Anne-Marie Duff

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Anne-Marie Duff
BAFTA 2007 (387030334).jpg
Duff attending the 60th British Academy Film Awards in 2007
Born (1970-10-08) 8 October 1970 (age 49)
Chiswick, London, England [1]
Alma mater Drama Centre London
Years active1995–present
James McAvoy
(m. 2006;div. 2016)

Anne-Marie Duff (born 8 October 1970) is an English actress of Irish descent. After graduating from Drama Centre London, Duff initially made appearances in shows such as Trial & Retribution , Amongst Women and Aristocrats in the late 1990s. She is also an accomplished theatre actress and was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000 and 2008


Duff later made her breakthrough as Fiona Gallagher on the Channel 4 drama series Shameless and as Queen Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen ; both earned her BAFTA nominations for Best Actress. She was awarded the BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Actress for her work in the 2007 television film The History of Mr Polly . Since this, other television roles include Claire Church in From Darkness (2015), Ma Costa in His Dark Materials (2019–present), Erin Wiley in Sex Education and as Tracy Daszkiewicz in The Salisbury Poisonings (both 2020).

Duff has had roles in films such as Enigma (2001), The Magdalene Sisters (2002), Notes on a Scandal (2006), French Film (2008), The Last Station and Nowhere Boy (both 2009); the latter earned her a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She has since appeared in Before I Go to Sleep (2014), and Suffragette (2015).

Early life and education

Duff was born in London on 8 October 1970, the younger of two children of Irish immigrants: her father was a painter and decorator from County Meath and her mother was from County Donegal and worked in a shoe shop. [2] The family lived in Southall, London, and Anne-Marie went to Mellow Lane School. At an early age, Anne-Marie attended a local youth theatre, Young Argosy, linked to the Argosy Players, in order to battle her shy nature; she soon became hooked on the stage.

In her mid-teens, involved in an amateur theatre company, she began to think seriously about applying to drama schools. Her first application was rejected. "At the time, I was desperately unhappy about it, but I just wasn’t polished. I got too nervous in the audition. It wasn't a world I was familiar with..." After further study of Film and Theatre, at the age of 19, she attended the Drama Centre in London, alongside John Simm, Anastasia Hille and her good friend, Paul Bettany.


Duff was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000, but first mainstream attention came as Fiona Gallagher in the Channel 4 television programme Shameless , and for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in the lavish 2005 BBC television miniseries, The Virgin Queen which also starred Tom Hardy, Emilia Fox and Sienna Guillory. She also played Julia Stanley, the mother of John Lennon, in Nowhere Boy . In The Last Station , a biopic about Leo Tolstoy's later years, she played his devoted daughter Sasha.

An accomplished theatre actor, she has worked extensively with the Royal National Theatre, including its 1996 production of Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace , and also in London's West End (Vassa, Collected Stories). Credits at the National Theatre include Collected Stories, King Lear and the title character in Marianne Elliott's production of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan to great acclaim. [3] [4] In 2011 she played Alma Rattenbury in Rattigan's final play Cause Célèbre at The Old Vic directed by Thea Sharrock. [5] In 2007 she was one of nine female celebrities to take part in the What's it going to take? campaign promoting awareness of domestic abuse in the United Kingdom.

Personal life

Duff married Scottish actor and former Shameless co-star James McAvoy in 2006, and gave birth to their son, Brendan McAvoy, in 2010. [6] On 13 May 2016, Duff and McAvoy announced they were getting a divorce. [7]



1998Mild and BetterThe WomanShort film
2001 Enigma Kay
2002 The Magdalene Sisters Margaret
2006 Notes on a Scandal Annabel
2007 Garage Carmel
The Waiting Room Anna
2008 French Film Sophie
2009 Is Anybody There? Mum
The Last Station Sasha Tolstoy
Nowhere Boy Julia Lennon
2012 Sanctuary Maire
2013 Closed Circuit Melissa
Molly Moon: The Incredible HypnotistPost-production
2014 Before I Go to Sleep Claire
2015 Suffragette Violet Miller
2017 On Chesil Beach Marjorie Mayhew


1997 Trial & Retribution Cathy Gillingham2 episodes
1998 Amongst Women Sheila2 episodes
1999 Aristocrats Louisa4 episodes
2000Reach for the MoonCath Bird
2001 The Way We Live Now Georgiana4 episodes
2002 Doctor Zhivago Olya
Holby City Alison McCarthy1 episode
Wild West Holly6 episodes
Sinners Anne Marie/TheresaTV film
2003 Charles II: The Power and The Passion Princess Henrietta of England 1 episode
2004–2005, 2013 Shameless Fiona Gallagher 19 episodes
2006 The Virgin Queen Queen Elizabeth I 4 episodes
Born Equal MichelleTV film
2007 The History of Mr Polly Miriam
2008 Pop Britannia Narrator
2009Margot Margot Fonteyn TV film
2012 Accused Mo Murray1 episode
Parade's End Edith Duchemin4 episodes
2015 From Darkness Claire ChurchAll 4 episodes
2017HospitalNarratorAll 6 episodes
2018 Watership Down HyzenthlayMiniseries
2019 His Dark Materials Ma CostaTV series
2020 Sex Education Erin Wiley Netflix Original series
The Salisbury Poisonings Tracy Daszkiewicz TV series [8]


1994Uncle SilasMaud Ruthyn
The Mill on the FlossFirst Maggie
1995La Grande MagiaAmelia
1995–1996 Peter Pan Wendy
1996 War and Peace Natasha
1997–1998 King Lear Cordelia
1999 Vassa Lyudmila
1999–2000Collected StoriesLisa
2000 A Doll's House Nora
2002The Daughter in LawMinnie
2004The Playboy of the Western WorldPegín maidhc
2005 Days of Wine and Roses Mona
2007The Soldier's FortuneLady Dunce
Saint JoanJoanOlivier Theatre, London [9]
2011Cause CélèbreAlma RattenburyOld Vic, London
2013Strange InterludeNina LeedsNational Theatre, London [10]
Macbeth Lady MacbethBroadway debut, Lincoln Center Theater
2015Husbands & SonsLizzie HolroydCo-production between National Theatre, London and Royal Exchange, Manchester
2016Oil [11] May Almeida Theatre
2017Common [12] Mary Royal National Theatre, London
2017Heisenberg [13] Georgie Wyndhams Theatre, London
2018Macbeth [14] Lady Macbeth Royal National Theatre, London
2019 Sweet Charity Charity Hope Valentine Donmar Warehouse, London

Radio and audio

1998 Twelfth Night Viola
2000The Art of LoveCypassis
The Diary of a Provincial LadyRadio series
2001A Time That WasRadio drama
2004Life Half SpentRadio Play
Jane Eyre Narrator
2005Ears Wide OpenDiane
Othello DesdemonaAudiobook
2006The Queen at 80NarratorRadio series
The PossessedLiza/MaryaRadio drama
Look Back in Anger AlisonRehearsed reading
2007Kingdom of the Golden DragonNarratorRadio drama
2011CarmillaNarratorRadio drama
2017 A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche DuBoisRadio drama

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
2004 Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a TV Drama
Broadcasting Press Guild Best Actress Won
British Academy Television Awards Best Actress Nominated
2006 Royal Television Society Best Female Actor Won
2007 British Academy Television Awards Best Actress
The Virgin Queen
Evening Standard Theatre Awards Best Actress
Saint Joan
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a Lead Role in Television
The Virgin Queen
2008 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Collected Stories
Best Actress
Saint Joan
BAFTA Cymru Best Actress
The History of Mr Polly
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role
2010 Evening Standard British Film Awards Best Actress
Nowhere Boy
Won [15]
BIFA Award Best Supporting Actress Won
London Film Critics' Circle Award British Supporting Actress of the Year Won
BAFTA Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
Empire Award Best Actress Nominated
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Film Nominated
Satellite Award Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
2012 Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actress in a Film
2015 BIFA Award Best Supporting Actress
2019 Evening Standard Theatre Awards Best Musical Performance
Sweet Charity

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