Holliday Grainger

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Holliday Grainger
Holliday Grainger at the premiere of Great Expectations, Toronto Film Festival 2012.jpg
Grainger at the premiere of Great Expectations, 2012 Toronto Film Festival
Born Holliday Clark Grainger
(1988-03-27) 27 March 1988 (age 26)
Manchester, England
Other names Holly Grainger
Occupation Actress
Years active 1994–present

Holliday Clark Grainger (born 27 March 1988), also credited as Holly Grainger, is an British screen and stage actress. Some of her prominent roles include Lucrezia Borgia in the Showtime series The Borgias and Estella in Mike Newell's adaptation of Great Expectations.

Early life[edit]

Grainger was born in Didsbury, Manchester. One of her grandfathers is Italian.[1][2] Growing up in Manchester, Grainger's first taste of acting came at age six when she was scouted for a BBC TV series. From then on, she appeared in multiple TV shows and independent films as a child actor.[2]

She attended Parrs Wood High School from 1999 to 2006,[3] and in 2007 began a degree in English Literature at the University of Leeds. However, with her passion for acting, she eventually opted for the Open University[2] where she recently gained a First Class Honours Degree.[3]


Grainger's first acting role was at six years old in the BBC comedy drama series All Quiet on the Preston Front. Several roles followed in series such as Casualty, Doctors, Dalziel and Pascoe.[4] Among her television roles at young age, Grainger is perhaps most recognisable for playing Megan Boothe in Where the Heart Is, Stacey Appleyard in Waterloo Road and Sophia in Merlin.

In 2011 Grainger became popular with the Showtime television series The Borgias, where she plays Lucrezia Borgia alongside Jeremy Irons in the role of Pope Alexander VI. The series, created by Oscar-winning Neil Jordan and shot in Hungary, ran for three seasons.[5]

In addition to television she also performed on stage and on the big-screen. After her role as Emily in The Scouting Book for Boys she appears in a pair of 2011 feature productions – Jane Eyre, playing one of the Rivers sisters opposite Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, and Bel Ami alongside Robert Pattinson and Uma Thurman. In 2012, she appeared in the film Anna Karenina, playing a minor role, Baroness Shilton.

In June 2011, Grainger landed a lead big screen role as Estella in Mike Newell's film adaptation of Great Expectations, opposite Jeremy Irvine and Helena Bonham Carter.[6] The movie, screened at Toronto International Film Festival 2012, had its European premiere as the closing night film of the BFI London Film Festival.[6] She appeared in the third series of The Borgias, starred in Disassociation, a play by Luke Bailey, at the Lowry, and also played Bonnie Parker in the 2013 mini-series about Bonnie & Clyde. She was one of the female leads in The Riot Club, the film version of the play Posh, alongside Max Irons.

In 2015, she played Cinderella's stepsister Anastasia Tremaine in Kenneth Branagh's cinematic retelling of Cinderella.[7] She will star in a film adaptation of the novel Tulip Fever alongside Alicia Vikander[8] and starred on stage in a contemporary version of Chekov's Three Sisters.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Grainger lives in Manchester with her mother Gian, a graphic designer.[4] She went to piano, gymnastics lessons, Taekwondo and was a pupil at the Madeley School of Dancing in Manchester.[10] Holliday's sister Marianne Grainger is also an actress.



Year Title Role Notes
1994 All Quiet on the Preston Front Kirsty 4 episodes
1996 Roger and the Rottentrolls Kate Beckett Unknown episodes
1997 Missing Postman, TheThe Missing Postman Harriet Film
2000 Comin' Atcha! Pauline Episode: "The Day Off"
2000 Casualty Katie Stoppard Episode: "Seize the Night"
2001 Dalziel and Pascoe Nicola Crowley Episode: "Walls of Silence"
2001 Doctors Nita Harmer Episode: "Writing to Charlie"
2002 Sparkhouse Older Lisa Bolton Film
2003 Illustrated Mum, TheThe Illustrated Mum Star Westward Film
2003–05 Where the Heart Is Megan Boothe 18 episodes
2005 Magnificent 7 Louise Jackson Film
2005 No Angels Simone Episode: "2.5"
2005 Doctors Holly Leavis Episode: "Indestructible"
2006 Johnny and the Bomb Rose Bushell Film
2006 New Street Law Katie Lewis Episode: "1.1"
2007 Waterloo Road Stacey Appleyard 4 episodes
2007 Bad Mother's Handbook, TheThe Bad Mother's Handbook Charlotte Cooper Film
2008 Dis/Connected Jenny Film
2003 Royal, TheThe Royal Carole Green Episode: "Coffin Fit"
2008 M.I. High Leah Retsam Episode: "It's a Kind of Magic"
2008 Royal Today, TheThe Royal Today Abigail Episode: "1.3"
2008 Fairy Tales Leeza Gruff Episode: "Billy Goat"
2008 Waking the Dead Nicola Bennet 2 episodes
2008 Merlin Sophia Episode: "The Gates of Avalon"
2009 Demons Ruby Miniseries (6 episodes)
2009 Robin Hood Meg Episode: "A Dangerous Deal"
2009 Blue Murder Jess Burgess Episode: "Having It All"
2010 Above Suspicion 2: The Red Dahlia Sharon Bilkin 3 episodes
2010 Five Daughters Alice Episodes: "1.2", "1.3"
2010 Stanley Park Dirty Debbie Pilot
2010 Any Human Heart Tess Scabius 2 episodes
2011–13 Borgias, TheThe Borgias Lucrezia Borgia 29 episodes
2013 Bonnie & Clyde Bonnie Parker Miniseries
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Awaydays Molly Carty
2009 Scouting Book for Boys, TheThe Scouting Book for Boys Emily
2010 Colette Colette Short film
2011 Jane Eyre Diana Rivers
2012 Rachael Samantha Short
2012 Bel Ami Suzanne Rousset
2012 Anna Karenina Baroness
2012 Great Expectations Estella Havisham
2013 Goblin? Short
2014 The Riot Club Lauren
2015 Cinderella Anastasia Tremaine
2015 Tulip Fever Maria In post-production
2015 The Finest Hours Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Dimetos Lydia Donmar Warehouse, London


  1. ^ http://collider.com/holliday-grainger-interview-the-borgias/
  2. ^ a b c "Holliday Grainger Interview". 1883 Magazine. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Parrs Wood Alumni". parrswood.manchester.sch.uk. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Petty, Moira (18 November 2012). "It's the Holliday season". London: dailymail. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Harnick, Chris (4 May 2012). "The Borgias renewed season 3". huffingtonpost. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Ge, Linda (17 June 2011). "Holliday Grainger cast as Estella in "Great Expectations" opposite Jeremy Irvine". Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  7. ^ 'The Borgias' Star Holliday Grainger Joins Disney's 'Cinderella' (Exclusive) Retrieved 11 June 2013
  8. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (8 July 2013). "Alicia Vikander To Star In Long-Developing 'Tulip Fever,' Matthias Schoenaerts Sought For Role". indiewire.com. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  9. ^ 'Three Sisters, Southwark Playhouse, review' Retrieved 30 September 2014
  10. ^ "Holliday Grainger Awards and Bio". goldderby.com. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 

External links[edit]