Gina McKee

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Gina McKee
Born Georgina McKee
(1964-04-14) 14 April 1964 (age 51)
Peterlee, County Durham, England
Occupation Actress
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Kez Cary (m. 1989)

Georgina "Gina" McKee (born 14 April 1964)[1] is an English actress. She is best known for her television roles in Our Friends in the North (1996), The Lost Prince (2003) and The Forsyte Saga (2002); her portrayal of Bella in the film Notting Hill (1999); and her portrayal of Caterina Sforza in the Showtime series The Borgias.

Early life[edit]

McKee was born in Peterlee, County Durham, the daughter of a coal miner. She came from an "industrial white working class background.[2] She grew up in her birthplace as well as in nearby Easington and Sunderland. Her first experience of acting occurred in her final year at primary school as Mrs Hall, her teacher at Dene House Juniors, finished the school week off with improvisations, which she remembers as "the best time for me. Fantastic."[2] Seeing a poster in a shoeshop window for a new youth drama group, McKee and her friends decided to attend for a laugh. The group — set up and run by Ros and Graeme Rigby — managed to engage the sceptical teenagers, who reluctantly became enthusiastic.[2] It led to McKee's first professional appearance, working on Tyne Tees children's series, Quest of Eagles.[2]

From the age of 15, McKee spent three summers in London with the National Youth Theatre. A teacher had suggested it to her and she naively performed a speech from Shakespeare for her audition rather than the required "modern piece". The experience broadened her horizons, it "opened up options, not just in the business, but in a wider context."[2] After completing her A-Levels at East Durham College, she decided, with her parents' blessing, to apply to drama schools rather than art college. Rejected by Bristol, LAMDA and Central, McKee didn't give up on her chosen profession, despite not having the opportunity for any formal training.[2]


McKee began her career in TV with several small background roles including a part on the Lenny Henry Show. She made her film debut in 1988 when she had a small role in the Ken Russell film The Lair of the White Worm which co-starred Hugh Grant. In 1996 she played Mary in the BBC drama Our Friends in the North, a role for which she won three Best Actress awards in 1997: the British Academy Television Award, the Royal Television Society Award and the Broadcasting Press Guild Award.[3] McKee appeared in several episodes of the Chris Morris spoof current affairs show, Brass Eye (1997, 2001), as reporter Libby Shuss.

McKee's theatre credits include Harold Pinter's The Lover and The Collection at the Comedy Theatre in London.

In 2008 she appeared in the BBC drama Fiona's Story and a West End revival of Chekhov's Ivanov.[4] In 2010, she appeared as Goneril in the Donmar Warehouse revival of King Lear, directed by Michael Grandage and starring Derek Jacobi. She received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.[5] She also played the mother of a deaf teenager in BBC TV's thriller, The Silence, opposite Genevieve Barr.

Personal life[edit]

McKee has been married to Kez Cary since 1989; they live in East Sussex, England. She has been a vegetarian since 1982.[6]

In 2002, McKee was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Sunderland, receiving the honour alongside footballer Niall Quinn.[7][8]




Theatre credits[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ DoB correct. (not 1961) birth indexes show birth registered 2nd quarter (April, May, June) 1964 in Hartlepool, mother's maiden name = "Turnbull"
  2. ^ a b c d e f Lane, Harriet; "'I had nothing to lose'", 30 November 2008 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  3. ^ Jones, Alice; "Who's that girl?", 16 September 2008 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  4. ^ a b c Taylor, Paul; "First Night: Ivanov, Wyndham's Theatre, London", 18 September 2008 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  5. ^
  6. ^ Norman, Neil; "My favourite table: Actress Gina McKee at Rasa, London", 25 March 2007 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  7. ^ "Honorary Graduates" (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  8. ^ "Football veteran receives honorary degree", 15 July 2002 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  9. ^ Ellen, Barbara; "Pale and interesting", 27 August 2000 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  10. ^ Morrison, Blake; "This is your life", 29 September 2007 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  11. ^ Eyre, Hermione; "Ministry of offence: Armando Iannucci takes on the White House", 12 April 2009 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)
  12. ^ Eyre, Hermione; "Fiona's Story, BBC 1", 7 September 2008 (Retrieved: 1 August 2009)

External links[edit]