Olivia Colman

Last updated on the 8 July 2024 by Evandrus

Olivia Colman headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 30 January 1974, Norwich, Norfolk, England. 

Olivia Colman is an acclaimed British actress known for her versatility and captivating performances across various genres. With her natural talent and ability to embody complex characters, Colman has garnered critical acclaim and widespread recognition.

Peep Show - David Mitchell and Olivia Colman
Peep Show – David Mitchell and Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England. Growing up, she discovered her passion for acting at a young age and actively participated in school plays. However, it was during her teenage years that she decided to pursue acting as a career. Colman attended Gresham’s School in Holt, Norfolk, where she nurtured her love for the performing arts.

Colman’s career took off in the early 2000s, gaining recognition for her exceptional performances in both comedic and dramatic roles. She first gained prominence through her collaboration with the sketch comedy group, “Bruiser,” where she showcased her comedic timing and improvisational skills.

The Favourite - Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz
The Favourite – Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz

Her breakthrough came with the critically acclaimed British television series “Peep Show” (2003-2015), where she portrayed the socially awkward and lovable character Sophie Chapman. This role established her as a talented comedic actress and garnered a loyal fan base.

Colman’s talent extended beyond comedy, and she effortlessly transitioned into dramatic roles, showcasing her versatility as an actress. Her remarkable performance as Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller in the crime drama series “Broadchurch” (2013-2017) solidified her reputation as a skilled performer, earning her widespread praise and several award nominations.

Wicked Little Letters - Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley
Wicked Little Letters – Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley

In recent years, Olivia Colman’s career reached new heights with her portrayal of Queen Anne in the historical drama film “The Favourite” (2018). Her performance in this critically acclaimed film earned her numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Actress, further cementing her status as an accomplished and respected actress.

Olivia Colman leads a relatively private personal life. She married her long-term partner, Ed Sinclair, in 2001, and together they have three children. Colman has expressed her gratitude for her family’s support throughout her career and has mentioned that they keep her grounded amidst the demands of her profession.


BAFTA award

WINNER: Television: Supporting Actress for Accused (Mo’s Story) 2013|Television: Female Performance In A Comedy Programme for Twenty Twelve 2013|Television: Actress for Broadchurch 2014|Film: Leading Actress for The Favourite 2019.


Oscar award


WINNER | Academy Award for Best Actress for The Favourite (2018)



Suggested viewing


The Lost Daughter (2021)

The Lost Daughter poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.7

A middle-aged professor seeks solace in a solo beach vacation, but her peace is shattered by a young mother and her missing doll. The encounter triggers flashbacks of the protagonist’s own struggles with motherhood, forcing her to confront the complexities and lingering guilt of her past.

Top cast: Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Mescal, Dagmara Dominczyk, Jack Farthing, Oliver Jackson-Cohen.


Wicked Little Letters (2023)

Wicked Little Letters poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.0

In the seaside town of Littlehampton, Conservative Edith Swan and other local residents begin to receive scandalous letters written in language as eccentric as it is obscene. Suspicion quickly falls on Rose Gooding, an impetuous neighbour who sees her freedom and the custody of her daughter jeopardised by these accusations.

Top cast: Jessie Buckley, Olivia Colman, Timothy Spall, Gemma Jones, Malachi Kirby, Anjana Vasan, Alisha Weir, Hugh Skinner, Paul Chahidi, Eileen Atkins, Joanna Scanlan, Hugh Skinner, Lolly Adefope.


 Mo’s Story (Accused) (2012)

Olivia Colman and Anne-Marie Duff, Mo's Story poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.9

“Mo’s Story” unfolds in a hair salon located in a gang-infested neighbourhood, co-owned by Mo and her friend Sue. Tragedy strikes when Sue’s son, Sean, is fatally shot. Motivated by grief, Mo initiates a grassroots movement called Women Against Guns, urging residents to expose drug dealers in the community. However, Mo’s world crumbles when she discovers that her own son, Jake, was responsible for Sean’s murder as a member of the same gang.

Top cast: Anne-Marie Duffy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Sheen, Oliver Lee, Hayley Tamaddon, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Joe Dempsie, Melanie Clare.


Peep Show (2003)

Peep show

Bftv 9.5 / IMDb 8.7

“Peep Show” is a British sitcom that follows the lives of Mark and Jeremy, two dysfunctional flatmates in London. Through a unique point-of-view filming style, the show humorously explores their awkward encounters, failed relationships, and the constant internal monologues that reveal their insecurities, making for an entertaining and cringe-worthy comedy.

Top cast: David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman, Matt King, Jim Howick, Paterson Joseph, Sophie Winkleman, Neil Fitzmaurice, Isy Suttie.


Broadchurch (2013)

Broadchurch, Olivia Colman and David Tennant

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.4

“Broadchurch” is a gripping crime drama set in a small coastal town in England. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller are tasked with solving the mysterious murder. As secrets unravel and tensions rise, the community faces the devastating impact of the crime.

Top cast: David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, Charlotte Beaumont, Arthur Darvill, Adam Wilson, Carolyn Pickles, Charlotte Rampling


The Crown (2016)

Olivia Colman The Crown

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 8.0

“The Crown” is a historical drama that chronicles the reign of Queen Elizabeth II from her early days as a newlywed to the challenges she faces as the longest-reigning monarch in British history. The series details the personal and political struggles of the royal family, offering a captivating glimpse into the inner workings of the British monarchy.

Top cast: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Olivia Coleman, Vanessa Kirby, Helena Bonham Carter, Jeremy Northam, Victoria Hamilton, Tobias Menzies, Josh O’connor, Erin Doherty, Jonny Lee Miller.


Fleabag (2016)


Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.7

“Fleabag” is a dark comedy-drama that follows the life of an unnamed woman, known as Fleabag, as she works through relationships, grief and her own self-destructive tendencies in modern-day London. With her sharp wit and raw vulnerability, Fleabag’s story explores themes of family, love and the complexities of being a woman in society.

Top cast: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sian Clifford, Olivia Colman, Bill Paterson, Jenny Rainford, Brett Gelman, Hugh Skinner, Hugh Dennis, Andrew Scott.


Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Fuzz

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.8

“Hot Fuzz” is an action-comedy film that follows the story of Nicholas Angel, an exceptional London police officer who is transferred to a seemingly idyllic village. As he uncovers a dark secret, he teams up with his bumbling partner to unravel the conspiracy and protect the town from impending danger.

Top cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine, Rafe Spall, Kevin Eldon, Olivia Coleman, Bill Bailey, Karl Johnson.


The Favourite (2018)

The Favourite

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.5

“The Favourite” is a historical drama set in the early 18th century, focusing on the stormy relationship between two cousins, Sarah Churchill and Abigail Masham, as they vie for the favour of Queen Anne. With political intrigue, manipulation and dark humour, the film explores power dynamics and the pursuit of influence within the royal court.

Top cast: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss, James Smith, Jenny Rainford, Emma Delves.


Empire of Light (2022)

Empire of Light

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.6

“Empire of Light” is a romantic drama film helmed by Sam Mendes, depicting a tale set in a coastal town in England during the early 1980s. The film explores the significance of human relationships amidst challenging circumstances. The plot follows Hilary, a cinema manager coping with mental health issues, and Stephen, a new staff member yearning to break free from the small town’s everyday challenges.

Top cast: Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Toby Jones, Colin Firth, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, Crystal Clarke, Monica Dolan.


Twenty Twelve (2011)

Twenty Twelve

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.7

“Twenty Twelve” is a mockumentary sitcom that satirises the preparations for the fictional London 2012 Olympic Games. The show hilariously portrays the incompetence and absurdity of the organising committee as they tackle various challenges, bureaucratic hurdles and egos, providing a humorous commentary on the complexities of organising a major event.

Top cast: Hugh Bonneville, Olivia Colman, Jessica Hynes, Amelia Bullmore, Karl Theobald, Vincent Franklin, David Tennant, Alex Beckett, Morven Christie.


Rev. (2010)

Rev. Poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.8

A flustered new vicar in London confronts a dwindling flock, clashing egos and personal struggles. From drunken confessions to exorcism mishaps, he grapples with faith, family and finding his place in a chaotic, urban parish. Through humour and heart, he learns to connect with his community, questioning his own calling while rediscovering the power of human connection.

Top cast: Tom Hollander, Olivia Colman, Steve Evets, Miles Jupp, Jimmy Akingbola, Simon McBurney, Ellen Thomas, Lucy Liemann.


The Great War: The People’s Story (2014)

The Great War: The People's Story poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.2

This documentary sheds light on World War I by focusing on the personal experiences of everyday people. It weaves together letters, diaries and memoirs to portray the war’s impact on both soldiers fighting in the trenches and civilians left behind. The stories depict the initial enthusiasm, the descent into the war’s brutality, the heroism and tragedies faced and the lasting changes the war brought to society.

Top cast: Olivia Colman, Alison Steadman, Claire Foy, Romola Garai, Daniel Mays, Matthew McNulty, Adrian Scarborough, Lily Loveless, Giles Alderson, Brian Cox, Tuppence Middleton, James Norton, MyAnna Buring.


Olivia Colman full filmography @ Wikipedia
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