Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress

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Laurence Olivier Award
for Best Actress
Awarded for Best Actress in a Play
Location  United Kingdom
Presented by The Society of London Theatre
Currently held by Lesley Manville for Ghosts (2014)
Official website Olivier Awards.com

The Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Play is an annual award presented by The Society of London Theatre in recognition of achievements in commercial British theatre. The awards were established as the Society of West End Theatre Awards in 1976, and, renamed in 1984 in honour of English actor Lord Olivier.

The award has been known by its current name of Best Actress since 1993, previously it was known as Actress of the Year. From 1976-1984 and again in 1988, there were two Actress of the Year awards. One for Actress of the Year in a New Play and the other for Actress of the Year in a Revival.

Winners and nominees[edit]

1980s[edit]

Year Actor Play Character
1985
Yvonne Bryceland The Road to Mecca Miss Helen
Wendy Morgan Martine Martine
Harriet Walter The Castle Skinner
Joanne Whalley Saved Pam
1986
Lindsay Duncan Les Liaisons Dangereuses Marquise de Merteuil
Julia McKenzie Woman in Mind Susan
Juliet Stevenson As You Like It, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Troilus and Cressida Rosalind / Madame de Tourvel / Cressida
Irene Worth The Bay at Nice Valentina Nrovka
1987
Judi Dench Antony and Cleopatra Cleopatra
Miranda Richardson A Lie of the Mind Beth
Maggie Smith Lettice and Lovage and Coming in to Land Lettice Douffet / Halina
Juliet Stevenson Yerma Yerma
1989/90
Fiona Shaw Electra, As You Like It and The Good Person of Szechwan Electra / Celia / Shen Te
Sheila Hancock Prin Prin
Jane Lapotaire Shadowlands Joy
Prunella Scales Single Spies Elizabeth II

1990s[edit]

Year Actor Play Character
1991
Kathryn Hunter The Visit Claire Zachanassian
Penny Downie Scenes from a Marriage Marianne
Barbara Jefford Coriolanus Volumnia
Josette Simon After the Fall Maggie
1992
Juliet Stevenson Death and the Maiden Paulina
Janet McTeer Uncle Vanya Yelena
Patricia Routledge Talking Heads Miss Schofield
Fiona Shaw Hedda Gabler Hedda Gabler Tesman
1993
Alison Steadman The Rise and Fall of Little Voice Mari
Stockard Channing Six Degrees of Separation Ouisa Kittredge
Judi Dench The Gift of the Gorgon Helen
Jane Horrocks The Rise and Fall of Little Voice Little Voice
1994
Fiona Shaw Machinal Young Woman
Kathryn Hunter The Skriker Skriker
Diana Rigg Medea Medea
Penelope Wilton The Deep Blue Sea Hester Collyer
1995
Clare Higgins Sweet Bird of Youth Alexandra Del Lago
Frances de la Tour Les Parents terribles Leo
Sheila Gish Les Parents terribles Yvonne
Margot Leicester Broken Glass Sylvia Gellburg
1996
Judi Dench Absolute Hell Christine Foskett
Diana Rigg Mother Courage Mother Courage
Zoë Wanamaker The Glass Menagerie Amanda Wingfield
Lia Williams Skylight Kyra Hollis
1997
Janet McTeer A Doll's House Nora Helmer
Eileen Atkins John Gabriel Borkman Mrs. Gunhild Borkman
Vanessa Redgrave John Gabriel Borkman Ella Rentheim
Diana Rigg Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Martha
1998
Zoë Wanamaker Electra Electra
Judi Dench Amy's View Esme Allen
Sally Dexter Closer Anna
Maggie Smith A Delicate Balance Claire
1999
Eileen Atkins The Unexpected Man Woman
Sinéad Cusack Our Lady of Sligo Mai O'Hara
Judi Dench Filumena Marturano Filumena
Nicole Kidman The Blue Room Various Characters
Diana Rigg Britannicus and Phèdre Agrippina / Phaedra

2000s[edit]

Year Actor Play Character
2000
Janie Dee Comic Potential Jacie Triplethree
Jennifer Ehle The Real Thing Annie
Maggie Smith The Lady in the Van Miss Bennett
Alison Steadman The Memory of Water Teresa
2001
Julie Walters All My Sons Kate Keller
Jessica Lange Long Day's Journey Into Night Mary Tyrone
Helen Mirren Orpheus Descending Lady Torrance
Julia Ormond My Zinc Bed Elsa
Harriet Walter Life x 3 Sonia
2002
Lindsay Duncan Private Lives Amanda Prynne
Lindsay Duncan Mouth to Mouth Laura
Victoria Hamilton A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Sheila
Zoë Wanamaker Boston Marriage Anna
2003
Clare Higgins Vincent in Brixton Ursula Loyer
Anita Dobson Frozen Nancy
Gwyneth Paltrow Proof Catherine
Emily Watson Uncle Vanya Sonya
2004
Eileen Atkins Honour Honor
Helen Mirren Mourning Becomes Electra Christine Mannon
Ann Mitchell Through the Leaves Martha
Kelly Reilly After Miss Julie Miss Julie
Kristin Scott Thomas Three Sisters Masha
2005
Clare Higgins Hecuba Hecuba
Victoria Hamilton Suddenly, Last Summer Catharine
Anna Maxwell Martin His Dark Materials Lyra
Caroline O'Connor Bombshells Performer
2006
Eve Best Hedda Gabler Hedda Gabler Tesman
Clare Higgins Death of a Salesman Linda Loman
Helen McCrory As You Like It Rosalind
Janet McTeer Mary Stuart Mary, Queen of Scots
Harriet Walter Mary Stuart Elizabeth I of England
2007
Tamsin Greig Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice
Eve Best A Moon for the Misbegotten Josie
Sinéad Cusack Rock 'n' Roll Eleanor / Esme
Kathleen Turner Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Martha
2008
Kristin Scott Thomas The Seagull Arkadina
Anne-Marie Duff Saint Joan Joan of Arc
Kelly Reilly Othello Desdemona
Fiona Shaw Happy Days Winnie
Penelope Wilton John Gabriel Borkman Ella Rentheim
2009
Margaret Tyzack The Chalk Garden Mrs St. Maugham
Deanna Dunagan August: Osage County Violet Weston
Lindsay Duncan That Face Martha
Penelope Wilton The Chalk Garden Miss Madrigal

2010s[edit]

Year Actor Play Character
2010
Rachel Weisz A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche DuBois
Gillian Anderson A Doll's House Nora Helmer
Lorraine Burroughs The Mountaintop Camae
Imelda Staunton Entertaining Mr Sloane Kath
Juliet Stevenson Duet for One Stephanie Anderson
2011
Nancy Carroll After the Dance Joan
Tracie Bennett End of the Rainbow Judy Garland
Tamsin Greig The Little Dog Laughed Diane
Sophie Thompson Clybourne Park Bev
2012
Ruth Wilson Anna Christie Anna Christie
Celia Imrie Noises Off Dotty
Lesley Manville Grief Dorothy
Kristin Scott Thomas Betrayal Emma
Marcia Warren The Ladykillers Mrs Wilberforce
2013
Helen Mirren The Audience Queen Elizabeth II
Hattie Morahan A Doll's House Nora Helmer
Billie Piper The Effect Connie
Kristin Scott Thomas Old Times Kate / Anna
2014
Lesley Manville Ghosts Mrs. Helene Alving
Hayley Atwell The Pride Sylvia
Anna Chancellor Private Lives Amanda Prynne
Judi Dench Peter and Alice Alice

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]