Anna Maxwell Martin

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Anna Maxwell Martin
Anna Charlotte Martin

(1977-05-10) 10 May 1977 (age 43)
Beverley, Yorkshire, England
Years active2001–present
Roger Michell
(m. 2002;separated 2020)

Anna Maxwell Martin (born Anna Charlotte Martin; 10 May 1977), [1] sometimes credited as Anna Maxwell-Martin, is an English actress.


Her theatre work includes the role of Lyra Belacqua in the production of His Dark Materials (2003–2004) at the Royal National Theatre.

She has won two British Academy Television Awards, for her portrayals of Esther Summerson in the BBC's 2005 adaptation of Bleak House and "N" in Channel 4's 2008 adaptation of Poppy Shakespeare . Since 2017 Martin has played the lead role in BBC TV comedy Motherland for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performance.

Early life and education

Anna Charlotte Martin was born in Beverley on 10 May 1977 to Rosalind (née Lugassy) and Ivan Martin. Her father was managing director of a pharmaceutical company and her mother was a research scientist. Her mother gave up her job to bring up Anna and her elder brother Adam. She attended Beverley High School where she appeared in school plays. After she left school, Martin studied history at Liverpool University, specialising in the First World War.[ citation needed ]

She joined the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) after completing her studies at Liverpool. She added the name Maxwell (her grandfather's name) to her surname to distinguish her from another member with the same name when she joined Equity.[ citation needed ]


Martin first came to prominence on the London stage playing the leading role of Lyra in the National Theatre's production of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials . She was then cast in the part of Bessie Higgins in the BBC television adaptation of the Elizabeth Gaskell novel North and South in 2004, and made a guest appearance in the 2005 series of Doctor Who . She played Esther Summerson, the central character in the 2005 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens's Bleak House , for which she won the Best Actress BAFTA Television Award in 2006. [2]

In January 2006, Martin took part in a reading of The Entertainer at the Royal Court Theatre, and in February and March she appeared in Laura Wade's Other Hands, directed by Bijan Sheibani at the Soho Theatre. She is the narrator of the CD version of The Foreshadowing, a children's book about the First World War by Marcus Sedgwick, which was published in May 2006. In the same year she worked on I Really Hate My Job , directed by Oliver Parker and, from October 2006 to April 2007, played Sally Bowles in Bill Kenwright and Rufus Norris's West End production of Cabaret at the Lyric Theatre.[ citation needed ]

She played Cassandra Austen in Becoming Jane , a 2007 film about the early life of the novelist Jane Austen, starring American actress Anne Hathaway in the title role. At the end of the year she played the gaoler's daughter in Lee Hall's adaptation of The Wind in the Willows , a multimillion-pound production by Box TV for BBC One, and was the joint narrator (with Anton Lesser) of the CD version of Tamar , a children's book about the Second World War by Mal Peet, which was published in December 2007. [3]

In 2008, she starred in the BBC Two drama White Girl and with Naomie Harris in Channel 4's adaptation of Poppy Shakespeare , for which she won her second Best Actress BAFTA Television Award in 2009. [4]

From July to October of that year, she appeared with Dame Eileen Atkins in The Female of the Species at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. She also appeared in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel Crooked House . In July 2009 she appeared in the BBC Two drama Freefall , and played Neil Armstrong's wife, Janet, in Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 , an ITV1 drama documentary to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. [3]

In February 2010, she played freedom of information campaigner Heather Brooke in On Expenses , a BBC Four satirical drama, and later played Isabella in Shakespeare's Measure For Measure at the Almeida Theatre.[ citation needed ]

In February 2011, she played Sarah Burton in a three-part BBC adaptation of Winifred Holtby's novel, South Riding . [5] On 12 July 2011, she played Kay Langrish in a BBC Two dramatisation of The Night Watch . [6] [7] Beginning in September 2012, she starred in the drama mini-series The Bletchley Circle (2012–2014). On 4 September 2012, she appeared in Jimmy McGovern's Accused .

In December 2013 she returned to the world of Jane Austen, starring as Elizabeth Darcy in the BBC Christmas season drama Death Comes to Pemberley , a three-part television adaptation of the P. D. James novel of the same name which continues the events of Austen's Pride and Prejudice six years after Darcy and Elizabeth's marriage, with a murder mystery plot involving the same characters. [3]

In March 2015, she played Mary Shelley in ITV drama series The Frankenstein Chronicles . [8]

In 2017, she played the lead role in sitcom Motherland .

In 2019, she played Beelzebub, leader of the denizens of Hell, in the Amazon Prime TV serial Good Omens , based on the book by Terry Pratchett In the same year she joined the cast of Line Of Duty during its fifth series playing DCS Patricia Carmichael, a role she reprised in series six. [9]

Personal life

Martin was married to South African film director Roger Michell; the couple have two daughters. [10] In April 2020, Martin announced that the couple had separated. [11]


Television and film

2002 Midsomer Murders Arabella HeywoodTV series (1 episode: "Murder on St. Malley's Day")
Eddie Loves MaryIntervieweeShort
2004 Enduring Love PennyFilm
North & South Bessie HigginsTV mini-series
2005 Doctor Who Suki Macrae CantrellTV series (1 episode: "The Long Game")
Bleak House Esther Summerson BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress
2006The Other ManChristineShort
The Wind in the Willows Gaoler's DaughterTV film
2007 I Really Hate My Job MadonnaFilm
Becoming Jane Cassandra Austen Film
2008 White Girl DebbieTV film
Poppy Shakespeare N BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress
2009 Free Agents SophieTV series (3 episodes)
Freefall Mandy PotterTV film
Moonshot Janet ArmstrongTV film
2010 On Expenses Heather Brooke TV film
2011 South Riding Sarah BurtonNominated – BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress
CBeebies Bedtime StoriesHerselfTV series (5 episodes)
The Night Watch Kay LangrishTV film
2012 Accused Tina DhakinTV series (1 episode: "Tina's Story")
2012–2014 The Bletchley Circle Susan GrayTV series (5 episodes)
2013 Death Comes to Pemberley Elizabeth Darcy TV mini-series
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa ACC Janet WhiteheadFilm
Philomena JaneFilm
2014 The Life of Rock with Brian Pern Jess HuntTV mini-series
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies JanineTV 2-part mini-series
2015 And Then There Were None Ethel RogersTV 3 part mini-series
Midwinter of the Spirit Reverend Merrily WatkinsTV 3 part mini-series
The Frankenstein Chronicles Mary ShelleyTV series (4 episodes)
2016 Reg Sally KeysTV film [12]
Chubby Funny SallyFilm
Motherland JuliaTV pilot
2017 Tracey Ullman's Show HerselfTV series (1 episode)
2017–present Motherland JuliaNominated – BAFTA TV Award for Best Female Comedy Performance
2018 Urban Myths Agatha ChristieTV series (1 episode: "Agatha Christie")
Mother's DayWendy ParryTV film
2019 Good Omens BeelzebubTV series
Ilkley DCI BroughMain role
2019–present Line of Duty DCS Patricia CarmichaelTV series
2019 The Personal History of David Copperfield Mrs StrongFilm
2020 Code 404 Kelly MajorTV series
The Duke Ms. Gowling
2021 Would I Lie To You? HerselfTV series (1 episode)





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  1. Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1984–2006 listed birth name as Anna Charlotte Martin; Registration year 1977; Registration District Beverley, Yorkshire
  2. "Bafta TV Awards 2006: The winners". BBC News . Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 Anna Maxwell Martin at IMDb
  4. "Bafta TV Awards 2009: The winners". BBC News. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  5. ""South Riding" (2011)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  6. "The Night Watch filming in Bath". This is Bath. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  7. Staff. "Stellar Cast Announced for BBC Two's The Night Watch". Vadvert. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  8. Staff. "More Details Revealed for TV Series The Frankenstein Chronicles". DC. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  9. Cydney Yeates (18 April 2021). "Line of Duty: What has Anna Maxwell Martin been in and who is DCI Patricia Carmichael?". Metro. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  10. "BBC Radio 4 – Front Row, Anna Maxwell Martin; Sondheim's Road Show". BBC. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  11. Jones, Eleanor (12 April 2020). "Anna Maxwell Martin on being newly single". YOU Magazine. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  12. "BBC One: Reg". BBC . Retrieved 7 June 2016.

Further reading

Sophie Heawood (26 August 2018), "Interview—Anna Maxwell Martin", The Observer .