Sophie Thompson

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Sophie Thompson
Thompson in 2014
Born (1962-01-20) 20 January 1962 (age 61)
Hampstead, London, England
Alma materBristol Old Vic Theatre School
Years active1977–present
(m. 1995; sep. 2015)
RelativesEmma Thompson (sister)

Sophie Thompson (born 20 January 1962) is a British actress who has worked in film, television and theatre. A six-time Olivier Award nominee, she won the 1999 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the London revival of Into the Woods. Her other nominations were for Wildest Dreams (1994), Company (1996), Clybourne Park (2011) Guys and Dolls (2016) and Present Laughter (2019).

Thompson's film appearances include Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Persuasion (1995), Emma (1996), Dancing at Lughnasa (1998), Gosford Park (2001) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010). Her television roles include playing Stella Crawford in the BBC soap opera EastEnders (2006–2007) and Rosemary Piper in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street (2018).

Life and work[edit]

Early life, training and early career[edit]

Thompson was born 20 January 1962 in London, and is the daughter of actress Phyllida Law,[1] and actor Eric Thompson. She is the younger sister of actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson.[1]

She made her television debut at the age of 15, starring in the BBC adaptation of the Alison Uttley classic A Traveller in Time, opposite Simon Gipps-Kent, before going on to study at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.[2]

In 1979, Thompson made her professional theatre debut at the age of 17 in the play The Schoolmistress by Arthur Wing Pinero at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.[3]


Big-screen roles include Four Weddings and a Funeral,[2] Eat Pray Love, Emma, [2]Dancing at Lughnasa, Gosford Park, Fat Slags,[2] Relative Values and Morris: A Life with Bells On. In 2010, Thompson appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.[2]


Thompson starred alongside popular British comedians Alan Davies, in Jonathan Creek,[4] and Lee Evans in So What Now? She has also appeared in Persuasion,[4]Midsomer Murders, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes,A Harlot's Progress, and the TV movie Magnolia.[4] She played Miss Bartlett in Andrew Davies' 2007 adaptation of E.M. Forster's A Room with a View[4] and also appeared in the last episode of series 4 of Doc Martin.[4]

Thompson played the role of child abuser Stella Crawford in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders.[2] She came into the show as Phil Mitchell's lawyer and they gradually developed a romantic link. Stella later became jealous of Phil's relationship with his son Ben and began to emotionally and physically abuse him, becoming one of soap's most-hated villains. Thompson left EastEnders on 20 July 2007, after the exposure of Stella's evil ways on her wedding day led to the character's suicide. She won the Inside Soap Best Bitch award for her portrayal of Stella. In 2009, Thompson appeared in the BBC One comedy series Big Top.[4] During 2012, Thompson appeared in Love Life and Lightfields, both of which were aired on ITV. In the same year she also appeared in a Keaton Henson's music video for "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are".[5] Her most recent television credits include Detectorists, Professor Branestawm, A Gert Lush Christmas, Jericho and Coronation Street (2018).[4]

Thompson competed in Celebrity MasterChef in 2014, beating Jodie Kidd and Charley Boorman in the final.[6] She played Jan in the episode "last Gasp" of BBC comedy Inside no. 9


She played Ophelia in the Renaissance Theatre Company production of Hamlet in 1988 in Birmingham, later touring England with the production.[7] Directed by Sir Derek Jacobi, it starred her future brother-in-law Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet, Richard Easton as Claudius and Dearbhla Molloy as Gertrude. A film documentary, Discovering Hamlet, [7] detailing the process of producing and rehearsing the play was released in 1990.[7] A DVD version was released in 2010.[7]

In 1996, Thompson appeared as Amy in Sam Mendes' acclaimed Donmar Warehouse revival of Company, receiving an Olivier Award nomination for her performance.[2] Her performance of the Baker's Wife in the Donmar's revival of Into the Woods garnered her the 1999 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.[2]

She played Kathy/Bev in Dominic Cooke's 2011 production of Clybourne Park at The Royal Court, which transferred to The Wyndhams. Thompson received an Olivier nomination for Best Actress.[2]

Thompson's recent theatre credits include the role of Mrs Hardcastle in She Stoops To Conquer at the National Theatre, directed by Jamie Lloyd, and also the part of Doctor Mathilde von Zahnd in Josie Rourke's production of The Physicists at the Donmar.[2]


In 2015, Thompson's recipe book, My Family Kitchen,[8] was published, and her first children's book, Zoo Boy, was published in 2016.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 1995, Thompson married actor Richard Lumsden; the couple separated in 2015. They have two sons: Ernie James Lumsden born in 1997, and Walter Ernest Thompson, born in 2000.[4]

Thompson has been an active charity ambassador over the years, for Dan's Fund For Burns; she also ran the 2010 Marathon for CINI, a charity supporting vulnerable families in India, and 24th Tottenham, a London-based group for children and young adults with special needs.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 The Missionary Mission Girl
1991 Twenty-One Francesca
1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral Lydia, the Bride – Wedding Two
1995 Persuasion Mary Musgrove
1996 Emma Miss Bates
1998 Dancing at Lughnasa Rose Mundy
2000 Relative Values Dora Moxton
2001 Gosford Park Dorothy
2002 Nicholas Nickleby Miss Lacreevy
2004 Fat Slags Tracey
2009 Morris: A Life with Bells On Glenda
2010 Eat Pray Love Corella
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Mafalda Hopkirk
2011 Monte Carlo Auction Bidder 2
2014 That Day We Sang Dorothy
Mohammed Emily Short film
2015 Viking Cathy Short film
2019 A Disappearance Dame Alvera Short film
Tales from the Lodge Emma
Present Laughter Monica Reed




  1. ^ a b "Sophie Thompson". 6 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Sophie Thompson". 4 July 2015. Archived from the original on 7 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Sophie Thompson: "I've cunningly managed to keep a low profile"". The Stage. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Sophie Thompson". Retrieved 12 November 2022.
  5. ^ "Keaton Henson – You Don't Know How Lucky You Are" (Video). YouTube. 15 June 2012. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Celebrity MasterChef final 2014: Sophie Thompson wins final with her 'original' dishes". Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d "Discovering Hamlet". Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Books by Sophie Thompson". Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  9. ^ "When Sophie met Karl the cage fighter". BBC. 14 April 2010.
  10. ^ "TV – What to watch on TV tonight, latest news and clips – MSN UK". Archived from the original on 11 April 2013.

External links[edit]