Penelope Wilton

Penelope Wilton

Infobox actor
name =Penelope Wilton

imagesize =200px
caption =
birthname = Penelope A. Wilton
birthdate = birth date and age|1946|6|3|df=yes
birthplace = Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England
othername = Penelope Wilton OBE
Penelope Winton
occupation = Actress, Comedienne
yearsactive = 1972-present
spouse = Ian Holm (1991-2001)
Daniel Massey (1975-1984)

Penelope A. Wilton [ [ BFI | Film & TV Database | WILTON, Penelope ] ] OBE (born 3 June 1946) is an English actress.


Wilton was born in Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire to a former actress mother and a businessman father. [ [ Penelope Wilton, the winner of discontent - Times Online ] ] She is a niece of actors Bill Travers and Linden Travers [ [ What'sOn: Wicked role for Penelope means it's Women Beware Wilton; Theatre.(Features) | Article from Coventry Evening Telegraph (England) | HighBeam Research ] ] and a cousin of the actor Richard Morant. She and her sisters, Rosemary and Linda, attended the convent school in Newcastle at which their mother had previously taught. Penelope had a successful stage career before breaking into television, and her West End debut was opposite Sir Ralph Richardson.

Her television career began in 1972, playing Vivie Warren in "Mrs. Warren's Profession" opposite Robert Powell. She then had several major TV roles, including two of the BBC Television Shakespeare productions (as Desdemona in "Othello" and Regan in "King Lear").

However she did not become a household name until she appeared with Richard Briers in the 1984 BBC situation comedy, "Ever Decreasing Circles" which ran for five years. In it she played Anne, long suffering wife of Martin (Briers), an obsessive pedant 'do-gooder'. Throughout the run Anne seeks a more adventurous lifestyle than that offered as a pillar of the community, and mildly flirts with their considerably more charismatic neighbour Paul (Peter Egan) but ultimately she remains faithful to Martin.

Between 1975 and 1984 she was married to the actor Daniel Massey who, following their divorce, married her sister Lindy; between 1991 and 2001 she was married to Sir Ian Holm, and they appeared together as Pod and Homily in the BBC's 1993 adaptation of "The Borrowers". Her film appearances include "Cry Freedom" (1987), "Iris" (2001), "Calendar Girls" (2003) and "Shaun of the Dead" (2004).

In 2005, Wilton guest starred as Harriet Jones, MP for two episodes in the BBC's revival of the popular science-fiction series "Doctor Who". This guest role was written especially for her by the programme's chief writer and executive producer Russell T Davies, with whom she had previously worked on "Bob and Rose" (ITV, 2001). The character of Jones returned as Prime Minister in "The Christmas Invasion", the "Doctor Who" 2005 Christmas special. In the first part of the 2008 series finale, "The Stolen Earth", she made a final appearance, now as the former Prime Minister who sacrifices herself to the Daleks so that the Doctor's companions can contact him.

Wilton has also appeared on television as Barbara Poole, the mother of a missing woman, in the BBC television drama series "Five Days" in 2005; and in ITV's drama "Half Broken Things" (October 2007) and the BBC production of "The Passion" (Easter 2008).

Wilton's film career includes roles in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice (2005)", in Woody Allen's film "Match Point (2005)" and in "The History Boys (2006)". She appeared on "Desert Island Discs" in April 2008.

Awards and recognition

She has twice won the Critics Circle Theatre Award, in 1981 for her performance in "Much Ado About Nothing", and in 1993 for "The Deep Blue Sea". In 2001 she was nominated for the London "Evening Standard" Theatre Award for her performance in "The Little Foxes" at the Donmar Warehouse. In 2004 she was given the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to drama.



* "Joseph Andrews" (1977) — Mrs. Wilson
* "The French Lieutenant's Woman" (1981) — Sonia
* "Clockwise" (1986) — Pat Garden
* "Cry Freedom" (1987) — Wendy Woods
* "Blame It on the Bellboy" (1992) — Patricia Fulford
* "The Secret Rapture" (1993) — Marion French
* "Carrington" (1995) — Lady Ottoline Morrell
* "This Could Be the Last Time" (1998) — Marjorie
* "Gooseberries Don't Dance" (1999)
* "Tom's Midnight Garden" (1999) — Aunt Melbourne
* "Iris" (2001) — Janet Stone
* "Calendar Girls" (2003) — Ruth Reynoldson
* "Shaun of the Dead" (2004) — Barbara
* "Pride and Prejudice" (2005) — Mrs. Gardiner
* "Match Point" (2005) — Eleanor Hewett
* "The History Boys" (2006) — Mrs Bibby


* "An Affair of Honour" (1972)
* "Mrs. Warren's Profession" (1972) — Vivie
* "The Song of Songs" (1973) — Lilli Czepanek
* "King Lear" (1975) — Regan
* "Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd" (1976)
* "" (1978) — Annie
* "" (1978) — Annie
* "" (1978) — Annie
* "Othello" (1981) — Desdemona
* "Country" (1981) — Virginia Carlion
* "The Tale of Beatrix Potter" (1982) — Beatrix Potter
* "King Lear" (1982) — Regan
* "Laughterhouse" (1984) — Alice Singleton
* "Ever Decreasing Circles" (1984) — Anne Bryce
* "The Monocled Mutineer" (1986) — Lady Angela
* "Screaming" (1992) — Beatrice
* "The Borrowers" (1992) — Homily
* "The Return of the Borrowers" (1993) — Homily
* "The Deep Blue Sea" (1994) — Hester Collyer
* "Talking Heads 2" (1998) — Rosemary
* "Alice Through the Looking Glass" (1998) — White Queen
* "Wives and Daughters" (1999) — Mrs. Hamley
* "Rockaby" (2000)
* "Victoria & Albert" (2001) — Princess Mary Louise Victoria
* "The Whistle-Blower" (2001) — Heather Graham
* "Bob and Rose" (2001) — Monica Gossage
* "Lucky Jim" (2003) — Celia Welch
* "Falling" (2005) — Daisy Langrish
* "Doctor Who" (2005, 2008) — Harriet Jones
* "Five Days" (2007) — Barbara Poole
* "Celebration" (2007)
* "Half Broken Things" (2007) — Jean
* "The Passion" (2008) — Mary


External links

*imdb name|id=0934362|name=Penelope Wilton
*Gareth McLean, [,,2198470,00.html Unspoken worlds] , October 25 2007, "The Guardian"

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