Trained at the East 15 Acting School, British actress Alison Steadman worked as a secretary for the Liverpool Probation Service before making her professional stage bow in 1968. Five years later, Steadman made her London theatrical debut. She won a plethora of awards for her rendition of the title role in both the stage and film version of Abigail's Party. This and several subsequent productions were directed by Steadman's former husband, Mike Leigh. She has starred in the British TV series Wackers (1975) and Gone to Seed (1992), and has made a number of conspicuous film appearances since her 1982 screen debut in Kipperbang. American TV viewers will remember Steadman as Mrs. Marlowe in the wildly eccentric Dennis Potter miniseries The Singing Detective. More recently, Alison Steadman was seen as Mrs. Bennet in the 1995 British TV-miniseries production of Pride and Prejudice.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Got her first professional theatre role in Lincoln in 1968, playing ‘Sandy’ in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, then her first on-screen role in 1971 in the TV show Bel Ami.
- Was awarded an OBE in 2000 for her contributions to the performing arts.
- In 2007 was ranked number 42 in a Channel 4 poll of the ‘Fifty Greatest Actors’.
- Has stated that she thinks ‘life’s too short to be watching’ reality TV programs.
- Has been an ambassador for London Wildlife Trust since 2016.
- Stars alongside John Cleese in new BBC sitcom Hold the Sunset, his first since Fawlty Towers ended back in 1979.