Anna Chancellor

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Anna Chancellor
Born Anna Theodora Chancellor
(1965-04-27) 27 April 1965 (age 51)
Richmond, London, England
Nationality British
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Nigel Willoughby (1993–1998)
Redha Debbah (2010–present)
Children Poppy Chancellor

Anna Theodora Chancellor (born 27 April 1965) is a BAFTA and Olivier Award-nominated English actress.

Background and early life[edit]

The daughter of John Chancellor and Mary Jolliffe, a daughter of Lord Hylton, Chancellor was brought up in Somerset and educated at St Mary's School, Shaftesbury, a Roman Catholic boarding school for girls in Wiltshire, but left at sixteen to live in London, later describing her early years there as "quite wild".[1] She became the partner of the poet Jock Scot (1952-2016), and in her early twenties had a daughter, Poppy, separating from Scot a few years later.[2] She got her first acting role on television playing Mercedes Page in Jupiter Moon, a BSkyB soap, then came a commercial for Boddingtons and a part in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994),[1] playing "Duckface" opposite Hugh Grant.

Chancellor is a niece of the journalist Alexander Chancellor, a great-granddaughter of Raymond Asquith, son of the Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, a first cousin of the model Cecilia Chancellor and a second cousin of the actress Helena Bonham Carter.[3]


Chancellor had a prominent role in the series Kavanagh QC. She has also been noted for her work as Caroline Bingley in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and as Questular Rontok in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005). The same year, she joined the cast of the popular BBC One television drama series Spooks as a new regular character, Juliet Shaw. She has also appeared in The Vice, Karaoke, Cold Lazarus, The Dreamers, Tipping the Velvet and Fortysomething, and had a leading role in the satirical black comedy Suburban Shootout. In 2011, she took a supporting role in the BBC thriller serial The Hour, for which she was nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress.[4]

In 1997, she received a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role nomination for her performance in Stanley and in 2013 an Olivier Award for Best Actress nomination for her part in Private Lives.


She is a patron of the London children's charity Scene & Heard.[5]


Year Film Role Notes
1990 Killing Dad or How to Love Your Mother Barmaid
Jupiter Moon Mercedes Page TV series (50 episodes: 1990–1996)
1992 Inspector Morse Sally Smith TV series (1 episode: "Cherubim and Seraphim")
1993 Agatha Christie's Poirot Virginie Mesnard TV series (1 episode: "The Chocolate Box")
Comedy Playhouse Julia TV series (1 episode: "The Complete Guide to Relationships")
Century Woman in Police Station
1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral Henrietta (Duckface) – Wedding Two
Tom and Viv Woman
Staggered Carmen Svennipeg
Princess Caraboo Mrs. Peake
Ellington Ally Stone TV film
1995 Pride & Prejudice Caroline Bingley TV mini-series (6 episodes)
Kavanagh QC Julia Piper TV series (11 episodes: 1995–1997)
1996 Karaoke Anna Griffiths TV mini-series (4 episodes)
Cold Lazarus Anna Griffiths TV mini-series (3 episodes)
1997 FairyTale: A True Story Peter Pan
The Man Who Knew Too Little Barbara Ritchie
1999 The Vice Dr. Christine Weir TV series (5 episodes)
Heart Nicola Farmer
2000 Longitude Muriel Gould TV film
2001 The Cazalets Diana Mackintosh TV series (6 episodes)
Crush Molly Cartwright
2002 Tipping the Velvet Diana Lethaby TV series (2 episodes)
2003 Georgian Underworld Narrator TV series (1 episode: "Queer as 18th Century Folk")
What a Girl Wants Glynnis Payne
Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie Nicky Bowden TV film
Fortysomething Estelle Slippery TV series (6 episodes)
The Dreamers Mother
Confused short
2004 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Lady Josephine Kenworth
Blue Dove Maria Bishop TV series (2 episodes)
Roman Road Maddy Bancroft TV film
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Questular Rontok
Feeder Doctor short
The Best Man Dana
A Waste of Shame: Shakespeare and His Sonnets Anne Hathaway TV film
Spooks Juliet Shaw TV series (15 episodes: 2005–2007)
2006 Breaking and Entering Kate
Rebus Amanda Morrison TV series (1 episode: "Let It Bleed")
The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton Elizabeth Dorling TV film
Suburban Shootout Camilla Diamond TV series (11 episodes: 2006–2007)
2007 Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars Irene Adler TV film
St. Trinians Miss Bagstock
Christmas at the Riviera Diane TV film
2008 My Family Zelda Nobbs TV series (1 episode: "Cards on the Table")
Agatha Christie's Marple Lydia Horton TV film
2009 Law & Order: UK Evelyn Wyndham TV series (2 episodes)
2010 Critical Eye Laura
Silent Witness Chief Supt. Karen Somerville TV series (2 episodes)
Miranda Helena TV series (Series 2 episode 4: "A New Low")
2011 Hustle Wendy Stanton TV series (1 episode: "As Good as it Gets")
Waking the Dead Lucy Christie TV series (2 episodes)
Lewis Judith Suskin TV series (1 episode: "The Gift of Promise")
Hysteria Mrs Bellamy
Hidden Elspeth Verney TV series (4 episodes)
The Hour Lix Storm TV series (12 episodes)
Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress
2012 More Afraid of You Lucy short
Pramface Janet Derbyshire TV series
We'll Take Manhattan Lucie Clayton TV film
2013 A Touch of Cloth Hope Goodgirl TV series (2 episodes)
How I Live Now Aunt Penn
Noël Coward's Private Lives Amanda Prynne
2014 Death Knight Love Story Miria Animated, motion-captured, fan-made Machinima film
Inside No. 9 Elizabeth Episode 1, "Sardines"
Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond Second Officer Monday TV series (4 episodes)
Penny Dreadful Claire Ives TV series (1 episode)
Downton Abbey Lady Anstruther
Testament of Youth Mrs. Leighton
Mapp and Lucia Emmeline 'Lucia' Lucas TV series (3 episodes)
2016 The Carer Milly
Shetland Phyllis Brennan TV series (4 episodes)
New Blood Eleanor Davies TV Series#
This Beautiful Fantastic Bramble post-production
Love of My Life Grace completed



Chancellor has played the role of Ann Smiley in a BBC dramatisation of the John le Carre novels The Honourable Schoolboy[8] and Smiley's People.[9]


  1. ^ a b Tim Lewis, Anna Chancellor: 'My life was chaotic. But it's turned out OK' dated 21 August 2011 at, accessed 23 October 2016
  2. ^ "Jock Scot, performance poet – obituary", in The Daily Telegraph online dated 15 April 2016, accessed 23 October 2016
  3. ^ Jane Merrick, The world's most elitist election Hereditary peers will vote to fill the gap created by the death of Lord Ferrers dated 9 December 2012 at, accessed 23 October 2016
  4. ^ The Hour at IMDb
  5. ^ "Patrons & Founders - Scene & Heard". 2012. Retrieved 2016-05-31. 
  6. ^ "Review of Private Lives". Time Out. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Masters, Tim (27 June 2014). "Anna Chancellor leads Royal Court revolution". BBC News. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Complete Smiley – The Karla Trilogy, Book 2: The Honourable Schoolboy". BBC. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Complete Smiley: Smiley's People". BBC. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 

External links[edit]