Geraldine James

Geraldine James, OBE (born 6 July 1950) is an English film and television actress.

Geraldine James

Born (1950-07-06) 6 July 1950 (age 72)
Years active1973–present
Joseph Blatchley
(m. 1986)


Early life and familyEdit

James was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire, to a cardiologist father.[1][2] She was educated at Downe House, a girls' independent school in Newbury, Berkshire. After graduating from the Drama Centre London in 1973, she began her career in repertory theatre. On 17 January 1977, she met her husband, Joseph Blatchley, at a party.


James has been nominated four times for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress; for Dummy (1977), The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Band of Gold (1995) and The Sins (2000). For her role as Portia in the 1989 Broadway revival of The Merchant of Venice, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play. She also won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 1989 Venice Film Festival for She's Been Away. Her film credits include Gandhi (1982), The Tall Guy (1989), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and 45 Years (2015). Since 2017, she has starred in the Netflix series Anne with an E as Marilla Cuthbert, and in the 2019 film Downton Abbey as Queen Mary.

Theatre director Peter Hall said that James ranks amongst the great English classical actresses.[3]


Film appearancesEdit

Music appearancesEdit

Radio appearancesEdit

Date Title Role Director Station
21 February 20003 March 2000 The Hours Gaynor Macfarlane BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour Drama
21 March 2003 Baldi: The Book Case Maggie Mark Lambert BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play
19 April 2003 Turtle Diary Neaera Gaynor Macfarlane BBC Radio 4 Saturday Play
2005 The Raj Quartet Mildred Layton Jeremy Mortimer BBC Radio 4

Television appearancesEdit

Theatre appearancesEdit


Year Nominated work Award Category Result Refs
1977 Dummy BAFTA TV Award Best Actress Nominated [7]
1984 The Jewel in the Crown BAFTA TV Award Best Actress Nominated
1989 She's Been Away Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup for Best Actress Won [8][9]
1990 The Merchant of Venice Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play Won
1990 The Merchant of Venice Tony Award Best Actress in a Play Nominated
1995 Band of Gold BAFTA TV Award Best Actress Nominated
2000 The Sins BAFTA TV Award Best Actress Nominated
2018 Anne with an E Canadian Screen Awards Best Supporting Actress, Drama Won [10]



  1. ^ "Geraldine James Biography (1950-)".
  2. ^ "Geraldine James: A talent to surprise". The Independent. 7 April 2004.
  3. ^ "Geraldine James" (17 December 2001) Woman's Hour, Radio 4, BBC
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (30 August 2018). "Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James Join 'Downton Abbey' Movie".
  5. ^ "Hoffman as Shylock: London Critics Cool" (3 June 1989) New York Times
  6. ^ "'Merchant' role is jewel in James' crown" (29 Jan 1990) USA TODAY
  7. ^ "Television | Actress in 1978" BAFTA
  8. ^ "Miss Geraldine James, OBE". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 21 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Triumph in Venice" (16 Sep 1989) The Guardian
  10. ^ "Anne with an E, Cardinal win big at Canadian Screen Awards". CBC. 28 March 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2020.

External linksEdit