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Miriam Margolyes OBE (born 18 May 1941) is an Englishmarker actress and voice artist.

Margolyes earliest roles were in theatre and after several supporting roles in film and television she won a BAFTA Award for her role in The Age of Innocence (1993).

Life and career

Early life

Margolyes was born in Oxfordmarker, Englandmarker, the daughter of Ruth (née Walters), a real estate investor, and Joseph Margolyes, a physician. She grew up in a Jewish family, a descendant of immigrants from Belarusmarker. She attended the local Oxford High Schoolmarker and later Newnham Collegemarker, Cambridgemarker. There, she began acting in her 20s, and also appeared in productions of the comedy troup, Cambridge Footlights.

Acting career

Margolyes first gained recognition for her work as a voice artist. She recorded a soft-porn audio called Sexy Sonia: Leaves from my Schoolgirl Notebook. She performed most of the supporting female characters in the dubbed Japanesemarker action TV series, Monkey. She also worked with the theatre company Gay Sweatshop.

Margolyes' first major role in a film was as Elephant Ethel in Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers (1977). She received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Flora Finching in the 1988 movie Little Dorrit. On American television, she headlined the short-lived 1992 CBS sitcom Frannie's Turn. In 1993 she won a Best Supporting Actress, BAFTA for her role as Mrs Mingott, the only comic relief in Martin Scorsese's The Age Of Innocence.

Margolyes then began to be noticed by a much younger audience when she starred as Aunt Sponge in James And The Giant Peach; she also provided the voice of the Glow Worm in the same movie. Around this time, she voiced the female rabbit character in the animated commercials for Cadbury's Caramel bars and provided the voice of Fly the dog in the animated film Babe. She played Professor Sprout in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets in 2002.

In 2004 Margolyes appeared with Geoffrey Rush and Charlize Theron in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers and with Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons and Michael Gambon in Being Julia. She also played as Dorcas the housekeeper in Ladies in Lavender with Dame Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Her television performances include a guest role in ITV mystery drama Marple (2004) and the BBC comedy Jam and Jerusalem (2006), alongside Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Joanna Lumley.

In the 1980s she made appearances in Blackadder opposite Rowan Atkinson: these roles include the Spanishmarker Infanta in The Black Adder, Lady Whiteadder in Blackadder II and Queen Victoria in Blackadder's Christmas Carol.

She was one of the original cast of the Londonmarker production of the musical Wicked in 2006, playing Madame Morrible opposite Idina Menzel, a role she also played on Broadway in 2008.

Margolyes will reprise her role as Professor Sprout in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2010.

In 2009 she appeared in a new production of Endgame by Samuel Beckett at the Duchess Theatremarker in London's West Endmarker.

Other work

Margolyes is a supporter of Sense-National Deafblind and Rubella Association, and was the host at the first ever Sense Creative Writing Awards, held at the Dickens Museum in London in December 2006, where she read a number of works written by talented deafblind people.

Personal life

Margolyes is openly gay and has been with her partner for 40 years. She described herself as "gay" rather than as lesbian and mentioned her relationships with women several times when she appeared on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in September 2008. She took time out of her career to look after her ill mother, and spent a quarter of a million pounds on full time care for her father. She is a campaigner for a respite care charity, Crossroads. She also supports Sense, a charity for deafblind people.

She appeared on the British Television show University Challenge in 1963, whilst at Cambridge University. As part of a BBC documentary University Challenge: The Story so Far she claimed that during her appearance, she swore live on air after getting a question wrong.

She has stated her intention to become an Australian citizen.

Filmography

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011) - Professor Pomona Sprout
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (2010) - Professor Pomona Sprout
  • The Water Warriors (2009) (filming)
  • Kingdom - Henny (1 episode, 2008)
  • The Dukes (2007) - Aunt Vee
  • Jam & Jerusalem - Mrs. Midge (1 episode, 2006)
  • Happy Feet (2006) (voice) - Mrs. Astrakhan
  • Flushed Away (2006) (voice) - Rita's Grandma
  • Sir Billi the Vet (2006) (voice) - Baroness Chantal McToff
  • Wallis & Edward (2005) (TV) - Aunt Bessie
  • Inconceivable - Malva (1 episode)
  • Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage (2004) (TV) - Mrs. Price-Ridley
  • Being Julia (2004) - Dolly de Vries
  • Ladies in Lavender. (2004) - Dorcas
  • The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) - Peg Sellers
  • Modigliani (2004) - Gertrude Stein
  • End of the Line (2004) - Bag Lady
  • Chasing Liberty (2004) - Maria
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) - Professor Pomona Sprout
  • Plots with a View (2002) - Thelma & Selma
  • Alone (2002) - Caseworker
  • Cats & Dogs (2001) - Sophie the Castle Maid
  • Not Afraid, Not Afraid (2001)
  • Dharma & Greg - Chloe (1 episode, 2000)
  • House! (2000) - Beth
  • Magnolia (1999) (uncredited) - Faye Barringer
  • End of Days (1999) - Mabel
  • Dreaming of Joseph Lees (1999) - Signora Caldoni
  • Sunshine (1999) - Rose Sonnenschein
  • Babe: Pig in the City (1998) (voice) - Fly the Female Sheepdog
  • Vanity Fair (1998) TV mini-series - Miss Crawley
  • Rugrats - Shirley Finster (1 episode, 1998)
  • Mulan (1998) (voice) - The Matchmaker
  • Left Luggage (1998) - Mrs. Goldman
  • The First Snow of Winter (1998) - Sean Seamus Aloisious Dermot McDuck
  • Candy (1998/I) - Gisella
  • Supply & Demand (1998) TV mini-series - Edna
  • The IMAX Nutcracker (1997) - Sugar Plum
  • The Phoenix and the Carpet (1997) TV mini-series - Cook
  • The Place of Lions (1997) (TV) - Miss Cole
  • Different for Girls (1996) - Pamela


  • Romeo + Juliet (1996) - The Nurse
  • James and the Giant Peach (1996) (voice) - Aunt Sponge / The Glowworm
  • Balto (1995) - Grandma Rosy/Extra Voices
  • Babe (1995) (voice) - Fly the Female Sheepdog
  • Cold Comfort Farm (1995) (TV) - Mrs. Beetle
  • Just William - Miss Polliter (1 episode, 1994)
  • Immortal Beloved (1994) - Nanette Streicherová
  • Moonacre (1994) TV series - Old Elspeth
  • The Age of Innocence (1993) - Mrs. Mingott
  • The Comic Strip Presents... - Mother (1 episode, 1993)
  • The Thief and the Cobbler (1993) (voice) - Maiden from Mombassa
  • Ed and His Dead Mother (1993) - Mabel Chilton
  • Stalin (1992) (TV) - Krupskaya
  • As You Like It (1992) - Audrey
  • Frannie's Turn (1992) TV series - Frannie Escobar
  • The Butcher's Wife (1991) - Gina
  • Dead Again (1991) (uncredited) - Lady
  • Tonight at 8.30 - Mrs. Wadhurst (2 episodes, 1991)
  • The Fool (1990) - Lady Isabel
  • Pacific Heights (1990) - Realtor
  • Orpheus Descending (1990) (TV) - Vee Talbot
  • The Finding (1990) (TV) - Poll
  • I Love You to Death (1990) - Joey's Mother
  • Old Flames (1990) (TV) - Nellie
  • The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship (1990) (TV) (voice)
  • Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story (1989) (TV) - Mrs. Rajzman
  • Little Dorrit (1988) - Flora Finching
  • Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) (TV) - Queen Victoria
  • Mr Majeika (1988) TV series - Wilhelmina Worlock (Seasons 1 and 2)
  • Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story (1987) (TV) - Elsa Maxwell
  • Body Contact (1987) - Tony's Mother
  • Little Shop of Horrors (1986) - Dental Nurse
  • The Life and Loves of a She-Devil - Nurse Hopkins (1 episode, 1986)
  • Blackadder II - Lady Whiteadder (1 episode, 1986)
  • A Little Princess (1986) (TV) - Miss Amelia
  • Scotch & Wry (1986) (V) - Various
  • The Good Father (1985) - Jane Powell
  • Oliver Twist (1985) TV mini-series - Mrs. Corney


  • Morons from Outer Space (1985) - Doctor Wallace
  • Freud (1984) TV mini-series - Baroness
  • Electric Dreams (1984) - Ticket Girl
  • Yentl (1983) - Sarah
  • The Black Adder - Infanta Maria Escalosa of Spain (1 episode, 1983)
  • Scrubbers (1983) - Jones
  • Crystal Gazing (1982) - Newsreader
  • Crown Court - Marilyn Munro / ... (2 episodes, 1976-1982)
  • Reds (1981) (uncredited) - Woman writing in notebook
  • Take a Letter Mr. Jones - Maria (6 episodes, 1981)
  • A Kick Up the Eighties (1981) TV series - Various Roles
  • The History Man (1981) (TV) - Melissa Tordoroff
  • The Apple (1980) - Landlady
  • The Lost Tribe (1980) TV mini-series - Queenie
  • The Awakening (1980) - Dr. Kadira
  • Tales of the Unexpected - Mary Burge (1 episode, 1980)
  • Saiyûki (1978) TV series
  • On a Paving Stone Mounted (1978)
  • Play for Today - Veronica (1 episode, 1977)
  • Spasms (1977) (TV) - Rose Finn
  • Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers (1977) - Elephant Ethel
  • Christmas Box (1976) (TV)
  • Angels - June Morris (2 episodes, 1976)
  • Kizzy - Mrs. Doe (2 episodes, 1976)
  • The Glittering Prizes (1976) TV mini-series - Olive Wise
  • The Battle of Billy's Pond (1976) - Tour Guide
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1975) - Dorothy Wordsworth
  • The Girls of Slender Means (1975) (TV) - Jane Wright
  • World of Laughter (1974) TV series - Various parts
  • Fall of Eagles (1974) TV mini-series - Anna Vyrubova
  • Doctor in Charge - Doris (1 episode, 1973)
  • Jackanory - Storyteller (5 episodes, 1968)
  • Dixon of Dock Green - Anna (1 episode, 1968)
  • Boy Meets Girl - Maria (1 episode, 1967)
  • Theatre 625 - Rita (1 episode, 1965)


Notes

  • The Thief and the Cobbler (1995) - the voice of the Maiden from Mombassa (original version only; the character was never heard at all in the re-edited versions and another actor was never available all in the re-edited versions)
  • The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) - Peg Sellers -note this film was shown in theatres in the UK - it aired on cable television on the HBO network in the US


Theatre



Documentary



Awards and nominations



References

External links




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