Hermione Norris

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Hermione Norris
Hermione Norris cropped.jpg
Norris on the set of Kingdom
Born February 1967 (1967-02) (age 47)
London, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Simon Wheeler (2002–present)

Hermione Norris (born February 1967) is an English actress.

Norris attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in the 1980s before taking small roles in theatre and on television. In 1996, she was cast in her breakout role of Karen Marsden in the comedy drama television series Cold Feet. She appeared in every episode of the series from 1998 to 2003 and was nominated for a British Comedy Award.

From 2002 to 2005, she co-starred in the crime drama series Wire in the Blood as Carol Jordan, and from 2005 to 2009 co-starred in the BBC One spy drama Spooks as Ros Myers. Her role in Spooks won her the award for Best Actress at the 2008 ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards, and another nomination the next year. From 2007 to 2009, she co-starred in the ITV comedy drama Kingdom, opposite Stephen Fry.

Norris is married, with two children.

Early life and education[edit]

Hermione Norris was born in February 1967[1] as the second of four children (she has two sisters and a brother).[2] Her parents, Michael and Helen Norris (née Latham), a businessman and health visitor respectively, divorced when she was four years old.[2] She moved with her mother and siblings to live with her grandmother in Derbyshire, but moved back to London a few years later. She failed her eleven plus exam but won a scholarship to Elmhurst Ballet School in Surrey. While there, she took up drama at an after-school club, performing alongside her dance studies until she left aged 17. For the next two years she did "various office jobs to get by".[3]

At age 19 she enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).[3] On an exchange to the Moscow Art Theatre School she played Nina in a production of The Seagull.[4] After leaving college at the age of 21, she lived in a house in Brixton with four other actors. At the same time, she had to deal with the sudden death of her father.[2]


Norris made her professional stage debut in a 1989 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which earned her her Equity card. She made her television debut in the 1991 BBC serial The Men's Room, playing the daughter of Bill Nighy's character.[5] Other early television roles include appearances in Agatha Christie's Poirot, the television serial Clarissa, and a 1991 episode of Drop the Dead Donkey. She continued to make guest appearances in series such as Between the Lines and Casualty. When out of work, she supported herself by working on Sainsbury's supermarket checkouts, and selling double glazing in a shopping centre.[2]

After being out of work for four months in 1996, Norris considered quitting acting and reading for a degree in law, intending to become a solicitor.[3][6] However, she got a part in Cold Feet playing Karen Marsden, a middle-class woman who feels trapped by her middle-class lifestyle.[2][6] Norris appeared in every episode and was nominated for a British Comedy Award for Best Actress in 2001.[7]

During the six years Cold Feet ran, Norris appeared in a leading role in the BBC drama Berkeley Square, Killing Time: The Millennium Poem, starring opposite Christopher Eccleston, and the 2002 television film Falling Apart, playing a woman in a violent relationship. In 2002, she co-starred with Robson Green in Wire in the Blood, playing Detective Inspector Carol Jordan. She stayed with the series until 2005 when she was replaced by Simone Lahbib. Further film roles include an appearance in an adaptation of Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim, and in David Kane's Born Romantic.

At the end of 2005 she was cast in the BBC One spy drama Spooks, playing Ros Myers.[8] She appeared throughout the 2006 series, then in eight of the ten episodes in the 2007 series before taking time off filming for maternity leave. She returned to the show for the 2008 series.[2] For her part, she won the Best Actress award at the inaugural ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards.[9] She was nominated in the same category the next year.[10] She left the series in 2009 after four years.[11]

From 2007 to 2009, she appeared in three series of Kingdom playing Beatrice Kingdom, the half-sister of Stephen Fry's character. She took the role as a change of pace from the "ice maiden" characters she often portrays.[12] In 2010, she stars opposite Trevor Eve in the remake of Bouquet of Barbed Wire.[13] In 2010, she was cast in the television science fiction drama Outcasts as Stella Isen, the head of security on an extraterrestrial human colony.[14][15] Filming occurred on location in South Africa. From November 2010, Norris is due to play Ruth Condomine in a national tour of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit. She will star opposite her Cold Feet co-star Robert Bathurst, and Alison Steadman. Of the play, Norris said, "Coward's insights into the way the female mind works are excellent. Elvira's manipulations and Ruth with her control issues, they're both utterly believable".[16]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, Norris began a relationship with Simon Wheeler, a writer on Wire in the Blood. The couple married in December 2002 in a ceremony at the Tower of London.[6] Their first child, Wilf, was born in June 2004, and their daughter, Hero, followed in August 2007.[17] Her father-in-law is General Sir Roger Wheeler, the Chief of the General Staff from 1997 to 2000.


Year Title Role Description
1990 Blood Rights Virginia Television film
1991–1992 Spatz Wendy 2 episodes of television series:
  • "Talent Contest" (1991)
  • "Poetry and Music" (1992)
1991 The Men's Room Joanna Carleton 4-part television serial
1991 Drop the Dead Donkey Octavia 1 episode of television series:
  • "The Gulf Report"
1991 Casualty Abby Larwood 1 episode of television series:
1991 Clarissa Anna Howe 4-part television serial
1992 Screen Two: The Count of Solar Caroline Television film
1993 Agatha Christie's Poirot Celestine 1 episode:
  • "Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan"
1993 Between the Lines Gail Myles 1 episode of television series:
  • "Manslaughter"
1994 Under the Hammer Anthea Bovington 1 episode of television series:
  • "The Spectre at the Feast"
1994 Casualty Bobbie Croft 1 episode of television series:
1997 Comedy Premieres: Cold Feet Karen Marsden Television pilot
1997 Hospital! Cast member Television film
1997 See You Friday Sophie 1 series of television series
1997 Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse Hermia Redcliffe Television film
1997 Get Well Soon Vanessa Del Ray 1 episode of television series:
  • "The Whist Drive"
1997 Cadfael Mary 1 episode of television series:
  • "The Raven in the Foregate"
1998 The Bill Louise Golding 1 episode: "Friends in High Places"
1998 Berkeley Square Victoria St. John 1 series of television series
1998–2003 Cold Feet Karen Marsden 5 series of television series
1999 Peak Practice Penny 1 episode of television series: "New Beginnings"
1999 Heartbeat Diane Palmer 1 episode of television series: "David Stockwell's Ghost"
2000 Killing Time: The Millennium Poem Millennium Woman Television film
2001 Born Romantic Carolanne Feature film
2002 Falling Apart Clare Television film
2002–2005 Wire in the Blood DCI Carol Jordan 3 series of television series
2003 Quicksand Sarah Feature film
2003 Lucky Jim Carol Goldsmith Television film
2005 Separate Lies Priscilla Feature film
2006 The Kindness of Strangers Fiona Charters Television film
2006–2009 Spooks Ros Myers 4 series of television series
2007–2009 Kingdom Beatrice Kingdom 3 series of television series
2010 Bouquet of Barbed Wire Cassie Manson 3-part television serial
2011 Outcasts Stella Isen 1 series of television series
2012 A Mother's Son Rosie 2-part television serial
A Year in the Wild Narrator 3-part documentary series
2013 Agatha Christie's Marple: A Caribbean Mystery Evelyn Hillingdon 1 of 3 of television series
2014 The Crimson Field Grace Carter
2014 In the Club Roanna


Year Title Role Director Performance history
1989 A Midsummer Night's Dream Helena Richard Digby Day Mercury Theatre, Colchester. 11–30 September 1989
1989 Habeas Corpus Felicity Rumpers Michael Winter Mercury Theatre, Colchester. 4–28 October 1989
1989 Daisy Pulls it Off Christopher G. Sandford Thorndike, Leatherhead. 13 November–9 December 1989
1991 Man and Superman Ann Whitfield Helena Kaut-Howson Citizens Theatre. 3 May–1 June 1991
1991 Three Judgements in One Dona Violante Simon Usher Gate, Notting Hill. 11 October–9 November 1991
1992–1993 Pygmalion Clara Eynsford-Hill Howard Davies Olivier (National). 6 April 1992 – 11 January 1993
1992 Square Rounds Various Tony Harrison Olivier (National). 1–17 October 1992
1994 September Tide Cherry Celia Bannerman Tour (Islington, Leatherhead, Liverpool). 18 January–April 1994
1994–1995 Charley's Aunt Amy Spettigue Emil Wolk Royal Exchange, Manchester. 8 December 1994 – 21 January 1995
1995 Look Back in Anger Helena Charles Gregory Hersov Royal Exchange, Manchester. 26 January–25 February 1995
1995 Reader Irene/Jacqueline Ian Brown Traverse Theatre. 29 July–2 September 1995
1996 Blinded by the Sun Barbara Ron Daniels Cottesloe (National). 3 September–28 December 1996
2005 Petronella Petronella Indhu Rubasingham Old Vic. 19 June 2005
2010–2011 Blithe Spirit Ruth Thea Sharrock National tour, 2010–2011[21]
  Theatre Royal, Brighton. 3–21 November 2010
  Cambridge Arts Theatre. 22–27 November 2010
  Milton Keynes Theatre. 14–19 February 2011
  Richmond Theatre. 21–26 February 2011
West End transfer, 2011[21]
  Apollo Theatre. 2 March–18 June 2011


  1. ^ Register of births for Jan-Mar 1967: Paddington, volume 5d, page 928. Several print sources claim that she is a year younger than this (e.g. Cable).
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cable, Amanda (11 October 2008). "A tortured spook". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers): pp. 10–14 (Weekend supplement).
  3. ^ a b c Kerr, Paula (6 May 2006). "My teenage years". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers).
  4. ^ McLeod, Pauline (9 November 2002). "My cultural life: Hermione Norris". The Times (Times Newspapers).
  5. ^ Swann, Yvonne (17 February 2005). "Acting's in my blood". Daily Mirror (MGN): p. 57.
  6. ^ a b c Tweedie, Neil (28 February 2008). "Hermione Norris: 'I nearly gave up acting to be a lawyer...'". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group).
  7. ^ Staff (16 December 2001). "Skinner crowned TV comedy king". BBC News Online. Retrieved on 22 November 2007.
  8. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (31 December 2005). "'Cold Feet' star joins 'Spooks'". Digital Spy. Retrieved on 22 November 2007.
  9. ^ Rosser, Michael, (6 October 2008), "Morse author honoured at Crime Thriller Awards". Broadcastnow (Emap Media). Retrieved on 7 October 2008.
  10. ^ Allen, Kate (7 September 2009). "Coben, Cole, Atkinson vie for crime awards". The Bookseller. Retrieved 7 September 2009. 
  11. ^ Power, Vicki (30 May 2010). "Richard Armitage: ‘I was a beanpole with a nose I hadn’t grown into’". Sunday Mirror (MGN).
  12. ^ Wylie, Ian (2 May 2007). "Why star still gets Cold Feet over bedroom scenes". Manchester Evening News (M.E.N. Media).
  13. ^ Hemley, Matthew (15 October 2009). "Hermione Norris joins cast of ITV’s A Bouquet of Barbed Wire". The Stage.
  14. ^ Bamigboye, Baz (19 February 2010). "Watch out for..." Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers): p. 46.
  15. ^ "Outcasts". BBC Online. Retrieved on 2 June 2010.
  16. ^ Bamigboye, Baz (16 July 2010). "From Spooks to a seance". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers).
  17. ^ Staff (31 August 2007). "Cold Feet actress has baby girl". BBC News Online. Retrieved on 1 September 2007.
  18. ^ Hermione Norris. British Film Institute. Retrieved on 12 March 2010.
  19. ^ Scottish Theatre Archive Catalogue. University of Glasgow Special Collections. Retrieved on 12 March 2010.
  20. ^ The Stage Archive. The Stage Newspaper Limited. Retrieved on 12 March 2010.
  21. ^ a b BWW News Desk (16 July 2010). "Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst Join Cast of BLITHE SPIRIT, Opens 3/2". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved on 16 July 2010.

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