Law at the Nanny McPhee London premiere in 2005
|Born||Phyllida Ann Law
8 May 1932
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK
(m. 1957; d. 1982)
Law was born in Glasgow, the daughter of Megsie "Meg" and William Law, a journalist. She was married to actor Eric Thompson from 1957 until his death in 1982. Their daughters, Emma and Sophie Thompson, are both actresses. She has appeared in many documentaries and interviews concerning her late husband's work on The Magic Roundabout.
Law has worked extensively in television, including appearances in Dixon of Dock Green, Rumpole of the Bailey and the 1972 adaptation of the Lord Peter Wimsey tale The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. She appeared in films such as Peter's Friends (1992), Much Ado About Nothing (1993) (playing Ursula, alongside daughter Emma as Beatrice) and The Winter Guest (1997) (playing Elspeth, alongside daughter Emma as Frances).
In 2004 she guest-starred in the Rosemary & Thyme episode entitled "Orpheus in the Undergrowth" as May Beauchamp. In 2007 she guest-starred in two Doctor Who spin-off adventures: as Bea Nelson-Stanley in The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Eye of the Gorgon" and as Beldonia in the audio drama Doctor Who: The Bride of Peladon. Also in 2007 she played Aunt Auriel in the drama Kingdom starring Stephen Fry. In 2008 she appeared as a guest star in Foyle's War.
In November 2009 Law published her first book. Notes to my Mother-In-Law concerns the 17 years Thompson's mother-in-law lived with the family from the mid-1960s until her death. In January 2010 she appeared with Tony Slattery on Ready Steady Cook. She starred alongside John Hurt in a short film entitled Love at First Sight which was shortlisted for an Oscar in 2012.
Law received an honorary doctorate from Glasgow Caledonian University. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to drama and for charitable services.
Film and television
- Play School (1964) (TV)
- Otley (1968)
- The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1972)
- A Picture of Katherine Mansfield (1973)
- Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973)
- Come Back Lucy (1978)
- The Barchester Chronicles (1982)
- That's Love (1988–92) (TV series)
- The House of Eliott (1991) (TV series)
- Peter's Friends (1992)
- Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
- Before the Rain (1994)
- The Blue Boy (1994) (TV film)
- Junior (1994)
- Hamish Macbeth (1995) (TV)
- Emma (1996)
- Anna Karenina (1997)
- The Winter Guest (1997)
- The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999)
- Mad Cows (1999)
- Midsomer Murders (1999) (TV)
- Saving Grace (2000)
- The Time Machine (2002)
- Brush with Fate (2003) (TV film)
- Rosemary & Thyme (2004) (TV)
- Nanny McPhee (2005)
- Danny the Dog (2005)
- Mee-Shee: The Water Giant (2005)
- Afterlife (2005) (TV)
- Miss Potter (2006)
- Kingdom (2007—2009) (TV)
- The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007) (TV)
- The Waiting Room (2007)
- Miss Austen Regrets (2007)
- Foyle's War (2008) (TV)
- Hallowe'en Party (2010) (TV)
- Ways to Live Forever (2010)
- Love at First Sight (2010)
- Doc Martin (2010) (TV)
- Arrietty (2011)
- Midsomer Murders (2011) (TV)
- New Tricks (2013) (TV)
- Law, Phyllida (2009). Notes to my Mother-in-Law. Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-0007338412.
- Law, Phyllida (2013). How Many Camels Are There in Holland?: Dementia, Ma and Me. Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-0007485864.
- "Phyllida Law profile at FilmReference.com". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- Swann, Yvonne (20 February 2010). "Me and my school photo: Phyllida Law remembers her childhood as an evacuee". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "La Cage aux Folles - 1986 West End - Original West End Cast". BroadwayWorld.com. 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- "The Bookseller". The Bookseller. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- Ford, Rebecca (2011-12-14). "10 Live Action Short Films". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-01-24.
- The London Gazette: . 14 June 2014.