- Her uncle is Hammer Horror legend Sir Christopher Lee.
- Was made an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1987, and has worked with them consistently throughout her career.
- Is a patron of the charities Shakespeare Schools Festival and Prisoners Abroad.
- Is the great-great-great-granddaughter of John Walter, founder of British newspaper The Times.
- Has published three books, including Other People’s Shoes and Facing It.
- Was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000, and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to drama in 2011.
- Her partner of eight years, actor Peter Blythe, died from lung cancer in 2004.
- Married American stage actor Guy Schuessler (stage name Guy Paul) in 2011.
- Dropped her trademark “cut glass” accent in favor of a grittier estuary English accent for her recurring role in Law And Order UK.