Michelle Dockery

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Michelle Dockery
Michelle Dockery 2013 2.jpg
Born Michelle Suzanne Dockery
(1981-12-15) 15 December 1981 (age 33)
Romford, London, United Kingdom
Occupation Actress
Years active 2004–present
Height 173 cm (5 ft 8 in)

Michelle Suzanne Dockery[1] (born 15 December 1981) is an English actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey (2010–present), for which she has been nominated for three consecutive Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.

Dockery made her professional stage debut in His Dark Materials in 2004. For her role as Eliza Doolittle in the 2007 London revival of Pygmalion, she was nominated for the Evening Standard Award. For her role in the 2009 play Burnt by the Sun, she earned an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her other notable stage credits include Pillars of the Community (2005) and Hamlet (2010). She has also appeared in the films Hanna (2009), Anna Karenina (2012) and Non-Stop (2014).

Early life[edit]

Michelle Suzanne Dockery was born on 15 December 1981 in Rush Green Hospital, Dagenham, London.[2] She has two older sisters, Louise and Joanne. Her father, Michael Francis Dockery worked as a van driver and a surveyor.[3] Her mother is Lorraine (née Witton).

Dockery was educated first at the Chadwell Heath Foundation School (now the Chadwell Heath Academy) in Chadwell Heath, Essex. She was then trained at the Finch Stage School.[4] After her A Levels she enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, graduating in 2004.[5][6]

Acting career[edit]


Dockery was a member of the National Youth Theatre, studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she won the Gold Medal for drama and made her professional debut in His Dark Materials at the Royal National Theatre in 2004.[7] In 2006, she was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for her performance as Dina Dorf in Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre.[8]

Dockery appeared in Burnt by the Sun at the National Theatre for which she received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.[9] She won second prize at the Ian Charleson Awards for her performance as Eliza Doolittle in Peter Hall's production of Pygmalion at the Theatre Royal, Bath, which toured the UK and transferred to The Old Vic in 2008,[10] and for the same production was nominated Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards 2008.[11] In 2010, she played Ophelia in Hamlet at the Crucible Theatre alongside John Simm.[12]

Film and television[edit]

Dockery made her television debut as Betty in Fingersmith in 2005.[13] In 2006, she starred as Susan Sto Helit in a two-part adaptation of Terry Pratchett's novel Hogfather.[14] In 2008, Dockery played Kathryn in Channel 4's The Red Riding Trilogy and played the guest lead of tormented rape victim Gemma Morrison in BBC's Waking the Dead. In 2009, she appeared in the two-part Cranford Christmas special for the BBC, and starred as the lead character in a modernised BBC adaptation of The Turn of the Screw.

Dockery came to public prominence in 2010 when she played Lady Mary Crawley in Julian Fellowes' series Downton Abbey, the first season of which was screened on ITV between September and November 2010. She was nominated for a Southbank Award in January for Best Breakthrough Performance in a TV drama. A second series of Downton Abbey was shown in 2011, followed by a special Christmas Day episode. The show's third series premiered on 16 September 2012 in the UK, and on 6 January 2013 in the US. A fourth series then began filming in February 2013, and premiered the same year in September. A fifth series was commissioned, and began filming in February 2014. The show was then picked up for a sixth season which has yet to begin filming. [15] For her role in the series, she has received three Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination.

Her first big screen role was as False Marissa in the 2011 film Hanna, opposite Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett. In 2012, she appeared as Princess Myagkaya in the film adaptation of Anna Karenina and starred with Charlotte Rampling in a two-part dramatisation of William Boyd's spy thriller Restless on BBC One.[16] In January 2014, she appeared opposite Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore in the thriller film Non-Stop.


Dockery is a jazz singer. She sang at the 50th Anniversary of Ronnie Scott's Jazz club in London and has occasionally sung with Sadie and the Hotheads, a band formed by Elizabeth McGovern, who plays her mother in Downton Abbey.[5][17] Dockery cites her musical influences as Peggy Lee, Melody Gardot and Billie Holiday in her more melancholy moods.[5]

Personal life[edit]

She has been dating Irish born PR director John Dineen since May 2013.[18] It was reported in February 2015 that they were engaged to be married.[19]

Dockery is also a close friend of Lupita Nyong'o.


Film and television[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
2005 Fingersmith Betty TV series
2006 Hogfather Susan/Death of Rats TV movie
2007 Consent TV film
2007 Dalziel and Pascoe Aimee Hobbs TV series (2 episodes)
2008 Poppy Shakespeare Dawn TV film
2008 Heartbeat Sue Padgett TV series (1 episode: "Take Three Girls")
2009 Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974 Kathryn Taylor TV film
2009 Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983 Kathryn Taylor TV film
2009 The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Ewa Rozenfeld TV film
2009 Waking the Dead Gemma Morrison TV series (2 episodes)
2009 Return to Cranford Erminia Whyte TV mini-series (2 episodes)
2009 The Turn of the Screw Ann TV film
2010 Spoiler Goth Girl Short
2010 Shades of Beige Jodie Short
2010–present Downton Abbey Lady Mary Crawley TV series Main Role
2011 Hanna False Marissa
2012 Out of Time[20][21] Christine Short
2012 Henry IV, Parts I and II Lady Percy TV film
2012 Anna Karenina Princess Myagkaya
2012 Restless Ruth Gilmartin TV miniseries
2012 American Dad! Margaret Watkins (voice) TV series
2012 A Poem Is.. Narrator Disney Animation Film/TV
2012 Angelic Voices: The Choristers of Salisbury Cathedral Narrator Documentary
2013 Family Guy British Woman (voice) TV series
2014 Non-Stop Nancy Hoffman
2014 Tough Justice Connie Tough Short
2015 Selfless Claire


Year Title Role Venue
2004 His Dark Materials Jessie National Theatre
2005 Henry IV, Parts I & II Carrier National Theatre
2005 The UN Inspector Female activist National Theatre
2005 Pillars of the Community Dina National Theatre
2007 Dying for It Kleopatra Almeida Theatre
2007 Pygmalion Eliza Doolittle UK tour
2008 Uncle Vanya Yelena UK tour
2008 Pygmalion Eliza Doolittle Old Vic Theatre
2009 Burnt by the Sun Maroussia National Theatre
2010 Hamlet Ophelia Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2005 Ian Charleson Awards Best Actress Pillars of Community Nominated
2007 Ian Charleson Awards Best Actress Pygmalion 2nd prize
2008 Evening Standard Award Outstanding Newcomer Pygmalion Nominated
2010 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role Burnt by the Sun Nominated
2011 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actress Downton Abbey Nominated
2012 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Drama Actress Downton Abbey Nominated
Glamour Awards Editor's Special Award N/A Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Satellite Awards Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama Downton Abbey Nominated
2013 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Drama Downton Abbey Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Huading Awards Best Global Actress Downton Abbey Won
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Won


  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at ancestry.com
  2. ^ Gore, Alex (31 August 2013). "Your number’s up". The Sun (London). 
  3. ^ "Real secrets of Downton's girls" October 2011, Daily Mail
  4. ^ "Company Members – Michelle Dockery". National Theatre. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Michelle Dockery: What's an Essex girl doing at Downton Abbey?". Daily Mail (London). 9 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Masterpiece: Downton Abbey". PBS. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Inverne, James (30 November 2004). "Previews for Second Part of His Dark Materials Begin Nov. 30". Playbill. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Recent awards for drama graduates". Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Olivier awards nominations". guardian.co.uk (London: Guardian News and Media). 8 February 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Theatre review: Pygmalion/Old Vic, London The Guardian, 17 May 2008
  11. ^ The 2008 ES Theatre Awards shortlist Evening Standard, 24 November 2008
  12. ^ First Night: Hamlet, Sheffield Crucible The Independent, 23 September 2010
  13. ^ "Michelle Dockery". IMDb. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  14. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (7 March 20008). "'Hogfather': Low-Budget Hogwash". Washington Post. p. T 39.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ Halliday, Josh (3 November 2011). "Downton Abbey: ITV confirms third series". guardian.co.uk (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  16. ^ Michaels, Adrian (28 December 2012). "Restless, BBC One, review". www.dailytelegraph.co.uk (London). Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  17. ^ The Times, 6 November 2010
  18. ^ "Very LADYLIKE: Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery attends Cartier polo final with Irish boyfriend John Dineen". evoke.ie. 16 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Abbey ever after: Downton’s Michelle Dockery ‘engaged’ to Irish PR beau John Dineen". evoke.ie. 15 February 2015. 
  20. ^ Rothman, Lily (15 March 2012). "TIME Style and Design: Futuristic London Fashion". TIME magazine. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "TIME MAGAZINE | Out of Time". Josh Appignanesi. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 

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