Birthplace: New York City, U.S.
Zoë Wanamaker, CBE (born 13 May 1949) is a British actress of Canadian and American descent.
Wanamaker has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. A nine-time Olivier Award nominee, she won for Once in a Lifetime (1979) and Electra (1998). She has also received four Tony Award nominations for her work on Broadway; for Piaf (1981), Loot (1986), Electra (1999), and Awake and Sing! (2006).
Wanamaker's film appearances include Wilde (1997), Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), and My Week with Marilyn (2011), while her television roles have included starring as Tessa Piggott in the drama series Love Hurts (1992-1994) and Susan Harper in the long-running sitcom My Family (2000-2011). She has also appeared in the ITV dramas Agatha Christie's Poirot (2005-2013) and Mr Selfridge (2015).
Zoë Wanamaker was born in New York City on 13 May 1949, the daughter of Canadian actress and radio performer Charlotte Holland and American actor, film director, and radio producer Sam Wanamaker (born Samuel Wattenmacker). Her parents were Jewish, although she had a secular and non-observant upbringing. Her father was of Ukrainian descent; the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are?, broadcast on 24 February 2009, revealed that her paternal grandfather Maurice Wanamaker (originally Manus Watmacher) was a tailor from Mykolaiv.
Whilst working in the United Kingdom in 1952, Wanamaker's father found out he had been blacklisted. Her parents therefore decided to remain in England and to not return to the USA. She was educated at the independent King Alfred School in Hampstead and at Sidcot School, a Quaker boarding school in Somerset. Zoe attended Hornsey College of Art for the Pre-Diploma Course before she trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Wanamaker's career started in the theatre. From 1976 to 1984 she was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. She won an Olivier Award for her 1979 performance in Once In a Lifetime and a second for Sophocles' Electra in 1998. In 1985, she played Verdi's wife Giuseppina Strepponi in the original production of After Aida. She appeared on stage playing the part of Beatrice opposite Simon Russell Beale as Benedick in the National Theatre's production of Much Ado About Nothing. She has received Tony Award nominations for her performances in Piaf, Loot, Electra, and Awake and Sing!.
In 1997, Wanamaker was the first person to speak on the stage of the newly completed replica theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, on London's South Bank. This was in recognition of the role played by her father in founding the new theatre. She subsequently became Honorary President of the Globe.
From May to October 2010, Wanamaker appeared in Arthur Miller's All My Sons as Kate Keller at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in London.
Wanamaker appeared in Terence Rattigan's All On Her Own from 24 October 2015 till 13 January 2016 at the Garrick Theatre. The work is a one-woman play that preceded Rattigan's Harlequinade, which she also appeared in, each night as part of a never-before-seen double bill. In 2016 she appeared in the world premiere production of Elegy at the Donmar Warehouse.
Starting in the early 1980s, Wanamaker began performing on screen, most notably in a number of critically acclaimed television productions, such as the BBC Television production Edge of Darkness; she was nominated for a BAFTA Award for her portrayal of the love interest of a suspected serial killer in the first instalment of the Granada series Prime Suspect.
Television series have included Paradise Postponed (as Charlotte Fanner-Titmuss, 1986) and Love Hurts (1992-94) with Adam Faith. She appeared with Wendy Hiller in The Countess Alice in 1993, playing a rebellious woman searching for the truth about her past in war-torn Germany.
She played Madam Hooch in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
She played Clarice, one of the dim-witted twin sisters of Lord Groan in Gormenghast (2000), a BBC television adaptation of Mervyn Peake's trilogy.
Wanamaker portrayed Susan Harper in the BBC situation comedy My Family from 2000 to 2011.
She voiced a CGI character named Lady Cassandra in the Doctor Who episode "The End of the World" (2005), and reprised the role (also appearing in the flesh this time) in the episode "New Earth" (2006).
Wanamaker lent her voice to the 2008 Xbox 360 game Fable II as the blind Seeress Theresa, who guides the playing character throughout the game. She returned to voice Theresa again in Fable III in 2010, and again in 2012 for Fable: The Journey.
She played Ariadne Oliver in six episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot.
In 2015, she joined the cast of Mr. Selfridge as Princess Marie, the Russian mother-in-law of Rosalie Selfridge/Bolotoff.
Zoë Wanamaker holds both British and American citizenship. She became a British citizen in 2000.
Wanamaker was appointed a CBE in the 2001 Queen's New Years Honours List for her services to drama. She also received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of East Anglia on 19 July 2012.
Wanamaker has been a Patron of the UK charity Tree Aid, since 1997. Tree Aid enables communities in Africa's drylands to fight poverty and become self-reliant, while improving the environment. In 2006 Wanamaker recorded a successful Radio 4 appeal for the charity.
She is a patron of Dignity in Dying, the Lymphoedema Support Network, Youth Music Theatre: UK and of the Young Actors' Theatre, Islington. She is also one of the Honorary Patrons of the London children's charity Scene & Heard. Wanamaker also supports Survival International's campaign to save the threatened native tribes in Brazil.
In August 2014, Wanamaker was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's referendum on that issue.
Wanamaker is one of nine presidents of The Young People's Trust for the Environment.
Wanamaker lived for many years with fellow Royal Shakespeare Company actor David Lyon. In November 1994, she married actor/dramatist Gawn Grainger. She has no children.
|1988||The Raggedy Rawney||Elle|
|Amy Foster||Mary Foster|
|2001||Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone||Madam Rolanda Hooch|
|2004||Five Children and It||Martha|
|2010||It's a Wonderful Afterlife||Mrs. Goldman|
|2011||My Week with Marilyn||Paula Strasberg|
|1971||ITV Sunday Night Drama||Sally||Episode Turn of the Year: Sally for the Keeps|
|Take Three Girls||Jackie|
|1973||Late Night Theatre||Alice||Episode The Eagle has Landed|
|Between the Wars||Ada Abbott||Episode The Silver Mask|
|ITV Sunday Night Theatre||Lorna Green||Episode Lorna and Ted|
|Spy Trap||Muriel||Episode Sale of Work|
|1974||Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill||Pearl Craigie||TV Miniseries (1 episode) A Perfect Darling|
|1975||The Confederacy of Wives||Corinna||TV film|
|Village Hall||Shirley Chatsfield||Episode Miss Health and Beauty|
|Crown Court||Joan Carmichael||1 episode|
|1977||A Christmas Movie||Belle||TV film|
|1978||BBC Play of the Month||Lucille/Dorinda||Danton's / Death the Beaux Strategem|
|The Devil's Crown||Berengaria of Navarre||3 episodes|
|1980||Doctor Who||Villager||Episode: State of Decay: Part Two|
|1981||Strike: The Birth of Solidarity||Aline Pienkowska||TV film|
|Inside the Third Reich||Annemarie Kempf|
|1983||Richard III||Lady Anne|
|Enemies of the State||Zdena Tomin|
|1985||Edge of Darkness||Clemmy||TV Miniseries (3 episodes)|
|1986||Paradise Postponed||Charlie Fanner||TV Mini-series (8 episodes)|
|1987||Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story||Jean Kennerly||TV film|
|Tales of The Unexpected||Margaret Smythe||1 episode Skeleton in the Cupboard|
|1988||Once in a Life Time||May Daniels||TV film|
|1989||The Dog It was That Died||Blidebeck|
|Ball-Trap on the Cote Sauvage||Sarah Marriot|
|1990||Theatre Night||Emilia||Episode Othello|
|1991||Inspector Morse||Emma Pickford||Episode Fat Chance|
|Prime Suspect||Morya Henson||TV Miniseries (2 episodes)|
|1992||Screen Two: Memento Mori||Olive Mannering||TV film|
|Screenplay: The Countess Alice||Connie|
|Shakespeare: The Animated Tales||Lady Macbeth||Episode Macbeth|
|The Blackheath Poisonings||Charlotte Collard||TV Miniseries (3 episodes)|
|1992-94||Love Hurts||Tessa Piggot/Tessa Carver||30 episodes|
|1995||Prime Suspect: The Scent of Darkness||Morya Henson||TV film|
|Performance||Mrs Holroyd||Episode The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd|
|The English Wife||Carolina Griveau||TV film|
|1997||A Dance to the Music of Time||Audrey Mclintick||TV mini-series (2 episodes)|
|Great Performances||Prologue/Herself||Episode Henry V at Shakespeare's Globe|
|Creatures Fantastic||Narrator||1 episode|
|All Mod Cons||Narrator||TV Series (6 episodes)|
|1998||Normal Ormal: A Very Political Turtle||Narrator||TV film|
|1999||The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns||Mary Muldoon|
|David Copperfield||Miss Jane Murdstone||TV miniseries|
|2000||Gormenghast||Clarice Groan||TV Mini-Series (3 episodes)|
|2000-11||My Family||Susan Harper||114 episodes|
|2001||Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years||Tania Braithwaite||6 episodes|
|2005||Agatha Christie's Marple||Letitia Blacklock||Episode A Murder is Announced|
|The Real Amityville Horror||Narrator||Documentary|
|A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets||Countess of Pembroke||TV film|
|2005-13||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Ariadne Oliver||6 feature-length episodes:
|2006||Johnny and the Bomb||Mrs Tachyon||2 episodes Deha Viidii / Mrs. Tachyon and the Bags of Time|
|2005, 2006||Doctor Who||Cassandra||2 episodes: "The End of the World" and "New Earth"|
|2007||The Old Curiosity Shop||Mrs Jarley||TV film|
|2013||Wodehouse in Exile||Ethel Wodehouse|
|2015||Mr Selfridge||Princess Marie||10 episodes|
|2012||Fable: the Journey||Theresa|
|1970||A Midsummer Night's Dream||Hermia||William Shakespeare||University Theatre, Manchester|
|The Cherry Orchard||Anya||Anton Chekhov|
|1971||Pictures in a Bath of Acid||Colin Wilson||Fanny Falkner|
|Family Album||Emily Valance||Noël Coward|
|Twelfth Night||Olivia, a countess||William Shakespeare||West Yorkshire Playhouse|
|Dick Whittington||Tommy the Cat||Fred Locke|
|The Hostage||Teresa||Brendan Behan||Royal Lyceum Theatre|
|1972||The Birthday Party||LuLu||Harold Pinter|
|When Thou Art King||Lady Percy/Doll Tearsheet||John Barton|
|Guys and Dolls||Miss Adelaide||Damon Runyan||University Theatre Manchester|
|1973||The Provoked Wife||Bellinda, The Brute's nieve||John Vangrugh||Watford Palace Theatre|
|Twelfth Night||Viola||William Shakespeare||Multiple venues|
|Jack and the Beanstalk||Margery, the Baron`s daughter||John Moffatt||Cambridge Arts Theatre|
|1974||She Stoops to Conquer||Constance Neville, Kate's Cousin||Oliver Goldsmith||Various places|
|French Without Tears||Jacqueline Maingot||Therence Rattigan||Various places|
|Cabaret||Sally Bowles||Jan van Druten||Redgrave Theatre|
|Tom Thumb||Princess Huncamunca||Henry Fielding||The Young Vic, London|
|Much Ado About Nothing||hero, Leonato's daughter||William Shakespeare|
|1975||Kiss Me Kate||Lois Lane/Bianca||Cole Porter||Oxford PlayHouse|
|The Vegetable; or, From President to Postman||Doris||F. Scott Fitzgerald||various places|
|The Taming of the Shrew||Katherina||William Shakespeare|
|The Beggar's Opera||Mrs. Vixen/Lucy Lockit||John Gay||Nottingham Playhouse|
|Jug||Eva Hirst, her daughter||Henry Livings|
|A Streetcar Named Desire||Stella Kowalski||Tennessee Williams|
|1976||Pygmalion||Eliza Doolittle||George Bernard Shaw|
|The Servant of Two Masters||Smeraldina||Carlo Goldini|
|Trumpets and Drums||Victoria Balance||Bertolt Brecht||Aldwych Theatre|
|The Devil's Disciple||Essie, Mrs Dudgeon's illegitimate niece|
|Ivanov||Babakina, Marfa Yegorovna, a young widow||Anton Chekhov,|
|Wild Oats; or, The Strolling Gentleman||Jane, daughter to Farmer Gammon||John O'Keeffe|
|1978||The Taming of the Shrew||Bianca, the Prize, younger daughter of Baptista||William Shakespeare||The Other Place, Stratford-Upon Avon|
|Captain Swing||Gemma Beech||Peter Whelan|
|Once in a Lifetime||May Daniels||Moss Hart & George S. Kaufman||Aldwych Theatre, London|
|1985||After Aida||Giuseppina Strepponi||Julian Mitchell||Taliesin Theatre, Swansea|
|2018||The Birthday Party||Meg||Harold Pinter||Harold Pinter Theatre|
|1979||Olivier Award||Best Actress in a Revival||Once in a Lifetime||Won|
|1981||Tony Award||Best Featured in a Play||Piaf!||Nominated|
|1981||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Piaf!||Nominated|
|1984||Olivier Award||Best Actress in a Revival||Twelfth Night||Nominated|
|Olivier Award||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||The Time of Your Life||Nominated|
|1985||Olivier Award||Best Performance in a Supporting Role||Mother Courage||Nominated|
|1986||Tony Award||Best Featured Actress in a Play||Loot||Nominated|
|1986||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play||Loot||Nominated|
|1989/90||Olivier Award||Best Performance in a Supporting Role||Othello||Nominated|
|1991||Olivier Award||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||The Crucible||Nominated|
|1992||BAFTA TV Award||Best Actress||Prime Suspect||Nominated|
|1993||BAFTA TV Award||Best Actress||Love Hurts||Nominated|
|1996||Olivier Award||Best Actress||The Glass Menagerie||Nominated|
|1998||BAFTA Film Award||Best Supporting Actress||Wilde||Nominated|
|Olivier Award||Best Actress||Electra||Won|
|1999||Tony Award||Best Actress in a Play||Electra||Nominated|
|1999||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actress in a Play||Electra||Nominated|
|2002||Olivier Award||Best Actress||Boston Marriage||Nominated|
|2006||Tony Award||Best Featured Actress in a Play||Awake and Sing!||Nominated|
Zoe Wanamaker supports the following charitable cause: Cancer.