British actress Jodie Whittaker grew up in a working-class industrial town in Northern England, discovered a passion for theater in mid-adolescence, and left secondary school at 16 with the intention of becoming an actress. Following a transitional period that witnessed her journeying across the U.K. and taking a series of odd jobs, she applied and was accepted to the elite Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. A spate of minor professional assignments followed, including a few television roles and work on-stage at the legendary Globe Theatre, but she scored her first international success -- the one that catapulted her from unknown ingénue to marquee name -- with Venus, a sweet-natured, slice-of-life comedy drama about a young waif who waltzes into the world of a grizzled old man in his final days (eight-time Oscar nominee Peter O'Toole) and changes them both. Whittaker followed up that assignment with stage work in a Neil LaBute play, then appeared in the comedy remake St. Trinian's (2007) and starred opposite Viggo Mortensen in the disturbing period piece Good (2008), about a well-meaning literature professor in the 1930s (Mortensen) who finds himself suddenly swept up into the ranks of the Nazi party thanks to his willingness to make moral compromises.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Won the gold medal for acting during her final year at Guildhall School of Music and Acting in 2005.
- Her professional acting debut was in 2005 when she appeared in The Storm at the Shakespeare's Globe in London.
- After Carey Mulligan was taken ill, she replaced her in a Royal Court production of The Seagull in 2007 with only two hours notice.
- Her film Perrier's Bounty was the first to be shown at the Bradford International Film Festival in 2010.
- Is an ambassador for Mencap and in 2014 wore odd, brightly colored socks to raise awareness for the visual issues those with down syndrome have.