Anne-Marie Duff

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Anne-Marie Duff
Anne-Marie DuffJamesMcAvoyBAFTA07 cropped.jpg
Duff at the 60th British Academy Film Awards in February 2007
Born (1970-10-08) 8 October 1970 (age 46)
Chiswick, London, England[1]
Alma mater Drama Centre London
Occupation Actress
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) James McAvoy (m. 2006; separated 2016)
Children 1

Anne-Marie Duff (born 8 October 1970) is an English actress. She first achieved mainstream attention for playing Fiona Gallagher in the television series Shameless (2004–05; 2013), and later played Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen (2006). She also played the lead role in the television series From Darkness in 2015.

Duff has also had roles in films such as Enigma (2001), The Magdalene Sisters (2002), Notes on a Scandal (2006), The Last Station and Nowhere Boy (both 2009) and Suffragette (2015).

Her performances in Shameless, The Virgin Queen, Nowhere Boy and Suffragette earned her BAFTA nominations in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, and she was awarded the BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Actress for her work in the 2007 television film The History of Mr Polly.

Duff is married to Scottish actor James McAvoy, with whom she has one child. They announced plans to divorce in May 2016, and said that even though they are to end their marriage, they are to continue living together for the foreseeable future.

Early life[edit]

Duff was born on 8 October 1970, the younger of two children of Irish immigrants – her father was a painter and decorator and her mother worked in a shoe shop. The family lived in Southall, London, and Anne-Marie went to a comprehensive school – Mellow Lane School, which became Hewens College in 2011. At an early age, Anne-Marie attended a local youth theatre; Young Argosy, linked to the Argosy Players, in order to battle her shy nature and soon became hooked on the stage.

In her mid-teens, involved in an amateur theatre company, she began to think seriously about applying to drama schools. Her first application was rejected. “At the time, I was desperately unhappy about it, but I just wasn’t polished. I got too nervous in the audition. It wasn’t a world I was familiar with…” After further study of Film and Theatre, at the age of 19, she attended the Drama Centre in London, alongside John Simm, Anastasia Hille and her good friend, Paul Bettany.


Duff was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000, but first mainstream attention came as Fiona in the television programme Shameless, and for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in the lavish 2005 BBC television miniseries, The Virgin Queen which also starred Tom Hardy, Joanne Whalley and Tara Fitzgerald. She also played Julia Stanley, the mother of John Lennon, in Nowhere Boy. In The Last Station, a biopic about Leo Tolstoy's later years, she played his devoted daughter Sasha.

An accomplished theatre actor, she has worked extensively with the Royal National Theatre, including its 1996 production of Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, and also in London's West End (Vassa, Collected Stories). Credits at the National Theatre include Collected Stories, King Lear and most recently the title character in Marianne Elliott's production of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan to great acclaim.[2][3] In 2011 she played Alma Rattenbury in Rattigan's final play Cause Célèbre at The Old Vic directed by Thea Sharrock.[4] In 2007 she was one of nine female celebrities to take part in the What's it going to take? campaign promoting awareness of domestic abuse in the United Kingdom.

Personal life[edit]

Duff married Scottish actor and former Shameless co-star James McAvoy in October 2006,[5] and gave birth to their son, Brendan McAvoy, in 2010.[6] On 13 May 2016, Duff and McAvoy announced their decision to divorce.[7]


Laurence Olivier Awards
  • 2010: Best Supporting Actress for Nowhere Boy (nominated)
  • 2007: Best Actress for The Virgin Queen (2005) (nominated)
  • 2006: Best Actress for Shameless (2004) (nominated)
  • 2005: Best Actress for Shameless (2004) (nominated)
Broadcasting Press Guild
  • 2005: Best Actress for Shameless (2004) (won)
Evening Standard British Film Awards
  • 2010: Best Actress for Nowhere Boy (2009) (won)[8]
Irish Film and Television Awards
  • 2008: Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Feature Film for Garage (2007) (nominated)
  • 2007: Best Actress in a Lead Role in Television for The Virgin Queen (2005) (nominated)
  • 2005: Best Actress in Television for Shameless (2004) (nominated)
  • 2004: Best Actress in a TV Drama for Shameless (2004) (won)
Royal Television Society
  • 2006: Best Female Actor for Shameless (2004) (nominated)



Year Production Role Notes
1998 Mild and Better The Woman Short film
2001 Enigma Kay
2002 The Magdalene Sisters Margaret
2006 Notes on a Scandal Annabel
2007 Garage Carmel Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Feature Film
The Waiting Room Anna
2008 French Film Sophie
2009 Is Anybody There? Mum
The Last Station Sasha Tolstoy
Nowhere Boy Julia Lennon British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress
Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress
London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
Nominated—British Academy Film Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Empire Award for Best Actress
Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Film
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
2012 Sanctuary Maire Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Actress in a Film
2013 Closed Circuit Melissa
Molly Moon: The Incredible Hypnotist Post-production
2014 Before I Go to Sleep Claire
2015 Suffragette Violet Miller Nominated – BIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress


Year Production Role Notes
1997 Trial & Retribution Cathy Gillingham 2 episodes
1998 Amongst Women Sheila 2 episodes
1999 Aristocrats Louisa 4 episodes
2000 Reach for the Moon Cath Bird
2001 The Way We Live Now Georgiana 4 episodes
2002 Doctor Zhivago Olya
Holby City Alison McCarthy 1 episode
Wild West Holly 6 episodes
Sinners Anne Marie/Theresa TV Film
Golden Nymph for Television Films – Best Performance by an Actress
2003 Charles II: The Power and The Passion Princess Henrietta of England 1 episode
2004–05, 2013 Shameless Fiona Gallagher 19 episodes
Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress
IFTA Award for Best Actress in a TV Drama
Golden Nymph for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Nominated—British Academy Television Award for Best Actress (2005)
Nominated—British Academy Television Award for Best Actress (2006)
Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Actress in Television (2005)
Nominated—Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor – Female
2006 The Virgin Queen Queen Elizabeth 4 episodes
Nominated—British Academy Television Award for Best Actress
Nominated—IFTA Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role in Television
Born Equal Michelle TV Film
2007 The History of Mr Polly Miriam BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Actress (Yr Actores Orau)
2008 Pop Britannia Narrator
2009 Margot Margot Fonteyn TV Film
2012 Accused Mo Murray 1 episode
Nominated—Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor (Female)
Parade's End Edith Duchemin 4 episodes
2015 From Darkness Claire Church All 4 episodes
2017 Watership Down Hyzenthlay Miniseries; pre-production


Year Production Role Notes
1994 Uncle Silas' Maud Ruthyn
The Mill on the Floss First Maggie
1995 La Grande Magia Amelia
1995–96 Peter Pan Wendy
1996 War and Peace Natasha
1997–98 King Lear Cordelia
1999 Vassa Lyudmila
1999–2000 Collected Stories Lisa
2000 A Doll's House Nora
2002 The Daughter in Law Minnie
2004 The Playboy of the Western World Pegín maidhc
2005 Days of Wine and Roses Mona
2007 The Soldier's Fortune Lady Dunce
Saint Joan Joan
2011 Cause Célèbre Alma Rattenbury Old Vic, London
2013 Strange Interlude Nina Leeds National Theatre, London[9]
Macbeth Lady Macbeth Broadway debut, Lincoln Center Theater
2015 Husbands & Sons Lizzie Holroyd Co-production between National Theatre,London and Royal Exchange, Manchester

Radio and audio[edit]

Radio and audio
Year Production Role Notes
1998 Twelfth Night Viola
2000 The Art of Love Cypassis
The Diary of a Provincial Lady Radio series
2001 A Time That Was Radio drama
2004 Life Half Spent Radio Play
Jane Eyre Narrator
2005 Ears Wide Open Diane
Othello Desdemona Audiobook
2006 The Queen at 80 Narrator Radio series
The Possessed Liza/Marya Radio drama
Look Back in Anger Alison Rehearsed reading
2007 Kingdom of the Golden Dragon Narrator Radio drama
2011 Carmilla Narrator Radio drama


  1. ^ Lane, Harriet; "Real-life romance", 8 February 2004 (Retrieved: 31 July 2009)
  2. ^ Billington, Michael; "Saint Joan", 12 July 2007 (Retrieved: 31 July 2009)
  3. ^ Brown, Peter; "Saint Joan", 13 July 2007 (Retrieved: 31 July 2009)
  4. ^ Masters, Tim (27 March 2011). "BBC News – Anne-Marie Duff on Rattigan revival". Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Todd, Ben (27 January 2010). "Glowing Anne-Marie Duff, 39, confirms first pregnancy with husband James McAvoy". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Mcdonald, Toby (24 April 2011). "Doting mum Anne-Marie Duff reveals toddler's name". Sunday Mail. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Marquina, Sierra (13 May 2016). "James McAvoy and Wife Anne-Marie Duff to Divorce: See Their Statement". USWeekly. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Masters, Tim (8 February 2010). "Duff and Serkis scoop Standard film awards". BBC News. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  9. ^ Billington, Michael (5 June 2013). "Strange Interlude – review". The Guardian. London. 

External links[edit]