Michelle Dockery

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Michelle Dockery
Michelle Dockery 2013 2.jpg
Born (1981-12-15) 15 December 1981 (age 34)
Rush Green, London, England
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 2000–present
Known for Downton Abbey
Partner(s) John Dineen (2013–2015, his death)

Michelle Suzanne Dockery[1] (born December 15, 1981) is an English actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey (2010–2015), for which she has been nominated for three consecutive Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. She made her professional stage debut in His Dark Materials in 2004. For her role as Eliza Doolittle in the 2007 London revival of Pygmalion, she was nominated for the Evening Standard Award. For her role in the 2009 play Burnt by the Sun, she earned an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her other notable stage credits include Pillars of the Community (2005) and Hamlet (2010). She has also appeared in the films Hanna (2011), Anna Karenina (2012), and Non-Stop (2014).

Early life[edit]

Dockery was born at Rush Green Hospital in Rush Green, London,[2] the daughter of Lorraine (née Witton) and Michael Francis Dockery, a van driver and surveyor.[3] She has two older sisters, Louise and Joanne. She was educated first at the Chadwell Heath Foundation School in Chadwell Heath, Essex. She then trained at the Finch Stage School.[4] After her A Levels, she enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she was awarded the Gold Medal for Drama at her graduation in 2004.[5][6]



Dockery was a member of the National Youth Theatre. She made her professional debut in His Dark Materials at the Royal National Theatre in 2004.[7] In 2006, she was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for her performance as Dina Dorf in Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre.[8]

Dockery appeared in Burnt by the Sun at the National Theatre for which she received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.[9] She won second prize at the Ian Charleson Awards for her performance as Eliza Doolittle in Peter Hall's production of Pygmalion at the Theatre Royal, Bath, which toured the UK and transferred to The Old Vic in 2008,[10] and for the same production was nominated Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards 2008.[11] In 2010, she played Ophelia in Hamlet at the Crucible Theatre alongside John Simm.[12]

Film and television[edit]

Dockery made her television debut as Betty in Fingersmith in 2005.[13] In 2006, she starred as Susan Sto Helit in a two-part adaptation of Terry Pratchett's novel Hogfather.[14] In 2008, Dockery played Kathryn in Channel 4's The Red Riding Trilogy and played the guest lead of tormented rape victim Gemma Morrison in BBC's Waking the Dead. In 2009, she appeared in the two-part Cranford Christmas special for the BBC, and starred as the lead character in a modernised BBC adaptation of The Turn of the Screw.

Dockery came to public prominence in 2010 when she played Lady Mary Crawley in Julian Fellowes' series Downton Abbey, the first season of which was screened on ITV between September and November 2010. She was nominated for a Southbank Award in January for Best Breakthrough Performance in a TV drama. A second series of Downton Abbey was shown in 2011, followed by a special Christmas Day episode. The show's third series premiered on 16 September 2012 in the UK, and on 6 January 2013 in the US.[15] A fourth series then began filming in February 2013, and premiered the same year in September. A fifth series was commissioned, and began filming in February 2014. The sixth and final series (including a Christmas special) was filmed during 2015, and broadcast in the Autumn of that year.[16] For her role in the series, she has received three Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination.

Her first big screen role was as False Marissa in the 2011 film Hanna, opposite Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett. In 2012, she appeared as Princess Myagkaya in the film adaptation of Anna Karenina and starred with Charlotte Rampling in a two-part dramatisation of William Boyd's spy thriller Restless on BBC One.[17] In January 2014, she appeared opposite Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore in the thriller film Non-Stop.

Since 2011, her character Lady Mary Crawley's eyebrows have had their own parody Twitter account.[18] In 2013, Lady Mary Crawley was even listed in The Forbes Fictional 15, composed of the wealthiest characters from novels, movies, television and games.[19]

In 2014, she was made Fellow of the Guildhall School in recognition of her achievements in television.[20]

In 2014, after an exhaustive research conducted by Debrett's, Dockery was listed in The Sunday Times Britain's 500 Most Influential People, which is a compilation of the most significant individuals in the UK that have demonstrated outstanding qualities of influence, achievement, and inspiration.[21][22]

In 2015, Lady Mary Crawley became the number one most sought-after British voice in America.[23]


Dockery is a jazz singer. She sang at the 50th Anniversary of Ronnie Scott's Jazz club in London and has occasionally sung with Sadie and the Hotheads, a band formed by Elizabeth McGovern, who plays her mother in Downton Abbey.[5][24] Dockery cites her musical influences as Peggy Lee, Melody Gardot and Billie Holiday in her more melancholy moods.[5]

Charity work[edit]

On World Humanitarian Day 2014, Oxfam announced Dockery as its first ever Humanitarian Ambassador.[25] Dockery is also a patron of Changing Faces[26] and supports a host of other charities.[27] In 2014, along with 8 other A-list stars, Dockery was featured in an exclusive short film for Stand Up to Cancer, spreading the urgent message that we need to act now to accelerate new cancer treatments to UK patients and save more lives.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Dockery's Downtown Abbey co-star Allen Leech introduced his friend, Irish PR director John Dineen, to her in July 2013.[29] They were first photographed in public together in August 2013 in Venice, Italy. There had been several public appearances of the couple, including Wimbledon (seated in front of Downton Abbey fan Pippa Middleton), the US Open, around New York City, and the Cartier Queen's Cup in 2014. Dockery herself did not speak of Dineen publicly, other than a magazine interview in 2014: "I have a wonderful man in my life from Ireland."

It was reported that they got engaged on Valentine's Day 2015.[30] Dockery showed off her engagement ring two days later, during the first script table read of series six of Downton Abbey on February 16. Someone on set announced the engagement ring to the media.

Despite the engagement, the couple was not publicly photographed together in 2015. In December, 2015, Dockery suddenly left the U.S. media tour promoting the final season of Downton Abbey, and was photographed by paparazzi arriving at a London airport on December 10. On December 13, it was unexpectedly announced that Dineen had died from a rare cancer only diagnosed earlier in 2015. He had quietly sought experimental treatment in Germany. Dineen passed away in Marymount Hospice in Curraheen, with Dockery and his family at his bedside. Dockery's 34th birthday was on December 15, and Dineen's funeral was the following day, the day before Dineen would have turned 35. The private funeral was accompanied by Dockery quietly singing "The Folks on the Hill" where she told the gatherers that her fiancé was "my friend, my hero, my king, my everything."[31]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 Hogfather Susan / Death of Rats Television film
2007 Consent Television film
2008 Poppy Shakespeare Dawn Television film
2009 Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974 Kathryn Taylor Television film
2009 Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983 Kathryn Taylor Television film
2009 The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Ewa Rozenfeld Television film
2009 The Turn of the Screw Ann Television film
2010 Spoiler Goth Girl Short film
2010 Shades of Beige Jodie Short film
2011 Hanna False Marissa
2012 Out of Time Christine Short film[32][33]
2012 Henry IV, Parts I and II Lady Percy Television film
2012 Anna Karenina Princess Myagkaya
2012 A Poem Is.. Narrator Voice
2012 Angelic Voices: The Choristers of Salisbury Cathedral Narrator Documentary
2014 Non-Stop Nancy Hoffman
2014 Tough Justice Connie Tough Short film
2015 Self/less Claire Hale
2015 Many Beautiful Things Voice of Lilias Trotter Documentary
2015 District Zero: What's Hidden Inside the Smartphone of a Refugee Narrator Documentary
2016 The Sense of an Ending Susie Webster Filming
2016 Consider Yourself: The Lionel Bart Story


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Fingersmith Betty TV series
2007 Dalziel and Pascoe Aimee Hobbs 2 episodes
2008 Heartbeat Sue Padgett Episode: "Take Three Girls"
2009 Waking the Dead Gemma Morrison 2 episodes
2009 Return to Cranford Erminia Whyte 2 episodes
2010–2015 Downton Abbey Lady Mary Crawley All 6 seasons
2012 Restless Ruth Gilmartin Miniseries
2012 American Dad! Margaret Watkins Voice
1 episode
2013 Family Guy British Woman Voice
1 episode
2015 Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands Narrator BBC2 Documentary Series
2016 Good Behavior Letty Dobesh All 10 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2004 His Dark Materials Jessie National Theatre
2005 Henry IV, Parts I & II Carrier National Theatre
2005 The UN Inspector Female activist National Theatre
2005 Pillars of the Community Dina National Theatre
2007 Dying for It Kleopatra Almeida Theatre
2007 Pygmalion Eliza Doolittle UK tour
2008 Uncle Vanya Yelena UK tour
2008 Pygmalion Eliza Doolittle Old Vic Theatre
2009 Burnt by the Sun Maroussia National Theatre
2010 Hamlet Ophelia Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2005 Ian Charleson Awards Best Actress Pillars of Community Nominated
2007 Ian Charleson Awards Best Actress Pygmalion 2nd prize
2008 Evening Standard Award Outstanding Newcomer Pygmalion Nominated
2010 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role Burnt by the Sun Nominated
2011 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actress Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
2012 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actress Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Drama Actress Downton Abbey Nominated
Glamour Awards Editor's Special Award N/A Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Satellite Awards Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama Downton Abbey Nominated
2013 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Drama Downton Abbey Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Huading Awards Best Global Actress Downton Abbey Won
Online Film and Television Association Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Won
2015 Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year Awards Television Icon Award N/A Won
2015 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Downton Abbey Won


  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at ancestry.com
  2. ^ Gore, Alex (31 August 2013). "Your number's up". The Sun (London). 
  3. ^ "Real secrets of Downton's girls" October 2011, Daily Mail
  4. ^ "Company Members – Michelle Dockery". National Theatre. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Michelle Dockery: What's an Essex girl doing at Downton Abbey?". Daily Mail (London). 9 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Masterpiece: Downton Abbey". PBS. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Inverne, James (30 November 2004). "Previews for Second Part of His Dark Materials Begin Nov. 30". Playbill. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Recent awards for drama graduates". Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Olivier awards nominations". guardian.co.uk (London: Guardian News and Media). 8 February 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Theatre review: Pygmalion/Old Vic, London The Guardian, 17 May 2008
  11. ^ The 2008 ES Theatre Awards shortlist Evening Standard, 24 November 2008 Archived 13 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ First Night: Hamlet, Sheffield Crucible The Independent, 23 September 2010
  13. ^ "Michelle Dockery". IMDb. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  14. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (7 March 2008). "'Hogfather': Low-Budget Hogwash". Washington Post. p. T 39. 
  15. ^ Halliday, Josh (3 November 2011). "Downton Abbey: ITV confirms third series". guardian.co.uk (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  16. ^ Flint, Hanna (26 March 2015). "Downton and out: ITV reveals the sixth series will be last as cast gather to read through the new script". MailOnline. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  17. ^ Michaels, Adrian (28 December 2012). "Restless, BBC One, review". www.dailytelegraph.co.uk (London). Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  18. ^ "Lady Mary's Eyebrows". Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ "Britain's 500 most influential". The Sunday Times. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  22. ^ [3]
  23. ^ "What's next for Lady Mary? Cut-glass voiceovers in America". Telegraph.co.uk. 3 May 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  24. ^ The Times, 6 November 2010
  25. ^ Felicity Thistlethwaite. "From Downton to charity: Michelle Dockery Oxfam's first Humanitarian Ambassador - Celebrity News - Showbiz & TV - Daily Express". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  26. ^ "Changing Faces". Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  27. ^ "Michelle Dockery: Charity Work & Causes". Look to the Stars. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  28. ^ "Stars Unite in Exclusive Stand Up to Cancer Film". Stand Up to Cancer UK. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  29. ^ "Very LADYLIKE: Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery attends Cartier polo final with Irish boyfriend John Dineen". evoke.ie. 16 June 2014. 
  30. ^ "Abbey ever after: Downton’s Michelle Dockery ‘engaged’ to Irish PR beau John Dineen". evoke.ie. 15 February 2015. 
  31. ^ "Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery left devastated by Irish fiance’s death". evoke.ie. 15 December 2015. 
  32. ^ Rothman, Lily (15 March 2012). "TIME Style and Design: Futuristic London Fashion". TIME magazine. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  33. ^ "TIME MAGAZINE | Out of Time". Josh Appignanesi. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 

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