||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (June 2011)|
|Born||Claire L. Skinner
1965 (age 48–49)
Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England
|Spouse(s)||Charles Palmer (2001-present)|
Born and brought up in Hemel Hempstead, Skinner, the youngest daughter of a shopkeeper and an Irish-born secretary, was shy as a child. Her dream was to be an actress and she immersed herself in her ambition. She acted, neglecting school work at Cavendish School, and "barely scraped through [her] A-levels". She went on to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Her first role was in Hanky Park, by Walter Greenwood at the Oldham Repertory Theatre, which she describes as a "really traditional start". She is best known as "Clare" on the British television comedy Life Begins, and as "Lucinda", the sous chef in the first season of Chef! alongside Lenny Henry. From 2007 to 2014 she portrayed Sue in the BBC's award-winning sitcom Outnumbered. For many years, she has preferred theatre to screen roles because she's been disappointed with her TV projects ("apart from Mike Leigh's stuff"), "not just when you see the final thing, but also because it hasn't taken off."
Skinner has worked with directors including Mike Leigh, Trevor Nunn, Tim Burton and Sam Mendes, but she remembers one particular director, Alan Ayckbourn, when she started out: "He was a great influence for me as he pushed me so hard, but every director you work with has a big influence in some way, they really push you.”
She has also made small appearances in TV shows such as Lark Rise to Candleford where for two episodes she played Mrs Macey. She appeared in the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe".
- Deep, Dark & Dirty (Never Released) (1986)
- The Rachel Papers (1989)
- Life Is Sweet (1990)
- Naked (1993)
- I.D. (1994)
- The Return of the Native (1994)
- Clockwork Mice (1995)
- You're Dead… (1999)
- Sleepy Hollow (1999)
- Mauvaise Passe aka Escort (1999)
- Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
- And When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007)
- Act of Memory (short) (2011)
- The Playboy of the Western World by J.M. Synge
- The Revengers' Comedies by Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph Theatre, (1989)
- Taking Steps-Revival by Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph Theatre, (1990)
- Invisible Friends by Alan Ayckbourn, Cottlesloe Theatre, National Theatre, (1991)
- Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare, Young Vic Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, (1992)
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, (1993)
- Moonlight, by Harold Pinter, London's West End, (1993)
- Look Back in Anger, by John Osborne, Royal Exchange, Manchester, (1995)
- Charley's Aunt, by Brandon Thomas, Royal Exchange, Manchester, (1995)
- The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, Donmar Warehouse and Comedy Theatre, (1995)
- Othello by William Shakespeare, Lyttelton Theatre, Royal National Theatre, (1997)
- The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare, Olivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre, (2001)
- Mrs. Affleck, National Theatre, (2009)
- Deathtrap by Ira Levin, Noël Coward Theatre (2010)
- Blurred Lines (play), National Theatre, (2014) 
- 1995 – Won – Critics' Circle Theatre Award Best Actress The Glass Menagerie.
- 1995 – Won – Time Out Award for Best Performance Off West End The Glass Menagerie.
- 1996 – Nominated – Laurence Olivier Award Best Supporting Performance The Glass Menagerie.
- 2009– Nominated – BAFTA Best Comedy Performance Outnumbered.
- "Claire Skinner". Woman's Hour. 1 September 2010. BBC Radio 4. http://bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00thw7k. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- Bassett, Kate (25 January 2009). "Mommy dearest: Claire Skinner transforms into a monster of a mother" (Press release). London: The Independent. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
- Patricia Brennan (4 December 1994). "A Beauty, a Rogue and a Good Man" (Press release). The Washington Post.
- "The Family Way: Claire Skinner warms to her role in Poliakoff's new drama." (Press release). Time Out-London: Plugged In section, by Emma Perry. May 2001.
- "BBC The Boss Series Press Release" (PDF) (Press release). BBC. 2000.[dead link]
- "Doctor Who, Christmas special, BBC One, review". Telegraph. 25 December 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- "Mrs.Affleck: National Theatre (2009)".[dead link]
- Holmwood, Leigh (2008-07-15). "ITV2 plans 'sex, drugs and murder' drama to follow Billie Piper hit series". guardian.co.uk (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- "MIKE LEIGH, FILM AND TELEVISION CREDITS".[dead link]
- "Critics' Circle Theatre Awards for 1995". Albemarle of London.
- "Donmar Warehouse List of Awards for The Glass Menagerie-Time Out Award for 1995".
- "Olivier Winners 1996".
- "BAFTA 2009".