Anna Chancellor

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Anna Chancellor
Anna Chancellor in Ordeal by Innocence 2018.jpg
Chancellor in Ordeal by Innocence 2018
Anna Theodora Chancellor

(1965-04-27) 27 April 1965 (age 59)
Richmond, London, England
Years active1990–present
Relatives Edward Chancellor (brother)

Anna Theodora Chancellor (born 27 April 1965) is an English actress who has appeared widely on TV, film and in the theatre. She received a nomination for BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Lix Storm in The Hour (2011–2012), and has twice been nominated for Olivier Awards, in 1997 for her performances in Stanley at the National Theatre, and again in 2014 for Private Lives at the Gielgud Theatre. She was also nominated for an award at the Monte-Carlo TV Festival in 2007 and for one at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards in 2013.


On television, she is also known for her roles in the ITV series Kavanagh QC (1995-1997) and Grantchester (2016); the BBC series Pride and Prejudice (1995), Tipping the Velvet (2002), Spooks (2005-2007), Pramface (2012–2014), Ordeal by Innocence (2018) and Rain Dogs (2023); the Channel 5 series Suburban Shootout (2006–2007); the Netflix series The Crown (2017); the Epix series Pennyworth (2019–2021); and the BritBox series Hotel Portofino (2022).

Her films include Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), and How I Live Now (2013).

Background and early life

Chancellor was born in Richmond, England to barrister John Paget Chancellor and Hon. Mary Jolliffe, a daughter of Lord Hylton. Her father was the son of Sir Christopher Chancellor and Sylvia Mary Paget, a daughter of Sir Richard Paget and philanthropist Lady Muriel, daughter of Murray Finch-Hatton, 12th Earl of Winchilsea. The Chancellor family were Scottish landed gentry who had owned land at Quothquan since 1432. [1]

Chancellor was brought up in Somerset and educated at St Mary's School, Shaftesbury, which was a Roman Catholic boarding school for girls in Dorset, but left at sixteen to live in London, later describing her early years there as "quite wild". [2] In her early twenties she married the poet Jock Scot (1952–2016), with whom she had a daughter in 1988 while still studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She separated from Scot a few years later. [3]

Chancellor is a niece of the journalist Alexander Chancellor, a great-granddaughter of Raymond Asquith (son of the liberal prime minister H. H. Asquith), a first cousin of both the actress Dolly Wells [4] and the model Cecilia Chancellor, a second cousin of the actress Helena Bonham Carter. Chancellor was also the great niece of Jane Austen eight generations removed through Edward Austen Knight. [5] [6] [7] Chancellor herself has spoken of her lineage, stating:

You've worked hard all your life to be an actress, or whatever you've done, and that is what's presented to you. Don't you think that's embarrassing? I don't enjoy being quoted as saying that's who I am, because I don't feel that is who I am. [6]


Chancellor got her first acting role on television playing Mercedes Page in Jupiter Moon , a BSkyB soap, then came a commercial for Boddingtons beer and a part in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), [2] playing Henrietta (nicknamed "Duckface") opposite Hugh Grant.

She played Julia Piper in series 1 to 3 of Kavanagh QC . [2] She also played Caroline Bingley in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

In 1997, she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Stanley at the Royal National Theatre-Cottesloe. [8]

She played Questular Rontok in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005). The same year, she joined the cast of BBC One television drama series Spooks as Juliet Shaw. [2] She has also appeared in The Vice , Karaoke , Cold Lazarus , The Dreamers , Tipping the Velvet (2002), [2] and Fortysomething , and had a leading role in the satirical black comedy Suburban Shootout .

In 2011, she took a supporting role as Lix Storm in the BBC thriller serial The Hour , for which she was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress at the 2012 British Academy Television Awards. [9]

In 2014, she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress for her part in Private Lives at the Gielgud Theatre. [10]


She is a patron of the London children's charity Scene & Heard. [11]

Personal life

Chancellor had one daughter, Poppy, with poet Jock Scot. Poppy died from leukaemia on 29 September 2023 aged 36. [12]


Denotes works that have not yet been released


1990Killing Dad or How to Love Your MotherBarmaid
1993 Century Woman in Police Station
1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral Henrietta ‘Duck Face’– Wedding Four
Tom and Viv Woman
Staggered Carmen Svennipeg
Princess Caraboo Mrs. Peake
1997 FairyTale: A True Story Peter Pan
The Man Who Knew Too Little Barbara Ritchie
1999 Heart Nicola Farmer
2001 Crush Molly Cartwright
2003 What a Girl Wants Glynnis Payne
The Dreamers Mother
ConfusedShort film
2004 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Lady Josephine Kenworth
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Questular Rontok
FeederDoctorShort film
The Best Man Dana
2006 Breaking and Entering Kate
2007 St. Trinians Miss Bagstock
2010Critical EyeLaura
2012More Afraid of YouLucyShort film
2011 Hysteria Mrs Bellamy
2012More of YouLucyShort film
2013 How I Live Now Aunt Penn
Confessions of an Alien AbducteeNarrator
Noël Coward's Private Lives Amanda Prynne
2014Death Knight Love StoryMiriaVoice role
Testament of Youth Mrs. Leighton
2016 The Carer Milly
This Beautiful Fantastic Bramble
2017 Love of My Life Grace
2018 The Happy Prince Mrs Arbuthnot
Benjamin Tessa
Nativity Rocks! Sandra Hargreaves
2019For Love or MoneyCarol
2020 Come Away Eleanor MurrowFilm
2022 Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris Lady Dant
2022 Stromboli Diane


1990–1996 Jupiter Moon Mercedes Page50 episodes
1992 Inspector Morse Sally SmithEpisode: "Cherubim and Seraphim"
1993 Agatha Christie's Poirot Virginie MesnardEpisode: "The Chocolate Box"
Comedy Playhouse JuliaEpisode: "The Complete Guide to Relationships"
1994EllingtonAlly StoneTV film
1995 Pride & Prejudice Caroline BingleyMiniseries; 6 episodes
1995–1997 Kavanagh QC Julia Piper11 episodes
1996 Karaoke Anna GriffithsMiniseries; 4 episodes
Cold Lazarus Anna GriffithsMiniseries; 3 episodes
1999 The Vice Dr. Christine Weir5 episodes
2000 Longitude Muriel GouldTV film
2001 The Cazalets Diana Mackintosh6 episodes
2002 Tipping the Velvet Diana Lethaby2 episodes
2002The Real Jane AustenHerself/hostTV special
2003Georgian UnderworldNarratorEpisode: "Queer as 18th Century Folk"
Doc Martin and the Legend of the CloutieNicky BowdenTV film
Fortysomething Estelle Slippery6 episodes
2004Blue DoveMaria Bishop2 episodes
Roman Road Maddy BancroftTV film
2005 A Waste of Shame: Shakespeare and His Sonnets Anne HathawayTV film
2005–2007 Spooks Juliet Shaw15 episodes
2006 Rebus Amanda MorrisonEpisode: "Let It Bleed"
The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton Elizabeth DorlingTV film
2006–2007 Suburban Shootout Camilla Diamond11 episodes
2007 Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars Irene Adler TV film
Christmas at the Riviera DianeTV film
2008 My Family Zelda NobbsEpisode: "Cards on the Table"
Agatha Christie's Marple : Murder Is Easy Lydia HortonTV film
2009 Law & Order: UK Evelyn Wyndham2 episodes
2010 Silent Witness Chief Supt. Karen Somerville2 episodes
Miranda HelenaEpisode: "A New Low"
2011 Hustle Wendy StantonEpisode: "As Good as it Gets"
Waking the Dead Lucy Christie2 episodes
Lewis Judith SuskinEpisode: "The Gift of Promise"
Hidden Elspeth Verney4 episodes
2011–2012 The Hour Lix Storm12 episodes
Nom – BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress [9]
Nom – Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress
2012–2014 Pramface Janet Derbyshire14 episodes
2012 We'll Take Manhattan Lucie ClaytonTV film
2013 A Touch of Cloth Hope Goodgirl2 episodes
2014 Inside No. 9 ElizabethEpisode: "Sardines"
Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond Second Officer Monday4 episodes
Penny Dreadful Claire Ives1 episode
Downton Abbey Lady Anstruther1 episode
Mapp & Lucia Emmeline 'Lucia' Lucas3 episodes
2016 Shetland Phyllis Brennan4 episodes
New Blood Eleanor Davies7 episodes
Grantchester Aunt CeceChristmas special
Flowers Aunty Viv1 episode
2017 The Crown Lady Rosse Episode: "Matrimonium"
2018 Ordeal by Innocence Rachel Argyll3 episodes [13]
Trust Penelope Kittson5 episodes
2019 Death in Paradise Ciss DacreEpisode: "Frappe Death Day"
Timewasters Victoria5 episodes
2019–2021 Pennyworth Dr. Frances Gaunt7 episodes
2020–2022 The Split Melanie AickmanSeries 2-3 [14]
2021 The Watch [15] Lord Vetinari Main role
2022 Hotel Portofino Lady LatchmereMain role
That Dirty Black Bag HellenTV Series
2023 Rain Dogs Allegra [16]



Chancellor has played the role of Ann Smiley in BBC dramatisations of the John le Carré novels Call for the Dead , [19] Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy , [20] The Honourable Schoolboy [21] and Smiley's People . [22]

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResultRef.
1997 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role Stanley , at RNT Cottesloe Nominated [8]
2007 Monte-Carlo TV Festival Golden Nymph, Outstanding Actress Comedy Series Suburban Shootout Nominated [23]
2012 BAFTA TV Awards BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress The Hour Nominated [9]
2013 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards BPG Award for Best Actress Pramface and The Hour Nominated [23]
2014 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actress Private Lives at Gielgud Theatre Nominated [10]

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