A member of director Mike Leigh's hardworking repertory cast, British actress Lesley Manville started acting in U.K. television dramas during the early '80s. After her debut feature in 1985 for the crime drama Dance With a Stranger, she found her place in comedy-dramas with Clare Peploe's High Season. The next year, she began her longtime collaboration with Mike Leigh for the comedy High Hopes, followed by Secrets and Lies and Topsy-Turvy. She married actor Gary Oldman and had a son, but the couple divorced soon after they both appeared in the made-for-TV movie The Firm in 1988. She continued to work in British miniseries, TV movies, and short films throughout the '90s, including an appearance as Mrs. Micawber in a TNT version of David Copperfield. Manville finally gained a lead role in Leigh's All or Nothing in 2002, as Penny, a grocery store clerk married to taxi cab driver Phil (frequent Leigh leading man Timothy Spall).