Date of Birth : Feb 20th 1946
Golden Globe-winning English film, stage, television and voice actress, and writer.
Born Brenda Ann Bottle in Ramsgate, Kent, Blethyn is the youngest of nine children of a working-class Roman Catholic family from Ramsgate, Kent, England. Her father, William Charles Bottle, was an engineer, and her mother, Louisa Kathleen Supple, was a homemaker. The family lived in modest circumstances, influenced by after-war rationing in England. Her late parents were the first to introduce Blethyn to the cinema, as they took their youngest child to the movies weekly.
Blethyn originally graduated technical college and worked as a stenographer and bookkeeper for a bank. While she was in employment, she married Alan James Blethyn, a graphic designer she met while working for British Rail. This marriage lasted until 1973. On splitting from her husband, she opted to turn her hobby of amateur dramatics to her professional advantage. After studying at the Guildford School of Acting, she went onto the London stage in 1976, performing several seasons at the Royal National Theatre. The shows, she participated in during the following three years, included Troilus and Cressida, Tamburlaine the Great, Bedroom Farce, The Passion and Strife.
In the following years Blethyn expanded her status as a professional stage actress, appearing in productions including A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Dalliance, The Beaux’ Stratem and Born Yesterday. She was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance as Sheila in the play Benefactors. Meanwhile Blethyn continued with roles on British television, playing opposite Simon Callow as Tom Chance’s frustrated fiancée Alison Little in three series of the sitcom Chance in a Million. She also guested in comedies such as Yes Minister and Who Dares Wins, as well as playing a variety of roles in the BBC Radio 4 comedy Delve Special alongside Stephen Fry.