Anna Theodora Chancellor
27 April 1965
Richmond, London, England
|Relatives||Edward Chancellor, brother|
Background and early life
Chancellor was born in Richmond, England to barrister John Paget Chancellor, eldest son of Sir Christopher Chancellor, and Mary Jolliffe, a daughter of Lord Hylton. The Chancellor family were Scottish gentry who had owned land at Quothquan since 1432.
Chancellor was brought up in Somerset and educated at St Mary's School, Shaftesbury, which was a Roman Catholic boarding school for girls in Dorset, but left at sixteen to live in London, later describing her early years there as "quite wild". In her early twenties, she became the partner of the poet Jock Scot (1952–2016), with whom she had her daughter, Poppy Chancellor (born 1988), while still studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She separated from Scot a few years later. She got her first acting role on television playing Mercedes Page in Jupiter Moon, a BSkyB soap, then came a commercial for Boddingtons beer and a part in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), playing Henrietta (nicknamed "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 both the actress Dolly Wells and the model Cecilia Chancellor, and a second cousin of the actress Helena Bonham Carter. Chancellor herself has spoken of her lineage, stating:
You've worked hard all your life to be an actress, or whatever you've done, and that is what's presented to you. Don't you think that's embarrassing? I don't enjoy being quoted as saying that's who I am, because I don't feel that is who I am.
Chancellor played Julia Piper in series 1 to 3 of Kavanagh QC. She also played Caroline Bingley in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and Questular Rontok in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005). The same year, she joined the cast of BBC One television drama series Spooks as 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.
In 1997, she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Stanley, and in 2013 she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress for her part in Private Lives.
|Denotes works that have not yet been released|
|1990||Killing Dad or How to Love Your Mother||Barmaid|
|1993||Century||Woman in Police Station|
|1994||Four Weddings and a Funeral||Henrietta ‘Duck Face’– Wedding Four|
|Tom and Viv||Woman|
|Princess Caraboo||Mrs. Peake|
|1997||FairyTale: A True Story||Peter Pan|
|The Man Who Knew Too Little||Barbara Ritchie|
|2003||What a Girl Wants||Glynnis Payne|
|2004||Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London||Lady Josephine Kenworth|
|2005||The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy||Questular Rontok|
|The Best Man||Dana|
|2006||Breaking and Entering||Kate|
|2007||St. Trinians||Miss Bagstock|
|2012||More Afraid of You||Lucy||Short film|
|2012||More of You||Lucy||Short film|
|2013||How I Live Now||Aunt Penn|
|Confessions of an Alien Abductee||Narrator|
|Noël Coward's Private Lives||Amanda Prynne|
|2014||Death Knight Love Story||Miria||Voice role|
|Testament of Youth||Mrs. Leighton|
|This Beautiful Fantastic||Bramble|
|2017||Love of My Life||Grace|
|2018||The Happy Prince||Mrs Arbuthnot|
|Nativity Rocks!||Clara Hargreaves|
|2019||For Love or Money||Carol|
|2020||Come Away||Eleanor Murrow||Film|
|2022||Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris||Lady Dant|
|1990–1996||Jupiter Moon||Mercedes Page||50 episodes|
|1992||Inspector Morse||Sally Smith||Episode: "Cherubim and Seraphim"|
|1993||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Virginie Mesnard||Episode: "The Chocolate Box"|
|Comedy Playhouse||Julia||Episode: "The Complete Guide to Relationships"|
|1994||Ellington||Ally Stone||TV film|
|1995||Pride & Prejudice||Caroline Bingley||Miniseries; 6 episodes|
|1995–1997||Kavanagh QC||Julia Piper||11 episodes|
|1996||Karaoke||Anna Griffiths||Miniseries; 4 episodes|
|Cold Lazarus||Anna Griffiths||Miniseries; 3 episodes|
|1999||The Vice||Dr. Christine Weir||5 episodes|
|2000||Longitude||Muriel Gould||TV film|
|2001||The Cazalets||Diana Mackintosh||6 episodes|
|2002||Tipping the Velvet||Diana Lethaby||2 episodes|
|2003||Georgian Underworld||Narrator||Episode: "Queer as 18th Century Folk"|
|Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie||Nicky Bowden||TV film|
|Fortysomething||Estelle Slippery||6 episodes|
|2004||Blue Dove||Maria Bishop||2 episodes|
|Roman Road||Maddy Bancroft||TV film|
|2005||A Waste of Shame: Shakespeare and His Sonnets||Anne Hathaway||TV film|
|2005–2007||Spooks||Juliet Shaw||15 episodes|
|2006||Rebus||Amanda Morrison||Episode: "Let It Bleed"|
|The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton||Elizabeth Dorling||TV film|
|2006–2007||Suburban Shootout||Camilla Diamond||11 episodes|
|2007||Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars||Irene Adler||TV film|
|Christmas at the Riviera||Diane||TV film|
|2008||My Family||Zelda Nobbs||Episode: "Cards on the Table"|
|Agatha Christie's Marple: Murder Is Easy||Lydia Horton||TV film|
|2009||Law & Order: UK||Evelyn Wyndham||2 episodes|
|2010||Silent Witness||Chief Supt. Karen Somerville||2 episodes|
|Miranda||Helena||Episode: "A New Low"|
|2011||Hustle||Wendy Stanton||Episode: "As Good as it Gets"|
|Waking the Dead||Lucy Christie||2 episodes|
|Lewis||Judith Suskin||Episode: "The Gift of Promise"|
|Hidden||Elspeth Verney||4 episodes|
|2011–2012||The Hour||Lix Storm||12 episodes|
Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress
|2012–2014||Pramface||Janet Derbyshire||14 episodes|
|2012||We'll Take Manhattan||Lucie Clayton||TV film|
|2013||A Touch of Cloth||Hope Goodgirl||2 episodes|
|2014||Inside No. 9||Elizabeth||Episode: "Sardines"|
|Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond||Second Officer Monday||4 episodes|
|Penny Dreadful||Claire Ives||1 episode|
|Downton Abbey||Lady Anstruther||1 episode|
|Mapp and Lucia||Emmeline 'Lucia' Lucas||3 episodes|
|2016||Shetland||Phyllis Brennan||4 episodes|
|New Blood||Eleanor Davies||7 episodes|
|Grantchester||Aunt Cece||Christmas special|
|Flowers||Aunty Viv||1 episode|
|2017||The Crown||Lady Rosse||Episode: "Matrimonium"|
|2018||Ordeal by Innocence||Rachel Argyll||3 episodes|
|Trust||Penelope Kittson||5 episodes|
|2019||Death in Paradise||Ciss Dacre||Episode: "Frappe Death Day"|
|2019–2021||Pennyworth||Dr. Frances Gaunt||7 episodes|
|2020–2022||The Split||Melanie Aickman||Series 2-3|
|2021||The Watch||Lord Vetinari||Main role|
|2022||Hotel Portofino||Lady Latchmere||Main role|
|That Dirty Black Bag||TBA||TV Series|
- Boston Marriage, Donmar Warehouse – March–April 2001; Donmar in the West End – November 2001–February 2002
- Mammals at the Oxford Playhouse and touring – Lorna, January 2006
- Never So Good, National Theatre – summer 2008
- The Observer, National Theatre – spring 2009
- The Last of the Duchess, Hampstead Theatre – October–November 2011
- Private Lives (playing Amanda), Chichester Festival Theatre, September 2012, and the Gielgud Theatre, London (July–September 2013)
- The Wolf From the Door, Royal Court Theatre, September–November 2014
- The Seagull by Anton Chekhov at National Theatre – summer 2016
Chancellor has played the role of Ann Smiley in BBC dramatisations of the John le Carré novels Call for the Dead, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People.
- Burke's Landed Gentry, eighteenth edition, vol. I, ed. Peter Townend, 1965, p. 130
- Tim Lewis, Anna Chancellor: 'My life was chaotic. But it's turned out OK' dated 21 August 2011 at theguardian.com. Retrieved 23 October 2016
- "Jock Scot, performance poet – obituary", in The Daily Telegraph online dated 15 April 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016
- Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, vol. III, 2003, pg 3046
- Jane Merrick, 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 independent.co.uk. Retrieved 23 October 2016
- Gerard Gilbert, Anna Chancellor has a lineage worthy of Tatler but... dated 20 December 2014 at independent.co.uk. Retrieved 4 October 2016
- The Hour at IMDb
- "Patrons & Founders – Scene & Heard". sceneandheard.org. 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- Billen, Andrew (31 March 2018). "Ordeal by Innocence: the Christie Mystery that almost got away". The Times. No. 72497. Saturday Review. pp. 4–5. ISSN 0140-0460.
- "Meet the cast of the Split series 2".
- "New casting announced for TV adaptation 'The Watch'".
- "Review of Private Lives". Time Out. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- Masters, Tim (27 June 2014). "Anna Chancellor leads Royal Court revolution". BBC News. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- "The Complete Smiley: Call for the Dead". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
- "The Complete Smiley: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
- "The Complete Smiley – The Karla Trilogy, Book 2: The Honourable Schoolboy". BBC. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- "The Complete Smiley - The Karla Trilogy, Book 3: Smiley's People". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2020.