Olivia Grant (actress born 1983)

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Not to be confused with Olivia Grant (actress, born 1994).
For other people named Olivia Grant, see Olivia Grant (disambiguation).
Olivia Grant
Born (1983-09-20) 20 September 1983 (age 32)
London, England
Nationality English
Occupation Actress
Years active 1986, 2007–present

Olivia Grant (born 20 September 1983) is an English actress. Her first film role was in Stardust (2007), in which she was cast within weeks of graduating from Oxford University. She is perhaps best known for portraying Lady Adelaide Midwinter in BBC's Lark Rise to Candleford, Grace Darling in BBC3's Personal Affairs, Hermione Roddice in Women in Love, Henrietta Armistead in Garrow's Law and Ava Knox in the HBO/Cinemax co-production Strike Back.


Grant was born on 20 September 1983 in southwest London to Irene Whilton, a costume designer, and Kenneth Grant, a district judge.[citation needed] Training originally in classical ballet,[1] Grant was awarded a place as a Junior Associate of the Royal Ballet School at the age of 10 and she performed with The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden Opera House and the Birmingham Royal Ballet at Sadler's Wells.[citation needed]

Grant then obtained a place at St Paul's Girls' School[1] where she combined her studies with extra-curricula performing; winning a place as a Junior Associate at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama whilst still at school. At Brasenose College, Oxford University she studied English Literature whilst performing in up to two plays a term in parts such as Isabella in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, Anna in Patrick Marber's Closer, and Natasha in Chekhov's Three Sisters at the Oxford Playhouse.[citation needed]

In her final year at Oxford she was invited by Royal Shakespeare Company producer Thelma Holt and the Cameron Mackintosh Fund to take part in a showcase at the Old Vic Studios, where her monologue performance of Juliet Stevenson from Anthony Minghella's film script Truly Madly Deeply led to her being contacted by leading acting agents in the run up to her finals. Within weeks of graduating Grant was cast in the Paramount movie Stardust, in a role which saw her magically transformed from a boy to a goat to a girl by an evil witch Lamia (played by Michelle Pfeiffer). During production she rehearsed at Pinewood Studios with cast members Claire Danes and Robert De Niro.

After her role in Stardust, Grant was cast as one of the leads, Lady Adelaide Midwinter, in BBC1's period drama series Lark Rise to Candleford. She spent six months filming in the Wiltshire countryside alongside cast members Dawn French, Julia Sawalha, and Ben Miles. After finishing the first series she was then cast as the lead Grace Darling in the BBC Three comedy-drama series Personal Affairs in which she played a secret lesbian in the script written by Gabbie Asher.

Grant was then cast opposite Rhys Ifans in the feature Mr Nice (dir. Bernard Rose). She worked again with director Charlie Palmer on the ITV classic series Poirot with David Suchet, Geoffrey Palmer, and Anna Massey, playing an undercover spy Annabel Larkin. The BBC invited her to reprise her role as Lady Adelaide in Lark Rise to Candleford, which she did for Series 3. She then played opposite fellow Oxford alumni Rosamund Pike and Rory Kinnear in BBC Four's production of Women In Love as Hermione Roddice, which was shot in South Africa. Following this, she played the lead role of Sophia in The Picture at the Salisbury Playhouse and the character of Diane Ablo in the independent film The Devil Went Down To Islington the same year.

In 2012, Grant played opposite Rupert Graves as his character's new mistress in the BAFTA-nominated BBC period drama Garrow's Law. She spent the summer filming in Malta on the independent feature film Gozo opposite Ophelia Lovibond and appeared in the ITV crime drama series Endeavour as Helen Cartwright. She also returned to South Africa to shoot the Emmy-nominated HBO/Cinemax co-production Strikeback playing Charles Dance's daughter Ava Knox. Other roles that year included Jennifer in the indie feature Copenhagen, and BBC Worldwide's Cold War television movie Legacy which aired in November 2013. She next appeared in Indian Summers, a period drama set during the 1930s British Raj for Channel 4 and PBS that debuted in Spring 2015 in both the UK and US. She has just finished filming the thriller Breakdown in which she appears alongside Craig Fairbrass, James Cosmo, Bruce Payne and Tamer Hassan.


Year Title Role Notes
1986 Brush Strokes Susie[2] TV series (1 episode)
2007 Stardust Girl Bernard
2007 Fishtales Angela Feature film
2008 Lark Rise to Candleford Lady Adelaide Midwinter TV series (10 episodes)
2009 Personal Affairs Grace Darling TV series
2010 Mr Nice Alice
2010 Frankie Teardrop Diane Short film
2011 Garrows Law Lady Henrietta Armistead TV series
2011 Women in Love Lady Hermione Rodice TV series
2012 Strike Back Ava Knox TV series
2013 Endeavour Helen Cartwright TV series
2013 Gozo Christie
2013 Copenhagen Jennifer
2013 Legacy Eva Pym Television film
2013 The Devil Went Down To Islington Diane Ableau
2014 Pudsey: The Movie Leading Lady
2014 Breakdown Catherine Jennings
Indian Summers Madeleine Mathers
2016 True Fiction Clea Turner


  1. ^ a b Smith, Vicky. "Olivia Grant: Acting up". South West Mag. Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  2. ^ BFI | Film & TV Database | GRANT, Olivia - Filmography

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