Joely Richardson

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Joely Richardson
Richardson in 2011
Joely Kim Richardson

(1965-01-09) 9 January 1965 (age 58)
Marylebone, London, England
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active1968, 1984–present
(m. 1992; div. 2001)
ChildrenDaisy Bevan
Parent(s)Tony Richardson
Vanessa Redgrave
RelativesMicheál Richardson (nephew)
Natasha Richardson (sister)

Joely Kim Richardson (born 9 January 1965)[1] is an English actress. She is known for her roles as Julia McNamara in the FX drama series Nip/Tuck (2003–10) and Katherine Parr in the Showtime series The Tudors (2010). She has also appeared in films such as 101 Dalmatians (1996), Event Horizon (1997), The Patriot (2000), Return to Me (2000), Anonymous (2011), the Hollywood film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), the remake of Endless Love (2014), the thriller Red Sparrow (2018), and The Turning (2020).

Early life[edit]

Joely Kim Richardson was born in Marylebone, London, to the theatrical Redgrave family, the daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave and director Tony Richardson (1928–1991), and the granddaughter of actors Sir Michael Redgrave (1908–1985) and Rachel Kempson (1910–2003), Lady Redgrave.[a] Actress Natasha Richardson (1963–2009) was her sister and actor Liam Neeson is her brother-in-law. She is the aunt of Micheál and Daniel Neeson and the niece of actors Lynn Redgrave (1943-2010) and Corin Redgrave (1939–2010) and cousin of actress Jemma Redgrave, who is five days younger than Richardson.

Joely appeared as an extra at the age of three in the 1968 version of The Charge of the Light Brigade, directed by her father. Richardson and her sister Natasha's early education began at the independent St Paul's Girls' School in Hammersmith.[2] At age 14 Richardson moved to boarding school at the independent Harry Hopman Tennis School in Tampa, Florida. In 1983, she graduated from the Thacher School in Ojai, California, then returned to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and graduated in 1985.[3][4]


Possessing an early ambition to become a professional tennis player, she spent two years at a tennis academy in Florida. Richardson then turned to acting. In 1985, she portrayed, by flashbacks, the younger version of the leading character played by her mother in the film Wetherby. After a leading role in Peter Greenaway's cult success Drowning by Numbers (1988), her first major role in front of a mass audience was as Joanna Farley in a 1989 television episode of Poirot, based on Agatha Christie's detective series. In a 1989 episode of Jim Henson's The Storyteller, she was cast as a princess. She portrayed a teacher on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the 1989 Channel 4 serial Behaving Badly and fictional Finnish Princess Anna (with "a voice like a tuba") in the 1991 screen comedy King Ralph.

A year later she appeared in Shining Through alongside her future brother-in-law, Liam Neeson, with both actors playing Nazis.

In 1993, Richardson appeared in the BBC's Lady Chatterley opposite Sean Bean. In 1996, she played fashion designer Anita Campbell-Green in the Disney live-action remake of the animated 101 Dalmatians opposite Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil. In 1998, in the television drama The Echo, she played Amanda Powell. The next year, she played in the science fiction horror film Event Horizon as Lieutenant Starck, executive officer of the research and rescue ship Lewis and Clark, sent to rescue crew of the long-lost experimental ship Event Horizon.

One year later, Richardson appeared opposite Mel Gibson in the film The Patriot, an American film set in the American Revolution. Also in 2000, she appeared opposite Hugh Laurie in Maybe Baby, Ben Elton's film adaptation of his book Inconceivable. She was cast in the 2001 film The Affair of the Necklace after director Charles Shyer noticed her resemblance to doomed 18th century French Queen Marie Antoinette.

In 2003, Richardson took on the role of Julia McNamara in the television drama Nip/Tuck, based on the lives of two plastic surgeons in Miami. Her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, appeared in several episodes, playing her character's mother.

In 2005, Richardson starred in Lies My Mother Told Me, based on a true story about a murderous con artist. In 2007, she played the mother in The Last Mimzy with Timothy Hutton and Chris O'Neil. She also starred in the television drama Wallis & Edward, playing the lead role of Wallis Simpson, lover of Edward, Prince of Wales.

In 2009–10, Richardson appeared as Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, in the fourth (and final) season of Showtime's hit period drama The Tudors. The role reunited her with her former husband Tim Bevan, who was part of the show's production team.

Joely joined the cast of TV series Titanic: Blood and Steel in which she played the role of Countess Markievicz.[5] In 2015 she co-starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the zombie thriller film Maggie.[6]


Richardson is an Ambassador for The Children's Trust, the UK's leading charity for children with brain injury and neurodisability, as well as Save the Children.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Richardson had an affair with theatre producer Archie Stirling, who was then married to actress Diana Rigg. Richardson married film producer Tim Bevan in 1992; they divorced in 2001. The couple has a daughter, actress Daisy Bevan, born in 1992.[8]


Not yet released Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
1968 The Charge of the Light Brigade Extra Uncredited[2]
1985 Wetherby Young Jean Travers
1987 Body Contact Dominique
1988 Drowning by Numbers Cissie Colpitts 3
1989 A proposito di quella strana ragazza Giovanna Serafin (Maria) aka About That Foreign Girl in English
1991 King Ralph Princess Anna
1992 Rebecca's Daughters Rhiannon
Shining Through Margrete Von Eberstein
1994 Sister My Sister Christine Papin
1995 I'll Do Anything Cathy Breslow
1996 Loch Ness Laura McFetridge
101 Dalmatians Anita Campbell-Green-Dearly
Hollow Reed Hannah
1997 Event Horizon Lt. Starck
1998 Under Heaven Eleanor Dunston
Wrestling with Alligators Claire
The Tribe Emily
2000 Maybe Baby Lucy Bell
Return to Me Elizabeth Rueland
The Patriot Charlotte Selton
2001 The Affair of the Necklace Marie-Antoinette
2004 Fallen Angel Katherine Wentworth
2004 The Fever Woman at 30
2007 The Last Mimzy Jo Wilder
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey Susan McDowel
2011 Anonymous Young Queen Elizabeth I
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Anita Vanger/Harriet Vanger
2012 Red Lights Monica Handsen
Thanks for Sharing Katie
2013 The Devil's Violinist Ethel Langham
2014 Vampire Academy Queen Tatiana Ivashkov
Endless Love Ann Butterfield
Maggie Caroline Vogel
2015 Papa: Hemingway in Cuba Mary Hemingway
2016 Snowden Janine Gibson
Fallen Sophia Bliss
2017 The Hatton Garden Job Erzebet Zslondos
The Time of Their Lives Lucy
2018 Red Sparrow Nina
In Darkness Alix
The Aspern Papers Miss Tina
Surviving Christmas with the Relatives Lyla
2019 Color Out of Space Theresa Gardner
2020 The Turning Darla
2022 The Lost Girls Jane
2022 Lady Chatterley's Lover Mrs. Bolton


Year Title Role Notes
1988 The Storyteller Princess Episode: "The Three Ravens"
1989 Behaving Badly Serafina 4 episodes
Agatha Christie's Poirot Joanna Farley Episode: "The Dream"
1993 Lady Chatterley Lady Chatterley 4 episodes
2003–2010 Nip/Tuck Julia McNamara Main role, 72 episodes
2003 Fallen Angel Katherine Wentworth Television movie
2005 Lies My Mother Told Me Laren Sims Television movie
Wallis & Edward Wallis, Duchess of Windsor Television movie
2006 Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America Dr. Iris Varnack Television movie
2007 Freezing Rachel Episode: "1.1"
2009 The Day of the Triffids Jo Playton 2 episodes
2010 The Tudors Queen Catherine Parr Main role (season 4), 5 episodes
2012 Titanic: Blood and Steel Countess Markievicz Episode: "Stained Steel"
2017 Emerald City Glinda Main role
2019 The Rook Lady Farrier/King Main role; 8 episode miniseries
2020 The Blacklist Cassandra Bianchi Episode: "Cornelius Ruck (No. 155)"
2022 Episode: "Genuine Models, Inc. (No. 187)"
2022 The Sandman Ethel Cripps 11 episodes
2022 Suspect Jackie Sowden TV series
TBA The Ballad Of Renegade Nell Lady Moggerhanger TV series

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Refs
1999 Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Female Under Heaven Nominated
2004 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Nip/Tuck Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Nip/Tuck Nominated
2005 Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Nip/Tuck Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Nip/Tuck Nominated


  1. ^ In his autobiography, Tony Richardson notes that Kim was the original chosen name in honour of the actress Kim Stanley (1922-2002), but at the last minute they copied Natasha's swimming teacher who named her daughter Joely. It was actually a misspelling of the French jolie.


  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020". United Press International. 9 January 2020. Archived from the original on 15 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020. … actor Joely Richardson in 1965 (age 55)
  2. ^ a b Singh, Anita (19 March 2009). "Natasha Richardson skiing accident in Canada: profile of actress". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
  3. ^ Rosen, Marjorie (23 March 1992). "Family Way". People. Vol. 37, no. 11. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Joely Richardson". RADA. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Joely Richardson Joins 'Titanic: Blood and Steel'". IFTN. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Joely Richardson Joins 'Maggie '". DC. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Our Ambassadors". The Children's Trust. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  8. ^ Ferguson, Euan (30 December 2001). "How I survived divorce, the tabloids and Jamie Theakston". The Observer. Retrieved 25 September 2021.

External links[edit]