Anna Chancellor

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Anna Chancellor
Anna Theodora Chancellor

(1965-04-27) 27 April 1965 (age 56)
Richmond, London, England
Years active1990–present
Relatives Asquith family

Anna Theodora Chancellor (born 27 April 1965) is an English actress. She has received nominations for BAFTA and Olivier Awards.


Background and early life

Chancellor was born in Richmond, England to barrister John Paget Chancellor, eldest son of Sir Christopher Chancellor, and Mary Jolliffe, a daughter of Lord Hylton. The Chancellor family were Scottish gentry who owned land at Quothquan since 1432. [1]

Chancellor was brought up in Somerset and educated at St Mary's School, Shaftesbury, 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 became the partner of the poet Jock Scot (1952–2016), with whom she had her daughter, Poppy Chancellor (born 1988), whilst still studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She separated from Scot a few years later. [3] She 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.

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, and a second cousin of the actress Helena Bonham Carter. [5] [6] 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 played Julia Piper in series 1 to 3 of Kavanagh QC . She also played Caroline Bingley in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and 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. She has also appeared in The Vice , Karaoke , Cold Lazarus , The Dreamers , Tipping the Velvet and Fortysomething , and had a leading role in the satirical black comedy Suburban Shootout . In 2011, she took a supporting role in the BBC thriller serial The Hour , for which she was nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress. [7]

In 1997, she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Stanley , and in 2013 she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress for her part in Private Lives .


She is a patron of the London children's charity Scene & Heard. [8]


1990Killing Dad or How to Love Your MotherBarmaid
Jupiter Moon Mercedes PageTV series (50 episodes: 1990–1996)
1992 Inspector Morse Sally SmithTV series (1 episode: "Cherubim and Seraphim")
1993 Agatha Christie's Poirot Virginie MesnardTV series (1 episode: "The Chocolate Box")
Comedy Playhouse JuliaTV series (1 episode: "The Complete Guide to Relationships")
Century Woman in Police Station
1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral Henrietta ‘Duck Face’– Wedding Two
Tom and Viv Woman
Staggered Carmen Svennipeg
Princess Caraboo Mrs. Peake
EllingtonAlly StoneTV film
1995 Pride & Prejudice Caroline BingleyTV mini-series (6 episodes)
Kavanagh QC Julia PiperTV series (11 episodes: 1995–1997)
1996 Karaoke Anna GriffithsTV mini-series (4 episodes)
Cold Lazarus Anna GriffithsTV mini-series (3 episodes)
1997 FairyTale: A True Story Peter Pan
The Man Who Knew Too Little Barbara Ritchie
1999 The Vice Dr. Christine WeirTV series (5 episodes)
Heart Nicola Farmer
2000 Longitude Muriel GouldTV film
2001 The Cazalets Diana MackintoshTV series (6 episodes)
Crush Molly Cartwright
2002 Tipping the Velvet Diana LethabyTV series (2 episodes)
2003Georgian UnderworldNarratorTV series (1 episode: "Queer as 18th Century Folk")
What a Girl Wants Glynnis Payne
Doc Martin and the Legend of the CloutieNicky BowdenTV film
Fortysomething Estelle SlipperyTV series (6 episodes)
The Dreamers Mother
2004 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Lady Josephine Kenworth
Blue DoveMaria BishopTV series (2 episodes)
Roman Road Maddy BancroftTV film
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Questular Rontok
The Best Man Dana
A Waste of Shame: Shakespeare and His Sonnets Anne HathawayTV film
Spooks Juliet ShawTV series (15 episodes: 2005–2007)
2006 Breaking and Entering Kate
Rebus Amanda MorrisonTV series (1 episode: "Let It Bleed")
The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton Elizabeth DorlingTV film
Suburban Shootout Camilla DiamondTV series (11 episodes: 2006–2007)
2007 Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars Irene Adler TV film
St. Trinians Miss Bagstock
Christmas at the Riviera DianeTV film
2008 My Family Zelda NobbsTV series (1 episode: "Cards on the Table")
Agatha Christie's Marple : Murder Is Easy Lydia HortonTV film
2009 Law & Order: UK Evelyn WyndhamTV series (2 episodes)
2010Critical EyeLaura
Silent Witness Chief Supt. Karen SomervilleTV series (2 episodes)
Miranda HelenaTV series (Series 2 episode 4: "A New Low")
2011 Hustle Wendy StantonTV series (1 episode: "As Good as it Gets")
Waking the Dead Lucy ChristieTV series (2 episodes)
Lewis Judith SuskinTV series (1 episode: "The Gift of Promise")
Hysteria Mrs Bellamy
Hidden Elspeth VerneyTV series (4 episodes)
The Hour Lix StormTV series (12 episodes)
Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress
2012More Afraid of YouLucyshort
Pramface Janet DerbyshireTV series
We'll Take Manhattan Lucie ClaytonTV film
2013 A Touch of Cloth Hope GoodgirlTV series (2 episodes)
How I Live Now Aunt Penn
Confessions of an Alien AbducteeNarrator
Noël Coward's Private Lives Amanda Prynne
2014Death Knight Love StoryMiriaAnimated, motion-captured, fan-made Machinima film
Inside No. 9 ElizabethEpisode 1, "Sardines"
Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond Second Officer MondayTV series (4 episodes)
Penny Dreadful Claire IvesTV series (1 episode)
Downton Abbey Lady Anstruther
Testament of Youth Mrs. Leighton
Mapp and Lucia Emmeline 'Lucia' LucasTV series (3 episodes)
2016The CarerMilly
Shetland Phyllis BrennanTV series (4 episodes)
New Blood Eleanor DaviesTV Series
Grantchester Aunt CeceChristmas special
Flowers Aunty VivTV series (1 episode)
This Beautiful Fantastic Bramble
2017 Love of My Life Grace
The Crown Lady Rosse
2018 Ordeal by Innocence Rachel ArgyllTV series – 3 episodes [9]
Trust Penelope KittsonTV Series – 5 episodes
The Happy Prince Mrs Arbuthnot
Benjamin Tessa
Nativity Rocks! Clara Hargreaves
2019 Death in Paradise Ciss DacreTV series – 1 episode
For Love or MoneyCarol
TimewastersVictoriaTV series – 5 episodes
Pennyworth Dr. Frances GauntTV series – 7 episodes
2020 The Split Melanie AickmanTV series [10]
Come Away Eleanor MurrowFilm
2021 The Watch [11] Lord Vetinari TV series



Chancellor has played the role of Ann Smiley in BBC dramatisations of the John le Carré novels Call for the Dead , [14] Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy , [15] The Honourable Schoolboy [16] and Smiley's People . [17]


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  1. Burke's Landed Gentry, eighteenth edition, vol. I, ed. Peter Townend, 1965, p. 130
  2. 1 2 Tim Lewis, Anna Chancellor: 'My life was chaotic. But it's turned out OK' dated 21 August 2011 at Retrieved 23 October 2016
  3. "Jock Scot, performance poet – obituary", in The Daily Telegraph online dated 15 April 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016
  4. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, vol. III, 2003, pg 3046
  5. Jane Merrick, The world's most elitist election Hereditary peers will vote to fill the gap created by the death of Lord Ferrers dated 9 December 2012 at Retrieved 23 October 2016
  6. 1 2 Gerard Gilbert, Anna Chancellor has a lineage worthy of Tatler but... dated 20 December 2014 at Retrieved 4 October 2016
  7. The Hour at IMDb
  8. "Patrons & Founders – Scene & Heard". 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  9. Billen, Andrew (31 March 2018). "Ordeal by Innocence: the Christie Mystery that almost got away". The Times (72497). Saturday Review. pp. 4–5. ISSN   0140-0460.
  10. "Meet the cast of the Split series 2".
  12. "Review of Private Lives". Time Out. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  13. Masters, Tim (27 June 2014). "Anna Chancellor leads Royal Court revolution". BBC News. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  14. "The Complete Smiley: Call for the Dead". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  15. "The Complete Smiley: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  16. "The Complete Smiley – The Karla Trilogy, Book 2: The Honourable Schoolboy". BBC. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  17. "The Complete Smiley - The Karla Trilogy, Book 3: Smiley's People". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2020.