Anna Maxwell Martin

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Anna Maxwell Martin
Anna Maxwell Martin 2019.png
Maxwell Martin in 2019
Anna Charlotte Martin

(1977-05-27) 27 May 1977 (age 45)
Alma mater
Years active2001–present
(m. 2010; sep. 2020)

Anna Maxwell Martin (born Anna Charlotte Martin; 27 May 1977),[1] sometimes credited as Anna Maxwell-Martin, is a British actress. She won two British Academy Television Awards, for her portrayals of Esther Summerson in the BBC adaptation of Bleak House (2005) and N in the Channel 4 adaptation of Poppy Shakespeare (2008). She is also known for her roles as DCS Patricia Carmichael in BBC One crime drama Line of Duty (2019–present) and Kelly Major in Code 404 (2020–present). From 2016 to 2021, Maxwell Martin starred in the BBC comedy Motherland, for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performance.

Her theatre work includes the role of Lyra Belacqua in the production of His Dark Materials (2003–2004) at the National Theatre.

Early life and education[edit]

Anna Charlotte Martin was born in Beverley on 27 May 1977 to Rosalind (née Lugassy)[2] and Ivan Martin.[3] Her father was managing director of a pharmaceutical company and her mother was a research scientist. Her mother gave up her job to bring up Anna and her elder brother, Adam. She attended Beverley High School, where she appeared in school plays. After she left school, Maxwell Martin studied history at Liverpool University.[3]

Maxwell Martin joined the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) after completing her studies at Liverpool. She added the name Maxwell (her grandfather's name) to her surname to distinguish her from another member with the same name when she joined Equity.[4]


Maxwell Martin first came to prominence on the London stage playing the leading role of Lyra in the National Theatre's production of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials.[5] She was then cast in the part of Bessie Higgins in the BBC television adaptation Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North and South in 2004, and made a guest appearance in the 2005 series of Doctor Who. She played Esther Summerson, the central character in the 2005 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens's Bleak House, for which she won the Best Actress BAFTA Television Award in 2006.[6]

In January 2006, Maxwell Martin took part in a reading of The Entertainer at the Royal Court Theatre,[5] and in February and March she appeared in Laura Wade's Other Hands, directed by Bijan Sheibani at the Soho Theatre. She is the narrator of the CD version of The Foreshadowing, a children's book about the First World War by Marcus Sedgwick, which was published in May 2006. In the same year she worked on I Really Hate My Job, directed by Oliver Parker and, from October 2006 to April 2007, played Sally Bowles in Bill Kenwright and Rufus Norris's West End production of Cabaret at the Lyric Theatre.[7]

She played Cassandra Austen in Becoming Jane,[5] a 2007 film about the early life of the novelist Jane Austen, starring American actress Anne Hathaway in the title role. At the end of the year she played the gaoler's daughter in Lee Hall's adaptation of The Wind in the Willows,[5] a multimillion-pound production by Box TV for BBC One, and was the joint narrator (with Anton Lesser) of the CD version of Tamar, a children's book about the Second World War by Mal Peet, which was published in December 2007.[8]

In 2008, she starred in the BBC Two drama White Girl[5] and with Naomie Harris in Channel 4's adaptation of Poppy Shakespeare, for which she won her second Best Actress BAFTA Television Award in 2009.[9]

From July to October of that year, she appeared with Dame Eileen Atkins in The Female of the Species at the Vaudeville Theatre in London.[5] She also appeared in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel Crooked House. In July 2009 she appeared in the BBC Two drama Freefall,[5] and played Neil Armstrong's wife, Janet, in Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11,[5] an ITV1 drama documentary to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.[8]

In February 2010, she played freedom of information campaigner Heather Brooke in On Expenses,[5] a BBC Four satirical drama, and later played Isabella in Shakespeare's Measure For Measure alongside Rory Kinnear at the Almeida Theatre.[10]

In February 2011, she played Sarah Burton in a three-part BBC adaptation of Winifred Holtby's novel South Riding.[11] On 12 July 2011, she played Kay Langrish in a BBC Two dramatisation of The Night Watch.[12][13] Beginning in September 2012, she starred in the drama mini-series The Bletchley Circle (2012–2014).[5] On 4 September 2012, she appeared in Jimmy McGovern's Accused.[5]

In December 2013 she returned to the world of Jane Austen, starring as Elizabeth Darcy in the BBC Christmas season drama Death Comes to Pemberley,[5] a three-part television adaptation of the P. D. James novel of the same name which continues the events of Austen's Pride and Prejudice six years after Darcy and Elizabeth's marriage, with a murder mystery plot involving the same characters.[8]

In 2015, she played Mary Shelley in ITV drama series The Frankenstein Chronicles.[14] In December that year she appeared as Ethel Rogers in the BBC three-part serial And Then There Were None, an adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel of the same name.[15]

In 2017, she played the lead role in sitcom Motherland.[5] The show returned for a second series in 2019 and another in May 2021.

In 2019, she played Beelzebub, leader of the denizens of Hell, in the Amazon Prime TV serial Good Omens,[5] based on the book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. In the same year she joined the cast of Line of Duty[5]' during its fifth series playing DCS Patricia Carmichael, a role she reprised in series six.[16]

In 2021, she played the co-lead role in Hollington Drive an ITV television drama series that began broadcasting on 29 September 2021.[5] Created and written by Sophie Petzal, the series follows two sisters, Theresa (Anna Maxwell Martin) and Helen (Rachael Stirling), and their families as they grapple with the potential crime of their children.

Personal life[edit]

Maxwell Martin was married to film director Roger Michell after his divorce from Kate Buffery. The couple had two daughters.[17] In April 2020, Maxwell Martin announced that the couple had separated.[18] Michell died in September 2021.[19]



Year Film Role Notes
2002 Eddie Loves Mary Interviewee Short film
2004 Enduring Love Penny
2006 The Other Man Christine Short film
2007 I Really Hate My Job Madonna
Becoming Jane Cassandra Austen
2012 Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa ACC Janet Whitehead
Philomena Jane
2016 Chubby Funny Sally
2019 Say Your Prayers DCI Brough
The Personal History of David Copperfield Mrs Strong
2020 The Duke Ms. Gowling


Year Film Role Notes
2002 Midsomer Murders Arabella Heywood Episode: "Murder on St. Malley's Day"
2004 North & South Bessie Higgins Miniseries
2005 Doctor Who Suki Macrae Cantrell Episode: "The Long Game"
Bleak House Esther Summerson Main role
2006 The Wind in the Willows Gaoler's Daughter Television film
2008 White Girl Debbie Television film
Poppy Shakespeare N
2009 Free Agents Sophie 3 episodes
Freefall Mandy Potter Television film
Moonshot Janet Armstrong Television film
2010 On Expenses Heather Brooke Television film
2011 South Riding Sarah Burton Main role
CBeebies Bedtime Stories Herself 5 episodes
The Night Watch Kay Langrish Television film
2012 Accused Tina Dhakin Episode: "Tina's Story"
2012–2014 The Bletchley Circle Susan Gray 5 episodes
2013 Death Comes to Pemberley Elizabeth Darcy Miniseries
2014 The Life of Rock with Brian Pern Jess Hunt Miniseries
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies Janine 2-part miniseries
2015 And Then There Were None Ethel Rogers 3-part miniseries
Midwinter of the Spirit Reverend Merrily Watkins 3-part miniseries
The Frankenstein Chronicles Mary Shelley 4 episodes
2016 Reg Sally Keys Television film [20]
Motherland Julia Pilot
2017 Tracey Ullman's Show Herself 1 episode
2017–2021 Motherland Julia Main role
2018 Urban Myths Agatha Christie Episode: "Agatha Christie"
Mother's Day Wendy Parry Television film
2019 Good Omens Beelzebub 3 episodes
2019–present Line of Duty DCS Patricia Carmichael Main role (series 5–)
2020–present Code 404 Kelly Major Main role
2021 The Irregulars Edith Dubois Episode: "Hieracium Snowdoniense"
Hollington Drive Theresa Main role
2022 Mandy Eva Episode: "SpaceMandy"
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Herself 1 episode
Who Do You Think You Are? Herself 1 episode
A Spy Among Friends[21] Lily Thomas


Year Title Role Theatre Notes
2001 The Little Foxes Alexandra Donmar Warehouse [5]
2001–2002 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Lucy RSC at the Sadler's Wells Theatre
2002 The Coast of Utopia Alexandra/Maria/Tata Royal National Theatre
2003 Honour Sophie
2003 Three Sisters Irina
2003–2004 His Dark Materials Lyra
2004 Dumb Show Liz Royal Court Theatre, West End
2006 Other Hands Hayley Soho Theatre[22]
2006–2007 Cabaret Sally Bowles Lyric Theatre, West End[23]
2008 The Female of the Species Molly Rivers Vaudeville Theatre, West End[24]
2010 Measure for Measure Isabella Almeida Theatre[25]
2013 Di and Viv and Rose Rose Hampstead Theatre[26]
2014 King Lear Regan Royal National Theatre[27]
2015–2016 Macbeth Lady Macbeth Young Vic[28]
2017 Consent Kitty Royal National Theatre[29]
2021 Constellations Arlene Vaudeville Theatre, West End[30] [5]

Readings and benefits[edit]

  • The Lady of Larkspur Lotion (rehearsed reading) as Mrs Hardwicke-Moore at the National Theatre (21 October 2002)
  • Hello from Bertha (rehearsed reading) as Goldie at the National Theatre (22 October 2002)
  • Collateral Damage II (poetry) at the National Theatre (14 March 2003)
  • Songs of Innocence and Experience (poetry) at the National Theatre (18 February 2004)
  • The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (poetry) at the National Theatre (25 February 2004)
  • Will and Lyra as herself (interview) at the National Theatre (26 March 2004)
  • After the Fire (rehearsed reading) at the National Theatre (7 March 2005)
  • The Black Glove (rehearsed reading) at the National Theatre (15 March 2005)
  • Snowbound (showcase) at the Royal National Theatre Studio (October 2005)
  • The Entertainer (rehearsed reading) as Jean at the Royal Court Theatre (16 January 2006)
  • Top Girls (reading) as Pope Joan at the Royal Court Theatre (19 September 2008)
  • Pencil (10-minute play in the 24 Hour Plays Celebrity Gala) at the Old Vic (1 November 2009)



  • The Tall One as Samantha (BBC Radio 4, 1 to 5 September 2003)
  • The Raj Quartet as Daphne Manners (BBC Radio 4, 10 April to 5 June 2005)
  • The Ante Natal Clinic as Ros (BBC Radio 4, 19 January 2006)
  • The Sea as Rose (BBC Radio 4, 15 April 2006)
  • Great Expectations as Estella (BBC Radio 4, 6 and 13 August 2006)
  • The Invention of Childhood as one of several readers (BBC Radio 4, 25 September to 3 November 2006)
  • Berlin – Soundz Decadent as herself (BBC Radio 2, 2 January 2007)
  • Crooked House as Sophia Leonides (BBC Radio 4, 8 to 29 February 2008)
  • Words and Music: The Soft Machine as one of two poetry readers (BBC Radio 3, 1 June 2008)
  • The Portrait of a Lady as Isabel Archer (BBC Radio 4, 13 to 27 July 2008)
  • Villette as Lucy Snowe (BBC Radio 4, 3 to 7 and 10 to 14 August 2009)
  • Au Pairs as Dorika (BBC Radio 4, 7 to 11 September 2009)
  • Chekhov's Seven and a Half Years as Olga in Three Sisters (BBC Radio 3, 24 January 2010)
  • The New Radio 2 Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman as herself (BBC Radio 2, 15 March 2010)
  • Words and Music: Malady as one of two readers (BBC Radio 3, 11 April 2010)
  • The Wings of the Dove as Milly Theale (BBC Radio 4, 1, 8 and 15 August 2010)
  • The White Devil as Vittoria (BBC Radio 3, 15 August 2010)
  • Faust as Gretchen (BBC Radio 3, 19 September 2010)
  • Juvenile Jane as the extract reader (BBC Radio 4, 23 November 2010)


  • Peet, Mal (December 2007). Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal. Narrated by Anton Lesser & Anna Maxwell Martin. Walker Books Ltd.
  • Sedgwick, Marcus (May 2006). The Foreshadowing. Narrated by Anna Maxwell Martin. Orion Publishing Group Limited.
  • Christie, Agatha (1949) [original novel]. Crooked House. Narrated by Anna Maxwell Martin & Rory Kinnear (BBC Audio, September 2010 ed.).
  • James, Henry (1881) [original novel]. Portrait of a Lady. Dramatised by Rachel Joyce; narrated by Anna Maxwell Martin, Haydn Gwynne, Robert Bathurst & Gayle Hunnicutt (BBC Worldwide May 2013 ed.).

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2005 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actress His Dark Materials Nominated
2006 BBC Drama Poll Best Actress Bleak House Third
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Best Actress Nominated
British Academy Television Awards Best Actress Won [6]
Gold Derby Awards TV Movie/Mini Supporting Actress Nominated
2009 Royal Television Society Programme Awards Best Actor (Female) Poppy Shakespeare Nominated
British Academy Television Awards Best Actress Won [9]
2011 British Academy Television Awards Best Actress South Riding Nominated
Monte-Carlo Television Festival Best Performance by an Actress – Miniseries Nominated
2014 Crime Thriller Awards Best Leading Actress Death Comes to Pemberley / The Bletchley Circle Nominated
2018 British Academy Television Awards Best Female Comedy Performance Motherland Nominated


  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1984–2006 listed birth name as Anna Charlotte Martin; Registration year 1977; Registration District Beverley, Yorkshire
  2. ^ "Line of Duty's Anna Maxwell Martin breaks down in tears whilst appearing on Who do You Think You Are - heromag". 25 June 2022.
  3. ^ a b Iqbal, Nosheen (1 May 2021). "Anna Maxwell Martin: from sinister Line of Duty cop to harried mum who makes us laugh". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  4. ^ "5 things you didn't know about Anna Maxwell Martin". Who Do You Think You Are Magazine. 16 June 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Anna Maxwell Martin - Actor". Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Bafta TV Awards 2006: The winners". BBC News. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Casting confirmed for Cabaret at Lyric". Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  8. ^ a b c Anna Maxwell Martin at IMDb
  9. ^ a b "Bafta TV Awards 2009: The winners". BBC News. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Measure For Measure". Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  11. ^ ""South Riding" (2011)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  12. ^ "The Night Watch filming in Bath". This is Bath. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  13. ^ Staff. "Stellar Cast Announced for BBC Two's The Night Watch". Vadvert. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  14. ^ Staff (26 March 2015). "More Details Revealed for TV Series The Frankenstein Chronicles". DC. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Adapting Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None' for BBC One". BBC. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  16. ^ Cydney Yeates (18 April 2021). "Line of Duty: What has Anna Maxwell Martin been in and who is DCI Patricia Carmichael?". Metro. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  17. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Front Row, Anna Maxwell Martin; Sondheim's Road Show". BBC. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  18. ^ Jones, Eleanor (12 April 2020). "Anna Maxwell Martin on being newly single". YOU Magazine. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  19. ^ Michallon, Clémence (23 September 2021). "Roger Michell death: Notting Hill director dies aged 65". The Independent.
  20. ^ "BBC One: Reg". BBC. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  21. ^ White, Peter (6 October 2021). "Damian Lewis & Guy Pearce Lead Cold War Limited Series 'A Spy Among Friends' For Spectrum Originals & BritBox UK". Deadline. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Other Hands, Soho Theatre, London". The Guardian. 20 February 2006. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  23. ^ "Cabaret, Lyric Theatre, London". The Guardian. 11 October 2006. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  24. ^ "Theatre review: The Female of the Species / Vaudeville Theatre, London". The Guardian. 17 July 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  25. ^ "Measure for Measure". Almeida Theatre. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  26. ^ "Di and Viv and Rose – review". The Guardian. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  27. ^ "King Lear - review". The Guardian. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  28. ^ "Macbeth review – a giddy dance". The Guardian. 13 December 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  29. ^ "Consent". National Theatre. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  30. ^ "Anna Maxwell Martin and Chris O'Dowd in Constellations – first look | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 11 November 2022.

External links[edit]