Miriam Margolyes

Active - 1977 - 2020  |   Born - May 18, 1941 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Children's/Family, Romance, Comedy Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Esteemed British supporting actress and voice artist Miriam Margolyes has worked on radio, television, stage, and in many prestigious feature films. She launched her career in her native England but came to the U.S. after winning the Los Angeles Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing Flora Finching in Little Dorrit (1988). After settling in L.A., Margolyes starred in the short-lived CBS television series Frannie's Turn. As a voice artist, Margolyes provided the characterization for Babe's mother in the Oscar-nominated Babe (1996), as well as voicing the role of the glowworm in James and the Giant Peach (1996), in which she also played one of the wicked aunties.

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  • Studied acting at Oxford High with drama teacher Dorothy Bartholomew, who had previously taught another future star, Maggie Smith.
  • Posed nude at age 17 for the famous Welsh painter Augustus John.
  • Belonged to the 1962 Cambridge Footlights comedy group, working alongside John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Bill Oddie.
  • Began her professional career as a voice actor for BBC radio in 1965.
  • Honored in 2002 with the Order of the British Empire for her services to the dramatic arts. 
  • Has appeared in many stage plays, including the 2006 London production of the musical Wicked in 2006; and Dickens' Women, a one-woman show.
  • Holds dual British-Australian citizenship.
  • Supports many charities, including ActionAid, Jewish Care, Sense, Sightsavers and the National Stroke Foundation of Australia.