Imelda Staunton at the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in London (2011)
|Born||Imelda Mary Philomena Bernadette Staunton
9 January 1956
London, England, UK
|Spouse||Jim Carter (1983–present; 1 child)|
Imelda Mary Philomena Bernadette Staunton, OBE (born 9 January 1956) is an English actress. She is perhaps best known for her performances in the British comedy television series Up the Garden Path, the Harry Potter film series (in which she plays Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge) and Vera Drake. She drew critical acclaim as Vera Drake, earning her a Best Actress Oscar nomination and a number of wins including the BAFTA and Venice Film Festival Awards for best actress in a leading role.
Staunton was born in Archway, North London, the only child of Bridie (née McNicholas), a hairdresser, and Joseph Staunton, a road-worker and labourer. The family lived over Staunton's mother's hair dressing salon while Staunton’s father worked on the roads. Both of her parents were first-generation Catholic immigrants from County Mayo, Ireland, with her father coming from Ballyvary and her mother from Bohola. Staunton's mother was a musician who could not read music, but could master almost any tune by ear on the accordion or fiddle and had played in Irish showbands.
Staunton attended La Sainte Union Convent School, an all-girls Catholic school on the edge of Hampstead Heath, from years 11 to 17. Her talent was spotted by Jacqueline Stoker, her elocution teacher. Before long she was starring as Polly Peachum in a school production of The Beggar's Opera. Staunton studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
When she was 18, Staunton enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA),[dead link] and studied alongside Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall and Juliet Stevenson. She graduated two years later in 1976, then spent six years in English repertory, including a period at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter where she had the title role in Shaw's Saint Joan (1979). Staunton then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in 1982, moved on to the National Theatre. She has stated that her first job was a play by Goldoni. She is also known for her performance as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz for the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has had a long and distinguished career in the theatre, performing in such diverse plays as A Man for all Seasons, Mack & Mabel, Side by Side, and Elektra.
Staunton has twice received an Olivier Award, Britain's highest theatre honour, one in 1985 for roles in two productions: A Chorus of Disapproval and The Corn Is Green and one for the 1991 musical, Into the Woods. She was nominated for her performance as Miss Adelaide in the 1996 revival of Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre. More recently, she appeared in the premiere of Frank McGuinness's There Came a Gypsy Riding at the Almeida in 2007 and opened in 2009 in English Touring Theatre's production of Entertaining Mr Sloane alongside Mathew Horne at the Trafalgar Studios. In October 2011 Staunton took the role of 'Mrs. Lovett' in a revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring opposite singer Michael Ball, at the Chichester Festival. The show was well received, and it transferred to the Adelphi Theatre in London in March 2012.
Staunton's first big-screen role came in a 1986 Bill Douglas film, Comrades. She then appeared in the 1992 film Peter's Friends. Other early roles include performances in Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Deadly Advice (1993), Sense and Sensibility (1995) Twelfth Night (1996), Chicken Run (2000), Another Life (2001), Bright Young Things (2003), Nanny McPhee (2005), Freedom Writers (2007) and How About You (2007).
Staunton shared a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Performance by a Cast in 1998 for Shakespeare in Love. In 2004, she received the Best Actress honours at the European Film Awards, the BAFTAs, and the Venice Film Festival for her performance of the title role in Mike Leigh's Vera Drake, which also won Best Picture. For the same role, she received Best Actress nominations for the 2004 Golden Globes and Academy Awards.
Staunton portrayed Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), a performance described as "coming close to stealing the show." She was nominated in the "British Actress in a Supporting Role" category at the London Film Critics Circle Awards. Staunton reprised her role as Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One.
Recent film roles include 2008's A Bunch of Amateurs, in which she starred alongside Burt Reynolds, Derek Jacobi and Samantha Bond, and the character of Sonia Teichberg in Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock (2009). She will play one of the lead roles in the upcoming ghost film The Awakening.
In 1993, she appeared on television alongside Richard Briers and Adrian Edmondson in If You See God, Tell Him. She has had other television parts in The Singing Detective (1986), Midsomer Murders, and the comedy drama series Is It Legal? (1995–98), as well as A Bit of Fry and Laurie season 4, episode 3. She was a voice artist on Mole's Christmas (1994). She had a guest role playing Mrs. Mead in Little Britain in 2005, and in 2007 played the free-thinking gossip, Miss Pole, in Cranford, the five-part BBC series based on Mrs Gaskell's novels, and in the sequel to the series, Return to Cranford. She also supplies the voices of Ruby (a mouse) and Twiba (The Worm who lives in Big's Apple) in the Children's TV show Big & Small. In 2010, she appeared in the Halloween special of Psychoville as Grace Andrews, and became a recurring cast member in the second series (2011). In 2011, she had a guest role in series 6 of Doctor Who playing the voice of the interface in "The Girl Who Waited."
On radio, she has appeared in the title role of detective drama series Julie Enfield Investigates, as the lead, Izzy Comyn, in the comedy Up the Garden Path (which later moved to ITV with Staunton reprising the role), in Diary of a Provincial Lady (from 1999) and Acropolis Now.
She starred opposite Anna Massey in the post-World War II mystery series Daunt and Dervish, and opposite Patrick Barlow in The Patrick and Maureen Maybe Music Experience. She had also acted with Barlow in the TV series Is It Legal?
Staunton met her husband, English actor Jim Carter, in Richard Eyre's landmark early 1980s production of Guys And Dolls at the National Theatre. They have a daughter, Bessie, born 1993. In 2007, the couple, together with Bessie, appeared in the BBC series Cranford (Carter was Captain Brown and Bessie a maid).
Two seasons at the Nottingham Playhouse (1980–81?):
Theatre roles in London::
|1986||The Singing Detective||Staff Nurse White||TV|
|1986||Ladies In Charge||Edith||TV|
|1988||Thompson||Various roles||TV series|
|1989||A Sleeping Life||Polly Flinders|
|1990||Up the Garden Path||Izzy||TV series|
|1990||They Never Slept||The Producer|
|1990||The Englishman's Wife||Stephanie||TV|
|1991||Antonia And Jane||Jane Hartman|
|1992||Peter's Friends||Mary Charleston|
|1992||A Masculine Ending||Bridget Bennet||TV|
|1993||Much Ado About Nothing||Margaret|
|1993||Don't Leave Me This Way||Bridget Bennet||TV|
|1993||If You See God, Tell Him||Muriel Spry||TV|
|1993||Deadly Advice||Beth Greenwood|
|1994||Frank Stubbs Promotes||Susan||TV|
|1994||Mole's Christmas||Village Mother (voice)||TV|
|1995||Citizen X||Mrs Burakova||TV|
|1995||Look At The State We're In!||Councillor Johnson||TV|
|1995||Is It Legal?||Stella Phelps||TV|
|1995||A Bit Of Fry And Laurie||Herself||TV|
|1995||Sense and Sensibility||Charlotte Jennings Palmer|
|1995||The Adventures of Mole||(voice)||TV|
|1996||Tales From The Crypt||Sarah||TV series|
|1996||The Snow Queen's Revenge||(voice)|
|1997||The Ugly Duckling||Scruffy|
|1998||Shakespeare In Love||Nurse|
|1998||The Canterbury Tales||The Prioress||TV series|
|1999||Midsomer Murders||Christine Cooper||TV series|
|1999||David Copperfield||Mrs. Micawber||TV|
|2000||Chicken Run||Bunty (voice)|
|2000||Jack And The Beanstalk||Dilly (voice)|
|2000||Victoria Wood With All The Trimmings||Mrs. Cottisloe||TV|
|2001||Another Life||Ethel Graydon|
|2002||Murder||DCI Billie Dory||TV|
|2003||Cambridge Spies||The Queen||TV|
|2003||Let's Write A Story||Mrs. Twit||TV|
|2003||The Virgin Of Liverpool||Sylvia, Conlon|
|2003||Strange||Reverend Mary Truegood||TV|
|2003||Bright Young Things||Lady Brown|
|2003||I'll Be There||Dr. Bridget|
|2004||Vera Drake||Vera Drake|
|2005||Nanny McPhee||Mrs. Blatherwick|
|2005||A Midsummer Night's Dream||Polly||TV|
|2005||Little Britain||Mrs. Mead||TV series|
|2006||My Family And Other Animals||Mother|
|2006||Shadow Man||Ambassador Cochran|
|2006||Dog Town||Gwen Gregson||TV|
|2006||The Wind in the Willows||Barge Lady||TV|
|2007||Cranford||Miss Octavia Pole||TV series|
|2007||Freedom Writers||Margaret Campbell|
|2007||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge|
|2007||How About You||Hazel Nightingale|
|2008||Big & Small||Ruby/Twiba||TV|
|2008||Three and Out||Rosemary Cassidy|
|2008||A Bunch of Amateurs||Mary|
|2009||Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince||Dolores Jane Umbridge (voice)|
|2009||Taking Woodstock||Sonia Teichberg|
|2009||Return to Cranford||Miss Octavia Pole|
|2010||White Other||Lynne McDermott|
|2010||Alice In Wonderland||Tall Flower Faces (voice)|
|2011||Psychoville||Grace Andrews||TV series|
|2010||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1||Dolores Jane Umbridge|
|2011||The Awakening||Maud Hill|
|2011||Arthur Christmas||Mrs. Santa|
|2011||Doctor Who||The Interface (voice)||TV series|
|2012||The Pirates! Band of Misfits||Queen Victoria|
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