Gina McKee

Active - 1988 - 2020  |   Born - Apr 14, 1964 in Hartlepool, England  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy

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Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx

Fairly well-known in her native Britain for her work on such television series as Our Friend in the North, The Brass Eye, and The Lenny Henry Show, Gina McKee started earning recognition among transatlantic audiences with her work in a series of films during the late '90s.

McKee made her film debut in 1988, when she had a bit part as a nurse in Ken Russell's Lair of the White Worm, a camp-fest starring a then-unknown Hugh Grant. Although McKee would eventually work with Grant again eleven years later in Notting Hill, in the meantime she played bit roles in such films as The Rachel Papers (1989) and Mike Leigh's Naked (1993). In 1999 McKee could be seen in a major role in the aforementioned Notting Hill; over the course of that same year, she did more substantial work in Michael Winterbottom's ensemble family drama Wonderland, and Women Talking Dirty, the latter of which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. McKee also had secondary roles in Mike Figgis' The Loss of Sexual Innocence and Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.

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  • Was discovered when a production by the youth theatre company she participated in was broadcast on local TV, leading to more on-screen offers.
  • Spent three summers studying with the National Youth Theatre beginning when she was 15.
  • Was rejected by three drama schools, but had already found steady professional work by the time application season came the following year.
  • Has been a vegetarian since 1982.
  • Has acted extensively on stage, notably in acclaimed productions of King Lear at the Donmar Warehouse and Di and Viv and Rose at the Hampstead Theatre.
  • Was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Sunderland in 2002.