Date of Birth : Mar 3rd 1958
She enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where she studied alongside Daniel Day-Lewis. In 1981, she made her stage debut in Moving at the Queen’s Theatre in London. Before making a name for herself as a screen star, Richardson enjoyed a hugely successful and extensive theatre career. Starting out with juvenile performances in Cinderella (the title role) and Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime (as Sybil Merton) at the Southport Dramatic Club, the young thespian enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, making her stage debut in Moving at the Queen’s Theatre, London. Soon afterwards, Richardson appeared in reportory theatre, until she found recognition in the West End for a series of highly praised stage performances, ultimately receiving an Olivier Award nomination for her performance in A Lie of the Mind, and in 1996 being cited as ‘the greatest actress of our time in any medium’ by one critic after she appeared in Orlando at the Edinburgh Festival.
In 1985, she made her big screen debut as platinum blonde nightclub hostess Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom in Mike Newell’s critically acclaimed biographical drama, Dance With A Stranger. Her performance won her much praise, and within a year she had been cast by Steven Spielberg to appear in his World War II drama Empire of the Sun (1987).
Richardson is well known for her role as infantile Queen Elizabeth I, aka Queenie, in the British television comedy Blackadder II. Her portrayal of a troubled theatre-goer in Secret Friends (BBC 2 TV, 1990) was described as “a miniature tour de force… Miranda Richardson’s finest hour, all in ten minutes” (The Sunday Times). Other television roles include the bitchy Pamela Flitton in A Dance to the Music of Time (1997), Miss Gilchrist in St. Ives (1998), Bettina the obsessive-compulsive interior decorator in Absolutely Fabulous, the sadistic Queen Elspeth in Hallmark’s Snow White: The Fairest Of Them All (2001), and the emotionally repressed Queen Mary in The Lost Prince (2003).
Two Academy Award nominations (for Damage and Tom & Viv) have not altered the actress’s modesty. She refuses to discuss her private life in interviews, and takes both leading and supporting roles in a variety of different genres.