Lesley Manville

Last updated on the 5 April 2024 by Evandrus

Lesley Manville headshot

Mini Biography

Born: March 12 1956, Brighton, England.

Lesley Manville discovered her passion for acting at a young age. She developed her skills through local theater productions and gained invaluable experience in various roles. Her dedication and commitment to the craft led her to pursue formal training at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London.

Manville’s breakthrough came in the late 1970s when she joined the esteemed Royal Shakespeare Company, where she showcased her remarkable range and versatility in a variety of classical and contemporary productions. Her stage performances garnered critical acclaim, establishing her as a force to be reckoned with in the theater world.

In the realm of film, Manville has collaborated with renowned directors and delivered standout performances. One of her most notable roles came in Mike Leigh’s critically acclaimed drama “Another Year” (2010), where she portrayed the complex and emotionally layered character of Mary. Her mesmerizing performance earned her widespread recognition, including nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Manville’s collaboration with director Paul Thomas Anderson in the film “Phantom Thread” (2017) further solidified her reputation as a versatile and captivating actress. Her portrayal of Cyril Woodcock, the steely and fiercely loyal sister of the protagonist, earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

In addition to her film work, Manville has made a significant impact on television. Her portrayal of the manipulative yet vulnerable character of Cathy in the miniseries “Mum” (2016-2019) garnered widespread critical acclaim and multiple award nominations.

Throughout her illustrious career, Lesley Manville has consistently delivered exceptional performances, captivating audiences with her depth, nuance, and ability to embody a wide range of characters. Her dedication to her craft, combined with her extraordinary talent, has established her as one of the most respected and revered actresses of her generation.


Suggested viewing


Mum (2016)

Mum poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.3

“Mum” is a British sitcom that follows the life of Cathy, a widow, as she faces the challenges of raising her son and dealing with her eccentric family and friends. The show explores themes of love, loss, and the complexities of family relationships.

Top cast: Lesley Manville, Peter Mullan, Sam Swainsbury, Lisa McGrillis, Dorothy Atkinson, Ross Boatman, Marlene Sidaway, Karl Johnson.

The Crown (2016)

The Crown Lesley Manville poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.6

“The Crown” is a historical drama series that chronicles the reign of Queen Elizabeth II from her early days as a young princess to her present-day rule. It explores the personal and political challenges she faces, as well as the relationships with her family, government, and the changing world around her.

Top cast: Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce, Dominic West, Elizabeth Debicki, Claudia Harrison, Marcia Warren, Jonny Lee Miller, Olivia Williams, Lesley Manville (S5-6).

Magpie Murders (2022)

Magpie Murders poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.5

“Magpie Murders” is based on the mystery novel by Anthony Horowitz that intertwines two stories. It follows editor Susan Ryeland as she delves into the manuscript of a bestselling crime novel by Alan Conway, only to discover a real-life murder mystery hidden within the pages, leading her on a quest for the truth.

Top cast: Lesley Manville, Conleth Hill, Tim McMullan, Ian Lloyd Anderson, Karen Westwood, Matthew Beard, Michael Malone, Claire Rushbrook.

World on Fire (2019)

World on Fire poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.3

“World on Fire” is a drama series set during World War II. It follows the lives of ordinary people from different countries and backgrounds, including soldiers, civilians, and resistance fighters, as they navigate the turmoil and devastation of the war. The show explores themes of love, sacrifice, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Top cast: Jonah Hauer-King, Julia Brown, Zofia Wichłacz, Lesley Manville, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Sean Bean, Helen Hunt, Blake Harrison, Brian J. Smith.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (2022)

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 7.1

“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” is based on a heartwarming tale written by Paul Gallico. It follows the journey of Ada Harris, a London charwoman, who becomes captivated by a Dior dress in a client’s wardrobe. Determined to own one, she saves every penny to travel to Paris and fulfill her dream of buying the dress.

Top cast: Lesley Manville, Isabelle Huppert, Lambert Wilson, Alba Baptist, Lucas Bravo, Ellen Thomas, Rose Williams, Jason Isaacs, Anna Chancellor.

Harlots (2017)

Harlots poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.7

“Harlots” is a period drama set in 18th-century London. The show revolves around the Wells family, who run a brothel, and their rivalry with a high-class establishment. It delves into the lives of the women involved, exploring themes of power, survival, and the struggles they face in a male-dominated society.

Top cast: Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville, Eloise Smyth, Jessica Brown Findlay, Dorothy Atkinson, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Kate Fleetwood, Danny Sapani, Holliday Dempsey.

Another Year (2010)

Another Year poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.4

“Another Year” is a drama  directed by Mike Leigh. It portrays the life of a happily married couple, Tom and Gerri, and follows their interactions with friends and family over the course of four seasons. The film delves into themes of love, friendship, and the complexities of human relationships.

Top cast: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville, Oliver Maltman, Peter Wight, David Bradley, Karina Fernandez, Martin Savage.

Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


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