1965 (age 51–52)
Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England
|Alma mater||London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art|
|Spouse(s)||Charles Palmer|(2001–2016; separated)|
Claire Skinner was born and brought up in Hemel Hempstead, the youngest daughter of a shopkeeper and an Irish-born secretary, and was shy as a child. Her dream was to be an actress and she immersed herself in her ambition. She acted, neglecting school work at Cavendish School, and "barely scraped through [her] A-levels". She went on to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Her first role was in Hanky Park, by Walter Greenwood at the Oldham Repertory Theatre, which she describes as a "really traditional start". She is best known as "Clare" on the British television comedy Life Begins, and as "Lucinda", the sous chef in the first season of Chef! alongside Lenny Henry. From 2007 to 2014 she portrayed Sue Brockman in the BBC's award-winning sitcom Outnumbered. For many years, she has preferred theatre to screen roles because she has been disappointed with her TV projects ("apart from Mike Leigh's stuff"), "not just when you see the final thing, but also because it hasn't taken off."
Skinner has worked with directors including Mike Leigh,- in Life is Sweet, and Naked - Trevor Nunn, Tim Burton and Sam Mendes, but she remembers one particular director, Alan Ayckbourn, when she started out: "He was a great influence for me as he pushed me so hard, but every director you work with has a big influence in some way, they really push you."
She has also made small appearances in TV shows such as Lark Rise to Candleford where for two episodes she played Mrs Macey. She appeared in the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe".
- The Rachel Papers (1989)
- Life Is Sweet (1990)
- Naked (1993)
- The Return of the Native (1994)
- Clockwork Mice (1995)
- I.D. (1995)
- You're Dead... (1999)
- Sleepy Hollow (1999)
- Mauvaise Passe aka Escort (1999)
- Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
- The Booze Cruise (2003)
- Almost Strangers (film) (2006)
- And When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007)
- Act of Memory (short) (2011)
- The Playboy of the Western World by J.M. Synge
- The Revengers' Comedies by Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph Theatre, (1989)
- Taking Steps-Revival by Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph Theatre, (1990)
- Invisible Friends by Alan Ayckbourn, Cottlesloe Theatre, National Theatre, (1991)
- Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare, Young Vic Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, (1992)
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, (1993)
- Moonlight, by Harold Pinter, London's West End, (1993)
- Look Back in Anger, by John Osborne, Royal Exchange, Manchester, (1995)
- Charley's Aunt, by Brandon Thomas, Royal Exchange, Manchester, (1995)
- The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, Donmar Warehouse and Comedy Theatre, (1995)
- Othello by William Shakespeare, Lyttelton Theatre, Royal National Theatre, (1997)
- The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare, Olivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre, (2001)
- Mrs. Affleck, National Theatre, (2009)
- Deathtrap by Ira Levin, Noël Coward Theatre (2010)
- Blurred Lines, National Theatre, (2014) 
- The Father by Florian Zeller, Theatre Royal Bath Productions, Tricycle Theatre (2015)
- Five Beats to the Bar by Neil d'Souza, BBC Radio 4, (2002)
- Old Harry's Game—Christmas Special by Andy Hamilton on BBC Radio 4, (2002)
- Trevor's World of Sport by Andy Hamilton on BBC Radio 4, (2005, 2006, 2007)
- Oblomov (2005)
- The Light of Knowledge by Mya Hnuang Nyo, BBC Radio 4, (2005)
- Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare, BBC Radio 4, (2005)
- Bed and Breakfast by Helen Simpson, BBC Radio 4, (2005)
- Not a Games Person, narrating Julie Myerson's play, BBC Radio 4, (2006)
- Sculptor's Daughter-Christmas, Snow, Pets and Females, and The Bays by Tove Jansson, BBC Radio 4, (2006)
- Standing Sideways, by Matt Charman, BBC Radio 4, (2006)
- Elizabeth and Her German Garden, by Elizabeth von Arnim, BBC Radio 4, (2006)
- School Runs, by Alexis Zegerman, BBC Radio 4, (2006)
- Jigsaw, by Sybille Bedford, BBC Radio 4, (2006, 2007)
- Poetry Please, reading poems by Percy Bysshe, Mary Shelley, John Donne, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Hardy, Philip Larkin, BBC Radio 4, (2007)
- Mrs. Warren's Profession, by George Bernard Shaw, BBC Radio 3, (2007)
- Bird Song BBC Radio 3, (2008)
- Don't Turn Around by Marian Garvey, BBC Radio 4, (2008)
- Five Easy Ways with Chilli by Scarlett Thomas, BBC Radio 4, (2008)
- Lunch: A Platonic Romantic Comedy by Marcy Kahan, BBC Radio 4, (2013, 2014, 2015)
- Inspector Morse (1989)
- Chef! (1993)
- The Peter Principle (1997–2000)
- A Dance to the Music of Time (1997)
- Brass Eye (1997)
- The Wingless Bird (1997)
- Second Sight (1999)
- Perfect Strangers (2001)
- Bedtime (2001)
- Eroica (2003)
- The Booze Cruise (2003)
- Trevor's World of Sport (2003)
- Agatha Christie's Marple (2005)
- Life Begins (2004–2006)
- Murphy's Law (2004)
- The Genius of Mozart (2004)
- The Family Man (2006)
- Kingdom (2007)
- The Trial of Tony Blair (2007)
- Burn Up (2007)
- Outnumbered (2007– 2014, 2016)
- Sense and Sensibility (2008)
- Agatha Christie's Poirot (2008)
- The Commander (2008)
- Lark Rise to Candleford (2008)
- Trinity (2009)
- Moving On (2010)
- Doctor Who (2011)
- Homefront (2012)
- Silk (2014)
- Critical (2015)
- Inside Number 9 (2015)
- Scream Street (2015–present)
- Morgana Robinson's The Agent (2016–present)
- 1995 – Won – Critics' Circle Theatre Award Best Actress The Glass Menagerie.
- 1995 – Won – Time Out Award for Best Performance Off West End The Glass Menagerie.
- 1996 – Nominated – Laurence Olivier Award Best Supporting Performance The Glass Menagerie.
- 2009– Nominated – BAFTA Best Comedy Performance Outnumbered.
- "Claire Skinner". Woman's Hour. 1 September 2010. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- Bassett, Kate (25 January 2009). "Mommy dearest: Claire Skinner transforms into a monster of a mother" (Press release). London: The Independent. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
- Brennan, Patricia (4 December 1994). "A Beauty, a Rogue and a Good Man" (Press release). The Washington Post.
- "The Family Way: Claire Skinner warms to her role in Poliakoff's new drama." (Press release). Time Out-London: Plugged In section, by Emma Perry. May 2001.
- "BBC The Boss Series Press Release" (PDF) (Press release). BBC. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 May 2006.
- "Doctor Who, Christmas special, BBC One, review". Telegraph. 25 December 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- "Claire Skinner: '50 does not look like a woman in a cardigan'". The Observer. 20 September 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Mrs.Affleck: National Theatre (2009)". Archived from the original on 16 December 2008.
- "Blurred Lines". National Theatre. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014.
- "The Father | Tricycle". www.tricycle.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
- Holmwood, Leigh (2008-07-15). "ITV2 plans 'sex, drugs and murder' drama to follow Billie Piper hit series". guardian.co.uk. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- "MIKE LEIGH, FILM AND TELEVISION CREDITS".[dead link]
- "Critics' Circle Theatre Awards for 1995". Albemarle of London. Archived from the original on 18 February 2008.
- "Donmar Warehouse List of Awards for The Glass Menagerie-Time Out Award for 1995". Archived from the original on 20 October 2008.
- "Olivier Winners 1996". Archived from the original on 24 January 2009.
- "BAFTA 2009".