- Began her stage career at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England
- Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1985, where she met her future husband, Hilton Mcrae, when they were both cast in Troilus and Cressida.
- Won both an Olivier Award and a Tony Award for Best Actress in 2002 for her role in Noël Coward's Private Lives.
- Appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2009.
- Gave an introductory talk on Alzheimer's at The Royal Institution in support of the Alzheimer's Research UK charity.
- 2002, Olivier Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
- 2002, Tony — Actress (Play): Winner
- 1986, Olivier Awards — Best Actress: Winner
- 2002, Olivier Awards — Best Actress: Winner
- 2009, Olivier Awards — Best Actress: Nominee
- 1987, Tony — Actress (Play): Nominee
- Hilton McRae — Husband
- Cal McRae — Son
- Central School of Speech and Drama, London, England
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