Susan Hampshire

Last updated on the 11 April 2024 by Maeve

Susan Hampshire headshot

Mini Biography

Born: 12 May 1937, Kensington, London, England. 

Susan Hampshire was born to George Kenneth Hampshire and June (née Pavey) and comes from Irish ancestry. She is the youngest of five siblings, with three sisters and one brother. Her mother, a teacher, and her father, a director at Imperial Chemical Industries, were unofficially separated, as he was seldom home.

As a child, she faced developmental challenges, struggling with spelling until age nine and reading until age 12. At 30 she was diagnosed with dyslexia. Despite these difficulties, her mother established a school in London in 1928, known today as Gems Hampshire School, where Susan received her education. Initially aspiring to be a nurse. 

Susan Hampshire‘s interest in acting led her to pursue formal training in performing arts. She attended the Royal Ballet School and the Corona Stage Academy, developing her skills in dance, drama and voice. 

Susan Hampshire made her film debut in the early 1960s and quickly gained recognition for her compelling performances on screen. She starred in a variety of  films, including the Disney production “The Three Lives of Thomasina”.

In addition to her successful film career, Hampshire achieved significant success in television, becoming a household name for her memorable roles on the small screen. She appeared in a wide range of television productions, capturing the hearts of audiences with her captivating performances and versatility as an actress. Some of her most notable television credits include “The Pallisers,” “The Forsyte Saga,” and “The Grand.”

She has three Emmy Awards, for The Forsyte Saga (1970) , The First Churchills in (1969)  and Vanity Fair (1973).

Overall, Susan Hampshire’s remarkable career and contributions to the entertainment industry have left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire audiences around the world. Her talent, grace and passion for acting have endeared her to generations of fans, establishing her as a true icon in film and television.


Suggested viewing


The First Churchills (1969)

The First Churchills poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 8.1

“The First Churchills” is a historical drama series that follows the lives of John and Sarah Churchill during the late 17th and early 18th centuries in England. The series explores their rise to power and influence at the royal court, following their political strategies, personal ambitions and complex relationships. Set against the backdrop of significant historical events such as the Glorious Revolution and the War of Spanish Succession, it offers a glimpse into the power struggles and personal sacrifices faced by the influential couple.

Top cast: John Neville, Susan Hampshire, John Standing, Robert Robinson, Margaret Tyzack, Roger Mutton, John Ringham, Alan Rowe, John Westbrook, James Kerry, Lisa Daniely.


The Pallisers (1974)

The Pallisers poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.1

“The Pallisers” is a television adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s novels that follows the lives of various characters traversing the intricate world of British politics and society in the 19th century. The series chronicles the political aspirations, scandals, romances, and personal struggles of the wealthy Palliser family and their associates.

Top cast: Susan Hampshire, Philip Latham, Barbara Murray, Moray Watson, Donald Pickering, Anthony Andrews, Maurice Quick, Roger Livesey, Donal McCann, Bryan Pringle, Roland Culver, Anna Massey, Derek Jacobi.


The Grand (1997)

The Grand poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.5

After the conclusion of World War I, the Bannerman family decides to reopen the Grand Hotel following a prolonged shutdown and an expensive renovation. Serving as the most luxurious hotel in Manchester during the extravagant Roaring ’20s, the Grand becomes a focal point for plots, controversies, love affairs and secrets involving both guests and employees.

Top cast: Rebecca Callard, Tim Healy, Susan Hampshire, Paul Warriner, Mark McGann, Naomi Radcliffe, Maria Mescki, Christine Mackie, Michael Siberry, Julia St John.

Similar to


Monarch of the Glen (2000)

Monarch of the Glen poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.7

“Monarch of the Glen” is a drama series set in the Scottish Highlands at the fictional Glenbogle estate. The story revolves around a young laird who unexpectedly inherits the estate and must cope with the challenges of modernising the property while dealing with financial troubles and family dynamics. The show follows the laird’s efforts to balance tradition with progress, as he interacts with the colourful local characters and tries to uphold the legacy of his family.

Top cast: Hamish Clark, Julian Fellowes, Susan Hampshire, Alexander Morton, Dawn Steele, Alastair Mackenzie, Lorraine Pilkington, Rae Hendrie, Lloyd Owen, Richard Briers, Martin Compston, Tom Baker.


The Three Lives of Thomasina (1963)

The Three Lives of Thomasina poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 7.2

“The Three Lives of Thomasina” revolves around a young girl named Mary who tries to save her beloved cat, Thomasina, through magical means after the local vet suggests the cat be put down. Through a series of events involving a mysterious healer, Thomasina is believed to have three lives, with the third one being crucial for her survival.

Top cast: Patrick McGoohan, Susan Hampshire, Karen Dotrice, Laurence Naismith, Jean Anderson, Matthew Garber, Denis Gilmore, Vincent Winter, Finlay Currie.


The Forsyte Saga (1967)

The Forsyte Saga poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.5

“The Forsyte Saga” is a family drama that spans generations, focusing on the wealthy Forsyte family and their complex relationships. The story follows themes of love, marriage, betrayal and class struggles within the affluent society of 19th and 20th century England. Through intricate plotlines and well-developed characters, the saga follows the Forsytes’ pursuit of wealth, power and social status, intertwined with their personal desires and conflicts.

Top cast: Eric Porter, Eric Porter, Nyree Dawn Porter, Kenneth More, Fay Compton, Lana Morris, Margaret Tyzac, kJohn Welsh, Joseph O’Conor, Martin Jarvis.


Vanity Fair (1967)

Vanity Fair poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.4

“Vanity Fair” is a period drama set in early 19th century England, following the ambitious and cunning Becky Sharp as she finds her way through high society. The story revolves around Becky’s rise from impoverished origins to the upper echelons of society, using her wit and charm to manipulate the people around her. The narrative explores themes of social climbing, manipulation and the consequences of ambition in a society obsessed with status and appearances.

Top cast: Susan Hampshire, Marilyn Taylerson, Dyson Lovell, Bryan Marshall, John Moffatt, Roy Marsden, Barbara Leake, Barbara Couper.

Alternative versions

Vanity Fair (1998) poster     Vanity Fair poster


Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


 Susan Hampshire Gallery


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