Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Imelda Staunton- Actor of the Week

Imelda Staunton

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.

Vera Drake
Nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 for her role as Vera Drake, Imelda really showed her acting chops. Although she lost to Hilary Swank, Hollywood sat up and took notice.

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
As the voice of Queen Victoria in The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (which I haven't seen alas as I have no child to accompany me) she looks quite ferocious. Anyone seen this film? Is it as fun as it looks?

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!


  1. I also love her in Cranford! Miss Pole is so funny. (I visited Lacock which is where the village scenes in Cranford were filmed as are the Meryton scenes in the '95 Pride and Prejudice. It's a lovely village.) Love her in Vera Drake and every other role you mentioned, Jenny.

  2. I liked both Cranford and sense and sensibility (her performances that is). Wow is she tiny in that last photo. what a surprise.

  3. such a cute family photo. loved her in all roles mentioned - well, i mean she played them so well. bravo to gifted actors (especially the writers).

  4. Sorry, you haven't included her role as Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Kenneth Branagh.

  5. Don't forget her role in Fingersmith from Sarah Waters :)




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