Fast Facts

  • Trained as a soprano singer from the age of 8, but chose to pursue a career in acting instead.
  • Made her professional stage debut in the West End musical I and Albert in 1972.
  • Met director Mike Leigh in 1979 and the two have frequently collaborated, beginning with a 1980 episode of BBC2 Playhouse called "Grown-Ups."
  • Part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's original 1985 staging of Les liaisons dangereuses, with Alan Rickman playing Valmont.
  • Appeared in The Cherry Orchard at the Aldwych Theatre in London in 1989, opposite Judi Dench and Bernard Hill, and directed by Sam Mendes.
  • Played Ouisa in the 2010 revival of Six Degrees of Separation at the Old Vic. 
  • Was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List, for her services to drama.


  • 2011, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
  • 2010, European Film Awards — European Actress: Nominee
  • 2012, Olivier Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
  • 2016, BAFTA Television Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
  • 2014, Olivier Awards — Best Actress: Winner


  • Joe Dixon — Ex-husband
  • Alfie Oldman — Son
  • Gary Oldman — Ex-husband
  • Peter Duncan — Ex-significant Other


  • Birth Place: Brighton, Sussex, England
  • Profession: Actor

Trending TonightSee all »

Watch This

Josh Bowman and Freddie Stroma
Time After Time Stars Play Guess That Facial Hair!

Can the Time After Time stars, who were nearly unrecognizable with facial hair, recognize other actors by only seeing their facial hair?