Anna Chancellor

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Anna Chancellor
Born (1965-04-27) 27 April 1965 (age 49)
Richmond, London, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Nigel Willoughby (1993–1998)
Redha Debbah (2010–present)
Children Poppy Chancellor

Anna Chancellor (born Anna Theodora Chancellor, 27 April 1965) is an English actress.


Chancellor was born in Richmond, London, England, the daughter of the Hon. Mary Alice Jolliffe (daughter of William Jolliffe, 4th Baron Hylton) and John Paget Chancellor, grandson of John Chancellor. Through her mother's mother, Lady Perdita Rose Mary Asquith, Chancellor is the great-granddaughter of Raymond Asquith and the great-great-granddaughter of Prime Minister H. H. Asquith,[1] and through her father, she is the great-great-granddaughter of the 12th Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham (a descendant of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter and William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley). She is a second cousin, once removed of actress Helena Bonham Carter, through her mother's side. Her uncle is journalist Alexander Chancellor, the father of model Cecilia Chancellor, her six times great-aunt was author Jane Austen, herself a great-niece of James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. She is also ten times a descendant of Mary Boleyn, twice of Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich and once of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.[citation needed]

Through her great-grandfather, John Chancellor, she is a six times great-granddaughter of William Duff, 1st Earl Fife and his second wife, Jean Grant (1705-1788), daughter of James Grant, 6th Bt., by two separate lines of descent.

Chancellor was accepted into the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, but in her third year she became pregnant and dropped out.[citation needed] Her daughter with Scots poet Jock Scott, Poppy Chancellor, was born in 1987. When their relationship ended, she then married a cameraman, Nigel Willoughby, whom she had met in 1993 while shooting a Boddington's advertisement. However, they divorced in 1998.[citation needed] She is now married to Redha Debbah.[2]


Chancellor had a prominent role in the series Kavanagh QC. She is also known for her performance as "Duckface" in Four Weddings and a Funeral opposite Hugh Grant. She has also been noted for her work as Caroline Bingley in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and as Questular Rontok in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In 2005, she joined the cast of the popular BBC One television drama series Spooks as a new regular character, Juliet Shaw. She has also appeared in The Vice, Jupiter Moon, Karaoke, Cold Lazarus, The Dreamers, and Tipping the Velvet, and has a starring role in the satirical black comedy Suburban Shootout. In 2011, she took a supporting role in the thriller serial The Hour, for which she received a British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination.[3]

In 2013, she received a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress nomination for her work on Private Lives.


She is one of the Honorary Patrons of the London children's charity Scene & Heard.[4]


Year Film Role Notes
1990 Killing Dad or How to Love Your Mother Barmaid
Jupiter Moon Mercedes Page TV series (50 episodes: 1990–1996)
1992 Inspector Morse Sally Smith TV series (1 episode: "Cherubim and Seraphim")
1993 Agatha Christie's Poirot Virginie Mesnard TV series (1 episode: "The Chocolate Box")
Comedy Playhouse Julia TV series (1 episode: "The Complete Guide to Relationships")
Century Woman in Police Station
1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral Henrietta (Duckface) – Wedding Four
Tom & Viv Woman
Staggered Carmen Svennipeg
Princess Caraboo Mrs. Peake
Ellington Ally Stone TV film
1995 Pride & Prejudice Caroline Bingley TV mini-series (6 episodes)
Kavanagh QC Julia Piper TV series (11 episodes: 1995–1997)
1996 Karaoke Anna Griffiths TV mini-series (4 episodes)
Cold Lazarus Anna Griffiths TV mini-series (3 episodes)
1997 FairyTale: A True Story Peter Pan
The Man Who Knew Too Little Barbara Ritchie
1999 The Vice Dr. Christine Weir TV series (5 episodes)
Heart Nicola Farmer
2000 Longitude Muriel Gould TV film
2001 The Cazalets Diana Mackintosh TV series (6 episodes)
Crush Molly Cartwright
2002 Tipping the Velvet Diana Lethaby TV series (2 episodes)
2003 Georgian Underworld Narrator TV series (1 episode: "Queer as 18th Century Folk")
What a Girl Wants Glynnis Payne
Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie Nicky Bowden TV film
Fortysomething Estelle Slippery TV series (6 episodes)
The Dreamers Mother
Confused short
2004 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Lady Josephine Kenworth
Blue Dove Maria Bishop TV series (2 episodes)
Roman Road Maddy Bancroft TV film
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Questular Rontok
Feeder Doctor short
The Best Man Dana
A Waste of Shame: Shakespeare and His Sonnets Anne Hathaway TV film
Spooks Juliet Shaw TV series (15 episodes: 2005–2007)
2006 Breaking and Entering Kate
Rebus Amanda Morrison TV series (1 episode: "Let It Bleed")
The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton Elizabeth Dorling TV film
Suburban Shootout Camilla Diamond TV series (11 episodes: 2006–2007)
2007 Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars Irene Adler TV film
St. Trinians Miss Bagstock
Christmas at the Riviera Diane TV film
2008 My Family Zelda Nobbs TV series (1 episode: "Cards on the Table")
Agatha Christie's Marple Lydia Horton TV film
2009 Law & Order: UK Evelyn Wyndham TV series (2 episodes)
2010 Critical Eye Laura
Silent Witness Chief Supt. Karen Somerville TV series (2 episodes)
Miranda Helena TV series (Series 2 episode 4: "A New Low")
More Afraid of You Lucy short
2011 Hustle Wendy Stanton TV series (1 episode: "As Good as it Gets")
Waking the Dead Lucy Christie TV series (2 episodes)
Lewis Judith Suskin TV series (1 episode: "The Gift of Promise")
The Hour Lix Storm TV series (12 episodes)
Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress
Hidden Elspeth Verney TV series (4 episodes)
Hysteria Mrs Bellamy
2012 Pramface Janet Derbyshire TV series
2013 A Touch of Cloth Hope Goodgirl TV series (2 episodes)
How I Live Now Aunt Penn
2014 Death Knight Love Story Miria Animated, motion-captured, fan-made Machinima film
Inside No. 9 Elizabeth Episode 1, "Sardines"
Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond Second Officer Monday TV series (4 episodes)
Downton Abbey Lady Anstruther
Mapp and Lucia Emmeline 'Lucia' Lucas TV series (3 episodes)
Penny Dreadful Claire Ives TV series (1 episode)
TBA Testament of Youth Filming


  • Boston Marriage, Donmar Warehouse – March–April 2001; Donmar in the West End – November 2001 – February 2002
  • Mammals at the Oxford Playhouse and touring – Lorna, January 2006
  • Never So Good, National Theatre – summer 2008
  • The Observer, National Theatre – spring 2009
  • The Last of the Duchess, Hampstead Theatre – October–November 2011
  • Private Lives (playing Amanda), Chichester Festival Theatre, September 2012, and the Gielgud Theatre, London (July–September 2013)[5]
  • The Wolf From the Door, Royal Court Theatre, September–November 2014[6]


Chancellor has played the role of Ann Smiley in a BBC dramatisation of the John le Carre novels The Honourable Schoolboy[7] and Smiley's People. [8]


  1. ^ Green – Aristocratic Anna
  2. ^ Lewis, Tim (21 August 2011). "The Observer – My life was chaotic. But it turned out OK.". London: Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  3. ^ The Hour at IMDb
  4. ^ "Scene & Heard – Who We Are". 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  5. ^ "Review of Private Lives". Time Out. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The Complete Smiley – The Karla Trilogy, Book 2: The Honourable Schoolboy". BBC. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Complete Smiley: Smiley's People". BBC. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 

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