Harriet Walter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dame Harriet Walter
Harriet Walter - Actress.jpg
Dame Harriet Walter discusses the role of women in Shakespeare plays as part of the RSC's "Stand up for Shakespeare" programme in January 2009
Born Harriet Mary Walter
(1950-09-24) 24 September 1950 (age 63)
London, England, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Actress
Years active 1974–present
Spouse(s) Guy Schuessler
Family Christopher Lee

Dame Harriet Mary Walter, DBE (born 24 September 1950) is an English actress.

Personal life[edit]

She is the niece of renowned British actor Sir Christopher Lee,[1] as the daughter of his elder sister Xandra Lee. On her father's side she is a great-great-great-granddaughter of John Walter, founder of The Times.[2] She was educated at the Cranborne Chase School. After turning down a university education, she was in turn rejected by five different drama schools before getting into the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.[3] Following her training, she gained early experience with the Joint Stock Theatre Company, Paines Plough touring, and the Duke's Playhouse, Lancaster.[4] Her partner, until his death in 2004, was actor Peter Blythe.[5] On 21 May 2011 she married Guy Schuessler, an American actor (stage name Guy Paul).[6]


She has worked many times throughout her career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in productions including Nicholas Nickleby (1980), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1981), All's Well That Ends Well (1981), The Castle (1985), Three Sisters (1988), The Duchess of Malfi (1989), Macbeth (1999), and Much Ado about Nothing (2002).

She was made an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1987. Other theatre work includes Three Birds Alighting on a Field (1991), Arcadia (1993), Hedda Gabler (1996), Ivanov (1997), and Mary Stuart (2005).

Her films include Sense and Sensibility (1995), Bedrooms and Hallways (1998), Onegin (1999), Villa des Roses (2002), and Bright Young Things (2003).

She is also a patron of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a charity that enables school children across the UK to perform Shakespeare in professional theatres,[7] and a patron of Prisoners Abroad, a charity that supports the welfare of Britons imprisoned overseas and their families.


She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2000 New Year Honours[4] and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to drama.[8]

In 2001 she and Kenneth Branagh were both given honorary doctorates and honorary fellowships at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford.

Her performance in Mary Stuart at the Donmar Warehouse transferred to Broadway, where it was nominated for numerous Tony Awards, including Best Actress nods for her and her co-star Janet McTeer.[9]

Year Nominated work Award Result
1988 A Question of Geography / Twelfth Night / Three Sisters Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Revival Won
2001 Life x 3 Olivier Award for Best Actress Nominated
2005 Mary Stuart Evening Standard Award for Best Actress Won
2006 Mary Stuart Olivier Award for Best Actress Nominated
2009 Mary Stuart Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play Nominated

Stage – notable performances[edit]








  1. ^ Fox, Chloe (2007-02-03). "The world of Harriet Walter, actress". The Daily Telegraph (London) 
  2. ^ Posted on: 8 April 2011 07:49 (2011-04-08). "News: Stationers celebrate Times links". InPublishing. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  3. ^ Aida Edemariam (15 January 2011). "Life's looking up, Dame Harriet". London: The Guardian. 
  4. ^ a b c "Walter, Harriet Mary". Who's Who. Oxford, England: A & C Black. 1995. 
  5. ^ Shorter, Eric (6 August 2004). "Obituary: Peter Blythe". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 November 2010. 
  6. ^ Culture (11 May 2011). "Harriet Walter: 'Why I am getting married at 60'". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  7. ^ "Dame Harriet Walter | Shakespeare Schools Festival". Ssf.uk.com. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59647. p. 6. 31 December 2010.
  9. ^ "Billy Elliot musical dominates Broadway's Tony award shortlist". The Guardian (London). 5 May 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "Olivier Winners 1988". The Official London Theatre Guide. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "BBC News report on critical reception". 5 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Scenes of Seduction · British Universities Film & Video Council". Bufvc.ac.uk. 2005-03-07. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 

External links[edit]