|Born||Celia Diana Savile Imrie
15 July 1952
Guildford, Surrey, England
|Children||Angus (b. 1994)|
Imrie started her career on television in the early 1970s and became most-known for her appearances with Victoria Wood, including Claire in Pat and Margaret (1994), Philippa Moorcroft in Dinnerladies (1998–2000) and playing various characters in the sketch show Victoria Wood As Seen On TV (1985–87), including Miss Babs in the spoof soap opera sketches Acorn Antiques, a role she reprised in Acorn Antiques: The Musical! in 2005. Imrie's other television roles include Marianne Bellshade in Bergerac (1983), Diana Neal in After You've Gone (2007–2008) and Gloria Millington in Kingdom (2007–09).
On film, Imrie has appeared in Highlander (1986), Hilary and Jackie (1998), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Calendar Girls (2003), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012).
Imrie has been described as "one of the most successful British actresses of recent decades" and has been nominated for two Laurence Olivier Awards, winning one for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for her role as Miss Babs in Acorn Antiques: The Musical!
Life and career
Imrie's varied career spans films, television and radio drama, and the theatre. Her film credits include Nanny McPhee, Hilary and Jackie (playing Iris du Pré) and the 1997 film of The Borrowers where she played Homily Clock. Other films include Bridget Jones's Diary, Calendar Girls, Highlander and, as Fighter Pilot Bravo 5, in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In 2004, Imrie played Doctor Imogen Reed in the schoolgirl thriller, Out of Bounds. She appeared in St Trinian's in 2007 as the Matron, alongside Stephen Fry, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Russell Brand and Mischa Barton.
Television series to feature Imrie include The Nightmare Man, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Casualty, Absolutely Fabulous, The Darling Buds of May and Upstairs, Downstairs. In the 2000 miniseries of Gormenghast, she played Lady Gertrude. She also had a guest appearance in an episode of the BBC Scotland sitcom Still Game in 2003, where she played a home help called Mrs Begg. She also appeared in the 2005 BBC television drama Mr. Harvey Lights a Candle, playing the part of a teacher taking an unruly party of pupils on a daytrip to Salisbury Cathedral. She starred in the BBC sitcom, After You've Gone, alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst and in the ITV1 drama Kingdom, with Stephen Fry. Her part in After You've Gone has, whilst being critically acclaimed, been described as "criminally squandered". In 2013 she guest starred in the BBC's Doctor Who where she played the villainous Miss Kizlet in the series opener The Bells of Saint John
In 2005, she received very positive reviews for her US stage debut in Unsuspecting Susan. In 2009, Imrie appeared in Plague Over England on the West End, a play about John Gielgud, and received positive reviews for her performance, Charles Spencer of The Daily Telegraph calling her performance "delicious" and "touchingly sympathetic". In the same year, she appeared in the world premiere of Robin Soans' Mixed Up North, directed by Max Stafford-Clark. In 2010, she appeared alongside Robin Soans in a production of Sheridan's The Rivals. She has appeared with Martin Clunes twice, first in the 2002 John George Haigh biopic A Is For Acid and later in the successful ITV series Doc Martin.
Her radio work includes parts in BBC Radio 4's No Commitments, Adventures of a Black Bag, and Bleak Expectations. In early 2007, she narrated the book Arabella, broadcast over two weeks as the Book at Bedtime.
Victoria Wood & Miss Babs
Imrie is perhaps best known for her frequent collaborations with Victoria Wood, with whom she has appeared in TV programmes such as the sitcom dinnerladies and sketch show Victoria Wood As Seen On TV. It was on the latter show in 1985 that she first played the infamous part of Miss Babs, owner of Acorn Antiques, a parody of the low budget British soap opera Crossroads.
These sketches became such a British institution that the show was turned into a West End musical in 2005 starring most of the original cast (see the picture on the right). Imrie won an Olivier Award for her performance. The character has curly blonde hair, and is known for her frequent parodic flirtations with the customers, and her abuse of the housekeeper Mrs Overall (portrayed by Julie Walters).
Imrie was featured in the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? in October 2012 and discovered that an ancestor on her mother's side was William, Lord Russell, a Whig parliamentarian executed for treason in 1683, after being found guilty of conspiring against King Charles II. A yet more distant ancestor was Lady Frances Howard, who was the central figure in a scandal during the reign of King James I involving the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury.
Imrie lives in London and in Cowes (on the Isle of Wight). She has a son, Angus, by the actor Benjamin Whitrow. Angus appears as her on-screen son in Kingdom and has acted in other productions and is studying drama and performance at the University of Warwick.
When Imrie was fourteen, she was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital suffering from anorexia nervosa, Under the care of controversial psychiatrist William Sargant, she was given electroshock and large doses of the anti-psychotic drug Largactil. Imrie has written that Sargant still features in her nightmares.
- (1992) The Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Actress in The Sea (play)
- (2006) The Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in Acorn Antiques:The Musical!
- 1973: Assassin
- 1974: House of Whipcord
- 1978: Death on the Nile
- 1983: The Wicked Lady
- 1986: Highlander
- 1991: The Harmfulness of Tobacco
- 1992: Blue Black Permanent
- 1994: Frankenstein
- 1995: A Midwinter's Tale
- 1997: The Borrowers
- 1998: Hiccup
- 1998: Hilary and Jackie
- 1999: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
- 2001: Bridget Jones's Diary
- 2001: Lucky Break
- 2001: Revelation
- 2002: Thunderpants
- 2002: Heartlands
- 2003: Calendar Girls
- 2004: Out of Bounds
- 2004: Wimbledon
- 2004: Bridget Jones:The Edge of Reason
- 2005: Wah-Wah
- 2005: Nanny McPhee
- 2005: Imagine Me & You
- 2007: St Trinian's
- 2009: St. Trinian's II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold
- 2010: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
- 2012: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
- 2014: The Love Punch
- 2014: What We Did on Our Holiday
- 2014: Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?
- 2015: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
- 2015: Molly Moon and The Incredible Book of Hypnotism
- 2016: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
- 2016: Bridget Jones's Baby
- 1974: Upstairs, Downstairs: "If You Were the Only Girl in the World"
- 1974: Upstairs, Downstairs: "Missing Believed Killed"
- 1979: To the Manor Born: "A Touch of Class"
- 1980: Shoestring: The "Dangerous Game"
- 1980: To the Manor Born: "Vive Le Sport"
- 1981: The Nightmare Man
- 1981: 81 Take 2
- 1982: Cloud Howe
- 1983: Bergerac
- 1985–1987: Victoria Wood As Seen On TV
- 1988: Taggart: "Root of Evil"
- 1988: The New Statesman: "Alan B'Stard Closes Down the BBC"
- 1989: The New Statesman: "May the Best Man Win"
- 1989: Murder by Moonlight
- 1989: Victoria Wood: "We'd Quite Like to Apologise"
- 1989: Victoria Wood: "Val De Ree (Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha)"
- 1989: Victoria Wood: "Staying In"
- 1990: The World of Eddie Weary
- 1990: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
- 1990: Old Flames
- 1990: 102 Boulevard Haussman
- 1991: Lovejoy: "The Italian Venus"
- 1991: The Darling Buds of May: "When the Green Woods Laugh (Parts 1 & 2)"
- 1991: Stay Lucky: "The Food of Love"
- 1992: Victoria Wood's All Day Breakfast
- 1992: Van der Valk: "Still Waters"
- 1993: Bonjour la Classe: "Red Card"
- 1993: The Riff Raff Element
- 1993: A Question of Guilt
- 1994: A Dark Adapted Eye
- 1994: Pat and Margaret
- 1994: The Return of the Native
- 1995: Absolutely Fabulous: "Jealous"
- 1995: Casualty: "Learning Curve"
- 1996: Blackhearts In Battersea
- 1996: The Writing on the Wall
- 1997: The Canterville Ghost
- 1997: Into the Blue
- 1997: Hospital!
- 1997: Wokenwell
- 1997: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
- 1997: Mr. White Goes to Westminster
- 1998: Duck Patrol: "River Rage"
- 1998–2000: dinnerladies
- 1999: Wetty Hainthropp Investigates
- 1999: Hilltop Hospital (voice)
- 1999: A Christmas Carol
- 2000: Gormenghast
- 2000: Dalziel & Pascoe: "Above the Law"
- 2000: Victoria Wood With All The Trimmings
- 2001: Love in a Cold Climate
- 2001: Baddiel's Syndrome: "Inventions Now"
- 2001: Midsomer Murders: "Dark Autumn"
- 2001: Absolutely Fabulous: "Menopause"
- 2001: Randall and Hopkirk: "Revenge of the Bog People"
- 2001: Station Jim
- 2002: Heartbeat: "The Shoot"
- 2002: The Gathering Storm
- 2002: Sparkhouse
- 2002: A Is for Acid
- 2002: Doctor Zhivago
- 2002: Daniel Deronda
- 2003: The Planman
- 2003: Still Game : "Wummin'"
- 2004: Jonathan Creek: "Gorgons Wood"
- 2004: Doc Martin: "Going Bodmin"
- 2004: Agatha Christie's Marple: "4.50 From Paddington"
- 2005: Mr. Harvey Lights a Candle
- 2006: Agatha Christie's Poirot: "Taken at the Flood"
- 2006: The Lavender List
- 2006: Where the Heart Is : "Walk of Faith"
- 2007–2008: After You've Gone
- 2007–2009: Kingdom
- 2009: Cranford : "Christmas Special"
- 2010: The Road to Coronation Street (as Doris Speed)
- 2011: The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff
- 2012: Hacks
- 2012: Titanic
- 2012: Lewis: The Soul of Genius
- 2013: Doctor Who: "The Bells of Saint John"
- 2013: Love and Marriage
- 2014: Blandings
- 2014: Our Zoo
- 2015: Vicious
- 1976: Now Here's a Funny Thing
- 1976: Sherlock Holmes
- 1976: The Adventures of Alice
- 1977: Henry V
- 1977: Love's Labour's Lost
- 1977: The Boyfriend
- 1978: As You Like It
- 1978: Cabaret
- 1978: Macbeth
- 1978: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore
- 1979: The Good Humoured Ladies
- 1979: Pygmalion
- 1980: Seduced
- 1981: Heaven and Hell
- 1981: A Waste of Time
- 1982: Puntila and Matti, Master and Servant
- 1982: Puss in Boots
- 1982: Philosophy of the Boudoir
- 1982: The Screens
- 1983: Arms and the Man
- 1983: Custom of the Country
- 1983: The Merchant of Venice
- 1983: Sirocco
- 1983: Webster
- 1984: Alfie
- 1984: The Merchant of Venice
- 1984: When I Was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout
- 1985: Particular Friendships
- 1985: The Philanthropist
- 1986: Last Waltz
- 1987: School For Wives
- 1987: Yerma
- 1988: Doctor Angelus
- 1988: The Madwoman of Chaillot
- 1990: In Pursuit of the English
- 1990: Hangover Square
- 1990: No One Sees the Video
- 1991: The Sea
- 1995: The Hothouse
- 1996: Habeas Corpus
- 1997: Dona Rosita the Spinster
- 1998: The School for Scandal
- 2003: The Way of the World
- 2003: Unsuspecting Susan
- 2005: Acorn Antiques The Musical!
- 2005: Unsuspecting Susan
- 2009: Plague Over England
- 2009: Mixed Up North
- 2010: The Rivals
- 2010: Polar Bears
- 2010: Hay Fever
- 2011: Drama at Inish
- 2011–2012: Noises Off
|Ancestors of Celia Imrie|
- The Happy Hoofer (2011), Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 978-1444709278
- Not Quite Nice (2015), Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 978-1632860323
- Published on Monday 4 April 2011 20:18 (4 April 2011). "Interview: Celia Imrie, actress – News". The Scotsman. UK. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "STAR PROFILE Celia Imrie". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 29 August 2003. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- Mellor, Rupert (3 May 2003)"She wears it well" The Times, London.
- "Celia Imrie – Awfully big adventure". Fabulousdames.com. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "Rutland 28". William1.co.uk. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "Times Online Viewing Guide – After You've Gone". London: Entertainment.timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "What's on Stage – Unsuspecting Susan". Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- Mitchell, Gabrielle (20 June 2005). "Variety Theatre Review – Unsuspecting Susan". Variety. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- Rhoda Koenig (25 February 2009). "Plague Over England, Duchess Theatre, London; Saturday Night, Jermyn Street Theatre, London – Reviews, Theatre & Dance". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- Lalayn Baluch (6 August 2009). "Imrie to star in world premiere of Mixed Up North; Published Thursday 6 August 2009 at 15:51 by Lalayn Baluch". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "Past Winners | The Official London Theatre Guide". Officiallondontheatre.co.uk. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- Isle of Wight – Famous Residents
- TV and Radio (11 April 2011). "Interview, The Telegraph 11 Apr 2011". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-07-04.
- Imrie, Celia (2 April 2011). "My electric shock nightmare at the hands of the CIA's evil doctor". Daily Mail (London).
- Celia Imrie[dead link]
- Celia Imrie wins Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical | Official London Theatre Guide[dead link]
- Jace Lacob (5 July 2012). "'Inspector Lewis' on PBS's 'Masterpiece Mystery': TV's Smartest Sleuths". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- "'Stage productions all years' on official website for Celia Imrie". Celiaimrie.com. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- Celia Imrie at the Internet Movie Database
- Official website
- Celia Imrie Wins Olivier Award
- Interview with Celia Imrie
- Celia Imrie talks about Star Wars
- Celia Imrie Article with The Daily Telegraph
- Photograph of Celia as Marianne Bellshade in 1982 in Bergerac