Joanna David

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Joanna David
Joanna David (second from left) with Phyllida Law and Law's daughters, Sophie and Emma Thompson (2014)
Joanna Elizabeth Hacking

(1947-01-17) 17 January 1947 (age 76)
Other namesJoanna Ward
Years active1968–present
(m. 2004)
ChildrenEmilia Fox
Freddie Fox
FamilyFox (by marriage)

Joanna David (born Joanna Elizabeth Hacking; 17 January 1947)[1] is an English actress, best known for her television work.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

David was born in Lancaster, England,[citation needed] daughter of Major John Almond Hacking and Davida Elizabeth, née Nesbitt. She was educated at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham, the Royal Academy of Dance, and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.[3]


Her first major television role was as Elinor Dashwood in the BBC's 1971 dramatisation of Sense and Sensibility followed a year later by War and Peace, in which she played Sonya. David also appeared in the TV series The Last of the Mohicans (BBC), and in two episodes of Colditz, ("Missing, Presumed Dead" and "Odd Man In", 1972) as Cathy Carter, the wife of Flt. Lt. Simon Carter (played by David McCallum).

In 1975, she played Theo Dane in the BBC's television adaptation of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. 32 years later in 2007, her daughter, Emilia Fox, starred in a new adaptation of the same book.

Joanna David, 1979

In 1978, David appeared in the mini series Lillie as Jeanne Marie, the daughter of Lillie Langtry. The following year, she played the heroine of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, opposite Jeremy Brett in the BBC miniseries of the same name. In 1985 she appeared as Dolly in Anna Karenina. In 1987, she acted in the Agatha Christie's Miss Marple episode, "4:50 from Paddington", as Emma Crackenthorpe.

In 1990, she appeared as a contestant on Cluedo, facing off against her future husband and fellow actor Edward Fox.

In 2005, she appeared in two episodes of Bleak House, playing Mrs. Bayham Badger, alongside Gillian Anderson, Charles Dance, Alun Armstrong and Warren Clarke. Mr. Bayham Badger was played by Richard Griffiths.

David's many other television appearances have included The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Foyle's War, Rumpole of the Bailey, Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders, The Darling Buds of May and, in 2004, Rosemary & Thyme in an episode entitled "Orpheus in the Undergrowth". More recent appearances include the BBC comedy series Never Better,[4] Mutual Friends,[5] and Death in Paradise (2014, series 3, episode 8).

She gradually moved on to more mature parts and appeared as Mrs. Gardiner in the acclaimed 1995 BBC TV series of Pride and Prejudice, in which her daughter Emilia Fox had her first major television role as Georgiana Darcy. In 1998, she appeared in the Midsomer Murders episode "Written in Blood" as Amy Lyddiard. In 2009, she appeared in Alan Ayckbourn's Woman in Mind.

Her film appearances have included roles in The Smashing Bird I Used to Know (1969), the horror short Sleepwalker (1984), Comrades (1986), Secret Friends (1991), Rogue Trader (1999), Cotton Mary (1999), The Soul Keeper (2002, as the mother of her real-life daughter Emilia) and These Foolish Things (2006). She played Mother Julian in the Midsomer Murders episode, "Sacred Trust" (2011). In 2013, she appeared in Downton Abbey as Duchess of Yeovil in two episodes and also in the Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple episode, "Greenshaw’s Folly", as Grace Ritchie. She appeared in the "Murderous Marriage" episode of Agatha Raisin as Lady Derrington in 2016.

She is a vice-president of the Theatrical Guild.[6]

Selected theatre performances[edit]

Personal life[edit]

In 1971, she began a relationship with Edward Fox, with whom she has two children: Emilia (born 1974) and Frederick "Freddie" (born 1989). They married in 2004.[7]

Charity work[edit]

David is a trustee of the National Brain Appeal, the charity dedicated to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.[8] David underwent brain surgery in 1993 to correct a congenital Arnold–Chiari malformation.[9]

In January 2013, David became a patron of Pancreatic Cancer Action, a charity focussed on raising the awareness of pancreatic cancer. David's friend Angharad Rees died from the illness in 2012.


  1. ^ Rose, Mike (17 January 2023). "Today's famous birthdays list for January 17, 2023 includes celebrities James Earl Jones, Jim Carrey". Retrieved 17 January 2023.
  2. ^ Pitts, Michael R. (15 December 2004). Famous movie detectives III. Scarecrow Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-8108-3690-7. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  3. ^ People of Today, Debrett's Ltd, 2006, p. 406
  4. ^ Never Better at BBC2 web site
  5. ^ Mutual Friends at BBC web site
  6. ^ "Who We Are". The Theatrical Guild.
  7. ^ Lee-Potter, Words Adam (17 September 2014). "Joanna David talks family, career and shares her favourite things about Dorset". Great British Life. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
    - "Joanna David's first time back in Chichester since 1971". Chichester. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Downton Abbey star Joanna David tells how she 'owes her life' to neurology hospital". Camden New Journal. 2 September 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  9. ^ Maureen Paton (18 September 2006). "We all make fantastic blunders…". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2015.

External links[edit]