Geraldine James, OBE (born 6 July 1950) is an English film and television actress.
Early life and family
James was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire, to a cardiologist father. She was educated at Downe House, a girls' independent school in Newbury, Berkshire. After graduating from the Drama Centre London in 1973, she began her career in repertory theatre.
James has been nominated four times for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress; for Dummy (1977), The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Band of Gold (1995) and The Sins (2000). For her role as Portia in the 1989 Broadway revival of The Merchant of Venice, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play. She also won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 1989 Venice Film Festival for She's Been Away. Her film credits include Gandhi (1982), The Tall Guy (1989), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and 45 Years (2015). Since 2017, she has starred in the Netflix series Anne with an E as Marilla Cuthbert, and in the 2019 film Downton Abbey as Queen Mary.
- The Dumb Waiter (1979) as Sally
- Bloody Kids (1980) as Ritchie's Wife
- Sweet William (1980) as Pamela
- Gandhi (1982) as Mirabehn
- The Tall Guy (1989) as Carmen
- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (1989) as Mrs. Gertrude Brisket
- Prince of Shadows (1991) as Rebecca Osorio
- If Looks Could Kill – Teen Agent, (1991) as Vendetta Galante
- The Bridge (1992) as Mrs Todd
- Words Upon the Window Pane (1994) as Mrs. Henderson
- Moll Flanders (1996) as Edna
- The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997) as Dr. Ludmilla Kropotkin
- Lover's Prayer (2001) as Mother
- An Angel for May (2002)
- Calendar Girls (2003) as Marie
- Northanger Abbey (2007) as the narrator
- Sherlock Holmes (2009) as Mrs Hudson
- Alice in Wonderland (2010) as Lady Ascot
- Made in Dagenham (2010) as Connie
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) as Cecilia Vanger
- Arthur (2011) as Vivienne Bach
- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) as Mrs Hudson
- 45 Years (2015) as Lena
- Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) as Lady Ascot
- Rogue One (2016) as Jaldine Gerams (Blue 3)
- Daphne (2017)
- Megan Leavey (2017) as The Veterinarian
- Beast (2017)
- Downton Abbey (2019) as Mary of Teck
- Benediction (TBA)
- Human. :II: Nature. (2020)
|21 February 2000 – 3 March 2000||The Hours||Gaynor Macfarlane||BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour Drama|
|21 March 2003||Baldi: The Book Case||Maggie||Mark Lambert||BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play|
|19 April 2003||Turtle Diary||Neaera||Gaynor Macfarlane||BBC Radio 4 Saturday Play|
|2005||The Raj Quartet||Mildred Layton||Jeremy Mortimer||BBC Radio 4|
- The Sweeney: Pay Off (1976) as Shirley Glass
- Dummy (1977) as Sandra X
- Shoestring (1979) Nine tenths of the law.
- The History Man (1981) as Barbara Kirk
- I Remember Nelson (1982) as Emma Hamilton
- The Jewel in the Crown (1984) as Sarah Layton
- Blott on the Landscape (1985) as Lady Maud Lynchwood
- Echoes (1988) as Angela O'Hara
- Inspector Morse: Who Killed Harry Field (1991) as Helen Field
- A Doll's House (1992) as Kristine Linde
- Band of Gold (1995–1997) as Rose Garrety
- Kavanagh QC (1995–1999) as Eleanor Harker QC
- Rebecca (1997) as Beatrice
- Little Britain as Mother of Harvey Pincher (cameo)
- The Sins (2000) as Gloria Green
- State of Play (2003) as Yvonne Shaps
- Hex (2004) as Lilith Hughes
- He Knew He Was Right (2004) as Lady Rowley
- Agatha Christie's Poirot – After the Funeral, (2005) as Helen Abernethie
- The Amazing Mrs Pritchard (2006) as Hilary Rees-Benson
- A Harlot's Progress (2006)
- Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (2006) as Cornelia
- The Last Enemy (2008) as Barbara Turney
- Heist (2008) as Joanna
- Midsomer Murders (2010) Series 13, episode 8, "Fit for Murder".
- Thirteen Steps Down (2012) as Gwendolyn
- Utopia (2013)
- Black Work (2015) as Chief Constable Carolyn Jarecki
- The Five (2016) as Julia Wells
- Anne with an E (2017–2019) as Marilla Cuthbert (adaptation of Anne of Green Gables)
- Back to Life (2019) as Caroline Matteson
- Portia opposite Dustin Hoffman in the London and Broadway productions of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.
- Hedda Gabler at the Royal Exchange, Manchester in 1993.
|1977||Dummy||BAFTA TV Award||Best Actress||Nominated|||
|1984||The Jewel in the Crown||BAFTA TV Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|1989||She's Been Away||Venice Film Festival||Volpi Cup for Best Actress||Won|||
|1990||The Merchant of Venice||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actress in a Play||Won|
|1990||The Merchant of Venice||Tony Award||Best Actress in a Play||Nominated|
|1995||Band of Gold||BAFTA TV Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2000||The Sins||BAFTA TV Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2018||Anne with an E||Canadian Screen Awards||Best Supporting Actress, Drama||Won|||
- James was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours.
- "Geraldine James Biography (1950-)". www.filmreference.com.
- "Geraldine James: A talent to surprise". The Independent. 7 April 2004.
- "Geraldine James" (17 December 2001) Woman's Hour, Radio 4, BBC
- McNary, Dave (30 August 2018). "Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James Join 'Downton Abbey' Movie".
- "Hoffman as Shylock: London Critics Cool" (3 June 1989) New York Times
- "'Merchant' role is jewel in James' crown" (29 Jan 1990) USA TODAY
- "Television | Actress in 1978" BAFTA
- "Miss Geraldine James, OBE". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 21 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Triumph in Venice" (16 Sep 1989) The Guardian
- "Anne with an E, Cardinal win big at Canadian Screen Awards - CBC News". CBC. 28 March 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2020.