Maxine Peake

Last updated on the 9 April 2024 by Maeve

Maxine Peake headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 14 July 1974, Bolton, Greater Manchester, England. 

Maxine Peake’s early life was marked by a strong interest in the arts, particularly drama, which she developed during her formative years.

Coming from a modest background, Maxine Peake’s education journey was notably rooted in her determination to follow her artistic calling. She attended Westhoughton High School and then Salford College of Technology and Design, where she further delved into drama and theatre, realising her potential as a budding actress.

Maxine Peake’s breakthrough in the world of entertainment came when she landed a role in the popular television series “Victoria Wood As Seen on TV” in the late 1980s. This early exposure paved the way for numerous opportunities in both television and film. She went on to star in acclaimed productions such as “Shameless,” “Silk,” and “The Village”.

In addition to her success in television, Maxine Peake has appeared in films  like “The Theory of Everything,” “Funny Cow,” and “Peterloo.”

Maxine Peake also has a passion for writing and has written and performed in several plays, showcasing her talent as a playwright.

On a personal note, Maxine Peake is known for her dedication to social and political causes. She has been outspoken about issues such as social justice, feminism and the importance of supporting marginalised communities.


Suggested viewing


Funny Cow (2017)

Funny Cow poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.5

In working-class northern England, an aspiring comedian named Annie draws on her difficult childhood for her stand-up routines. Performing at gritty working men’s clubs, she uses humour to grapple with past traumas, navigating the often-unforgiving world of stand-up comedy while confronting her own personal demons in a search for success and self-discovery.

Top cast: Maxine Peake, Stephen Graham, Christine Bottomley, Paddy Considine, Tony Pitts, Alun Armstrong, Lindsey Coulson, Kevin Eldon, Hannah Walters, Diane Morgan.


Peterloo (2018)

Peterloo poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 6.5

In 1819 Manchester, a gathering demanding political reform and fair voting rights explodes into violence. As thousands peacefully assemble, government forces launch a brutal cavalry charge, trampling and injuring many. The film follows the stories of ordinary people caught up in the event, examining the desperation that fueled the protest and the devastating consequences of the ensuing massacre.

Top cast: Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell, Philip Jackson, Pearce Quigley, David Moorst, Rachel Finnegan, Karl Johnson, Sam Troughton.


The Secret Diaries of
Miss Anne Lister (2010)

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.0

The story follows a 19th-century Yorkshire landowner named Anne Lister. Independent and ambitious, she manages her own estates and even ventures into industrial pursuits. Beyond her unconventional lifestyle, Anne keeps a secret diary, meticulously documenting her romantic relationships with other women. This chronicle, written in a complex code, reveals her desires and challenges in a society that doesn’t accept her sexuality.

Top cast: Maxine Peake, Anna Madeley, Susan Lynch, Christine Bottomley, Gemma Jones, Alan David, Richenda Carey, Michael Culkin, Dean Lennox Kelly, Tina O’Brien, Tessa Peake-Jones.

Similar version

Gentleman Jack poster


Silk (2011)

Silk poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 8.0

Set in a London law chamber, this series follows two ambitious barristers – one fiercely ethical, the other more ruthless – as they vie for promotion to Queen’s Counsel while tackling complex criminal cases and the moral gray areas within the justice system.

Top cast: Maxine Peake, Rupert Penry-Jones, Neil Stuke, Theo Barklem-Biggs, john Macmillan, Alex Jennings, Frances Barber, Amy Wren, Phil Davis, Tom Hughes, Phil Davis, Nina Sosanya, Miranda Raison, Indira Varma, Jessica Henwick.


Anne (2022)

Anne poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.1

Anne Williams, from Formby, near Liverpool, was devastated by the loss of her son, 15-year-old Kevin, who was tragically killed at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989 between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Anne stood defiantly alongside other parents and their families who fought for justice for the 96 loved ones who lost their lives at a football match.

Top cast: Maxine Peake, Bobby Schofield, Rob Jarvis, Stephen Walters, David Charles-Cully, Clare Calbraith, Polly Kemp, Raymond Waring, Lily Shepherd.


The Village (2013)

The Village poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.7

“The Village” chronicles the lives of a small English village’s inhabitants across the 20th century. Set just before World War I and during the Great War, the show delves into the trials and tribulations faced by the village’s troubled yet steadfast residents. Unlike the aristocratic tales of “Downton Abbey,” this series offers a working-class perspective, revealing the hidden realities behind closed doors amidst the idyllic countryside.

Top cast: Maxine Peake, John Simm, David Ryall, Scott Handy, Matt Stokoe, Juliet Stevenson, Emily Beecham, Augustus Prew, Annabelle Apsion, Joe Armstrong, Charlie Murphy.


Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


 Maxine Peake Gallery


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