Miranda Jane Richardson (born 3 March 1958) is an English actress. She made her film debut playing Ruth Ellis in Dance with a Stranger (1985) and went on to receive Academy Award nominations for Damage (1992) and Tom & Viv (1994). A seven-time BAFTA Award nominee, she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Damage. She has also been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards, winning twice for Enchanted April (1992) and the TV film Fatherland (1994). In 1996, one critic asserted that she is "the greatest actress of our time in any medium" after she appeared in Orlando at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Miranda Jane Richardson
3 March 1958
|Alma mater||Bristol Old Vic Theatre School|
After graduating from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Richardson began her career in 1979 and made her West End debut in the 1981 play Moving, before being nominated for the 1987 Olivier Award for Best Actress for A Lie of the Mind. Her television credits include Blackadder (1986–1989), A Dance to the Music of Time (1997), Merlin (1998), The Lost Prince (2003), Gideon's Daughter (2006), the sitcom The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle (2007), and Rubicon (2010). She was nominated for the 2015 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Narrator for Operation Orangutan.
Her other films include Empire of the Sun (1987), The Crying Game (1992), The Apostle (1997), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Chicken Run (2000), The Hours (2002), Spider (2002), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), The Young Victoria (2009), Made in Dagenham (2010), Belle (2013), and Stronger (2017).
Richardson was born in Southport, Lancashire. She recalls "a cinema about 50 yards from my house. So Saturday mornings were spent with The ABC Minors: the Saturday cinema club with the theme song set to the tune of Blaze Away by Abe Holzmann, a red ball bouncing over the lyrics so you could sing along. As I got older, I would go to the cinema by myself to watch matinees of westerns and historical Technicolor dramas."
Richardson enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where she studied alongside Daniel Day-Lewis and Jenny Seagrove, having started out with juvenile performances in Cinderella and Lord Arthur Savile's Crime at the Southport Dramatic Club.
Richardson joined the Manchester Library Theatre in 1979 as an assistant stage manager, followed by a number of appearances in repertory theatre. Her London stage debut was in Moving at the Queen's Theatre in 1981. She found recognition in the West End for a series of stage performances, ultimately receiving an Olivier Award nomination for her performance in A Lie of the Mind, and, in 1996, one critic asserted that she is "the greatest actress of our time in any medium" after she appeared in Orlando at the Edinburgh Festival. She returned to the London stage in May 2009 to play the lead role in Wallace Shawn's new play, Grasses of a Thousand Colours at the Royal Court Theatre. Richardson has said that she prefers new works rather than the classics because of the history which goes with them.
Film and televisionEdit
In 1985, Richardson made her film debut as Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom, in the biographical drama Dance with a Stranger. Around the same time, Richardson played a comedic Queen Elizabeth I, aka Queenie, in the British television comedy Blackadder II.
Following Dance with a Stranger, Richardson turned down numerous parts in which her character was unstable or disreputable, including the Glenn Close role in Fatal Attraction. In this period, she appeared in Empire of the Sun (1987). In an episode of the TV series The Storyteller ("The Three Ravens", 1988), she played a witch. Meanwhile, she had returned in guest roles in one episode each in Blackadder the Third (1987) and Blackadder Goes Forth (1989). She returned to play Queenie in the Christmas special Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) and, later, a special edition for the millennium Blackadder: Back and Forth.
Other television roles include Pamela Flitton in A Dance to the Music of Time (1997), Miss Gilchrist in St. Ives (1998), Bettina the interior decorator in Absolutely Fabulous, Queen Elspeth, Snow White's stepmother, in Snow White: The Fairest of Them All (2001), and Queen Mary in The Lost Prince (2003).
Richardson has appeared in supporting roles in film, including Vanessa Bell in The Hours, Lady Van Tassel in Sleepy Hollow and Patsy Carpenter in The Evening Star. She also won acclaim for her performances in The Crying Game and Enchanted April, for which she won a Golden Globe. She received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Damage and Tom & Viv.
Richardson also appeared as Queen Rosalind of Denmark in The Prince and Me and as the ballet mistress Madame Giry in the film version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera (2004). In 2005, she appeared in the role of Rita Skeeter, the toxic Daily Prophet journalist in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She also did the voice for Corky in The Adventures of Bottle Top Bill and His Best Friend Corky (2005), an Australian animated series for children. In 2006, she appeared in Gideon's Daughter. She played Mrs. Claus in the film Fred Claus (2007).
Richardson appeared in the BBC sitcom, The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle.
In 2008, Richardson was cast in a leading role in original AMC pilot, Rubicon. She plays Katherine Rhumor, a New York socialite who finds herself drawn into the central intrigue of a think tank after the death of her husband.
In 2014, Richardson was cast as Queen Ulla in Maleficent, where she was to play the titular character's aunt, but her role was cut from the film during post-production. In 2015, she played Sybil Birling in Helen Edmundson's BBC One adaptation of J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls.
Awards and nominationsEdit
- "Miranda Richardson Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica.
- Watkins, Jack (21 February 2017). "How we made The Crying Game". the Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
- "Miranda Richardson's teenage obsessions: 'I rescued a kestrel and became fascinated by birds of prey'". The Guardian. 4 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- "Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Past Graduates". Archived from the original on 25 September 2009.
- "The Society of London Theatre, Olivier Winners 1987". Officiallondontheatre.co.uk. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "Royal Court Theatre website". Royalcourttheatre.com. Archived from the original on 21 September 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- Cochrane, Kira (20 April 2013). "Miranda Richardson: 'I hate our sneering attitude to success'". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
- "Trio sneaking up on AMC pilot". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2 January 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
- Singh, Anita (16 May 2009). "Sally Hawkins to star in strike film We Want Sex". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
- Bibbiani, William (27 May 2014). "Maleficent: Director Robert Stromberg on True Love and Reshoots". Mandatory. Archived from the original on 2 June 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
- "BBC – David Thewlis to lead cast of BBC One's adaptation of JB Priestley's An Inspector Calls – Media Centre".
- Duncan, Andrew (29 December 2014). "Miranda Richardson discusses her new role as Miss Elizabeth Mapp". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 3 October 2015.