Charlotte Cornwell

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Charlotte Cornwell
Born (1949-04-26) 26 April 1949 (age 65)
Marylebone, London, England
Occupation Actress
Partner(s) Kenneth Cranham
Relatives John le Carré (half brother)

Charlotte Cornwell (born 26 April 1949) is an English actress.

Acting career[edit]

Cornwell's acting career began when she trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She made her professional debut with three seasons at the Bristol Old Vic Company, playing a broad range of roles from Kate Hotspur in Shakespeare's Henry IV to Becky in Sam Shepard's The Tooth of Crime.

She spent three years as a leading member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has worked as a leading actress with the Royal National Theatre since 1984. She has worked extensively both in the West End and on the Fringe, and has appeared in the US in several productions, including Richard III and An Enemy of the People opposite Sir Ian McKellen, Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca, Terence McNally's Master Class, Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" (San Francisco Bay Critics' Award), and most recently Alan Bennett's "History Boys" at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.[1]

She has appeared in films such as Stardust (1974), The Brute (1977), The Krays (1990), The Russia House (1990), White Hunter Black Heart (1990), The Saint (1997), and Ghosts of Mars (2001) (voiceover). Cornwell has also worked extensively on television including appearances in Rock Follies, Shoestring, The Men's Room, The House of Eliott, A Touch of Frost, Silent Witness, The Mentalist, CI5: The New Professionals and The West Wing, among other television programs in the UK and the US.

She taught at the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts from 2004 to 2012, and returned to resume her acting career in the UK in June 2012.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Cornwell was born in Marylebone, London, the daughter of Ronald Cornwell.[2] She is the half-sister of spy novelist John le Carré (David Cornwell). She describes him as "the best brother a girl could have". Le Carré based the main female character in his novel, The Little Drummer Girl—an English actress called "Charlie"—on her.[3] She has a daughter, Nancy Cranham, from a former relationship with actor Kenneth Cranham.


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