Emma Gwynedd Mary Chambers
11 March 1964
|Died||21 February 2018 (aged 53)|
Emma Gwynedd Mary Chambers (11 March 1964 – 21 February 2018) was an English comic actress. She played the role of Alice Tinker in the BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley and Honey Thacker in the film Notting Hill (1999).
Chambers was born on 11 March 1964, in Doncaster, the daughter of John Chambers, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, and his wife Noelle, née Strange. Her siblings are business owners Sarah and Simon, who created Storm Model Management. She attended St. Mary's School and her secondary education was at St Swithun's School, Winchester, Hampshire. She then trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in the 1980s, where she was a classmate of actor Ross Kemp.
After taking some smaller parts on television productions such as The Bill, in November 1994 Chambers played the role of Charity Pecksniff in the TV serialisation of the Charles Dickens novel Martin Chuzzlewit.
From 1994 to 2007, she played the role of Alice Tinker in the BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley. Chambers appeared in all 20 episodes and four Comic Relief specials until 2007. In 1998, Chambers won the British Comedy Award for Best Actress for her performance.
Chambers voiced the character of "Belle Stickleback" in two series of the animated TV programme Pond Life (1996 and 2000) and took the role of Helen Yardley in the TV series How Do You Want Me? (1998) and appeared in the film Notting Hill (1999), as Honey, the younger sister of Hugh Grant's character.
She was cast as Martha Thompson in Take a Girl Like You (2000), a made-for-TV drama based on the Kingsley Amis novel and a remake of the 1970 film. Chambers worked as a voice performer in the animated made-for-TV film The Wind in the Willows (1995) and provided the voice of Spotty for two episodes in the CBeebies series Little Robots (2003).
She was in theatre for about 10 years before her first break in television. She appeared in a number of stage productions including Tartuffe and Invisible Friends. In 2002, she toured with the Michael Frayn play, Benefactors, where she starred opposite Neil Pearson.
Personal life, death and legacy
Chambers was married to fellow actor Ian M. Dunn. Before their marriage, she lodged with Ian McKellen, whom she regarded as "a sort of father figure". She had a chronic allergy to animals, and had asthma.
On 26 February 2018 BBC One broadcast The Vicar of Dibley January 1998 episode "Love and Marriage" in Chambers' memory. In a similar vein, on 11 March 2018 (on what would have been Chambers' 54th birthday), the Gold channel hosted a The Vicar of Dibley day in her memory.
|1988||The Rainbow||Margaret||2 episodes|
|1990||The Bill||Marie Summers||2 episodes|
|1994||Martin Chuzzlewit||Charity Pecksniff||Regular role, 6 episodes|
|1994–2007||The Vicar of Dibley||Alice Tinker||Series regular, 24 episodes, (final appearance)|
|1995||The Wind in the Willows||Jailer's daughter||Voice, TV movie|
|1996||Drop the Dead Donkey||Carol||Episode: "What Are Friends For?"|
|1996||Pond Life||Belle||Voice, Series regular|
|1998–1999||How Do You Want Me?||Helen Yardley||Regular role, 11 episodes|
|1999||Notting Hill||Honey Thacker|||
|1999||The Clandestine Marriage||Betsy|
|2000||Take a Girl Like You||Martha Thompson||3 episodes|
|2003||Little Robots||Spotty||Voice, 2 episodes|
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- "The real reason Vicar of Dibley actress Emma Chambers died". NZ Herald. 27 February 2018.
- Gill, James (26 February 2018). "BBC to repeat classic Vicar of Dibley wedding episode in memory of Emma Chambers".