Catherine McCormack

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Catherine McCormack
Catherine Jane McCormack[1]

(1972-04-03) 3 April 1972 (age 52)
EducationOxford School of Drama
Years active1994–present

Catherine Jane McCormack (born 3 April 1972)[1][2] is an English actress. Her film appearances include Braveheart (1995), The Land Girls (1998), Dangerous Beauty (1998), Dancing at Lughnasa (1998), Spy Game (2001), and 28 Weeks Later (2007). Her theatre work includes National Theatre productions of All My Sons (2000) and Honour (2003).

Early life[edit]

McCormack was born in Epsom, Surrey, England. She is of part Irish ancestry as one of her grandfathers was Irish.[3] Her mother died of lupus when McCormack was six years old and her steelworker father subsequently raised her and her brother Stephen.[4] She was brought up as Roman Catholic[5] and attended the Convent of Our Lady of Providence. She went on to study at the Oxford School of Drama.[6]



McCormack's first important role was as the character Murron MacClannough in the multiple Academy Award-winning film Braveheart (1995). Her screen debut was as the lead in the Anna Campion-directed film Loaded (1994). She has subsequently stated that she had a "miserable time with the director (Anna Campion)... it was my first film job, I needed to be mollycoddled, I needed to be helped through it, and I wasn't. Mostly, it was a horrible experience."[4]

After Braveheart, McCormack starred alongside Anna Friel and Rachel Weisz in David Leland's The Land Girls and had lead roles in Nils Gaup's Northstar and Marshall Herskovitz's Dangerous Beauty. Other films include Spy Game (2001) and 28 Weeks Later. Despite being in demand, she does few films, stating that "I read very few scripts I'm passionate about... Maybe one in every twenty or thirty."[7]


McCormack has shown a preference in her career for the theatre,[4] saying that "theatre really is an actor's medium: you're on stage with no director anymore, whereas in film very rarely do you get much rehearsal other than running through the scene very quickly. Then everyone comes in and shoots it."[8] McCormack was one of the original 2006 London cast of Patrick Barlow's play of The 39 Steps.[9] In 2008, she performed the role of Nora in A Doll's House,[10] directed by Peter Hall at the Theatre Royal, Bath, and also the role of Isabel Archer in a stage adaptation of The Portrait of a Lady,[11] both of which commenced their runs in July 2008, ending in August, before transferring to the Rose Theatre in Kingston later that year.

In 2009, she appeared in the British tour of Headlong's adaptation of Six Characters in Search of an Author. In 2012, she starred as Juana Inés de la Cruz in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Helen Edmundson's play The Heresy of Love.[12]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2009 McCormack was living with her boyfriend in Richmond.[13]


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Loaded Rose
1995 Braveheart Murron MacClannough
1996 North Star Sarah
1998 The Land Girls Stella
1998 Dangerous Beauty Veronica Franco
1998 Dancing at Lughnasa Christina 'Chrissy' Mundy
1999 This Year's Love Hannah
1999 The Debtors
2000 Shadow of the Vampire Greta Schröder
2000 A Rumor of Angels Mary Neubauer
2000 The Weight of Water Jean Janes
2000 Born Romantic Jocelyn
2001 The Tailor of Panama Francesca Deane
2001 Spy Game Elizabeth Hadley
2004 Strings Zita (voice)
2005 A Sound of Thunder Sonia Rand
2006 Renaissance Bislane Tasuiev (voice)
2007 The Moon and the Stars Kristina Baumgarten / Tosca
2007 28 Weeks Later Alice
2013 The Fold Rebecca Ashton Post-production
2014 Magic in the Moonlight Olivia
2016 The Journey Kate Elgar
2017 Promise at Dawn Lesley Blanch
2019 The Song of Names Helen
2019 Cordelia Kate
Year Title Role Notes
1994 Wycliffe Asenath Gardner Episode: "The Scapegoat"
1997 Deacon Brodie Annie Grant TV film
1999 Love in the 21st Century Fay Episode: "Reproduction"
2001 Armadillo Flavia TV film
2004 Gunpowder, Treason & Plot Queen Elizabeth I TV film
2005 Kenneth Tynan: In Praise of Hardcore Kathleen Tynan TV film
2006 Elizabeth David: A Life in Recipes Elizabeth David TV film
2006 Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire Poppaea Sabina Episode: "Nero"
2008 Midnight Man Alice Ross TV miniseries
2011 Lights Out Theresa Leary 13 episodes
2013 Lucan Veronica TV miniseries
2015 Life in Squares Virginia Woolf 2 episodes
2016 Sherlock Lady Carmichael Episode "The Abominable Bride"
2017 Genius Marija Ružić–Marić
2018 Women on the Verge Claire TV series
2019-2021 Temple Beth Milton TV miniseries- 13 episodes
2022 Slow Horses Alex Tropper TV series - 2nd Season - 4 episodes
2023 The Witcher Anika 1 episode
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Anna Weiss Anna Weiss Whitehall Theatre, London
2000 All My Sons Ann National Theatre
2001 A Lie of the Mind Beth Donmar Warehouse, London
2001 Kiss Me Like You Mean It Ruth Soho Theatre, London
2001 White Horses Paula Gate Theatre, Dublin
2002 Free Sophie National Theatre
2002 Dinner Sian National Theatre
2003 Honour Claudia National Theatre
2003 Under the Curse Iphigenia Gate Theatre, London
2004 Vermillion Dream Miriam Salisbury Playhouse
2006 The 39 Steps Various Tricycle Theatre, London
2007 The Lady from Dubuque Jo Theatre Royal Haymarket, London
2008 A Doll's House Nora Theatre Royal Haymarket, London
2008 The Portrait of a Lady Isabel Archer Theatre Royal Haymarket, London
2009 Six Characters in Search of an Author
2012 The Heresy of Love Juana Inés de la Cruz Royal Shakespeare Company


  1. ^ a b Ms Catherine Jane McCormack Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b "20 Questions With ... Catherine McCormack" (8 February 2012). Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Catherine McCormack — Life after Braveheart". 29 May 2001. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Duerden, Nick. Catherine McCormack: The play's the thing, The Independent, 10 August 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Catherine McCormack - Actress in Braveheart - Esquire". Archived from the original on 1 September 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2009., Esquire, 30 November 2002. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  6. ^ "Catherine McCormack Biography — Yahoo! Movies". 1 January 1972. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  7. ^ Blackwelder, Rob. UNRECOGNIZED 'BEAUTY': The surprising off-screen Catherine McCormack Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, SPLICEDwire, 6 February 1998. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  8. ^ Wolf, Matt. Catherine McCormack,, 16 August 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  9. ^ Cavendish, Dominic. Irreverent romp down the nostalgia track, The Telegraph, 18 August 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  10. ^ Theatre Royal – A Doll's House Archived 19 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Theatre Royal – The Portrait of a Lady Archived 19 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "The Heresy of Love - By Helen Edmundson - Royal Shakespeare Company".
  13. ^ "My Perfect Weekend: Catherine McCormack". The Daily Telegraph. 28 September 2009. Archived from the original on 29 March 2023.

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