Southport, Lancashire, England, UK
Claim to Fame
The Crying Game, Blackadder
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Profile Bio Text
Like the intense and talented Judy Davis, British-born Miranda Richardson has developed a reputation as a strong-willed, even difficult actress who can deliver stellar performances, whether in comedy or drama, on stage, television or in films. The youngest daughter of a marketing executive and his homemaker wife, Richardson was raised in Southport, Lancashire and originally went to university to become a veterinarian. Instead, she trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and embarked on a career that has encompassed highs and lows from acclaimed stage work to award-winning screen performances.
Richardson debuted professionally at the Manchester Library Theater in 1979 and two years later made it to London`s West End in "Moving." Shortly thereafter, she appeared for the first time as a pregnant au pair seeking guidance from a newspaper columnist in the British sitcom "Agony." 1984 proved to be a banner year with a role in the syndicated TV miniseries "A Woman of Substance," her initial collaboration with director Mike Newell on the stage play "Life of Einstein" and her feature acting debut in "The Innocent." The following year, Newell cast her in the central role of Ruth Ellis, the tart murderess who was the last woman hanged in England, in the period drama "Dance With a Stranger." With brassy platinum hair and a hard-shell demeanor, Richardson shined in the role and rose above the clich�d material.
The actress went on to hone her comedic skills playing Queen Elizabeth I and becoming a member of the stock company of Rowan Atkinson`s "Blackadder" series. Having seen her in "Dance With a Stranger," director Steven Spielberg tapped her to play a female prisoner in a Japanese internment camp who becomes a surrogate mother to a young boy (Christian Bale) in the underrated "Empire of the Sun" (1987). For much of the 1980s, Richardson�who has stated a preference for working on stage�alternated between the theater and television, acting in the London premiere of Sam Shepard`s "A Lie of the Mind" (1987) and Harold Pinter`s "Mountain Language" (1988) and reuniting with Atkinson and company for "Blackadder`s Christmas Carol" (BBC, 1988) and "Blackadder Goes Forth" (BBC, 1989).
As the 1990s rolled around, Richardson made the first of several appearances on the British variety series "The Comic Strip" and didn`t worry that other`s interest in her as a film actress had diminished. Once again Mike Newell provided a break, hiring her to play a society matron who shares an Italian villa with three other British women in "Enchanted April" (1991; released in the USA in 1992). Neil Jordan then cast her as the sexy but tough as nails IRA member in "The Crying Game" (1992) and Louis Malle tapped her to play the wife of a politician who begins an affair with their son`s girlfriend. It was during the latter film that reports of her difficulty began making their way into print. While Malle and co-star Jeremy Irons couched their praise for her talent, they also hinted of problems with the actress. Whatever the case, she had scored back-to-back triumphs, earning critical huzzahs and accolades, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress Sfor "Damage."
In 1994, the actress offered a mesmerizing turn as the mentally trouble first wife of poet T.S. Eliot in "Tom and Viv," and her efforts were rewarded with a Best Actress Academy Award nomination. Still determined to work on her own terms, she eschewed most of the offers to act in sub-par American films, instead appearing in the HBO film "Fatherland" (1994) and making a riotous guest appearance as a harried new mother on the cult hit "Absolutely Fabulous." Robert Altman cast her to great effect as the drug addicted wife of a politician kidnapped by a desperate wife in his otherwise dull ode to jazz in "Kansas City" (1996). Later that year, Richardson effectively stole the proceedings as the best friend of the now deceased Emma in "The Evening Star", the disappointing sequel to "Terms of Endearment."
She returned to the London stage opposite Mike Nichols (in a rare acting role) in Wallace Shawn`s play "The Designated Mourner" under the direction of David Hare (the production was filmed and received a limited theatrical release in 1997) before adopting another flawless American accent in "The Apostle" (1997), Robert Duvall`s labor of love that cast her as one of his love interests. Back-to-back high profile role in NBC miniseries followed: the evil Queen Mab in "Merlin" (1998) and the Queen of Hearts in "Alice in Wonderland" (1999). Despite the lavish productions, Richardson managed to make an impression. She followed up as the unhappy, wealthy wife of a political candidate in "The Big Brass Ring" (Showtime,
Southport High School for Girls, Southport, England
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
Full Name at Birth
Miranda Jane Richardson
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Count - Awards
William Alan Richardson
Marian Georgina Richardson
Miranda Jane Richardson (born 3 March 1958) is an English stage, film and television actress. She has been nominated for two Academy Awards, and has won two Golden Globes (with seven nominations) and a BAFTA (with seven nominations) during her career.
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