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Juliet Stevenson

Juliet Anne Virginia Stevenson, (born 30 October 1956) is an English actress of stage and screen. She is known for her role in the film Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991), for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Her other film appearances include Emma (1996), Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Mona Lisa Smile (2003), Being Julia (2004), and Infamous (2006).

Stevenson has starred in numerous Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre productions, including Olivier Award nominated roles in Measure for Measure (1984), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1986), and Yerma (1987). For her role as Paulina in Death and the Maiden (1991–92), she won the 1992 Olivier Award for Best Actress. Her fifth Olivier nomination was for her work in the 2009 revival of Duet for One. She has also received three nominations for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress: for A Doll's House (1992), The Politician's Wife (1995) and Accused (2010). Other stage roles include The Heretic (2011) and Happy Days (2014).

Early life

Stevenson was born in Kelvedon, Essex, England, the daughter of Virginia Ruth (née Marshall), a teacher, and Michael Guy Stevenson, an army officer. Stevenson's father was assigned a new posting every two and a half years. When Stevenson was nine, she attended Berkshire's Hurst Lodge School, and she was later educated at the independent St Catherine's School in Bramley, near Guildford in Surrey, and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Stevenson was part of the 'new wave’ of actors to emerge from the Academy. Others included Jonathan Pryce, Bruce Payne, Alan Rickman, Anton Lesser, Kenneth Branagh, Imelda Staunton and Fiona Shaw. This led to a stage career starting in 1978 with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Career

Although she has gained fame through her television and film work, and has often undertaken roles for BBC Radio, she is known as a stage actress. Significant stage roles include her performances as Isabella in Measure for Measure, Madame de Tourvel in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, as Anna in the UK premiere of Burn This in 1990, and as Paulina in Death and the Maiden at the Royal Court theatre and the West End (1991–92). For the latter, she was awarded the 1992 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress.

In the 1987 TV film Life Story, Stevenson played the part of scientist Rosalind Franklin, for which she won a Cable Ace award. She played the leading role in the Anthony Minghella film Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991) and her roles in The Secret Rapture (1993), Emma (1996), Bend It Like Beckham (2002) and Mona Lisa Smile (2003). She has more recently starred in Pierrepoint (2006), Infamous (2006) as Diana Vreeland and Breaking and Entering (2006) as Rosemary, the therapist. In 2003, she played the mother of an autistic child in the television film Hear the Silence, a film based on the now debunked claims of Andrew Wakefield that the MMR vaccine was responsible for autism. The film and Stevenson were criticised for "trying to influence parents against MMR and dressing up science as entertainment."

In 2009, she starred in ITV's A Place of Execution. The role won her the Best Actress Dagger at the 2009 Crime Thriller Awards. She performs as a book reader, and has recorded all of Jane Austen's novels as unabridged audiobooks, as well as a number of other novels, such as Lady Windermere's Fan, Hedda Gabler, Stories from Shakespeare, and To the Lighthouse. She received lifetime achievement prize at Women In Film And TV awards..

Personal life

Stevenson lives with anthropologist Hugh Brody, her partner since 1993. The couple live in Highgate, North London. They have two children, both born in Camden, London: Rosalind Hannah Brody (born 1994) and Gabriel Jonathan Brody (born late 2000/early 2001).

She is an atheist but considers herself a spiritual and superstitious person.

In 1992 she appeared in a political broadcast for the Labour Party.

In 2008 she campaigned on behalf of refugee women with a reading of 'Motherland' at the Young Vic. She is patron of the UK registered charity LAM Action, which provides support, information and encouragement to patients with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and their families, and raises funds to advance research into LAM.

On 12 September 2016 Stevenson, as well as Cate Blanchett, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Peter Capaldi, Douglas Booth, Neil Gaiman, Keira Knightley, Jesse Eisenberg, Kit Harington and Stanley Tucci, featured in a video from the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR to help raise awareness of the global refugee crisis. The video, titled "What They Took With Them", has the actors reading a poem, written by Jenifer Toksvig and inspired by primary accounts of refugees, and is part of UNHCR's #WithRefugees campaign, which also includes a petition to governments to expand asylum to provide further shelter, integrating job opportunities and education.

Filmography



Film

Television

Theatre

Audio recordings

A partial list of Stevenson's audio recordings:

  • Man and Superman, BBC Audiobooks, 1998 (Broadcast on BBC-4 in 1996). Production featured Juliet Stevenson, Ralph Fiennes and Judi Dench. It also included an interview with the director, Sir Peter Hall
  • Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Penguin Audiobooks, 1997
  • The Plague Tales, BDD, c. 1997
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare, BBC Radio Collection, 1999 (with Michael Sheen)
  • When Love Speaks (2002, EMI Classics) – "Sonnet 128" ("How oft, when thou, my music...")
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, Unabridged, Orion audiobook (2006)
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Unabridged, Naxos audiobook, 7 CDs (2006)
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen. Unabridged, Naxos audiobook, 7 CDs (2007)
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Unabridged, Naxos audiobook, 14 CDs (2007)
  • Emma by Jane Austen. Unabridged, Naxos audiobook, 13 CDs (2007)
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Naxos audiobook, Unabridged (2007)
  • Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Abridged, CSA Word Classic, 4 CDs (2007)
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë,
  • I, Coriander, by Sally Gardner,
  • The King's General, by Daphne du Maurier,
  • An Unequal Marriage, by Emma Tennant,
  • From Shakespeare with Love, by William Shakespeare, David Tennant (Narrator), Juliet Stevenson (Narrator), Anton Lesser (Narrator), Alex Jennings (Narrator)
  • Daphne du Maurier Collection: Rebecca, Frenchman's Creek & My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, Juliet Stevenson (Narrator), Daniel Massey (Narrator), Michael Maloney (Narrator)
  • A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
  • The London Tapes by Juliet Stevenson
  • Ancient and Modern by Sue Gee (2004)
  • Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali, abridged (2006)
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, unabridged. (2009)
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot. Unabridged. Naxos Audiobooks (2011).
  • Goldfish Girl by Peter Souter (2011).
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (2013).
  • The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. Unabridged (2014)
  • Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty, unabridged (2014)
  • Belgravia by Julian Fellowes, (2016)

    Awards and honours

    For her screen work, Stevenson has been nominated four times for a BAFTA (three for television, one for film), while for her stage work she has earned five Olivier nominations, winning one.

  • In the 1999 Queens Birthday Honours, Stevenson was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
  • She is a patron of the London International Festival of Theatre,