Miranda Jane Richardson (born 3 March 1958) is an English stage, film and television actor. 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. She plays Rita Skeeter in the Harry Potter movies.
 Early life
Richardson was born in Southport, Lancashire, to Marian Georgina (née Townsend), a housewife, and William Alan Richardson, a marketing executive. The second daughter of a middle class family, she revealed a talent for acting as a girl. She has one sister, eight years her senior. Her parents and sister are not involved in the performing arts. At an early age she performed in school plays, demonstrating a talent and desire to "turn herself into" other people.
Richardson enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where she studied alongside Daniel Day-Lewis, having started out with juvenile performances in Cinderella and Lord Arthur Savile's Crime at the Southport Dramatic Club. Richardson enjoyed a successful and extensive theatre career, making her stage debut in Moving at the Queen's Theatre in 1981. Soon afterwards, she appeared in repertory theatre, until she found recognition in the West End for a series of stage performances, ultimately receiving an Olivier Award nomination for her performance in A Lie of the Mind, and in 1996, she is cited as "the greatest actress of our time in any medium" by one critic after she appeared in Orlando at the Edinburgh Festival. She returned to the London stage in May 2009 to play the lead role in Wallace Shawn's new play, Grasses of a Thousand Colours at the Royal Court Theatre.
 Film and television
In 1985, Richardson made her film debut as Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom, in Mike Newell's biographical drama, Dance With A Stranger. Within a year, she had been cast by Steven Spielberg to appear in his World War II drama, Empire of the Sun (1987).Queen Elizabeth I, aka Queenie, in the British television comedy Blackadder II. She returned in guest roles in one episode each in Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth. She returned to role from Blackadder for a Christmas special Blackadder's Christmas Carol and a special edition for the millennium Blackadder: Back and Forth. She appeared in TV series The Storyteller in episode "The Three Ravens" playing a witch.
Her portrayal of a troubled theatre-goer in Secret Friends (BBC 2, 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 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).
Richardson has appeared in a number of high-profile supporting roles in the cinema, including Vanessa Bell in The Hours, Lady Van Tassel in Sleepy Hollow and Patsy Carpenter in The Evening Star. She also won acclaim for her performances in The Crying Game and Enchanted April, for which she won a Golden Globe. She received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Damage and Tom & Viv.
Her film credits also include Robert Altman's Kansas City (1996), Robert Duvall's The Apostle (1997) and Richard E. Grant's Wah-Wah (2005). In 2002, she performed a triple-role alongside Ralph Fiennes in David Cronenberg's acclaimed thriller Spider, a film that won her several international critics awards.
Richardson also appeared as Queen Rosalind of Denmark in the Julia Stiles vehicle The Prince and Me and as the ballet mistress Madame Giry in the long-awaited film version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom Of The Opera (2004), starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum. In 2005, she appeared in the role of Rita Skeeter, the toxic Daily Prophet journalist in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. In 2006 she appeared alongside Bill Nighy in Stephen Poliakoff's multi-Golden Globe winning BBC drama, Gideon's Daughter. She played Mrs. Claus in the film Fred Claus (2007), co-starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti.
Richardson teamed up alongside Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders in the BBC sitcom, The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle. She appeared as a guest on Nigel Slater's A Taste of my Life in which she cooked dishes including lamb tagine and huevos rancheros.
It was announced in December 2008 that Richardson was cast in a leading role in original AMC pilot, Rubicon. She plays Katherine Rhumor, a New York socialite who finds herself drawn into the central intrigue of a think tank, after the death of her husband.
 Personal life
 Theatre roles
- Savage Amusement (Hazel) - Derby Playhouse, Lancaster
- Stags and Hens (Linda) - Derby Playhouse, Lancaster
- All My Sons (Ann) - Derby Playhouse, Lancaster
- Sisterly Feelings (Brenda) - Derby Playhouse, Lancaster
- Ten Times Table (Phillipa) - Library Theatre, Manchester
- Whose Life Is It Anyway? (Kay Sadler) - Library Theatre, Manchester
- Play It Again, Sam (Linda Christie) - Library Theatre, Manchester
- Tom Jones (Sophie Western) - Library Theatre, Manchester
- Educating Rita (Rita) - Haymarket Theatre, Leicester
- Moving (Jane Gladwin) - Queen's Theatre (1980/1)
- The Table of the Two Horseman (Katie Wyld) - Bristol Theatre Royal (9 March 1983/2 April 1983)
- Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Honey) - Bristol Theatre Royal (6 April 1983/30 April 1983)
- The Maids (Madame) - Bristol New Vic (27 September 1983/22 October 1983)
- Insignificance (The Actress) - Bristol New Vic (25 October 1983/19 December 1983)
- Life of Einstein - Dukes Playhouse, Lancaster (1984)
- Edmond (Glenna) - Newcastle (1985)
- A Lie of the Mind (Beth) - Royal Court Theatre, West End (1987)
- The Changeling (Beatrice-Joanna) - (Lyttleton) National Theatre, West End (1988)
- Mountain Language (Young Woman) - (Lyttleton) National Theatre, West End (1988)
- Etta Jenks (Etta Jenks) - Royal Court Theatre, West End (1990)
- The Designated Mourner (Judy) - Royal National Theatre, West End (1996)
- Orlando (Orlando) - 50th Edinburgh International Festival (11/21 August 1996)
- Aunt Dan and Lemon (Aunt Dan) - Almeida Theatre, Islington, London (5 May/5 June 1999)
- The Play What I Wrote (Herself) - Wyndham's Theatre, West End (30 January 2002, 5 May 2002, 2 January 2003)
- Comic Aid 2005 - (Herself - Asia Tsunami Aid) - Carling Apollo, West End (22 February 2005)
- One Knight Only - (Herself - Asia Tsunami Aid) - Theatre Royal, Haymarket, West End (20 March 2005)
- Grasses of a thousand colours (Cerise) - Royal Court Theatre (May 2009)
 Awards and nominations
 Academy Award
 BAFTA Award
- Nominated (1988): Best Actress, After Pilkington (TV)
- Nominated (1993): Best Supporting Actress, The Crying Game
- Won (1993): Best Supporting Actress, Damage
- Nominated (1994): Best Actress, Tom & Viv
- Nominated (1998): Best Actress, A Dance to the Music of Time (TV)
- Nominated (2004): Best Actress, The Lost Prince (TV)
- Nominated (2011): Best Supporting Actress, Made in Dagenham
 Golden Globe Award
- Won (1993): Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical/Comedy, Enchanted April
- Nominated (1993): Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture, Damage
- Nominated (1995): Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama, Tom & Viv
- Won (1995): Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, Fatherland
- Nominated (1999): Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, Merlin
- Nominated (2000): Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, The Big Brass Ring
- Nominated (2005): Best Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television, The Lost Prince
 Laurence Olivier Award
- Nominated (1988): Best Actress, A Lie of the Mind
- ↑ Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Past Graduates[dead link]
- ↑ Awards for Spider at the Internet Movie Database
- ↑[dead link]