Harriet Walter is a leading actor on stage and screen.

On stage, she has played many Shakespearean characters including Ophelia, Helena, Portia, Viola, Imogen, Lady Macbeth, Beatrice and Cleopatra (most of them for the RSC). She has also played Brutus, Henry IV and Prospero in all-female productions at the Donmar Warehouse.

She has played many other great classical stage roles, including the Duchess of Malfi (RSC), Hedda Gabler (Chichester and tour), Nina in Thomas Kilroy’s Irish version of Chekhov’s The Seagull with Anna Massey and Alan Rickman (Royal Court), Masha in Three Sisters (RSC; Olivier Award), Anna Petrovna in Ivanov with Ralph Fiennes (Almeida), Hester in The Deep Blue Sea (Theatre Royal Bath and tour), and Elizabeth I in Schiller’s Mary Stuart (Donmar Warehouse, West End, and Broadway; Evening Standard Award and Tony Award nomination). She has also performed in several contemporary classics including Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine (Royal Court), Harold Pinter’s Old Times (West End), Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour (National), and as Linda in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman with Antony Sher (RSC, Stratford and West End).  

She has created roles in new plays including Arcadia by Tom Stoppard and Yasmina Reza’s Life x 3 (National), Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Three Birds Alighting on a Field (Royal Court), Stephen Lowe’s adaptation of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Joint Stock), Moira Buffini’s Dinner (National and West End), Simon Gray’s The Late Middle Classes, Stephen Poliakoff’s Sweet Panic, Tamsin Oglesby’s US and Them (Hampstead), and Clara Brennan’s Boa opposite her husband, Guy Paul (Trafalgar Studios).

Her films include The Sense of an Ending, Mindhorn, Denial, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Suite Française, Man Up, The Wedding Video, Young Victoria, Babel, Villa des Roses (British Independent Film Award nomination), Sense and Sensibility and Louis Malle’s Milou en Mai. Her television work ranges from The Imitation Game by Ian McEwan and The Cherry Orchard (both directed by Richard Eyre), The Price (Channel 4 and RTÉ), Harriet Vane in the BBC’s Lord Peter Wimsey series and The Men’s Room, via guest appearances in Inspector Morse, Waking the Dead, Spooks, Poirot, Midsomer Murders and New Tricks, to more recent appearances as D.I. Natalie Chandler in Law and Order: UK, Little Dorrit, Downton Abbey, Black Sails, Call the Midwife and as Clementine Churchill in the Netflix series The Crown.

She has written several books, including Brutus and Other Heroines and Other People’s Shoes (both published by Nick Hern Books), Macbeth (Faber and Faber’s ‘Actors on Shakespeare’ series) and Facing It: Reflections on Images of Older Women (Facing It Publications).

She is an Honorary Associate Artist of the RSC, an Honorary D.Litt at Birmingham University, and was awarded a CBE in 2000 and a Damehood in 2011.

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