Penny Downie

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Penny Downie
Born 1954 (age 59–60)
Brisbane,Queensland, Australia

Penny Downie (born 1954) is an Australian actress, noted for her appearances on British television.

She began her career in Australia, initially in Brisbane at Twelfth Night Theatre and Brisbane Arts Theatre. She trained at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Sydney. After graduation she appeared in TV series such as The Box, Bellbird, The Sullivans, Prisoner and Learned Friends.

She moved to the United Kingdom during the early 1980s. Her UK TV credits include: Minder, Inspector Morse, Kavanagh QC, The Cazalets, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Spooks, Trial & Retribution, New Street Law, Poirot,The Ice House, Lost for Words and New Tricks.

She also appeared in The Girl in the Cafe, alongside Bill Nighy, Kelly Macdonald and Anton Lesser.

She is also an accomplished stage actress. She is an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company where she has played roles such as Lady Anne in Richard III alongside Antony Sher, and Hermione and Perdita in The Winter's Tale. She appeared in the premiere of Nick Dear's play The Art of Success in Stratford in 1986 and later at the Barbican Theatre, London, alongside Michael Kitchen and Simon Russell Beale. [1]

In 2008 she played opposite David Tennant and Patrick Stewart as Gertrude, in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hamlet which was subsequently adapted for BBC television and aired in late 2009.[2][3] Downie played the title character in Euripides' Helen at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in 2009.

In 2009 she played Mrs. Piennar in the Clint Eastwood film Invictus.

In 2013 she appeared as Rev Mother Augustine in the Father Brown episode 'The Bride of Christ'. Downie also played the title role in 'A Storm in a Flower Vase', a play based on the life of Constance Spry, which held its West End debut at the Arts Theatre.[4]

Most recently in 2014, Downie starred in an episode of Suspects (TV series) as Fiona Sullivan.


  1. ^ retrieved 25 January 2014
  2. ^ Billen, Andrew (21 August 2008). "Fit for a prince - Hamlet Production". New Statesman. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "BBC Two - Hamlet". Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Prendergast, Lara (12 September 2013). "A Storm in a Flower Vase: Constance Spry spruces up centrestage". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 

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