Katrin Cartlidge

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Katrin Cartlidge
Katrin Juliet Cartlidge

(1961-05-15)15 May 1961
Died7 September 2002(2002-09-07) (aged 41)
Hampstead, London,[1] England
Years active1982–2002
Notable work
PartnerPeter Gevisser

Katrin Juliet Cartlidge (15 May 1961 – 7 September 2002) was an English actress. She first appeared on screen as Lucy Collins in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside (1982–1983), before going on to win the 1997 Evening Standard Film Award for Best Actress for the Mike Leigh film Career Girls. Her other film appearances included Leigh's Naked (1993), Before the Rain (1994), Breaking the Waves (1996) and From Hell (2001).

Early life[edit]

Cartlidge was born in London, to Derek, an English father and Bobbi, a German-Jewish refugee mother.[2] She was educated at the Parliament Hill School for Girls in Camden.[3]


Her work on Manchevski's Before the Rain and on No Man's Land made her well known in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans. Sophie, in Mike Leigh's Naked, was her first leading role. Cartlidge worked in two more Leigh films: in Career Girls she played one of the lead roles, Hannah, at the ages of both 20 and 30, and in Topsy Turvy she was a madam in a Paris brothel. She was due to play the lead role in Polish director Lech Majewski's 2004 film The Garden of Earthly Delights—that of an art historian dying of cancer—but she left shortly before production began.[4] Cartlidge won a role in 21 Grams but was replaced by Charlotte Gainsbourg due to her death.[5] Cartlidge was also filming Dogville at the time of her death and was replaced by Patricia Clarkson.[6]

Cartlidge died at the age of 41, owing to complications from pneumonia and septicaemia,[3] stemming from a pheochromocytoma.[citation needed]


The impact of Cartlidge's sudden death saw the creation of the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation by the trustees Mike Leigh, Peter Gevisser, Simon McBurney, Chris Simon, and Cat Villiers. The patrons include Lars von Trier and Cartlidge's sister Michelle. Established at the Sarajevo Film Festival, an annual bursary is awarded by "an elected curator, chosen by the (Foundation) Trustees from a wide and eclectic number of Katrin Cartlidge’s friends and colleagues...(to) a new creative voice... While the new talent nominated each year will be a filmmaker, it is anticipated that the choices will be as varied and extraordinary as Katrin’s own choice of filmmakers and friends from across the arts."[7]

Mike Leigh: "She took to the improvisation and character work instantly, easily and with extraordinary commitment and imagination. Other than in the Royal Court Young Peoples Theatre, she had had no formal training, but you would never have guessed it. (Drama Centre London turned her down, and that put her off). She often talked to me about [a] move into directing. I am in no doubt that we have lost not only one of our greatest actors but also one of the most interesting new directors of the future."[8]

Following her death, British singer Morrissey dedicated a performance of his song "Late Night, Maudlin Street" at the Royal Albert Hall to Cartlidge, describing her as a "brilliant person and fantastic actor".[9]

Tracy Letts dedicated his 2003 play Man from Nebraska to Cartlidge, stating "Man from Nebraska is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend Katrin Cartlidge".[10]



Year Title Role Director Notes
1985 Sacred Hearts Doris Barbara Rennie
1987 Eat the Rich Katrin Peter Richardson The Comic Strip feature film
1993 Naked Sophie Mike Leigh
1994 Before the Rain Anne Milcho Manchevski
1996 Merisairas Elena Polakov Veikko Aaltonen Alternatively titled "Seasick"
1996 Breaking the Waves Dodo McNeill Lars von Trier Bodil Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Robert Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1997 Career Girls Hannah Mills Mike Leigh Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress (2nd place)
—Nominated: European Film Award for Best Actress
1998 Claire Dolan Claire Dolan Lodge Kerrigan —Nominated: Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
1998 Hi-Life April Roger Hedden
1999 The Lost Son Emily Chris Menges
1999 Topsy-Turvy Madame Mike Leigh
1999 The Cherry Orchard Varya Michael Cacoyannis
2000 Hotel Splendide Cora Blanche Terence Gross
2000 The Weight of Water Karen Christenson Kathryn Bigelow
2001 No Man's Land Jane Livingstone Danis Tanović
2001 From Hell Annie Chapman Hughes Brothers
2010 Dimension N/A Lars von Trier Unfinished


Year Title Role Notes
1982–83, 1990 Brookside Lucy Collins Soap opera • 51 episodes
1986 The Collectors Beattie Haycock Season 1, Episode 7: "The Dog It Was..."
1987 Bulman Rose Season 2, Episode 7: "Ministry of Accidents"
1988 The Comic Strip Presents... Maria Season 3, Episode 6: "Funseekers"
1993 The Chief Liz Williams Season 3, Episode 3: "A Long Cold Lonely Winter"
1994 Capital Lives Carole Season 1, Episode 6: "Repossessed"
1996 Screen Two Lover in Cafe Episode: "Look Me in the Eye"

Television film and short works

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Kolinsky Unknown role(s) Short film
1994 Normandy: The Great Crusade Clara Milburn (voice) Television short
1994 Nobody's Children Viorica Television film
1994 Fever Claire Short film
1995 3 Steps to Heaven Suzanne / Candy / Billie Television film
1995 Narance Manya Short film
1996 Nightlife Robin Television film
1996 Saint-Ex Gabrielle de Saint-Exupéry Television film
2000 Cinderella Goneril Television film
2001 Sword of Honour Julia Stitch Television film
2002 Crime and Punishment Katerina Ivanovna Television film
2002 Surrealissimo: The Scandalous Success of Salvador Dali Gala Dali Television special
2002 Eddie Loves Mary Unknown role Short film • posthumous release


  1. ^ Raphael, Amy (2008). Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh. London: Faber. p. 287; ISBN 978-0-571-20469-4.
  2. ^ "Cartlidge, Barbara (Oral history) (21621)". Iwm.org.uk. 10 April 2001. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Katrin Cartlidge: Stage and film actress known for her collaborations with Mike Leigh and Lars Von Trier". The Guardian. London. 9 September 2002. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
  4. ^ Lech Majewski, DVD commentary, The Garden of Earthly Delights, Kino International, New York, 2008. Cartlidge was replaced by actress Claudine Spiteri.
  5. ^ "21 Grams". Entertainment Weekly. 15 August 2003. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Katrin Cartlidge: The Working Actress, PopMatters". 28 August 2008.
  7. ^ "Award". Katrin Cartlidge Foundation. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  8. ^ Mike Leigh. "Film: Mike Leigh remembers Katrin Cartlidge | Film". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  9. ^ Dorian Lynskey. "Morrissey, Royal Albert Hall, London | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Inspirations - WIP - Dramatugy for Man from Nebraska". Archived from the original on 3 August 2022. Retrieved 13 July 2021.

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