Pam Ferris has been in so many period dramas! Most recently cast as Sister Evangelina in Call the Midwife, now showing on PBS, she has worn many a bonnet over the years.
|Pam Ferris as Ma Larkin in Darling Buds of May|
Possibly best known as the warm beloved mother Ma Larkin in The Darling Buds of May. Catherine Zeta-Jones may have been the sex appeal in this show, but Ma Larkin was the character who made you want to join the Larkin family for dinner.
|Pam Ferris as Mrs. General in Little Dorrit|
As the horrid Mrs. General in Little Dorrit, hired to accompany the Dorrit sisters on their trip to Europe and educate them, she is wonderful and terrible all at the same time. Poor little Amy Dorrit!
Mr. Dorrit: Mrs General and I have been in conversation about you, and we agree that you scarcely feel at home here in Venice. How is this?
Amy Dorrit: I think I need a little time. Father.
Mrs. General: [sighing] "Papa" is a preferable form of address. "Father" is rather vulgar. Besides, the word "papa" gives a pretty form to the lips. "Papa", "potatoes", "poultry", "prunes" and "prism" are all very good words for the lips - especially "prunes" and "prism".
|Pam Ferris as Grace Poole in Jane Eyre 2006|
Perfectly horrible again as Grace Poole in Jane Eyre 2006, the alcoholic minder of the crazy woman in the attic. Wonderful role to play but not a warm fuzzy role.
|Pam Ferris as Mrs Boffin in Our Mutual Friend|
As the friendly Mrs. Boffin in the Dickens adaptation Our Mutual Friend 1998, she gets to play a working woman who, with her husband, comes into a fortune. She retains her heart of gold while she tries to negotiate the world of the monied upper classes.
|Pam Ferris as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda|
As one of the most horrible characters in literature, Pam Ferris plays Headmistress Miss Trunchbull from the film based on the book Matilda by Roald Dahl. Evil, evil, evil...but at least Matilda gets revenge in the end!
|Pam Ferris as Aunt Marge in Harry Potter|
As the nasty Aunt Marge Dursley in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Pam Ferris gets "blown up" by Harry who accidentally uses his magical powers after being enraged by the things that Marge says.
Aunt Marge: I still don't like your tone, boy. If you can speak of your beatings in that casual way, they clearly aren't hitting you hard enough. Petunia, I'd write to them if I were you. Make it clear that you approve the use of extreme force in this boy's case.
|Pam Ferris as Mrs Dollop in Middlemarch|
|Pam Ferris as Sister Evangelina in Call the Midwife|
But my favourite role for Pam Ferris so far is Sister Evangelina in Call the Midwife. This character (and the entire miniseries) has a wonderful balance of humour and heart. Sister Evangelina makes me laugh and cry all in the same episode. She is mostly a fun, no nonsense character who is likely drawn from a real person as the miniseries is based on the memoirs of midwife Jennifer Worth. I can't wait for more Call the Midwife. Apparently there is a Christmas special and another series coming next year. Yay!!!
Sister Evangelina: Ah, Camilla Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne?
Chummy Browne: I generally answer to "Chummy". My pa used to say "Long dogs need short names".
Sister Evangelina: Follow me. And mind your head. I understand you qualified by a whisker, Nurse Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne.
Chummy Browne: I did pass. It was a bit of a scrape.