|Born||Sarah Phoebe Nicholls
7 April 1957
London, England, UK
|Years active||1964 – present|
|Spouse(s)||Charles Sturridge (1985-)|
Sarah Phoebe Nicholls (born 7 April 1957) is an English film, television and stage actress. She is known for her roles as Cordelia Flyte in Brideshead Revisited and as the mother of John Merrick in The Elephant Man.
Nicholls was born in London, England to actors Faith Kent (née Heaslip) and Anthony Nicholls. Her grandfather was English photographer Horace Nicholls. An undiagnosed dyslexic, she left school early. Upon leaving, she trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Nicholls married Brideshead Revisited director Charles Sturridge on 6 July 1985; they have three children. Their eldest son Tom Sturridge and daughter Matilda Sturridge are also actors. She is the grandmother of Tom's daughter Marlowe with actress Sienna Miller.
As a child actress in several films she was billed as Sarah Nicholls, appearing alongside her father, mother and sister Kate in her earliest performances. In her early 20s, she appeared in David Lynch's The Elephant Man, Michael Palin's The Missionary and most famously as Cordelia Flyte in Brideshead Revisited. Since then, she has worked almost exclusively in television and theatre. Debuting in Michael Lindsay-Hogg's original staging of Whose Life Is It Anyway? in 1978, she went on to perform in Robert Strura's revival of Three Sisters with Vanessa Redgrave, Stephen Daldry's acclaimed National Theatre version of J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls and in the Olivier Award-winning productions of Pravda, with The Elephant Man co-star Sir Anthony Hopkins and Terry Johnson's Hysteria. Her supporting performances in the 2008 West End revivals of Noël Coward's The Vortex and Harley Granville Barker's Waste earned her the 2009 Clarence Derwent Award from Equity. She also played the conniving art critic Rivera in the Royal National Theatre production of the Howard Barker drama, Scenes from an Execution.
She appeared in the 1995 television Persuasion an adaptation of Jane Austen's novel. She has made guest appearances on several television mystery series, including Kavanagh QC, Prime Suspect, Midsomer Murders, Inspector Lewis, The Ruth Rendell Mysteries ("May and June", 1997), Foyle's War, Second Sight starring Clive Owen, and the 2012 Christmas episode of Downton Abbey (as the rather disagreeable Marchioness of Flintshire), a role she reprised for the 2014 season. She has also appeared in several works directed by her husband, Charles Sturridge, including his 1995 television adaptation of Gulliver's Travels, where she portrayed the Liliputian Empress, and the 1997 film Fairy Tale: A True Story.
- 1964: The Pumpkin Eater
- 1965: Dr. Terror's House of Horrors
- 1967: Our Mother's House
- 1969: Women in Love
- 1980: The Elephant Man
- 1982: The Missionary
- 1983: Party Party
- 1984: Ordeal by Innocence
- 1987: Gentry
- 1987: Maurice
- 1997: FairyTale: A True Story
- 2000: The Miracle Maker
- 2007: Clapham Junction
- 1977: Alternative 3
- 1977: Van der Valk "Gold Plated Delinquents"
- 1979: Secret Orchards
- 1980: Blade on the Feather
- 1981: Pictures
- 1981: Brideshead Revisited
- 1982: Tales of the Unexpected "A Harmless Vanity"
- 1983: All for Love
- 1984: Hay Fever
- 1985: Poppyland
- 1990: Drowning in the Shallow End
- 1994: Heart of Darkness
- 1995: Persuasion
- 1995: Kavanagh QC "Heartland"
- 1996: Gulliver's Travels
- 1997: The Ruth Rendell Mysteries "May and June"
- 1999: Second Sight
- 2001: People Like Us
- 2002: Shackleton
- 2002: I'm Alan Partridge
- 2003: Midsomer Murders "A Tale of Two Hamlets"
- 2003: Prime Suspect "The Last Witness"
- 2003: Foyle's War
- 2004: Hawking
- 2006: Spooks
- 2007: The Trial of Tony Blair
- 2007: Lewis
- 2007: Clapham Junction
- 2010: The Road to Coronation Street
- 2012: The Scapegoat
- 2012: Loving Miss Hatto
- 2012: Downton Abbey (Christmas episode)
- 2013: New Tricks
- 2015: Fortitude
- 2015: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
- 1978: Whose Life Is It Anyway?
- 1981: The Cherry Orchard
- 1983: The Beautiful Part of Myself
- 1984: Pravda
- 1985: The Seagull
- 1991: Three Sisters
- 1993: An Inspector Calls
- 1993: Hysteria
- 1994: Rutherford & Son
- 1997: Dona Rosita the Spinster
- 2005: Three Women and a Piano Tuner
- 2007: The Vortex
- 2008: Waste
- 2009: When the Rain Stops Falling
- 2012: Scenes from an Execution
- McFarlane, Brian; Institute, British Film (2005). "The encyclopedia of British film".
- Professor Footprint. "Dellam Corporate Information Limited, England". 51.350638;-0.19093: Dellam.com. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
- "How we met". Archived from the original on 11 January 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- "SonyPictures.com". Sony Pictures Classic: Phoebe Nicholls. Retrieved 1 May 2007.[dead link]
- "FilmReference.com". Charles Sturridge Biography (1951-). Retrieved 1 May 2007.
- "Allmovie". Phoebe Nicholls. Retrieved 1 May 2007.
- "FairyTale: A True Story". Cast Bios Phoebe Nicholls. Retrieved 1 May 2007.[dead link]