two episodes in the BBC's revival of the popular TV science-fiction series Doctor Who. This guest role was written especially for her by the programme's chief writer and executive producer Russell T. Davies, with whom she had worked on Bob and Rose (ITV, 2001). The character of Jones returned as Prime Minister in the Doctor Who 2005 Christmas special "The Christmas Invasion". In the first part of the 2008 series finale, "The Stolen Earth", she made a final appearance, now as the former Prime Minister who sacrifices herself for extermination by the Daleks so that the Doctor's companions can contact him. She appeared in four episodes.
Wilton appeared on television as Barbara Poole, the mother of a missing woman, in the BBC television drama series Five Days in 2005; and in ITV's drama Half Broken Things (October 2007) and the BBC production of The Passion (Easter 2008). Since 2010, she has appeared as Isobel Crawley in the hit period drama Downton Abbey. She was the castaway on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in April 2008. In December 2012 and February 2013, she was the narrator in Lin Coghlan's dramatisation of Elizabeth Jane Howard's The Cazalets, broadcast on BBC Radio.
Between 1975 and 1984, Wilton was married to the actor Daniel Massey. They had a daughter, Alice, born in 1977. Before this, they had had a stillborn child, a son.
In 1991, Wilton married Ian Holm (in 1998, after he was knighted, she became Lady Holm) and they appeared together as Pod and Homily in the BBC's 1993 adaptation of The Borrowers. They were divorced in 2001.
Awards and recognition
Wilton was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2004 New Year Honours and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours, both for services to drama.
In 2012, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hull Scarborough Campus.