- Encouraged by her elocution teacher to pursue acting.
- Won three Olivier Awards (the British equivalent of the Tonys) for stage performances in A Chorus of Disapproval (with the National Theatre), The Corn Is Green (with the Old Vic) and Into the Woods (the original London production).
- Met her future husband, Jim Carter, when they appeared together in Guys and Dolls at London's National Theatre.
- In 1987, she played the lead role of Dorothy in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of The Wizard of Oz.
- Voiced the bossy hen Bunty in the 2000 animated comedy Chicken Run.
- 2005, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
- 2004, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
- 2004, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress in a Leading Role: Winner
- 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
- 1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
- 2013, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
- 2004, European Film Awards — European Actress: Winner
- 2004, Venice Film Festival — Best Actress: Winner
- 2015, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
- 2013, Olivier Awards — Best Actress in a Musical: Winner
- Joseph Staunton — Father
- Bridie McNicholas — Mother
- Bessie Carter — Daughter
- Jim Carter — Husband
- Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London, England
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