Lydia Leonard

Lydia Leonard (born 5 December 1981)[1] is a British stage, film and television actress.

Lydia Leonard
Born (1981-12-05) 5 December 1981 (age 39)
Paris, France
NationalityBritish and Irish
EducationBedales School
Alma materBristol Old Vic Theatre School
Years active2004–present
Known forPortrayal of Anne Boleyn in the RSC's stage adaptation of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies

Life and careerEdit

She was born in Paris to an Irish mother, a teacher, and Anglo-French father, a financial accountant; she lived in France until the age of five. She trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Leonard played Anne Boleyn in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies at London's Aldwych Theatre from May until October 2014. The RSC production transferred to Broadway as Wolf Hall: Parts One and Two at the Winter Garden Theatre, running from March until July 2015. Leonard reprised the role, which earned her a nomination for the 2015 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.[2]

On television she had an ongoing role in 1950s-set detective series Jericho starring Robert Lindsay, and appeared in True True Lie (2006) and The Long Walk to Finchley (2008), along with a cameo in Rome (2006, "The Stolen Eagle"), and as a nurse in the BBC's Casualty 1909.

Leonard appeared on stage as Polyxena in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hecuba starring Vanessa Redgrave, the production played in London's West End and then at B.A.M in New York. She played Hazel Conway alongside Francesca Annis in the National Theatre's production of Time and the Conways. In 2005 she appeared as Caroline Cushing in the original Donmar Theatre and West End productions of Frost/Nixon. In 2010 Leonard played the role of Jackie Onassis in Martin Sherman's play Onassis at the Novello Theatre in London.[3]

In 2008 Leonard played the female lead in the BBC remake of The 39 Steps. Part of the Christmas scheduling, its first showing was the most watched programme on BBC One on that day. Leonard starred as Cynthia in Joanna Hogg's 2010 feature film Archipelago. In 2012, Leonard starred in two episodes of ITV drama series Whitechapel, as psychiatrist Morgan Lamb, for which she was nominated for Most Outstanding Actress at the Monte Carlo television awards. In 2013 Leonard played a leading role in the action adventure film Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon alongside Dolph Lundgen and Scott Adkins. In 2013 Leonard played Alex Lang in DreamWorks The Fifth Estate starring Benedict Cumberbatch. In 2015, Leonard played Virginia Woolf in Life in Squares, a BBC miniseries on the Bloomsbury Group.[4]


Year Film Role Notes
2004 The Heat of the Story short
Foyle's War Marion Greenwood TV series (Series 3 Episode 1: "The French Drop")
Midsomer Murders Phoebe Frears TV series (1 episode: "Ghosts of Christmas Past")
2005 Rome Julia TV series (1 episode: "The Stolen Eagle")
Jericho Angela TV series (4 episodes)
2006 The Line of Beauty Penny Kent TV series (3 episodes)
True True Lie Dana
2008 Ashes to Ashes Sara Templeton TV series (Series 1, Episode 4: "The Missing Link")
Casualty 1907 Laura Goodley TV series (3 episodes)
Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley Joyce TV movie
The 39 Steps Victoria Sinclair TV movie
2009 Casualty 1909 Laura Goodley TV series (4 episodes)
2010 Archipelago Cynthia
2011 Spooks Martha Ford TV series (Series 10, Episode 2)
Star Wars: The Old Republic Lana Beniko Video game
2012 Law & Order UK Lucy Kennard TV series (Series 6, Episode 7: "Fault Lines")
Whitechapel Morgan Lamb TV series (Series 3, Episodes 5 & 6)
2013 Divinity: Dragon Commander Princess Camilla, Prospera Video Game (Voice)
Ambassadors Fergana TV series (Series 1, Episode 3, "The Tazbek Spring")
Da Vinci's Demons Reina Isabel I de Castilla TV series (Season 1, Episode 5, "The Tower")
2015 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Lucia Video game, voice role, Heavensward expansion only
Life in Squares Virginia Woolf TV Miniseries
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture Amanda Mason Video game, voice role
River Marianne King TV series (2 episodes)
2017 Quacks Caroline TV series (6 episodes)
2019 Gentleman Jack Mariana Lawton TV series (4 episodes)
Last Christmas Marta

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
2015 Tony Award[2] Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play Wolf Hall: Parts One and Two Nominated
Drama Desk Award[5] Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award[6] Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Nominated

Selected radioEdit

  • The Colour of Murder, by Julian Symons, BBC Radio 4 2003, with Tom Smith, Lydia Leonard, Frances Jeater[7]
  • A Sting in the Tale – Myrtle, Mahonia and Rue, by Briony Glassco, BBC Radio 4, 1//1/2004[8]
  • Bunyan John – The Pilgrim's Progress, weekly from 4 January 2004, with Anton Rodgers, Neil Dudgeon, Alec McCowen, Anna Massey, Philip Voss, Lydia Leonard
  • The Lair of the White Worm, by Stoker Bram, BBC World Service 4 December 2004, with Peter Marinker, Ben Crowe, Stephen Critchlow, Lydia Leonard, Richenda Carey
  • The Seagull, by Anton Chekhov, BBC World Service 18 March 2006, with Ben Silverstone, Lydia Leonard, Nicholas Farrell
  • Our Country's Good, by Thomas Keneally, adapted by Timberlake Wertenbaker, BBC World Service ~15 October 2005, with Nichloas Bolton, Lydia Leonard, Geoffrey Whitehead
  • How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, by Toby Young; R4 afternoon play 3 November 2006; with Val Murray, Kerry Shale, Lydia Leonard, Elizabeth Bell, Kim Wall.[9]
  • Arms and the Man, by GB Shaw, BBC Radio 3 21 March 2010, with Rory Kinnear, Lydia Leonard, Hugh Ross, Frances Jeater


  1. ^ Dalglish, Darren (13 October 2010). "Questions and Answers with..." Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b "An American in Paris & Fun Home Top 2015 Tony Nominations". Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  3. ^ Pandora Sykes (21 October 2010). "Lydia Leonard on being Jackie O". London Evening Standard.
  4. ^ Debnath, Neela (27 July 2015). "Life in Squares: Lydia Leonard says new Bloomsbury group series will be 'racy'". Daily Express. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Hamilton, An American in Paris & More Receive 2015 Drama Desk Nominations". Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Something Rotten! & On the Twentieth Century Top List of 2015 Outer Critics Circle Nominations". Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  7. ^ "The Saturday Play: The Colour of Murder". 18 October 2003. p. 121 – via BBC Genome.
  8. ^ "A Sting in the Tale: 2: Myrtle, Mahonia and Rue". 1 January 2004. p. 225 – via BBC Genome.
  9. ^ "Afternoon Play: How to Lose Friends and Alienate People". 3 November 2006. p. 135 – via BBC Genome.

External linksEdit