|Alma mater||Drama Centre London|
(m. 2006; div. 2016)
Anne-Marie Duff (born 8 October 1970) is an English actress and narrator. She is an accomplished theatre actress and has been nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award. She has also won numerous awards for her television and film work.
After graduating from Drama Centre London, Duff made television appearances in Trial & Retribution, Amongst Women and Aristocrats in the late 1990s. She made her breakthrough as Fiona Gallagher on the Channel 4 drama series Shameless and as Queen Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen; both earned her BAFTA nominations for Best Actress. She was awarded the BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Actress for her work in the 2007 television film The History of Mr Polly. Further television roles include Claire Church in From Darkness (2015), Ma Costa in the BBC and HBO series His Dark Materials (2019), Erin Wiley in Sex Education (2020–2021) and as Tracy Daszkiewicz in The Salisbury Poisonings (2020).
In film, Duff has had roles in Enigma (2001), The Magdalene Sisters (2002), Notes on a Scandal (2006), French Film (2008), The Last Station (2009) and Nowhere Boy (2009), alongside Shameless co-star David Threlfall; the latter earned her a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She later appeared in Before I Go to Sleep (2014) and Suffragette (2015).
Early life and education
Duff was born in London on 8 October 1970, the youngest of two children of Irish immigrants: her father was a painter and decorator from County Meath and her mother was from County Donegal and worked in a shoe shop. The family lived in Southall, London, and Anne-Marie went to Mellow Lane School. 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; she 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 made her first television appearance in ITV drama Trial & Retribution as Cathy Gillingham for two episodes in 1997. She later made appearances in series such as Amongst Women, in Aristocrats as Lady Louisa Lennox and in 2003 BBC television film Charles II: The Power and the Passion as Henrietta of England. She also had a minor role in Holby City as Alison McCarthy. Duff played Holly in the first series of Simon Nye sitcom, Wild West, alongside Dawn French and Catherine Tate in 2002. In 2002, Duff appeared in her first major film role as Margaret McGuire in The Magdalene Sisters.
Duff's first critical acclaim came as Fiona Gallagher in the Channel 4 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, Emilia Fox and Sienna Guillory. Duff returned to her role as Fiona for the final episode of Shameless in 2013. For Duff's roles as both Fiona and Elizabeth I, she was nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress in both 2006 and 2007. She won the Broadcasting Press Guild award for Best Actress for her role as Fiona.
Following her breakthrough, Duff ventured into films, first appearing in Notes on a Scandal, alongside Judi Dench. After film roles in Irish film Garage and The Waiting Room, she next appeared in a main role in comedy film French Film and Is Anybody There? in 2008. In 2009, Duff received further attention when she played the mother of John Lennon, Julia Stanley, a role for which she won British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actress in Nowhere Boy. She also appeared in The Last Station, a biopic about Leo Tolstoy’s later years, in which she played his devoted daughter Sasha. She appeared in less known film roles following this before her appearance in 2014 film Before I Go to Sleep. Throughout this time, Duff continued to appear on mainstream television in Parade’s End, a five-part BBC/HBO/VRT television serial adapted from the tetralogy of eponymous novels (1924–1928) by Ford Madox Ford as Edith Duchemin and in BBC One crime drama From Darkness which premiered in October 2015, appearing in the starring role. Of Duff’s performance, Metro stated "Not a fan of police procedural dramas? Good, because this ain’t that. From Darkness is a character-driven tale of one women’s journey and resolve and it includes a bloody brilliant performance by Duff."
In 2015, she played Violet Miller in the film Suffragette, a working-woman who introduces Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) to the fight for women's rights in east London. "Violet is extraordinary, she's a firebrand - a tornado that comes into Maud's life and changes it forever. I found her thrilling," says Duff.
In 2016, Duff was cast in a new BBC animated miniseries of Watership Down, alongside her former husband James McAvoy. It premiered in December 2018; Duff appeared as Hyzenthlay. In 2019, Duff once again appeared with McAvoy in the BBC One and HBO adaption of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.
In 2020, Duff portrayed Erin Wiley, the estranged heroin addict mother of established character Maeve in the second season of critically acclaimed Netflix original series Sex Education. In June 2020, Duff appeared in a main role as Tracy Daszkiewicz in three-part drama The Salisbury Poisonings. The series portrays the 2018 Novichok poisoning crisis in Salisbury, England, and the subsequent Amesbury poisonings.
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 the title character in Marianne Elliott's production of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan to great acclaim. In 2011 she played Alma Rattenbury in Terence Rattigan's final play Cause Célèbre at The Old Vic, directed by Thea Sharrock.
Duff was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000.
Duff married Scottish actor James McAvoy in 2006, and gave birth to their son, Brendan McAvoy, in 2010. On 13 May 2016, Duff and McAvoy announced they were getting a divorce. To minimise disruption to their son's life, they initially shared a home in North London when not working elsewhere.
|1998||Mild and Better||The Woman||Short film|
|2002||The Magdalene Sisters||Margaret|
|2006||Notes on a Scandal||Annabel|
|The Waiting Room||Anna|
|2009||Is Anybody There?||Mum|
|The Last Station||Sasha Tolstoy|
|Nowhere Boy||Julia Lennon|
|Molly Moon: The Incredible Hypnotist||Post-production|
|2014||Before I Go to Sleep||Claire|
|2017||On Chesil Beach||Marjorie Mayhew|
|1997||Trial & Retribution||Cathy Gillingham||2 episodes|
|1998||Amongst Women||Sheila||2 episodes|
|2000||Reach for the Moon||Cath Bird|
|2001||The Way We Live Now||Georgiana||4 episodes|
|Holby City||Alison McCarthy||1 episode|
|Wild West||Holly||6 episodes|
|Sinners||Anne Marie/Theresa||TV film|
|2003||Charles II: The Power and The Passion||Princess Henrietta of England||1 episode|
|2004–2005, 2013||Shameless||Fiona Gallagher||19 episodes|
|2006||The Virgin Queen||Queen Elizabeth I||4 episodes|
|Born Equal||Michelle||TV film|
|2007||The History of Mr Polly||Miriam|
|2009||Margot||Margot Fonteyn||TV film|
|2012||Accused||Mo Murray||1 episode|
|Parade's End||Edith Duchemin||4 episodes|
|2015||From Darkness||Claire Church||All 4 episodes|
|2017||Hospital||Narrator||All 6 episodes|
|2019||His Dark Materials||Ma Costa||TV series|
|2020||Sex Education||Erin Wiley||Netflix Original series|
|The Salisbury Poisonings||Tracy Daszkiewicz||TV series|
|1994||Uncle Silas||Maud Ruthyn|
|The Mill on the Floss||First Maggie|
|1995||La Grande Magia||Amelia|
|1996||War and Peace||Natasha|
|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||Olivier Theatre, London|
|2011||Cause Célèbre||Alma Rattenbury||Old Vic, London|
|2013||Strange Interlude||Nina Leeds||National Theatre, London|
|Macbeth||Lady Macbeth||Broadway debut, Lincoln Center Theater|
|2015||Husbands & Sons||Lizzie Holroyd||Co-production between National Theatre, London and Royal Exchange, Manchester|
|2016||Oil ||May||Almeida Theatre|
|2017||Common ||Mary||Royal National Theatre, London|
|2017||Heisenberg ||Georgie||Wyndhams Theatre, London|
|2018||Macbeth ||Lady Macbeth||Royal National Theatre, London|
|2019||Sweet Charity||Charity Hope Valentine||Donmar Warehouse, London|
Radio and audio
|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|
|2005||Ears Wide Open||Diane|
|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|
|2017||A Streetcar Named Desire||Blanche DuBois||Radio drama|
Awards and nominations
- Lane, Harriet (8 February 2004). "Real-life romance". The Observer. Retrieved 31 July 2009.
- Day, Elizabeth (20 May 2017). "Anne-Marie Duff on starting over, divorce and her sexually charged role". The Telegraph.
- Lewis, Rebecca (4 October 2015). "Everything you need to know about Anne-Marie Duff's BBC thriller from Darkness". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Billington, Michael (12 July 2007). "Saint Joan". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2009.
- Brown, Peter (13 July 2007). "Saint Joan". LondonTheatre.co.uk. Retrieved 31 July 2009.
- Masters, Tim (27 March 2011). "Anne-Marie Duff on Rattigan revival". BBC News. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Mcdonald, Toby (24 April 2011). "Doting mum Anne-Marie Duff reveals toddler's name". Sunday Mail. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Marquina, Sierra (13 May 2016). "James McAvoy and Wife Anne-Marie Duff to Divorce: See Their Statement". US Weekly. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
- Andrew Purcell Archived 3 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine, "James McAvoy, man of many faces, adds another 24 in Split", The Age, 13 January 2017
- "Women's Aid collectable card by Phil Ropy". Womens Aid. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
- McIntosh, Steven (14 June 2020). "TV drama revisits Salisbury poison attack 'horror'". BBC News. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- Billington, Michael (12 July 2007). "Theatre review: Saint Joan / Olivier Theatre, London". the Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- Billington, Michael (5 June 2013). "Strange Interlude – review". The Guardian. London.
- "Oil". Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- "Common - National Theatre". www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Kenton, Tristram (5 March 2018). "Macbeth at the National Theatre with Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff – in pictures". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 August 2018 – via www.theguardian.com.
- 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.