14 July 1974 |
Bolton, England, UK
Maxine Peake (born 14 July 1974) is an English stage, film and television actress known for playing Veronica in Channel 4's Manchester-based drama series Shameless, Twinkle in Victoria Wood's sitcom Dinnerladies, barrister Martha Costello QC in BBC legal drama Silk and, most recently, Grace Middleton in The Village.
Born in Bolton, Peake is the second of two daughters born to Brian and Glynis Peake (née Hall). Her father was a lorry driver before working in the electrical industry, her mother a part-time careworker; Lisa, her elder sister by nine years, is a policewoman. Her parents separated when Peake was nine and she lived with her mother until the age of 15. When her mother moved in with a new boyfriend several miles away, she went to live with her grandfather so she could continue her GCSE studies at Westhoughton High School, before going on to take her A-Levels at Canon Slade School, Bradshaw near Bolton. Her grandfather encouraged her to develop her creativity and start acting.
Peake joined the Octagon Youth Theatre, Bolton, at 13, before a period at the youth theatre of the Royal Exchange, Manchester. She later attended the University of Salford leaving after two years. Peake was briefly a member of the Communist Party.
In her teens Peake was a representative for Wigan Ladies rugby league team.
Peake's early attempts to enter the acting profession were unsuccessful. She was rejected by every theatre education company in North West England, and tried unsuccessfully for three years to get into Manchester Polytechnic Theatre School and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. However, at 21, she obtained a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Her attempts to find sponsorship for RADA were the subject of a 1996 documentary by the South Bank Show; eventually, after being put forward by RADA, she was awarded the Patricia Rothermere Scholarship.
Peake has appeared in a number of television and stage productions including Channel 4's Shameless, Victoria Wood's Dinnerladies and Craig Cash's Early Doors as Janice. Between the two series of Dinnerladies, following career advice from Victoria Wood, Peake lost so much weight that an explanation had to be written into the script for her character, Twinkle.
In 2006, Peake portrayed the Moors murderer Myra Hindley in See No Evil: The Moors Murders. See No Evil was broadcast in May 2006, and met with mixed reactions; soon after this Peake announced that she was quitting Shameless.
In 2007, she played Tracey Temple in the TV drama Confessions of a Diary Secretary, which told the story of John Prescott's affair with his secretary. On 17 January 2008, she was the Cinderella character in the BBC's Fairy Tales series. On 26 March 2008, she starred in Hancock and Joan, a drama in BBC Four's Curse of Comedy series. She played Joan Le Mesurier, wife of actor John Le Mesurier, who had an affair with comedian Tony Hancock shortly after she and Le Mesurier were married. Also in 2008, she played Miss Wade in the BBC adaptation of Little Dorrit and Elizabeth Lilburne in The Devil's Whore.
January 2009 saw Peake appear in her first major feature film role, as Angela in the film Clubbed, as well as in the Channel 4 trilogy Red Riding. In 2010 Peake played the titular character in The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister and in 2011 took the lead role of barrister Martha Costello in the BBC's legal drama, Silk.
She played the title role in a 2012 production of Miss Julie at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. She previously played the part of Kristin in a 2000 production. Also in 2012, she played Doll Tearsheet in the BBC2 adaptations of Henry IV, Parts I and II.
In January 2014, Peake won the first Bolton Socialist Club Outstanding Contribution to Socialism Award for using her work to oppose the government's "crippling austerity measures".
|1996||Hetty Wainthrop Investigates||Photocopy Assistant||TV series (1 episode: "Fingers")|
|Picking Up the Pieces||Lucy||TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 1.7")|
|Dinnerladies||Twinkle||TV series (16 episodes: 1998–2000)|
|1999||Sunburn||Sue||TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 1.5")|
|Coronation Street||Belinda Peach||TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 1.46352")|
|Jonathan Creek||Marion Cretiss||TV series (1 episode: "The Curious Tale of Mr. Spearfish")|
|2000||Clocking Off||Marie Leach||TV series (1 episode: "The Leaches' Story")|
|2001||The Way We Live Now||Ruby Ruggles||TV mini-series (4 episodes)|
|Linda Green||Receptionist||TV series (1 episode: "Fitness Freak")|
|2002||All or Nothing||Party Girl|
|Hamilton Mattress||Lulu (voice)||short|
|Holby City||Tanya Wilton||TV series (1 episode: "Pawns in the Game: Part 1")|
|Dalziel and Pascoe||Dr. Allison Laurie||TV series (1 episode: "Mens Sana")|
|2003||At Home with the Braithwaites||Trixie Fletcher||TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 4.3")|
|Early Doors||Janice||TV series (4 episodes)|
|2004||Christmas Lights||Pauline||TV film|
|Shameless||Veronica Fisher||TV series (27 episodes: 2004–2007)|
|2005||Be Mine||Tina's Mum||short|
|Messiah: The Harrowing||DS Vickie Clarke||TV mini-series|
|2006||See No Evil: The Moors Murders||Myra Hindley||TV film|
|The Madness of the Dance||The Professor||short|
|2007||Confessions of a Diary Secretary||Tracey Temple||TV film|
|I Am Bob||Marilyn Monroe||short|
|Would Like to Meet||Heather||short|
|2008||Bike Squad||WPC Kate McFay||TV film|
|Fairy Tales||Cindy Mellor||TV series (1 episode: "Cinderella")|
|Hancock & Joan||Joan Le Mesurier||TV film
Nominated—BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress
|Placebo||Dr. Sian Nuttall||TV film|
|The Devil's Whore||Elizabeth Liliburne||TV mini-series (4 episodes)|
|Little Dorrit||Miss Wade||TV mini-series (7 episodes)|
|2009||Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980||Helen Marshall||TV film|
|Agatha Christie's Marple They Do It with Mirrors||Jolly Bellever||TV film|
|The Street||Madeleine||Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress|
|Criminal Justice||Juliet Miller||TV series (5 episodes)|
|2010||The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister||Anne Lister||TV film|
|2011||Silk||Martha Costello||TV series (6 episodes)|
|Room at the Top||Alice Aisgill||completed|
|Best Laid Plans||post-production|
|2012||Silk||Martha Costello||TV series (Series 2, 6 Episodes)
Nominated – Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress
|Henry IV, Parts I and II||Doll Tearsheet||TV films, part of the series, The Hollow Crown|
|Private Peaceful||Hazel Peaceful|
|2013||The Village||Grace Middleton||TV series (6 episodes)|
|Run and jump||Vanetia Casey||Feature film|
|Silk||Martha Costello||TV series (Series 3 - Currently Airing on BBC1 with a 6 episode run.)|
- Early One Morning, Lizzie
- Breakthrough, Various
- Miss Julie, Kristin
- The John Ford Investigation, Various
- The Importance of Being Earnest, Gwendoline
- The Cherry Orchard, Dunyasha
- The Relapse, Miss Hoyden
- Luther, Katherine
- Mother Theresa is Dead, Jane
- Hamlet, Ophelia
- Serjeant Musgrave's Dance, Annie
- Robin Hood, Maid Marion
- The Permanent Way, Various
- Rutherford and Son, Janet
- The Third Day, Claire
- Leaves of Glass, Debbie
- The Children's Hour, Karen
- The Deep Blue Sea, Hester
- Miss Julie, Miss Julie
- The Masque of Anarchy, Performer
- Guilty Until Proved Innocent (2009), Dina
- This Repulsive Woman (2010), Deborah Hurst
- Craven (2012), Sue Craven 
- La Yorkshire Dame a Bicyclette (2012), Beryl Burton
- "My Secret Life: Maxine Peake, actress, 33". The Independent. 8 March 2008.
- General Register Office – Births Index – Year: 1974. Quarter: Jul/Aug/Sep. Child's Name: Peake, Maxine. Mother's Maiden surname: Hall. District: Bolton. Volume: 38. Page: 0323.
- "Maxine Peake: The misfit". The Guardian. 15 May 2010.
- "BBC One Programmes – Silk – Martha Costello – actor Maxine Peake". BBC.
- "Maxine Peake: From rugby league to starring actress". Daily Mail. 9 November 2007.
- "When I was much younger I used to be a member of the Communist Party although nowadays I don’t really have a political affiliation to any party" Maxine Peake interview, "Lancashire Life" January 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "From running on rugby league fields to acting on the Hollywood big screen". Fox Sports. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "Justice at last for Maxine Peake". The Guardian. 3 October 2009.
- "Maxine Peake: Onward and upward". The Independent. 22 June 2006.
- "Return to the Moors" Manchester Evening News, 4 May 2006
- "The Play's the Thing" Channel 4
- "Miss Julie Cast List, Royal Exchange Theatre". Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "Eccleston Woos Miss Julie at Haymarket", What's on Stage, 19 January 2000. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
- "Cast confirmed for BBC Two's cycle of Shakespeare films" (Press release). BBC Drama Publicity. 24 November 2011. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
- La Yorkshire Dame a Bicyclette, Beryl Burton http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/535691/bbc-to-broadcast-beryl-burton-radio-drama.html
- Doran, John (22 August 2012). "The Eccentronic Research Council And Maxine Peake". The Quietus.
- "The Village Press Pack", BBC Press Office, 19 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- "Guilty Until Proved Innocent". BBC Radio 4. 2009.
- "This Repulsive Woman". BBC Radio 4. 2010.
- BBC Radio 4 – 15 Minute Drama, Craven, Episode 1
- BBC to broadcast Beryl Burton radio drama | Latest News | Cycling Weekly
- Maxine Peake at the Internet Movie Database