Miriam Margolyes (1941-) is a British born actress.
Born in Oxford on 18 May 1941, the only child of Ruth (née Walters; 1905–1974), an English property investor and developer, and Joseph Margolyes (1899–1995), a Scottish physician from the Gorbals area of Glasgow. She grew up in a Jewish family, with ancestors who moved to the UK from Belarus and Poland. She went to Oxford High School and studied English literature at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she began acting and appeared in productions by the Cambridge Footlights, representing the university in the first series of University Challenge.
She has been in a relationship with Heather Sutherland, an Australian professor of Indonesian studies, since 1967 and they divide their time between homes in London and Kent in England, Robertson in Australia, and Tuscany in Italy. She has starred in productions in England, Australia and the USA. She became an Australian citizen in 2013 and now holds both British and Australian citizenship.
Her career as performer
Her earliest roles were in theatre then moved on to numerous supporting roles in film and television. Besides an OBE and a number of awards for her magnificent voice work, she has won a BAFTA Award for her role in Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence (1993) and became a household name inter alia for roles such as the "Nurse" in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet (1996), "Dorcas" in Ladies in Lavender (2004) and especially as "Professor Sprout" in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part II, 20**).
In 1989, she co-wrote and performed a one-woman show, Dickens' Women, playing 23 characters from Dickens' novels. This shows opening season in 1989–91 played at the Edinburgh Festival, the Hampstead Theatre and the Duke of York's Theatre, London. It also toured widely over the subsequent years, and was taken to various countries, including a tour of campuses in South Africa (in 19**), a tour to Australia and New Zealand in 2007 and a world tour in 2012 as part of the 200th anniversary celebrations of Dickens' birth.
(For a summary of her remarkable range of performances, see her website at http://miriammargolyes.com/home/ and the Wikipedia entry on "Miriam Margolyes" at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miriam_Margolyes.)
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