Miranda Richardson

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Miranda Richardson
Miranda Richardson Met Opera 2010 Shankbone.jpg
Richardson at the Metropolitan Opera's 2010 opening night of Das Rheingold
Born Miranda Jane Richardson
(1958-03-03) 3 March 1958 (age 56)
Southport, Lancashire, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1979-present

Miranda Jane Richardson (born 3 March 1958) is an English stage, film and television actress. She is a two-time Academy Award nominee and has won a BAFTA Award and two Golden Globe Awards.

Richardson began her career on stage and made her West End debut in the 1980 play Moving. She made her film debut playing Ruth Ellis in the 1985 film Dance with a Stranger. In 1987, she received a Best Actress Olivier Award nomination for the Royal Court production of A Lie of the Mind. On television, she appeared in the sitcom Blackadder (1986-89). She won a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1992 film Damage. For that film and 1994s Tom and Viv, she received Academy Award nominations. She also won Golden Globe Awards for the 1992 film Enchanted April and the 1994 TV film Fatherland. Her other films include Empire of the Sun (1987), The Crying Game (1992), The Apostle (1997), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Spider (2002), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and Made in Dagenham (2010), while her other television credits include the miniseries A Dance to the Music of Time (1997), Merlin (1998), The Lost Prince (2003) and the sitcom The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle (2007).

Early life[edit]

Richardson was born in Southport, Lancashire, to Marian Georgina (née Townsend), a housewife, and William Alan Richardson, a marketing executive.[1] The second daughter of a middle class family, she revealed a talent for acting as a girl.

Career[edit]

Theatre[edit]

Richardson enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School,[2] where she studied alongside Daniel Day-Lewis and Jenny Seagrove, having started out with juvenile performances in Cinderella and Lord Arthur Savile's Crime at the Southport Dramatic Club.

Richardson has enjoyed a successful and extensive theatre career, first joining Manchester Library Theatre in 1979 as an assistant stage manager, followed by a number of appearances in repertory theatre. Her London stage debut was in Moving at the Queen's Theatre in 1981. She found recognition in the West End for a series of stage performances, ultimately receiving an Olivier Award nomination for her performance in A Lie of the Mind,[3] and in 1996, one critic asserted that she is "the greatest actress of our time in any medium" after she appeared in Orlando at the Edinburgh Festival. She returned to the London stage in May 2009 to play the lead role in Wallace Shawn's new play, Grasses of a Thousand Colours at the Royal Court Theatre.[4] Richardson has said that she prefers new work rather than the classics because of the history which goes with them.[5]

Film and television[edit]

In 1985, Richardson made her film debut as Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom, in the biographical drama, Dance with a Stranger. Around the same time, Richardson played a comedic Queen Elizabeth I, aka Queenie, in the British television comedy Blackadder II.

Following Dance with a Stranger, Richardson turned down numerous parts in which her character was unstable or disreputable, including the Glenn Close role in Fatal Attraction.[5] In this period, she appeared in Empire of the Sun (1987). In an episode of the TV series The Storyteller ("The Three Ravens", 1988) she played a witch. Meanwhile, she had returned in guest roles in one episode each in Blackadder the Third (1987) and Blackadder Goes Forth (1989). She returned to play Queenie in the Christmas special Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988), and later a special edition for the millennium Blackadder: Back and Forth.

Her portrayal of a troubled theatre goer in Secret Friends (BBC 2, 1990) was described as "a miniature tour de force... Miranda Richardson's finest hour, all in ten minutes" (The Sunday Times). Other television roles include Pamela Flitton in A Dance to the Music of Time (1997), Miss Gilchrist in St. Ives (1998), Bettina the obsessive-compulsive interior decorator in Absolutely Fabulous, the sadistic Queen Elspeth, Snow White's evil stepmother, in Snow White: The Fairest of Them All (2001), and the emotionally repressed Queen Mary in The Lost Prince (2003).

Miranda Richardson at the Toronto Film Festival 2010

Richardson has appeared in a number of high-profile supporting roles in film, including Vanessa Bell in The Hours, Lady Van Tassel in Sleepy Hollow and Patsy Carpenter in The Evening Star. She also won acclaim for her performances in The Crying Game and Enchanted April, for which she won a Golden Globe. She received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Damage and Tom & Viv.

Her film credits also include Kansas City (1996), The Apostle (1997) and Wah-Wah (2005). In 2002, she performed a triple-role in the thriller Spider.

Richardson also appeared as Queen Rosalind of Denmark in The Prince and Me and as the ballet mistress Madame Giry in the film version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom Of The Opera (2004). In 2005, she appeared in the role of Rita Skeeter, the toxic Daily Prophet journalist in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She also did the voice for Corky in The Adventures of Bottle Top Bill and His Best Friend Corky (2005), an Australian animated series for children. In 2006 she appeared in Gideon's Daughter. She played Mrs. Claus in the film Fred Claus (2007).

Richardson appeared in the BBC sitcom, The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle. She appeared as a guest in A Taste of My Life.

In 2008, Richardson was cast in a leading role in original AMC pilot, Rubicon. She plays Katherine Rhumor, a New York socialite who finds herself drawn into the central intrigue of a think tank, after the death of her husband.[6]

Additionally, she played Labour politician Barbara Castle in the British film Made in Dagenham.[7]

Richardson was cast as Queen Ulla in Maleficent, where she played the title character's aunt, but her role was cut from the film during post-production.[8]

Theatre roles[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1984 A Woman of Substance Paula McGill Amory TV
1985 Dance with a Stranger Ruth Ellis Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress
Variety Club Award
Underworld Oriel
The Innocent Mary Turner
After Pilkington Penny Nominated — BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress
1986 Blackadder II Queen Elizabeth I ("Queenie") TV
The Death of the Heart Daphne Heccomb
1987 Blackadder the Third Amy Hardwood TV Episode: "Amy and Amiability"
Eat the Rich DHSS Blonde
Empire of the Sun Mrs. Victor
Sweet as You Are Julia Perry TV
Royal Television Society Award for Best Performance - Female
1988 Blackadder's Christmas Carol Queen Elizabeth I/ Queen Asphyxia XIX TV
1989 Ball Trap on the Cote Sauvage Early Bird
Blackadder Goes Forth Nurse Mary Fletcher-Brown TV
Episode: "General Hospital"
The Mad Monkey Marilyn
1990 Secret Friends Olivia TV
The Bachelor Frederica
The Fool Columbine / Rosalind / Ophelia
Twisted Obsession Marilyn
Old Times Anna
Die Kinder Sidonie Reiger TV
1992 The Crying Game Jude O'Hara New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Damage Ingrid Fleming BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best British Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Enchanted April Rose Arbuthnot Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
1993 Century Clara
The Line, the Cross and the Curve Mysterious woman
1994 Absolutely Fabulous Bettina TV
Tom & Viv Vivienne Haigh-Wood National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Fatherland Charlie Maguire Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
The Night and the Moment Julie
1996 The Evening Star Patsy Carpenter Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress also for Kansas City
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Kansas City Carolyn Stilton Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress also for The Evening Star
1997 The Designated Mourner Judy
Saint-Ex Consuelo
The Apostle Toosie Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
A Dance to the Music of Time Pamela Flitton TV
Nominated — BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Royal Television Society Award for Best Performance - Female
1998 St. Ives Miss Gilchrist
The Scold's Bridle Dr Sarah Blakeney
Merlin Queen Mab / The Lady of the Lake Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1999 Alice in Wonderland Queen of Hearts / Society Woman
The Big Brass Ring Dinah Pellarin Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Sleepy Hollow Lady Mary Van Tassel / Crone Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress - Horror
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
Blackadder: Back & Forth Queen Elizabeth I / Queenie
The King and I Anna Leonowens Voice Only
Nominated — London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best British Actress
2000 Get Carter Gloria Carter
Chicken Run Mrs. Tweedy Voice Only
The Miracle Maker Mary Magdalene Voice Only
2001 Snow White Queen Elspeth
2002 The Hours Vanessa Bell Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Spider Yvonne / Mrs. Cleg San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actress
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best British Actress
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2003 The Lost Prince Queen Mary TV
Nominated — BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
The Rage in Placid Lake Sylvia Lake Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Supporting Actor - Female
Falling Angels Mary Field
2004 The Prince and Me Queen Rosalind
Churchill: The Hollywood Years Eva Braun
The Phantom of the Opera Madame Giry
Absolutely Fabulous Bettina TV "White Box"
2005 Midsummer Dream Queen Titania Voice Only
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Rita Skeeter
The Adventures of Bottle Top Bill and His Best Friend Corky Corky Voice Only, TV
2006 Gideon's Daughter Stella TV
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Merlin's Apprentice Lady of the Lake TV
Wah-Wah Lauren Compton
Provoked Veronica Scott
Paris, je t'aime The Wife Segment: "Bastille"
2007 Puffball Mabs Tucker
Fred Claus Mrs. Annette Claus
Southland Tales Nana Mae Van Adler-Frost
Spinning Into Butter Catherine Kenney
The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle Helena TV
2009 The Young Victoria Duchess of Kent
2010 Made in Dagenham Barbara Castle
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Rita Skeeter
Rubicon Katherine Rhumor TV
2012 Parade's End Mrs. Wannop TV
World Without End Mother Cecilia TV
Dead Boss Jo TV
2013 Belle Lady Ashford
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Berliner at Window
Mapp and Lucia Miss Elizabeth Mapp TV (3 episodes)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Award[edit]

  • Nominated (1993): Best Supporting Actress, Damage
  • Nominated (1995): Best Actress, Tom & Viv

BAFTA Award[edit]

Golden Globe Award[edit]

  • Won (1993): Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical/Comedy, Enchanted April
  • Nominated (1993): Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture, Damage
  • Nominated (1995): Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama, Tom & Viv
  • Won (1995): Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, Fatherland
  • Nominated (1999): Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, Merlin
  • Nominated (2000): Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, The Big Brass Ring
  • Nominated (2005): Best Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television, The Lost Prince

Laurence Olivier Award[edit]

  • Nominated (1988): Best Actress, A Lie of the Mind

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Miranda Richardson Biography (1958-)". Filmreference.com. 3 March 1958. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Past Graduates[dead link]
  3. ^ "The Society of London Theatre, Olivier Winners 1987". Officiallondontheatre.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Royal Court Theatre website". Royalcourttheatre.com. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Kira Cochrane "Miranda Richardson: 'I hate our sneering attitude to success", The Guardian, 20 April 2013
  6. ^ "Hollywood Reporter article". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 May 2010. [dead link]
  7. ^ Singh, Anita (16 May 2009). "Sally Hawkins to star in strike film We Want Sex". Telegraph. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Bibbiani, William. "Maleficent: Director Robert Stromberg on True Love and Reshoots". CraveOnline. craveonline.com. Retrieved June 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]