|Born||Anna Louise Friel
12 July 1976
Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England
|Partner(s)||David Thewlis (2001–2010)|
|Children||Gracie Ellen Mary Thewlis|
|Friel in February 2013|
Anna Louise Friel (born 12 July 1976) is an English actress. Born in Rochdale, she has been acting since the age of 13, appearing in a number of British television programmes. She played Beth Jordache in the Channel 4 soap Brookside which had the first lesbian kiss in a British soap opera in January 1994. She made her West End stage début in London in 2001, and has subsequently appeared on stage in several productions, including an adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's and as Yelena in a 2012 production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya.
Friel made her film debut in 1998 in David Leland's Land Girls and has since made a number of films appearing with such notable co-stars as Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Robert De Niro, Will Ferrell, and Rachel Weisz. Outside of film, she is probably best known in the USA for her work as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles in the ABC comedy series Pushing Daisies for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2008.
She is the recipient of a number of awards including National Television Award (1995), Drama Desk Award (1999), and the Royal Television Society Award (2009). She has also appeared in music videos and television and print media advertising campaigns and is the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Bolton.
She was previously in a relationship with the actor David Thewlis, and in 2005 had a daughter with him.
Friel was born in Rochdale, in Greater Manchester, the daughter of Julie (née Bamford), a special needs teacher, and Desmond "Des" Friel, a former teacher of French and owner of a web design company. Friel's Irish Catholic father, a former folk guitarist, was born in Belfast, and grew up in County Donegal. Her brother, Michael, starred in Hovis television adverts. He is now a doctor.
At the age of 13, she was hired for her first professional acting job in the Channel 4 drama serial G.B.H., as the daughter of Michael Palin's character. Her performance led to a series of appearances on various British television shows, including Emmerdale. In 1992, she was added to the cast on the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside, where she gained greater exposure in the role of Beth Jordache. She stayed on the programme for two years. Friel's on-air lesbian kiss with Nicola Stephenson was the first in British soap history, but not - as is often claimed - the first on British television, which occurred on the BBC 2 in 1974. In 1995, Friel won the National Television Award for Most Popular Actress for her work on Brookside.
In 1996, Friel courted further controversy when she appeared in the television film The Tribe by Stephen Poliakoff, which included nudity and a much discussed ménage à trois sex scene between characters played by Friel, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Jeremy Northam.
Friel's film credits include playing Nick Leeson's wife Lisa in Rogue Trader opposite Ewan McGregor; David Leland's The Land Girls, which also starred Rachel Weisz and Catherine McCormack; Adam Collis Sunset Strip as Tammy Franklin, opposite Jared Leto, Simon Baker and Nick Stahl; All for Love with Richard E. Grant; A Midsummer Night's Dream as Hermia, opposite Christian Bale, Dominic West and Calista Flockhart; Timeline as Gerard Butler's object of affection; Me Without You opposite Michelle Williams; and Goal! and Goal II: Living the Dream.
Her television work includes the short lived The Jury for the Fox and ITV1's Watermelon which was based on the novel by Marian Keyes. In 2007, she started playing Charlotte "Chuck" Charles in Pushing Daisies, a new television series from the creator of Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls, on the American network ABC. Although popular with critics, in November 2008, creator Bryan Fuller stated that it had been cancelled due to poor ratings. The show ran for two seasons. Following the series' cancellation, Friel was offered six pilots during the next pilot season but declined all six roles in favour of focusing on her film career.
Henry Bond's photograph depicts Anna with David Thewlis. The couple were reported to have been paid £50,000 to appear in the autumn/winter 2001 advertising campaign for British fashion company Mulberry.
In September 2009, Friel starred in a West End adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. It was particularly noted for now including a nude scene which was not part of the original Breakfast at Tiffany's performance.
In April 2010, she was cast in the psychological thriller film The Dark Fields (now entitled Limitless and released in March 2011). In November 2010, Friel starred in London Boulevard alongside Ray Winstone, Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley and her then partner David Thewlis.
Friel appears in the video for the Manic Street Preachers' September 2010 single "(It's Not War) Just the End of Love" opposite Welsh actor Michael Sheen, with whom she co-starred in the 2003 film Timeline.
In January 2011, Friel appeared in an episode of the BBC series Come Fly with Me as a fictionalised version of herself. In the show she is bald and has lost her wig. In December of that year, she played the star role (Ellie Manning) in ITV's series drama Without You. That same month, she starred as Captain Elizabeth Bonny in the SyFy network's production of Neverland, a prequel to J.M. Barrie's classic story Peter Pan.
In March 2012, Friel began filming for The King of Soho, later renamed The Look of Love, a biographical movie about "porn baron" Paul Raymond, in which she plays Raymond's wife Jean alongside Steve Coogan as Raymond. She also starred in Public Enemies, a 3-part BBC television drama which aired in early 2012, opposite Daniel Mays. The two previously worked together during her appearance on The Street. It also featured Barnaby Kay, an actor whom she worked with in Without You.
In 2013 Friel was cast in Showtime's new drama The Vatican opposite Kyle Chandler. Anna Friel filmed Having You, a TV movie, opposite Andrew Buchan, in 2012, and it aired on Sky TV in early May 2013 for UK residents. Having You has been released on DVD and VOD.
In 2001, Friel began a relationship with actor David Thewlis, after the pair met on a flight to Cannes. (Contrary to popular belief, however, the two never married.) In the same year Friel collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, needing emergency surgery and two blood transfusions for a ruptured ovarian cyst. It was later discovered that she suffers from endometriosis and would have great difficulty conceiving. However, she succeeded in conceiving and gave birth to Gracie Ellen Mary Thewlis on 9 July 2005 at Portland Hospital in London. Gracie was named after Gracie Fields, who was also from Rochdale, and her mother's grandmothers, Ellen and Mary. She has appeared along with her mother in the film Bathory.
In 2014 she campaigned on behalf of the WWF wildlife charity.
Awards and nominations
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (November 2011)|
- 2009 Royal Television Society North West Award – Best Performance in a Single Drama or Drama Series for The Street
- 2008 Golden Globe – Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical Nomination for Pushing Daisies (nominee)
- 1999 Drama Desk Awards – Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for "Closer"
- 1995 TV Times Awards – Best Actress
- 1995 National Television Awards – Most Popular Actress for Brookside
- 1994 TV Quick Magazine – Best Newcomer
- Honorary degree, awarded by the University of Bolton.
|1991||G.B.H.||Susan Nelson||TV mini-series|
|1993||Medics||Holly Jarrett||Episode (No.3.3)|
|1995||The Imaginatively Titled Punt & Dennis Show||Episode (No.2.1)|
|1996||Tales from the Crypt||Angelica||Episode ("About Face")|
|Cadfael||Sioned||Episode ("A Morbid Taste for Bones")|
|1998||The Land Girls||Prue (Prudence)|
|Our Mutual Friend||Bella Wilfer||Episodes (No.1.1, No.1.2)|
|St. Ives||Flora Gilchrist|
|1999||A Midsummer Night's Dream||Hermia|
|Rogue Trader||Lisa Leeson|
|2000||Sunset Strip||Tammy Franklin|
|An Everlasting Piece||Bronagh|
|The War Bride||Lily|
|Me Without You||Marina|
|2002||Fields of Gold||Lucia Merritt||TV film|
|2003||Watermelon||Claire Ryan||TV film|
|Last Rumba in Rochdale||Bodney||Voice actor|
|2004||Perfect Strangers||Susie Wilding|
|2007||Goal! 2: Living the Dream...||Roz Harmison|
|2007–2008||Pushing Daisies||Charlotte "Chuck" Charles||Main cast|
|2008||Bathory||Countess Erzsébet Báthory|
|2009||Land of the Lost||Holly Cantrell|
|The Street||Dee Purnell||Episodes (No.3.2 and No.3.3)|
|You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger||Iris|
|2011||Neverland||Elizabeth Bonny||TV film|
|Treasure Guards||Victoria Eckhart||TV film|
|Come Fly with Me||Herself||Comedy series|
|Without You||Ellie||TV Series|
|2012||Public Enemies||Paula Radnor||Drama series|
|2013||The Vatican||Kayla Duffy||TV pilot|
|The Look of Love||Jean Raymond|
|2014||The Heavy Water War||Julie Smith||TV mini-series|
- David Thewlis is the 'Anonymous' actor who's everywhere, Los Angeles Times, 12 January 2012.
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- "University announces winter Honorary Doctorates". University of Bolton. 24 November 2006.
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- "Irish News | Anna Friel's 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' nude scene causing a stir". Irish News. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- "The Beautiful Anna Friel Latest to Enter 'The Dark Fields'". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- "Anna Friel the Next to Run Through the Dark Fields". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- "Sheen's painful embrace". 3 September 2010. www.thisissouthwales.co.uk. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
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- Without You at ITV web site
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- Public Enemies (TV Series 2012– ) - IMDb
- Jensen, Jeff (1 March 2013). "Showtime casts Anna Friel in 'The Vatican' | Inside TV | EW.com". Insidetv.ew.com. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- Having You (2013) - IMDb
- Anna Friel, David Thewlis accidentally set house on fire [sic]
- "Anna Friel was almost left infertile by a medical condition. – Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- "Anna Friel was almost left infertile by a medical condition". Zeenews.india.com. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- MacDonald, Marianne (26 September 2005). "Post-natal confession". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- Bathory (2008) - IMDb
- "Fashion Targets Breast Cancer". Targetbreastcancer.org.uk. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- "Friel, Thewlis split after nine years". Digital Spy. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
- Interview: Anna Friel on her love for Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett and partner Rhys Ifans - Celebrity News - Showbiz - London Evening Standard
- "Frome Spring, the revolution that transformed a Somerset town". 10 August 2013.
- Woods, Judith (6 December 2011). "Anna Friel: 'My daughter didn't ask to be from a broken home'". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- Anna Friel at the Internet Movie Database
- Anna Friel's Sentimental Journey Horkins, Tony Page Six Magazine 19 Oct 2008