Adjoa Andoh

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Adjoa Andoh

Adjoa Andoh.jpg
Andoh in 2009
Adjoa Aiboom Helen Andoh

(1963-01-14) 14 January 1963 (age 60)
Clifton, Bristol, England
Years active1984–present
SpouseHoward Cunnell

Adjoa Andoh HonFRSL (born 14 January 1963)[1] is a British actress. On stage, she has played lead roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre and the Almeida Theatre. On television, she appeared in two series of Doctor Who as Francine Jones, 90 episodes of the BBC's long-running medical drama Casualty, and BBC's EastEnders. Andoh made her Hollywood debut in autumn 2009, starring as Nelson Mandela's Chief of Staff Brenda Mazibuko alongside Morgan Freeman as Mandela in Clint Eastwood's drama film Invictus. Since 2020, she portrays Lady Danbury in the Netflix Regency romance series Bridgerton. In July 2022, Andoh became an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Early life and education[edit]

Andoh was born in Clifton, Bristol.[2] Her mother, a teacher, was English, and her father was a journalist and musician from Ghana. She has a brother.[3] Andoh grew up in Wickwar in Gloucestershire, where her family moved after her father got a job with British Aerospace.[3][4] She attended Katharine Lady Berkeley's School and then started studying law at Bristol Polytechnic, but left after two years to pursue an acting career.[2]


Film, television, radio[edit]

Andoh was a member of the BBC's Radio Drama Company.[5] Her television credits include Casualty (she played Colette Griffiths (née Kierney) from 2000 until 2003), Jonathan Creek, EastEnders (where she played jazz singer Karen, the lodger of Rachel Kominski in 1991), and The Tomorrow People (where she played Amanda James in the story The Rameses Connection in 1995).

She has appeared in Doctor Who a number of times: in 2006 as Sister Jatt in series 2 episode "New Earth" and as Nurse Albertine in the audio drama Year of the Pig. In 2007, she appeared in several episodes of the third series ("Smith and Jones", "The Lazarus Experiment", "42", "The Sound of Drums", and "Last of the Time Lords") as Francine Jones, the mother of Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman). She reprised her role in the finale of series 4 ("The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End"). Andoh's other television work includes playing the head of M.I.9 in Series 3 to Series 5 of M.I. High and D.C.I. Ford in Missing. In the American streaming television drama series Bridgerton (2020) she plays Lady Danbury. She played the guest role of Mother Nenneke in the second season of the Polish - American fantasy drama streaming television series The Witcher (2021).

She narrated the audio book versions of Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of detective novels and Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch Series trilogy (although not all of the US editions), as well as Julia Jarman's children's books, The Jessame Stories and More Jessame Stories. She also narrated the audio book version of Nnedi Okorafor's novel Lagoon with Ben Onwukwe,[6] and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. She narrated The Power by Naomi Alderman, former President Barack Obama’s favorite book of 2017.[7] Her career in audio dramas has included the Voice of Planet B in the science fiction series Planet B on BBC Radio 7. In 2004, she was cast in the video game Fable. In 2017 she provided the voice of war chief Sona in the video game Horizon Zero Dawn.

In film, Andoh appeared in Noel Clarke's 2008 film Adulthood and its 2016 sequel Brotherhood as the mother of Clarke's character, Sam Peel. She played Chief of Staff Brenda Mazibuko opposite Morgan Freeman's Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood's 2009 drama film Invictus.[8][9]


Andoh has worked extensively in the theatre. Her credits include His Dark Materials, Stuff Happens and The Revenger's Tragedy at the National Theatre; A Streetcar Named Desire (National Theatre Studio); Troilus and Cressida, Julius Caesar, Tamburlaine and The Odyssey (RSC); Sugar Mummies and Breath Boom (Royal Court); Richard II (Globe); Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Donmar Warehouse); Great Expectations (Bristol Old Vic); Blood Wedding (Almeida); Nights at the Circus, The Dispute and Pericles (Lyric Hammersmith); Julius Caesar (The Bridge); Purgatorio (Arcola); The Vagina Monologues (Criterion); Starstruck (Tricycle) and In The Red and Brown Water (Young Vic).[10]

Personal life[edit]

Andoh met her husband, Howard Cunnell, in 1994 when he took over the bookshop at Battersea Arts Centre, where Andoh's theatre company Wild Iris had an office. They have been together since late 1995, married in 2001 and have two daughters together (b. 1996 and 1997). Andoh also has a daughter from a previous relationship (b. 1985/86). Cundell has worked as a lecturer, writer, scuba diving instructor and a lifeguard. The couple live in Sussex as of 2022, having previously lived in Brixton.[3][11] In October 2009, Andoh was licensed as a lay preacher in the Church of England.[12][13]



Year Title Role
1991 London South West Marion
1995 What My Mother Told Me Jesse
2004 Every Time You Look at Me Mrs Berry
2007 The Shadow in the North Jessie Saxon
2008 Adulthood Mrs Peel
2009 Invictus Brenda Mazibuko
2016 Brotherhood Mrs Peel
2019 Fractured Dr Jacobs


Year Title Role Notes
19901991 EastEnders Karen 10 episodes
19922004 The Bill Mrs Hughes, Diana Holt, Mrs Baptiste 3 episodes: "A Blind Eye", "Grey Area", "236"
1992 Waiting for God Angela Avery 1 episode: "Sleeping Pills"
1993, 20002003 Casualty Maggie (1 episode, 1993), Colette Kierney/Griffiths 73 episodes
1994 The Brittas Empire Reporter 1 episode: "High Noon"
1995 Health and Efficiency Sister Beth Williams 2 episodes: "The Old Dope Peddler", "Five Have Plenty of Fun"
The Tomorrow People Amanda Jones 3 episodes
1996 Paul Merton in Galton and Simpson's… Defence Counsel 1 episode: "Twelve Angry Men"
Testament: The Bible in Animation Ruth 1 episode (Voice)
1997 Peak Practice Dr Nixon 2 episodes: "Letting Go", "The Price"
1998 Close Relations April Mini-Series
A Rather English Marriage Mandy Hulme TV film
1999 Jonathan Creek Anthea Spacey 1 episode: "The Curious Tale of Mr Spearfish"
2006 Doctor Who Sister Jatt 1 episodes: "New Earth"
20072008 Doctor Who Francine Jones 7 episodes: "Smith and Jones", "The Lazarus Experiment", "42", "The Sound of Drums", "Last of the Time Lords", "The Stolen Earth", "Journey's End"
2007 Wire in the Blood Celeste Davies 1 episode: "The Colour of Amber"
20092011 M.I. High Head of MI9 Recurring character
2009 Missing DCI Lauren Ford Recurring character, 3 episodes
2011 Scott & Bailey Janice Guest star
Law & Order: UK Pathologist Recurring character, 3 episode
2012 Julius Caesar Portia TV film. Made by the Royal Shakespeare Company for the BBC.
2014 Wizards vs. Aliens Old Bethesta The two-part story "Daughters of Stone".
2015 New Tricks Alicia Whitechurch 1 episode: "The Curate's Egg"
2015 Broadchurch Julie 1 episode: S2: E1
2015 Cucumber Marie Recurring role, 2 episodes
20152020 Thunderbirds Are Go Colonel Casey Recurring role (voice)
2016 Line of Duty Prosecutor 2 episodes: "The Process", "Snake Pit"
2018 Death in Paradise Celeste Jones 1 episode: "Dark Memories" S7: E7
2020 Silent Witness DI Nina Rosen 2 episodes, "Deadhead"
2020–present Bridgerton Lady Danbury Main role
2021 The Witcher Nenneke
2022 The Smeds and The Smoos Grandmother Smoo Voice role[14]

Selected radio[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Blade of the Poisoner Dorina Carver's target
2009 Planet B Voice of Planet B Narrator of the series
2019 The Archers[15] Fiona Lloyd Alistair's sister

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role(s) Notes
2001 Wave Rally
2004 Fable
2005 Kameo Lenya
2008 Age of Conan
2008 Fable II
2010 Dante's Inferno Background Shades / Innocents of Acre / Semiramis
2010 Fable III
2012 The Secret World Zhara / Additional Voices
2012 Fable: The Journey
2014 Dreamfall Chapters Shepherd / Mother Utana / Adala
2017 Horizon Zero Dawn Sona / Cpl. Vandana Sarai

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2022, Andoh was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.[16] Also in 2022, AudioFile named Andoh a Golden Voice narrator.[17][18]

Year Work Award/Honor Category Result Ref.
2013 The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case by Alexander McCall Smith Audie Award Children, ages up to 8 Winner [19][20]
2016 Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie Audie Award Science Fiction Finalist [21]
The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman Audie Award Audio Drama Finalist [21]
Audie Award Young Adult Title Finalist [21]
2017 Killer Women: Crime Club Anthology #1 by Louise Millar, Alex Marwood, and Tammy Cohen Audie Award Short Story/Collections Finalist [22]
Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1782) by Choderlos de Laclos Audie Award Multi-Voiced Performance Finalist [22]
2018 Provenance by Ann Leckie Audie Award Science Fiction & Fantasy Winner [17][23]
2019 Get a Life, Chloe Brown (2019) by Talia Hibbert AudioFile Best of 2019 Romance Selection [17]
Housegirl by Michael Donkor Audie Award Literary Fiction or Classics Finalist [24]
The Raven Tower (2019) by Ann Leckie AudioFile Best of 2019 Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror Selection [17]
2021 Bridgerton Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominee [25]
Get a Life, Chloe Brown (2019) by Talia Hibbert Audie Award Romance Finalist [26]
Matrix by Lauren Groff AudioFile Best of 2021 Fiction Selection [17]
Remote Control (2021) by Nnedi Okorafor AudioFile Best of 2021 Science Fiction & Fantasy Selection [17]
2022 Matrix by Lauren Groff Audie Award Literary Fiction or Classics Finalist [27]


  1. ^ Chase's Calendar of Events 2022: The Ultimate Go-to Guide for Special Days, Weeks and Months. 15 November 2021. ISBN 9781641435048.
  2. ^ a b Graham, Natalie (23 March 2003), "Fame & Fortune: How TV nurse cured her money woes", The Sunday Times.
  3. ^ a b c "Adjoa Andoh is the black Chekhov". Evening Standard. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  4. ^ Kay, Jackie (30 March 2019). "Richard II and me: my friend Adjoa Andoh was born to play the king". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Radio and audio book companies", in Lloyd Trott, ed., Actors and Performers Yearbook 2016, pp. 353–354.
  6. ^ Lagoon. Hodder & Stoughton. 10 April 2014. ISBN 9781444762778.
  7. ^ Liptak, Kevin; Deena Zaru (26 January 2018). "Obama lists his favorite books and songs of 2017". CNN Politics.
  8. ^ Kellaway, Kate (24 January 2010). "Adjoa Andoh on her star role in Invictus". The Observer. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  9. ^ "Invictus: Interview - Adjoa Andoh". Trailer Addict. 2009.
  10. ^ "Curtis Brown". Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  11. ^ "How Adjoa Andoh met Howard Cunnell: 'I saw her coming down the stairs and I lost my head'". The Guardian. 27 December 2022. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  12. ^ "New Readers admitted and licensed" (PDF). The Bridge. Anglican Diocese of Southwark. November 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Combining two very different worlds" (PDF). The Bridge. Anglican Diocese of Southwark. November 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  14. ^ Yossman, K. J. (28 September 2022). "First Look Image: Bill Bailey, 'Bridgerton's' Adjoa Andoh in Julia Donaldson's 'The Smeds and The Smoos'".
  15. ^ "The Archers", Radio Times.
  16. ^ Shaffi, Sarah; Lucy Knight (12 July 2022). "Adjoa Andoh, Russell T Davies and Michaela Coel elected to Royal Society of Literature". The Guardian.
  17. ^ a b c d e f "AudioFile Magazine Spotlight on Narrator". AudioFile Magazine. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  18. ^ "Awards: AudioFile's Golden Voice, Danuta Gleed Literary Winners". Shelf Awareness. 3 June 2022. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  19. ^ "Awards: Ben Franklin and Audie Winners; Camões Prize for Literature". Shelf Awareness. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  20. ^ "2013 Audie Awards® - APA (en-US)". Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  21. ^ a b c "2016 Audie Awards® - APA (en-US)". Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  22. ^ a b "2017 Audie Awards® - APA (en-US)". Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  23. ^ "2018 Audie Awards® - APA (en-US)". Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  24. ^ "2019 Audie Awards® - APA (en-US)". Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  25. ^ Oganesyan, Natalie; Moreau, Jordan (4 February 2021). "2021 SAG Awards: The Complete Nominations List". Variety. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  26. ^ "2021 Audie Awards® - APA (en-US)". Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  27. ^ "2022 Audie Awards® - APA (en-US)". Retrieved 20 September 2022.

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