Imelda Mary Philomena Bernadette Staunton. The most Irish of names for one of the best English actresses of all time. Her parents were immigrants from County Mayo, Ireland but she was raised in London, attending RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) with Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall and Juliet Stevenson. She started her career performing in the theatre, but of course we know her best from all of her wonderful film roles. And so many of her film and television roles have been costume dramas.
|Mr. and Mrs. Palmer in Sense and Sensibility|
I first learned to love Imelda as the chattery twit Charlotte Palmer in Sense and Sensibility 1995. Apparently she had had a long connection with Emma Thompson (Thompson, Peter's Friends, Much Ado About Nothing) and when Emma was writing the screenplay, she had Imelda and Hugh Laurie in mind for Mr. and Mrs. Palmer right from the beginning.
|Nurse in Shakespeare in Love|
Her wonderfully nuanced comedic performance as Nurse in Shakespeare in Love is a joy to watch. Her facial expressions are even more amazing with that incredible Elizabethan headgear.
|Mrs. Blatherwick in Nanny McPhee|
Reunited with Emma Thompson for Nanny McPhee, Imelda got to have fun with a comedic performance again. In fact, she really gets to let loose as Mrs. Blatherwick! Look out!
|Dolores Umbrage in Harry Potter|
As the saccharine Dolores Umbrage in Harry Potter, Imelda gets to be truly evil and over the top. And I must say, those costumes are out of this world!
|Miss Pole in Cranford|
Do you love her as much as I do as Miss Pole in Cranford? Oh, the cat and the lace! Oh, the cage and the parrot! Oh, I have to watch Cranford again. Especially as Imelda's husband Jim Carter is Captain Brown and her daughter Bessie Carter has a small role as Margaret Gidman.
|Bessie Carter as Margaret Gidman in Cranford|
Imelda's daughter Bessie Carter played Margaret Gidman in Cranford, the maid who learned how to read (horrors!). Lady Ludlow was not amused!
|Queen Victoria in The Pirates! Band of Misfits|
|Imelda with Bessie and Jim|
I had to pop in this photo as it is just so comical. 5 foot nothing with her family towering over her. She is a very big talent however, in a very little package.
Do you have any fave Imelda Staunton roles that I missed? There are lots to choose from!